Should I Buy a Stockpot or a Dutch Oven?

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Q: I have seen previous posts on kitchen equipment and getting started with the absolute necessities. I am in the market for a stock pot and/or Dutch oven and I'm wondering if there are advantages to buying one over the other? I would use it for stews, soups, and braises, but I also make stocks at home.

I'm leaning toward a Dutch oven — but I'm worried that the sides are not tall/narrow enough to be appropriate for stocks. Help! Also — what size? 6 qts? Any advice?

Sent by LauraEditor: Laura, for a long time we made do with only one really good 6-quart pot. It was slightly taller than it was wide, and it was heavy enough and big enough to make a good pot of stock. Now we have a Dutch oven, but for a long time we did all our oven braises in that one 6-quart pot too.

Our thought is that you can do oven braising and roasting in a good pot, just like in a cast iron, enameled Dutch oven. But buying a Dutch oven large enough to do a big batch of stock is going to get pricey (and heavy!), so we would probably opt for the slightly more multi-functional steel pot in a 6-quart or 8-quart size.

But having said that, if your heart is set on a Dutch oven, go for it! You can still make stock in a large Dutch oven. Just set the lid partially over the pot while simmering to help cut down on evaporation.

Readers, do you have any advice for Laura and her decision?

Related: Dutch Oven FAIL...Tramontina WIN!

(Images: Le Creuset Enameled Steel 6-qt. Stock Pot with Lid and Le Creuset 7 1/4-Quart Round French Oven at Amazon)

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Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.

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