A large, tall pot used for making stocks and soups, but can be useful for other purposes such as cooking large quantities of pasta or catering for a crowd. Usually made from aluminum or stainless steel, but sometimes copper or enameled cast iron may be used.
If you find yourself making stock or soup on a semi-regular basis, one of these will be a welcome addition to your kitchen arsenal. To choose a good stock pot, go for one with a tight fitting lid and a solid, heavy base. An even transfer of heat is very important, as you will be simmering for extended periods of time, so check the base carefully. Some stock pots have copper sandwiched in the base, providing nice even heat, this is a good thing, but will add to the overall cost. As long as the base does not feel flimsy, it should be fine.
18/10 stainless steel is the best material to choose, as far as durability and price go, but aluminum is fine too. It won't last as long, but is much cheaper. Copper is prohibitively expensive and cast iron will take two people to lift the darn thing.
Choose the largest pot your budget and storage space will allow. Try to get at least a 6 litre (1 1/2 gallon) capacity, but you will find that 10 litres suits just about all domestic purposes