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Rachael Ray's oval pot offers convenience

While a 12-quart pot is the most versatile, some users find an 8-quart soup pot more convenient for preparing big batches of soups, stews and chili. The Rachael Ray Hard Anodized 8-Qt. Oval Stockpot (*Est. $75) consistently earns high praise from home cooks, who say the oval shape makes it perfect for spaghetti and ears of corn. Users also like the pot's weight and its nonstick interior coating, which they say makes for easy cleanup.

This pot does have its weak points: It's not dishwasher-safe, the finish scratches without care and the pot can overheat. A few users also find the price a little high for an aluminum pot. Note that Rachael Ray cookware is made by Meyer Corporation, a cookware company that also makes brands such as Circulon, Anolon and Farberware.

The Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick 8-Qt. Multi Pot (*Est. $100) is also made of anodized aluminum. The "multi" in the name refers to the included inserts: a stainless-steel pasta insert and a stainless-steel vegetable steamer. Owners say this pot is indeed useful for cooking a wide variety of foods and is easy to clean. Most reviews say the pot is solidly built, but we did see one or two complaints about chipped finish and rust on the stainless-steel inserts. A couple of users also find this multi-piece set "a little pricey."

Anodized aluminum isn't the only suitable material for smaller soup pots. We found very good reviews for the Le Creuset 8-Qt. Stockpot (*Est. $60), which is made of stainless steel with a colorful enamel coating. This pot has more than 130 reviews from owners at Amazon.com and Cooking.com. Most owners say this pot is the ideal size and weight and food doesn't stick to the enameled surface. However, we did see many complaints about durability. Some users say that the pot feels flimsy, and others complain that the enamel chips or wears off, leaving the pot vulnerable to rust.

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Rachael Ray Hard Anodized Nonstick 8-Quart Oval Pasta Pot with Glass Lid, Orange
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $89.99 $83.80   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick 8 Qt. Multi-Pot
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $99.99   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Le Creuset Enamel-on-Steel 8-Quart Covered Stockpot, Black Onyx
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $110.00   
Average Customer Review:  

Soup Pots Runners Up:

All-Clad Stainless 12-Qt. Stock Pot with Lid *Est. $380

2 picks including: About.com, Amazon.com…

Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick 8-Qt. Multi Pot *Est. $100

2 picks including: Amazon.com, Cooking.com…

Farberware Classic Series 12-Quart Covered Stockpot *Est. $60

2 picks including: About.com, Amazon.com…

Le Creuset 8-Qt. Stockpot *Est. $60

2 picks including: Amazon.com, Cooking.com…

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All-Clad 4512 Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Bonded Dishwasher Safe Stockpot with Lid / Cookware, Silver
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $390.00 $371.99   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick 8 Qt. Multi-Pot
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $99.99   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Farberware Classic Stainless Steel Covered Stockpot, 12-Quart
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $126.00 $56.00   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Le Creuset Enamel-on-Steel 8-Quart Covered Stockpot, Black Onyx
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $110.00   
Average Customer Review:  

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