Cooking Pots Buyer’s Guide

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Welcome to The Modern Nonna’s buyer’s guide for cooking pots! With a plethora of cookware on the market, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with choices 😵‍💫. Weeding through different styles, prices and materials can quickly become daunting, which is why I created this guide outlining some of my top choices 🫡.

Whether you’re looking to upgrade your kitchen or you’re a new cook looking for recommendations, this comprehensive guide will equip you with all the knowledge you need before you make your purchase!

Cooking Pots Buyer's Guide

Why Trust The Modern Nonna

Growing up in rural Bulgaria 🇧🇬 we always used well-worn cookware, as we didn’t have access to the latest and greatest new-age pots. Therefore, you can bet that my cooking pot reviews are extremely genuine and honest. I only recommend products that I have personally tested and used in my own cooking for my family, and none of this is sponsored. I am not here to sell you anything I don’t firmly believe in! Most importantly, I come from the land of soups and stews, so trust me, I know my s#!@ when it comes to pots 😤!

The Review Process

I have spent years testing and trying various pots for cooking. Initially, I used a basic set for my early cooking videos, but gradually upgraded to better pots over time. I experimented with different brands, sizes, materials, and styles to bring 🫵 a comprehensive list of must-haves. After extensive testing, I have narrowed down my recommendations to these Top 5 pots that I believe are essential for any kitchen.

I know that everyone has unique requirements when it comes to selecting pots, and that affordability can be a factor. That’s why I have created two separate options for each category of pots – a “save” option and a “splurge” option. The “save” option is perfect for those on a budget, offering durable and affordable pots that won’t break the bank. On the other hand, if you’re looking for pots with premium features, the “splurge” option will be your best bet 🤝.

Consider What You’re Cooking

From cast iron to stainless steel, understanding the purpose of the pot is half the battle. Different types of pots will yield different results, so the best thing to consider when purchasing a pot is: what type of food do you cook most frequently 👩‍🍳 ?

In this guide, I will be featuring five essential categories of pots to cover all your kitchen needs 😉. The categories include Cast Iron Pots, Pasta Pots, and three sizes of Stainless Steel Pots: large, medium and small. While cast iron pots are great for making soups and stews, pasta pots are ideal for boiling pasta as they come with a built-in strainer for hassle-free pasta cooking. Stainless steel pots are an all-around versatile option that can be used for various purposes and recipes. The large pot is perfect for soups or larger meals; the medium pot is ideal for making sauces, stewing or simmering, and the small pot works well for smaller batches of food, heating things up, boiling eggs 🥚 or preparing rice or oatmeal.

Cooking Pots Buyer's Guide

Cast Iron

Splurge: STAUB is one of those “If you know, you know” brands, because those who know, will attest to how incredible this brand and its products are. Not only has STAUB been creating cast iron cookware for 50 years, but its unique design featuring nubs on the lids allows the locked-in moisture to drip back into the food and baste it as it cooks, resulting in the most flavor-packed dishes 🤤! With a double-glazed enamel coating, heavyweight tight-fitting lid, black enamel interior which caters to flawless browning, and dishwasher and oven safety up to 900°F (without the lid), this STAUB Cast Iron Dutch Oven is the Rolls Royce of cast iron pots and absolutely worth the splurge in my opinion!

Save: When it comes to a good saving hack, looking for an Amazon Basic’s brand equivalent is always my go-to. This Amazon Basics Enameled Cast Iron Pot is a clear winner in my eyes. With over 40,000 reviews, I truly don’t think you’ll need much convincing if you’re trying to find a budget-friendly cast iron pot for your cooking needs. Sturdy, oven-safe up to 500°F, and aesthetically pleasing, with the most beautiful glossy enamel finish 😍, this pot will be everything you need and more! The white enamel interior is super easy to clean, and it features the same OG cast-iron lid nubs that allow condensation to accumulate and drip back into the food as it cooks. However, to ensure longevity, you’ll need to hand-wash this pot as it’s not dishwasher safe.

Pasta Pot

Splurge: The Bialetti Pasta Pot offers a stainless steal construction (or non-stick as featured), featuring a convenient strainer lid to quickly strain your pasta for that perfect al-dente texture 🤌. With a generous 6-quart capacity, it’s perfect for cooking pasta, soups, stews and more. Not only is this pot durable, versatile and built to last, but it’s also compatible with all stovetops including induction!

