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Best Casserole Dishes

Thinking of buying a casserole dish? No kitchen is complete without one. They are great for making all sorts of meals, including lasagna, roasts, cobblers, even some desserts. An added bonus is you can use them for both cooking and serving. It’s perfect for one pot meals. Once your meal is done, the leftovers can be stored in the casserole dish, in the fridge, for even more convenience. And with some casserole dishes, you can even store your meal in the freezer.

Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Enameled Cast Iron Pan

This reasonably priced casserole dish is perfect for cooking, serving, and entertaining. It is made of porcelain enameled material with cast iron construction. As a result, it has incredible heat retention. It distributes the heat well and evenly. It won’t scorch your food or cook it too fast. Also, the inside of the pan does not absorb odor or change the flavor of your food.

It is high quality and stylish, and looks great in any kitchen. It is strong enough to withstand high temperatures and attractive enough to use as a serving dish. It has a strong durable finish and comes in rich colors like sharp red or Provencal blue. The interior has a lovely white enamel coating.

It is a rectangular shape and measures 14 inches long, making it a medium size – not quite big enough to roast a turkey. It is also very durable.

It is oven safe to about 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Use it to make your favorite roast or bake lasagna. But it’s not just for your oven. This casserole dish can also be used on the stove top or broiler. Use it on your stove top to make au jus after first roasting prime rib in your oven. Or use it to slow braise or simmer your meal. It also works well on an induction stove.

This casserole dish has cast iron handles that are wide enough to give you a comfortable and secure grip.

It is easy to clean. When it cools down, simply soak in warm water and wipe with a paper towel before washing. It is also dishwasher safe.

One drawback is it is quite heavy so might not be suitable for someone who has difficulty carrying things. However, its weight comes part and parcel with its durability.

Pros

  • Made of porcelain enameled material with cast iron construction
  • Has incredible heat retention, and distributes heat evenly
  • Does not absorb odors or change the flavor of food
  • Oven safe to about 450 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Can be used on stove top, broiler, and induction stove
  • Easy to clean and dishwasher safe

Cons

  • Very heavy

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Le Creuset Heritage Covered Baker

This casserole dish with lid is expensive but worth the investment. Le Creuset is a well-known, high quality French brand. This stoneware dish comes in a variety of rich colors such as sea salt green, indigo blue, and Provence purple. It is rectangular in shape and measures 15.6 inches long.

Le Creuset stoneware is very strong and durable. Each piece is individually cast in molds, and inspected by French artisans. These pieces of cookware represent a rich heritage of quality and lasting, authentic design. They are well made and heavy, strong and durable, and will not chip, crack, or stain easily.

The casserole dish features an interior made of enamel which is highly durable and hygienic, and won’t absorb odors from your food. The enamel resists damage from utensils and heat. It is also resistant to scratches and stains.

It will cook your food evenly and thoroughly. It features superior heat retention and even heat distribution. It is safe for use in your oven up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, as well as your broiler, microwave, and even your freezer.

Do not take your casserole dish out of the freezer and place it directly in a preheated oven. Instead, place the frozen dish in the unheated oven and set the temperature. Before serving, make sure the food is hot throughout.

It has easy to grip ceramic handles. But be careful with the handles, especially when using this casserole dish in the oven or microwave, as they can get very hot.

This casserole dish has a secure lid, so you can use it to transport your meals to parties, picnics, and potlucks. The lid locks in moisture and heat, and prevents spills.

It is easy to clean. Make sure to cool the dish before washing and drying. Its glazed interior releases food easily and can be cleaned up quickly. It is also dishwasher safe.

Pros

  • Strong and durable, well made and heavy, will not crack or chip
  • Handcrafted and inspected by local artisans in France
  • Interior is made of durable and hygienic enamel, which resists scratches and stains
  • Cooks food evenly in oven up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Also safe to use in broiler, microwave, refrigerator, and even your freezer
  • Easy grip handles and secure lid that locks in moisture and heat

Cons

  • Expensive

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Lodge Enamel Cast Iron Casserole Dish with Lid

This casserole dish with lid is versatile and built for all your cooking needs. You can use it in the oven, the broiler, and the stove, depending on what your recipe calls for. It can also be used on your induction stove. Just don’t use it in your microwave or on an open outdoor flame.

This dish is very heavy duty, and the interior with two layers of enameled porcelain is very durable. It is chip resistant. The hygienic porcelain enamel will not react to your ingredients or food. And this material removes the need to season your pan.

It can stand up to high temperatures and retain heat. It will warm your food evenly. In the oven, you can bake or roast up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. The lid is also safe in the oven up to 500 degrees F. Or use your casserole dish to fry anything from eggs to steak.

