A cast-iron braiser is best used for slow cooking certain ingredients. They are perfect for preparing stew, soup, sauce, and browning of the meat. While a full cast iron body requires a lot of maintenance from timely seasoning and proper cleaning after use, an enameled cast iron braiser is much easy to use and maintain. The smooth layer on cast iron prevents the sticking of food which reduces cleaning time. Many such benefits led us to write best enameled cast iron braiser reviews.
But before beginning with reviews let us understand the difference between a dutch oven and braiser. Many people often confuse braiser with a dutch oven and vice versa. This is because both of the cookware have minor differences. Also, they look very similar when placed next to each other. But the cooking surface is one major difference between braiser and dutch oven.
What is a Braiser Pan?
A braiser pan has a wide bottom as compared to a dutch oven. This makes it suitable for browning or searing meat. You can add many chunks of beef at a time and all these chunks will brown evenly. Whereas a dutch oven has a small cooking surface but tall sides that can fit a whole chicken. They are most suitable for making items in a large quantity.
Apart from searing, you can also use an enameled cast iron braising pan for frying, boiling, braising and baking. But a quality check is important before cooking in an enameled cookware as many cheap cast iron braiser uses low-quality enamel. Not only these heavy metals affect your body but they are equally harmful to the environment. So to ease your search of buying the best braising pan we have listed down the following products.
What is a Braising Pan Used for?
Braising is a combination-cooking method that uses both wet and dry heats. Most popularly braiser is used for braising meat also known as pot roasting and the result depends upon the amount of liquid you add in the pot(1).
Braising pans have other common kitchen names such as tilting-frying pans or tilting skillets. They are typically used to braise, broil, fry, sauté, hold, simmer, proof, griddle, steam, and melt(2). Some people also use it to hold a warm table on the dinning table.
Best Enameled Cast Iron Braiser in 2020
|Le Creuset Signature||5-Quart|
|Lodge EC3CC43||3.6 Quart|
|Le Creuset LS2532-2259||1.5-Quart|
|Le Creuset LS2532-3067||3.5 Quart|
|Crock Pot Artisan||5-Quart|
1) Tramontina 80131/050DS Enameled Cast Iron Covered Braiser – 4-Quart
Cooking food at home for your family is more than just cooking. It is another way of showing love and gratitude to members of your family. But many cheap brands fail to provide you a healthy enamel coating. Such cheap coating peels off after few uses and sometimes mixes with the food you’re cooking. And consuming food with flakes of cheap enamel in it is hazardous for your health.
But quality is not a problem with Tramontina enameled cast iron braiser. Its porcelain enamel cooking surface is free from heavy metals like PFOA and PTFE. This means the braising pan will not react with food even if you cook at high temperatures. Speaking of temperature, both the braiser and lid are oven safe to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Besides, the 4-quart enameled cast iron braiser measures 4.8 x 15.4 x 12.2 inches in size that is easy to fit inside an electric oven.
Whereas, sturdy side handles make handling a filled pan more manageable. You can use the cookware on different compatible cooking surfaces. This includes gas, electric, ceramic glass, and induction cooktops. But you must avoid cooking on an open flame, outdoor grill or microwave as it damages the porcelain enamel layer.
While the exterior of the Tramontina braiser is available in 2 bright colors, the interior layer remains of the same color. The smooth, off-white interior lets you monitor the browning process of meat easily. Light color enamel also lets you check whether the vessel is completely clean or not.
Why buy Tramontina 80131/050DS?
- Durable and vibrant porcelain enamel offers an elegant kitchen to table serving option
- Off-white porcelain coat is smooth to cook and easy to clean
- Superior heat retention of cast iron distributes heat slowly and evenly
- Stainless steel knob is extremely durable and oven safe up to 450 degrees F
- Backed by a lifetime warranty
- The hygienic enamel coating is free from PFOA and PTFE
- Compatible with gas, ceramic, electric, and induction cooktops
- Self-basting condensation ridges on the lid that uniformly collects and directs vapor onto food again
- Integral handles provide maximum support while serving the meal
2) Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 5-Quart Round Braiser, Flame
Le Creuset is the ultimate winner when it comes to enameled cast iron cookware. It is no doubt, an expensive product but the braiser is worth every single penny. You get what you pay for. Many people have replaced their old cast iron skillet and cookware with Le Creuset signature enameled cast iron 5-quart round braiser and now, they can’t just get over it. The high-quality built up and excellent craftsmanship of Le Creuset is adored by many.
First of all, the handles of Le Creuset signature cookware is 45% larger than that of cheap brands. This gives a sure grip that eases handling of round braiser while you cook or bake. You can even handle it comfortably wearing mitts. Heat retention capacity of Le Creuset is more than that of standard brands. Both the braiser and composite knob are oven can withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees F. And you can try out a lot of different enameled cast iron braiser recipes with such high-temperature support.
High-quality cast-iron construction can be used on multiple heat sources. Apart from gas, ceramic, electric, oven, and induction cooktop, you can use the enameled cast iron braiser on an outdoor grill. Or you can also enjoy cooking with your family outdoors by using the unit on an outdoor firepit.
When juices and vapor coming off meat falls on them again, it makes a great-tasting braiser recipe. This gets possible because of the dome-shaped lid that fits tightly on the braiser base. It locks the flavor by promoting the continuous circulation of heat and moisture. As a result, the meat for stew browns evenly and tenderizes for a tasty stew at home.