Cooking Pots Buyer's Guide

Save: Simple, yet effective! This clip-on silicone strainer is the perfect solution if you don’t want to invest in a new pasta pot or already have a good repertoire of cookware. Made from durable silicone, this strainer is designed to fit onto pots and pans of various sizes, making it the perfect budget-friendly and practical option. Keep in mind that this strainer can also serve for rinsing fruits and vegetables or straining liquids, and we love a versatile queen 😌!

Large Stainless Steel Pot

Splurge: All-Clad, all day – this brand is absolutely unmatched! Made from durable stainless steel, this stockpot features a three-ply construction for optimal heat distribution. Oven safety up to 600°F and compatibility with any stovetop (including induction) are just some of the features that make this pot a lifetime investment. With an 8-quart capacity, this pot is perfect 👌 for cooking soups, stews, or large family-sized meals. This pot also comes with a perforated insert and steaming insert, making it ideal for blanching, steaming or boiling.

Save: This Amazon Basics Stainless Steel Stock Pot is a steal considering the price point and long list of amazing features. Coming in strong with an 8-quart capacity, oven safety up to 500°F and durable stainless steel construction, this stockpot defends its position against its high-end competitor 👏. Equipped with a tempered glass lid, this pot allows for convenient monitoring of the cooking process without compromising heat retention. All-in-all this pot is a perfect alternative for those not looking to splurge.

Medium Stainless Steel Pot

Splurge: The All-Clad Stainless Steel Sauce Pan is another premium piece of cookware designed for everyday use. This 3-quart pot features the usual all-clad three-ply bonded stainless steel construction and aluminum core, ensuring even distribution of heat 🔥 whether you’re simmering sauces or reheating leftovers. Made with a stainless steel handle that stays cool on the stovetop, this saucepan is the poster child for durability and quality.

Save: The Cuisineart Stainless Steel Saucepan is another 3-quart gem that’s here to meet your everyday demands. Constructed with stainless steel and pure aluminum encapsulated in the base, this saucepan pairs fast and easy heating with durability 💪 and easy maintenance. This pot, much like its high-end competitor, incorporates a cool grip handle designed to stay cool to the touch throughout the cooking process, preventing you from sizzling those precious little fingers ✋.

Small Stainless Steel Pot

Splurge: Made In (Italy 🇮🇹) is another one of my favorite brands that creates top-of-the-line cookware known for quality and durability. This 3/4-quart stainless steel saucepan melts butter 🧈 perfectly but is ideal for other small-batch cooking tasks. Made from 5 layers of premium metal, this pot has a PhD in even heat distribution during the cooking process. Dishwasher safe, oven safe up to 800°F 🤯 and an intentionally designed hollow handle that stays cool while on the stovetop are just some key features that make this saucepan a must-have!

Save: The AVACRAFT multipurpose saucepan is a comparable budget-friendly option that features a 1.5-quart capacity, a convenient shatterproof glass strainer lid, two side spouts for easy pouring, easy-to-read measurement marks inside, dishwasher safety, and a 5-ply stainless steel bottom for even heat distribution (sheeeesh 😮‍💨). I mean, this saucepan is truly a practical and affordable choice, perfect for everyday small-batch cooking. Plus, it supports AVACRAFT, a women-owned small business 🙌 👸 💪!

Hi! I'm Sneji. Nice to meet you!

I am more commonly known as “The Modern Nonna” on social media where I create easy home cooked meals with a modern twist. I was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria and learned how to cook at the best culinary school in the world – my grandma’s kitchen. I lived in Greece on the Island of Crete with my parents for a while and then moved to Toronto, Canada when I was in grade 5. I started to really cook and experiment with food 11 years ago when I was 21 years old. Everything I currently know is a reflection of some part of my life…

Keep up to date with me on social media! Follow @themodernnonna

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  1. As always Great info. Can’t wait for the pans reviews I’ve been looking for frying pans would appreciate any recommendations 😊
    Love your honesty when it comes to products keep doing you 💖. Wishing you much love and success 💞

    1. Thank you for this amazing comment, Araceli! Appreciate you! Stay tuned for more buyer’s guides…..

  2. I am so happy I found you. I love your style. Your recipes are scrumptious and I look forward to each one! Well done you😻