You can use it to marinate, then refrigerate, then cook, and then serve. It is a beautiful piece of cookware and a treat to show off at your dinner table. It also keeps your food hotter for longer when it is being served.

It is attractive, and comes in a variety of colors like Caribbean blue and spice red. It is round in shape, with a diameter of 11.75 inches.

The lid fits tightly to seal in moisture. The handles are loops and the lid has a stainless steel knob, which allows you a lot of control.

It is easy to clean. While it is dishwasher safe, you might prefer to hand wash it in order to maintain its original appearance.

One thing to keep in mind is metal utensils can scratch porcelain. Therefore, you should always use wood, silicon, or nylon utensils.

Pros

  • Versatile, use to fry on stove, or roast in oven up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Use to marinate, then refrigerate, then cook, then serve
  • Attractive, comes in bright colors like Caribbean blue and spice red
  • Very heavy duty, durable, and chip resistant
  • Interior will not react with food or ingredients
  • Easy to clean, dishwasher safe

Cons

  • Not microwave safe
  • Not suitable for use with metal utensils (use wood, silicon, or nylon instead)

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The Pioneer Woman Ruffle Top Ceramic Bakeware Set

This stylish casserole dish has a different look from the others that is pretty and feminine. It is called a ‘ruffle top’ because of its swirly edge. It is sure to make a statement at your dinner table. It comes in a set of two dishes – one a larger turquoise color and the other with a floral pattern.

They are made of oven-safe ceramic. They are perfect for taking out of the oven and placing right on your serving area. No need to transfer food from one container to another.

They are great for making cakes and other desserts but are well suited to any type of baking or roasting in the oven.

They are easy to clean and dishwasher safe, and they have a non-stick surface that makes it easy to remove food before washing.

One drawback is these casserole dishes do not come with lids.

Pros

  • Pretty and feminine with ‘ruffle top’ swirly top edge
  • Set of two – one turquoise and one with floral pattern
  • Made of oven-safe ceramic, perfect for going from oven to serving on dinner table
  • Non-stick surface makes it easy to remove food before cleaning
  • Easy to clean and dishwasher safe

Cons

  • They don’t come with lids

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What to look for in a casserole dish

Now that you have seen some of the most popular casserole dishes on the market today, let’s talk about what to look for when you are thinking of buying one. Here are a few things to consider.

Material

Casserole dishes can come in a wide variety of materials, such as ceramic, enameled cast iron, and even stainless steel. Of these, enameled cast iron is a great choice because these dishes are not only suitable for the oven but they can also be used for serving. Go straight from oven to table.

Enameled cast iron distributes heat well and the enamel coating will not rust if you dry it soon after cleaning. Enameled cast iron is great if you want to make acidic dishes such as tomato sauce. Cast iron is the most heavy duty and the most costly type of material for casserole dishes.

There is also the modern option of choosing a casserole dish with the interior coated with aluminum. These are much easier to maintain and clean than casseroles made of other materials. They are light weight and yet, if they have a thick base, they distribute heat very well and evenly.

Weight

When you’re searching for a casserole dish, remember, at least with cast iron, the heavier the better. A heavier dish lets you brown meat on the stove more quickly and do a nice slow cook in the oven. If it is a heavy dish with a thick base, it will trap the juices in the pot, resulting in a more tasty meal. It will also enable more even heat distribution all the way through your food.

Size and shape

For some people, the larger the better, especially if you typically cook substantial meals or if you make a lot of soups. Also, oval or rectangular dishes accommodate roasts better, while round dishes are better for stews.

Taking care of your casserole dish

If you’ve already bought your casserole dish, or are interested in finding out how much work is involved in keeping them clean before you buy, here are some tips.

First, you could consider lining your casserole dish with aluminum foil before cooking. In this case, all you have to do after cooking is remove the foil and pop the dish into the dishwasher (if it is dishwasher safe). That’s the easiest option.

If you don’t wish to do that, you need to choose a good dish detergent. Try a heavy hitting detergent that works in the dishwasher. You could also choose a detergent that is aromatherapeutic or eco-friendly.

Once you have your detergent, you’re ready to clean.

After cooking, if you have a particularly well-caked-on mess, fill your casserole dish halfway with cold water and mix in some dishwashing liquid. Put your dish in the oven at around 250 degrees Fahrenheit for a few hours. Then take it out and leave it on a heat-proof surface overnight to soak. Your baked-on food will lift off easily.

Then you can pop it in the dishwasher or wash by hand.

Enjoy your new casserole dish. It will be a popular item at your family dinners and get togethers over the coming years, sure to bring many happy memories.

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