If you have ever used the oven in your house or plan to, chances are you have a casserole dish or are planning on needing one. Sometimes they are called roasting pans or baking dishes but all in all, they are the same. Using the best casserole dish will set you apart from the rest when it comes to baking literally anything in the oven.
They come in all different types of sizes, shapes, colors, and materials but some have their advantages and disadvantages over others. Also, this doesn’t mean there is going to be a better material over the other unless you mistreat the casserole dish while using it. It really all depends on the user and what they prefer.
In this article, we are going to go over some of the different kinds of casserole dishes out there as well as what to look for when purchasing a new pan. We will also cover some of the best casserole dishes available for purchase on the market today and which one might be the best fit for you and your baked goods.
How to Choose the Best Casserole Dish
When choosing the best casserole dish, it is wise to consider a few factors before leaping at a decision. We are not talking about the actual makeup and construction of the casserole dish but more of the surrounding qualities of the pan. That doesn’t mean that you should overlook the materials. The materials used to construct the casserole dish need to be of high quality no matter what type they are. This will ensure the casserole dish lasts longer as long as it is used properly and taken care of.
To make sure that this stays true, it is wise to try and get a casserole dish that comes with a manufacturer guarantee or some kind of warranty to protect the pan just in case something happens to it while in use or during the shipping process.
Overall, you want to make sure the casserole dish is easy to use and easy to clean. For the most part, all the pans will be easy to clean but it is a bonus if they can be placed in the dishwasher to avoid any unnecessary scrubbing or elbow grease that may be needed to clean the pan.
Construction and Design
There are several different things to consider when buying a new casserole dish and the construction and design is the loaded question. You want to make sure the shape and size are what you are going to be wanting to bake at home. You don’t need a very large casserole dish if it is just you and maybe another person. They do come in very small and very large sizes so choose wisely. You want to make sure that the casserole dish also has deep or wide enough handle that you can grab them with oven mitts and not drop the dish.
To make this easier we will go over the three main types of casserole pans and their attributes. Which ones are better at some things than the others while the others may excel at another problem.
The first casserole dish we will talk about is the common type and that is metal. Within this category, there are all types of metal used to make the casserole dishes just like there is for any type of sauté pan. The cheaper models are made from aluminum which will conduct the heat very well and transfer it across the pan evenly. However, they may warp easily and can become damaged or dented easily while in use or when stored with other pans. The coating is usually a non-stick coating as well and may have a tendency to peel off over time.
One of the best metals to consider in this category is cast iron. These pans will usually last forever and then some as long as they are seasoned properly and taken care of. They do no need to be washed and shouldn’t be, just wiped clean and a thin coat of oil applied to them. The cast iron will retain heat very well and distribute it across the pan evenly. It can also be placed over direct flame and be exposed to extremely high temperatures. They are usually more expensive and do take a long time to heat up. If you have the time and patience, then this may be the perfect choice for you since it is strong and very durable.
The next option is going to be ceramic casserole dishes. These will retain heat very well and distribute the heat evenly and may take a lot longer to heat up. Just like a saucepan, heat distribution is very important in a casserole dish and the ceramic dish holds the torch in this category. But they are very stylish and can come in many designs and colors if desired. The surfaces are usually naturally non-stick that will not wear over time and the pan itself will not warp. It could, however, chip or break in half since it is ceramic and when exposed to very high temperatures it may tend to crack. If the pan is not tempered then it may shatter or break when taken out of the oven and placed in a colder environment. This is still one of the most favorite pans among cooks and bakers and has been around since the beginning of time basically. They will continue to do well in the future as well.
The last type is almost identical to ceramic in every way except for the colors and designs that can be applied to ceramic since they are clear glass. Most of these casserole dishes are tempered so they will not break or shatter when exposed to high temperatures but can still break if not handled properly. One of the great things about glass is that you are able to see the baking process happen since it is clear. This may help you when baking a lasagna or full casserole to see if the bottom is burning or if the food has fully cooked.
