5 Best Pasta Pots, Tested by Food Network Kitchen

We boiled 15 pounds of pasta to find the best pasta pots.

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Updated on September 15, 2023

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Photo by: Regina Ragone

Regina Ragone

Our Top Pasta Pot Picks

Tested by Regina Ragone for Food Network Kitchen

One of the easiest and least expensive meals to make is a bowl of pasta. However, how that pasta is cooked and what it is cooked in, will make a difference in whether it’s a mouthwatering or mediocre meal. A pasta pot can be a helpful tool in making sure pasta is cooked to perfection and strained as soon as it's ready to be tossed with a quick sauce or dished up with some meatballs. We tested models of varying shapes and sizes on the market to find the best pasta pots for all kinds of pasta from spaghetti to orzo and beyond.

What to Consider When Buying a Pasta Pot

How much pasta do you make? The first thing you’ll want to consider is how much pasta you will be cooking. To cook a pound of pasta you will need at least a 5-quart pot. If you live with many pasta lovers, opt a larger 8- or 12-quart pot might work best for you. Just remember the pot gets a lot heavier when it's full of water and you’ll have to store it when it’s not in use. (These pots are also great for making stocks.) Whatever pot you choose, make sure it works on your stovetop. We were surprised to find many pasta pots could not be used with induction cooktops.

Photo by: Regina Ragone

Regina Ragone

How do you like to drain your pasta? Pasta pots all come with a strainer system, but they're not all designed the same. Some strainers will separate from the stock pot, and you pull them up to drain the pasta. For these models, we evaluated how well the pot contained hot water used for boiling the pasta. No one wants boiling water splattered all over them or their cooktop. Other models have the stainer built into the pot or the lid. For these, you'll want to make sure you have the arm strength to tilt the pot while it's full of water so it doesn't slip into the sink during draining.

What pasta shape do you love? Most pasta pots are designed for varying pasta shapes, however, we found that oval pots and tall pots tend to cook long pastas like spaghetti or lasagna noodles most evenly.

How to Boil the Perfect Pasta

Two tricks for making perfect pasta are using enough salt in the water and only cooking it to al dente texture. Two teaspoons of salt for every quart of water seems to yield the best tasting result, but if you are concerned about sodium, a tablespoon for 4 to 5 quarts of water is fine. Most pasta boxes will recommend a cooking time for pasta, but we found 10 minutes worked for our dried spaghetti tests. Fresh pasta takes much less time to cook (usually 1 to 3 minutes), so watch it carefully. Taste frequently when your pasta is almost done to get the consistency you prefer.

Photo by: Regina Ragone

Regina Ragone

How We Tested

First, we purchased 10 well-reviewed pasta pots from top brands and retailers across the internet. We took note of their size and weight empty, and noted how obstrusive they felt on our stovetop. We also noted whether the pots were compatible with electric, gas and induction cooktops. Like we mentioned above, we were surprised to find that many of the pots we tested were not induction compatible.

We cooked one pound of dried pasta and eight ounces of fresh pasta in each pot. For most pots we used 4 quarts of water to cook the pasta. The larger pots required 8 quarts of water, especially if it came with a colander insert. We observed how long the water took to come to a boil, if the heat distribution yielded an evenly cooked noodle, and how easy it was to drain.

Finally, we noted how easy it was to clean each pot by hand and whether or not any of the parts were dishwasher safe.

This article has been reviewed since its original publish date for accuracy, pricing and availability. We stand by our list of top pasta pot picks and are hopeful that the Rachael Ray Cityscapes Pasta Pot with Spout, which was sold out at the time of review, will restock soon.


Our favorite pasta pot also happen to be the biggest one we tested at 12 quarts. However, if you plan on doing a lot of cooking, this chef-grade pot is a workhorse and great value. The measurement markings inside the pot made it easy to see how much water to add, and the fact the rim was tapered for drip-free pouring made draining a breeze. Another benefit were the handles, which stayed cool when it was time to lift the pot. The pasta insert worked flawlessly to drain the pasta, but keep in mind, this was still a heavy pot when it was time to pour out the pasta water. This pot took 8 quarts of water in order to cover the pasta for cooking, so it took a little more time to come to a boil. If you have an induction cooktop, use this pot on your power boil setting to eliminate extra cooking time. The added steamer made this pot a good value. This pot is both easy to clean and dishwasher safe.

Buy It

The All-Clad is a smaller top pick, however, we did find this pot didn't drain quite as drip-free as the Cuisinart. This 6-quart pasta pot is a solid bet for anyone who's not making more than a pound of pasta on most nights. The durable, stainless steel pot is induction compatible, heated evenly and the water came to a boil quickly. The strainer insert works well, but be careful of a small bit of spillage while draining. Because of this pot's short, round design, it's not ideal for making a full pound of spaghetti.

Buy It

Not only does this pot perform well, but it’s also sleek-looking and a great value. It does have a great oval shape that easily accommodates all kinds of pasta including spaghetti and lasagna noodles. Pasta cooks evenly in a reasonable amount of time and can be easily drained thanks to the clever strainer with locking lid. Our only drawback is that the nonstick model of this pot, which is our budget pick, is not induction compatible.

Buy It

This oval pot pleasantly surprised us. The even heat distribution brought water up to a boil quickly and cooked the pasta well. The oval shape made it easy to put a pound of spaghetti into the pot quickly without any aggrivation. Draining was a breeze with the pouring lip and the non-stick interior, and the enameled porcelain exterior made cleanup easy. This pot can also be placed in an oven up to 350°F. Because the pot is aluminum it will not work on induction stovetops.

Buy It

This compact pot is perfect for small spaces or for someone’s first kitchen, and can be used to make small batches of pasta, soup, chili and more. It takes a little moving around to get a pound of spaghetti to fit in the pot, but once it does, we found the pasta cooked well. Our favorite feature is how it drains: Just place the lid on the pot and twist the handles to lock the sides before pouring out the water. There are two different-sized drain holes built into the pot, so you don’t need a strainer — more space saving. This pot does not work on induction stovetops.

Buy It

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