The 5 Best Large Pots for Cooking for a Crowd

If you’ve been tasked with the feat of having to serve more than your normal family, you may be scrambling to figure out how to cook that immense amount of food. There’s no need to worry though, there are plenty of pots out there that will help you accomplish your goal.

The five main types of pots, that are designed to help feed large amounts of people include Dutch Oven, Stock Pot, Braiser Pan, French Oven, and Double-Boiler. These pots are all notably versatile with varying functionalities which are ideal for cooking food for a large group.

These five different types of pots are going to help you divide and conquer your mealtime, and make sure that you’re prepared. Some can come in different materials, different sizes, and with different “specialties,” but we’ll be sure to cover all of that down below.

Dutch Ovens

Price Range: $50-$300

Dutch ovens are a classic piece of cookware, and when it comes to cooking large for groups, are incredibly helpful.

Dutch ovens are, like the name implies, originally Dutch. In The Netherlands, their original name is a braadpan, which roughly translates to a roasting pan. However, they’ve evolved from their original size and utility over time. Dutch ovens are usually made of cast iron, but can also be made with ceramic or aluminum.

The average Dutch oven is about 5.5 quarts. Thought it can range to be about as small as 1 quart, and even as large as 13.5 quarts. Depending on how big your dutch oven is, and what its made of, the price can also vary.

Dutch ovens can be used for a multitude of things, it’s thick and heavy build makes it easy to conduct heat and handle large amounts. Dutch ovens are helpful for braising, stews, soups, even baking things like bread, or scones. It all depends on how you decide to use it.

The dutch oven is incredibly versatile, and the large sizes it can come in allow for it to be one of the best pots for cooking large amounts.

Price per cubic inch (based off of largest pot): .38 cents

Great Dutch Ovens for Purchase

Stock Pots

Price Range: $20-$400

Stockpots are another classic cooking dish. Popularly known for their large size, you’ve probably seen one or used one when making large dishes such as stews or soups. Personally, I use it to boil spaghetti noodles. Their large size allows for plenty of room for whatever it is you need to cook.

Stockpots range from as small as 6 quarts to as large as 200 quarts, depending on your preference, and have a thick heavy bottom to avoid burning.

Most stock pots are made of a type of metal. Aluminum, Copper, even Carbon Steel. The steel used in stockpots makes it very long-lasting and great at distributing heat. Depending on your material, some stockpots are heavier than others but they’re typically a lighter pot than say a Dutch oven.

The material will not really change how your pot cooks, but it will change the price. The average stockpot costs around 100 dollars, however, if you have a bigger stockpot or one made with more expensive material, it can skyrocket all the way to 400 dollars.

Despite the price, they are a good investment. They last forever, and their large size means you can cook just about anything in them. Whether its soup or spaghetti noodles, stockpots are a necessity for mealtime. Especially for large meals.

Price per cubic inch (based off of largest pot): .23 cents

Stockpots You Might Be Interested In:

Braiser Pans

Price Range: $50-$400

Don’t let the name fool you, it isn’t actually a pan. A braiser pan is typically made with the same materials as dutch ovens, but are a completely different shape. Braiser pans are shallow, but with longer sides. These pans are typically used to cook whole cuts of meat, and as the name suggests, braise the meats and allow them to soak up the juices that are often lost during cooking.

Like a Dutch oven, it’s typically made of cast iron or ceramics. This type of material isn’t uncommon as it helps with the heating of whatever may be in the pot or pan. Most recipes may even call for a Dutch oven, but most dutch ovens shapes can’t accommodate full pieces of meat. And when it comes to cooking for large crowds, you don’t have time to wait for smaller pieces of meat to cook.

Braiser Pans have a smaller size range than other pots, as their selling point is more the width. They typically range from 3 to 5 quarts in size. However, if you’re looking to serve lots of people, you’re going to want the larger end of that deal. There are some cook-ware places that will serve you industrial-sized pots and pans, these of course are only going to work on industrial-sized ovens and stoves.

Price per cubic inch (based off of largest pot): $1.03

Braiser Pans Great For You

French Oven

Price Range: $30-$200

French ovens and Dutch ovens are similar in appearance, and shape, but at their core are very different when it comes to cooking.

French ovens were created in the early 1900s to be a better version of the Dutch Oven. The enameled surface of the french oven helped progress the journey of making cookware non-stick. They’re known as cocotte pans and are perfect for browning meat.

The difference between French Ovens and Dutch ovens solely boils down to what you’re trying to cook. Both are large dishes, that will cook large amounts of anything, but french ovens are better if you’re cooking a messier dish. If your dish is more likely to stick to your pot, then you’re going to want to opt for a French oven as opposed to a Dutch one.

Price per cubic inch (based off of largest pot): .57 cents

French Ovens You May Want:

Double Boiler Pots

Price Range: $20-$300

A double boiler pot is two pots in one. One pot, smaller and fitting within the larger pot. This design is specifically for the prevention of more delicate foods being burned. The more delicate foods go in the smaller pot and receive heat from whatever is cooking in the pot below it.

More delicate foods would be things like melting cheese or chocolate, something that can burn if you’re not actively looking or stirring it whilst it’s melting and cooking.

It’s an ingenious idea and is a great idea for if you’re trying to feed large groups because it cooks two things at once. Like stockpots, most double broiler pots are made of stainless steel. Stainless steel is a great material as it is long-lasting and avoids burning.

If you’re looking to make something like a slice of meat and a sauce, this would be a great piece to use. As it will cook both at once without taking up more stove space that may be needed for large meals.

Price per cubic inch (based off of largest pot): .25 cents

Double Boiler Buys:

Is There Anything Else I Need?

So now you have got the pots, but you may be thinking: is there anything else I need to cook for the masses? Well, besides heaps of food, you may need some accessories for these large pots. Ladles and other large stirring utensils are an important part of your cooking venture, here are some other kitchen accessories you may need for your event:

Now You’re Ready

Each of the pots listed can be found at a variety of places online, while we only listed a few the internet is full of different types and versions of the pots listed. Before you cook anything it’s always important to know how and what to cook it in.

Now you have information on lots of different pots, what they do, which ones are better for different dishes. You even have the utensils you’ll need to either mix them or serve them. Now all that’s left is to get to work. Whether you’re serving 10 or 100, you should have everything you need to make it work.


Being part of a really big family, cooking for big groups of people is just how we do things. Cooking, baking, and outdoor cooking have all been huge parts of my life, and I love sharing what I've learned with you.

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