Best Casserole Dishes
Le Creuset Covered Rectangular Casserole
The Best Casserole Dish
If you want the most bang for your buck, then this casserole dish is going to be it. The casserole dish is very expensive when compared to others and does not come with a warranty to protect it.
The casserole dish is made of stoneware which mean it will have excellent heat retention and even heat distribution across the surfaces of the pan. It is also very versatile in terms of where it can be used because it is just about anywhere. It is oven-safe, freezer-safe, microwave-safe, broiler and dishwasher. Since it is also dishwasher-safe it helps with the ease of cleanup. The stoneware prevents any moisture from entering the pan as well as rippling in the surface. It is so strong that it will prevent any scratches or stains on the surface of the pan anywhere. The pan Is naturally non-stick which releases all types of foods with ease. It comes with a lid that seals in all moisture with a knob shaped handle on top of it.
- The casserole dish is strong enough to prevent scratches, stain, rippling or cracks within the surface.
- The casserole dish is oven-safe, broiler-safe, microwave-safe and freezer-safe.
- It is also dishwasher-safe and has a naturally non-stick surface on the surfaces of the dish.
- The casserole dish is extremely expensive and does not come with a warranty to protect it.
Lodge 3.6 Quart Cast Iron Casserole Pan
The Best Cast Iron Casserole Dish
This casserole dish is much different from the other one and may be better in some cases. The casserole dish is still very expensive and doesn’t come with a warranty but it is made by Lodge which never has problems with their products breaking for over 100 years.
The pan is made of cast iron and has a chip resistant and scratch resistant enamel coting all over the bowl and lid. The dish is a round shape and can hold up to 3.6 quarts whether that is on top of the stove as a sauté pan, fryer or boiling. Or if it is used in the oven or broiler. The pan is dishwasher safe and since it has an enamel coating you never have to re season it.
- The casserole dish is constructed of cast iron in a round shape that can hold up to 3.6 quarts.
- It can be used to fry, boil, sauté, bake or broil and comes with a separate lid.
- The casserole dish has a scratch resistant surface that is naturally non-stick and very easy to clean.
- The casserole dish is still very expensive and does not come with a warranty to protect it.
Rachael Ray Cucina Casserole Dish Set with Lid
The Modern Casserole Dish
This casserole dish is also another great product of ceramic sets. The set is fairly inexpensive but it doesn’t come with a warranty to protect it. This set is constructed of stoneware that has been coated with a warm glazed porcelain that give strength and a scratch resistant surface.
The pans are also naturally nonstick which helps with the release of foods and makes it very easy to clean. The set come with a 1.5 quart and a 2-quart round casserole dish and a lid that fits both pans. The set is oven safe, stovetop safe, microwaveable, freezer safe and also dishwasher safe.
- The set comes with 2 round casserole dishes and a lid that fits both pans.
- The pans are constructed of ceramic coated stoneware that is easy to use and easy to clean as it is dishwasher safe.
- It has a non-stick coating and is also oven safe, freezer safe, microwave safe and stovetop accessible.
- Although the set is cheap to purchase, it does not come with a warranty to protect it.
AmazonBasics Enameled Cast Iron Covered Casserole Skillet
Decent But Not Among The Best
This casserole dish may look like all the others but it isn’t even close. It is priced fairly high and does not come with a warranty to protect it. The dish is made of porcelain enameled cast iron but not the kind that provides a non-stick surface. The pan is also not dishwasher safe.
Other than that, everything is about the same as the other. It can be used on the stovetop, in the oven or even placed in the freezer. The pan has a round shape and can hold 3.3 quarts. It comes with a lid that fits on snug.
- The casserole dish is round, can hold up to 3.3 quarts and comes with a tightly fit lid.
- The dish is constructed of porcelain enameled cast iron that is scratch resistant.
- The pan can be used in the oven, stovetop and freezer at any temperatures safely.
- The pan is priced high and doesn’t come with a warranty.
- It is not dishwasher safe and doesn’t have a nonstick surface so cleaning could be a problem for this product.
Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Stainless 5-1/2-Quart Casserole with Cover
The Best Stainless-Steel Casserole Dish
This is also a great casserole dish but it is very different from the others we have shown you. It is still pretty expensive but this one comes with lifetime warranty to protect it. It is constructed of stainless steel and the handles are clad stainless steel that create a cool to touch handle when used on the stovetop.
The pan is oven-safe and stovetop safe as well as dishwasher safe which makes it easy to clean., it doesn’t have a nonstick surface which makes it a bit of a problem sometimes. The triple ply construction provides excellent heat retention and even heat distribution across the surface of the pan.
- The pan is constructed of stainless steel and is also triple ply that creates even heat distribution and excellent heat retention.
- The pan has cool to touch handles and a lid that fit tightly on the pan.
- It comes with a lifetime warranty.
- The pan is fairly expensive and does not come with a nonstick surface.
Bruntmor Enameled Cast Iron Casserole Braiser
The Jack of all Trades Casserole Dish
This casserole dish is actually a lot more than just a casserole dish, it will be able to also roast, bake, fry, boil and sauté rather than just be one thing. However, the casserole dish is priced fairly high when compared to others and it does not come with a warranty to protect it.
The casserole dish is constructed of cast iron which has excellent heat retention and even heat distribution across the entire surface of the pan. The casserole dish is also compatible with all types of burners including induction burners and is oven safe up to 500 degrees.
Bruntmor casserole has large hoop handles for easy carrying and extra control and comes with a lid that locks in heat and moisture. The inner pot is lined with an enamel coat which protects the pan and creates a non-stick surface. It also makes the pan very easy to clean with a single wipe and little to no scrubbing, but it is not dishwasher safe and needs to be cleaned by hand.
- The casserole dish has excellent heat retention and even heat distribution which gives it the ability to fry, roast, boil, bake and sauté all in one pan.
- The dish is constructed of cast iron which makes it compatible with all types of burners including induction burners and is also oven safe up to 500 degrees.
- The pan has an enamel coated surface which protects the pan and lid and creates a non-stick surface that does not react with food when heated.
- The casserole dish is priced very high when compared to others and does not come with a warranty to protect it.
Emile Henry HR Modern Classics Large Rectangular Baker
The Suzie Homemaker Casserole Dish
This pan is basically what any house wife in the fifties had. This company has been making them since 1850. They are bout the same in cost as all the others but this one does come with a 10-year warranty.
The pan is constructed of all-natural ceramics which provides even heat distribution and excellent heat retention. However, it doesn’t have a nonstick coated enamel surface which may cause some problems. It is safe to use in the oven, microwave, freezer and dishwasher which makes the cleanup very easy. The pan overall is durable and scratch resistant and backed by the company.
- The pan has been constructed of all-natural ceramics in a small town in Paris for over 170 years.
- The pan is durable and scratch resistant and come with a 10-year warranty to protect it.
- The pan has excellent heat retention and even heat distribution across the surface of the pan.
- The pan is fairly expensive and doesn’t have a non- stick coating to help with the release of foods.
Pyrex Basics 3 Quart Glass Oblong Baking Dish
The Cheapest Casserole Dish
This pan is one of the more commonly seen pans in someone’s house and made by Pyrex. The pan is very affordable but doesn’t come with a warranty to protect it. The pan is made of Pyrex and is 9 x 13.
It comes with a plastic lid that seals onto the pan as well. The pan has excellent heat retention and great heat distribution. The pan can be used in the oven, microwave, freezer and dishwasher which make the cleanup very easy.
- The casserole dish is constructed of Pyrex and comes with a plastic lid that seals on the edge.
- The pan has excellent heat retention and even heat distribution on the4 surface of the pan.
- The pan can be used in the oven, microwave, freezer and dishwasher making cleanup a cinch.
- The pan is very affordable but doesn’t come with a warranty to protect it.
- The surface is not nonstick.
So, to sum things up here, the best route to take when choosing a new casserole dish will most likely be ceramic or cast iron. Make sure to get one that always has a nonstick surface to make things easier in the long run. Most of all make sure the pan will last forever when used often.