Durable enamel will not chip or break easily. And a little care while washing the unit will definitely elongate its life. Do not submerge hot braiser directly into cold water as thermal shock might affect the layer of enamel. Allow it to cool naturally and soak for 15 to 20 minutes before washing. Then you can wash the enameled cast iron braiser either inside a dishwasher or manually.
Why should you buy Le Creuset?
- High-quality construction makes it worth every single penny
- Ergonomic composite knobs are heat resistant to 500 degrees F
- Oversized handles provide comfortable grip wearing mitts to handle the unit easily
- Sand-colored interior enamel lets you monitor food as it cooks, preventing burning and sticking
- Safe to wash inside a dishwasher
- Dome-shaped lid locks in flavor and tenderizes food evenly
- The durable porcelain enamel does not require seasoning at all
- You get 8 brilliant color choices to enhance your cookware collection
- Backed by a lifetime warranty
3) Lodge 3.6 Quart Cast Iron Casserole Pan with Dual Handles and Lid
We understand not all have a high-budget to invest in an expensive model. But that does not mean you do not deserve a good quality enameled cast iron braiser. Thanks to the budget-friendly price of Lodge 3.6 quart capacity unit lets you make delicious braiser recipes without burning a hole in your pocket. But do not let the low price of the product fool you with its abilities as Lodge have much more to offer.
The solid cast iron construction of the unit provides unparalleled heat retention. It might take some time to heat the braising pan but once it catches a temperature it spread the heat uniformly in all directions. And as braising is a kind of slow cooking you’ll see meat browning evenly across the entire cooking surface. You can broil, braise, bake, or roast ingredients up to 500 degrees F.
Or saute, simmer, or fry on any stovetop. Similar to the majority of the products on the list, Lodge enameled cast iron braiser can be used on gas, electric, ceramic and induction cooktop. The two layers of porcelain enamel are non-reactive with food even at high temperatures. These layers are resistant to chipping and cracking under normal use. Plus, it is safe to wash inside the dishwasher or in the sink. Prefer washing the braiser with hands as it will protect the layers of enamel for a long time.
Why go for Lodge 3.6 quart unit?
- The product offers high-quality construction with a budget-friendly price tag
- Smooth porcelain glass surface doesn’t react with food
- Has a 3.6-quart capacity and measures 11-3/4-inch in diameter, good enough to feed 5-6 adults
- Instead of a single layer, Lodge features two layers of hard, glossy enamel
- Lid knob is oven safe to 500 degrees F
- Dishwasher safe
- Tightly fitting lid seals in moisture
- Comes in 3 colors with two of them having black rim the pot lid
4) Bruntmor Enameled Cast Iron Shallow Casserole Braiser Pan with Cover – 3.8-Quart, Marine Blue
Cook delicious pasta for you and your partner with Bruntmor enameled cast iron braiser. The 3.8 quart capacity of Bruntmor is good enough to make food for 2 adults. It measures 12 inches in diameter and 16 inches with handles. Such a large surface area fits big chunks of meat for making stew or sauce for pasta. Plus, it easily fits inside a small electric oven to bake a loaf of bread.
High-quality porcelain enamel in the interior is chip and crack resistant. And you can monitor browning or searing of meat easily as the interior is white. The coating will not get yellowish or discolor even if you use the braising pan regularly. Just make sure to use soft tongs and spatula made of wood or fiber to prevent premature chipping. And the best thing is, the porcelain enamel is free from heavy metals. Thus, the food you cook using the Bruntmor enameled cast iron braiser is completely safe to consume.
While light color interior coating lets you monitor the cooking process, vibrant colored exterior enhances your cookware collection. You can place the braising pan directly from the oven to tabletop as it serves the purpose of both cookware and serving. And thanks to large loop handles of Bruntmore that lets you serve, saute, sear and stir ingredients comfortably.
Highlights of Bruntmor BR-SC205
- Stainless steel knob is oven safe to 500 degrees F
- Ergonomic handle provides a comfortable grip while cooking or baking with the unit
- 12-inch diameter fits good quantity of food, enough for feeding 2 adults
- Non-reactive, PTFE and PFOA free enameled cast iron braiser
- Use of good quality materials makes it an ideal unit for daily use
- Comes in 3 bright colors, all under $50
- You can fry, saute, or simmer on any stovetop, including induction
- Doubles as great serveware
- Provides 1-year warranty
5) Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 1.5-Quart Round Braiser, Marseille
Here comes another Le Creuset enameled cast iron braiser in our review list. Its 1-1/2-quart capacity is perfect for daily use to cook food for 2 persons. You get Le Creuset’s excellent craftsmanship that remains the same for years. The study cast iron built up takes some time initially to heat up. But once it catches heat, it gets distributed evenly across sides including lid. So all you get is a soft, tenderized, and juicy meat, the taste of which is simply unforgettable.
Thanks to advanced sand-colored interior enamel that can withstand daily usage. The thick layer of porcelain is resistant to chipping and cracking. Make use of wooden or silicone spatula and you’ll not see any ugly scratch marks on the surface. Whereas, the deep blue exterior of Le Creuset braiser makes the vessel perfect for both cooking and serving. Put it directly on the table over the hot dish and the thick exterior will keep the food warm for second servings.
While cast iron has a great heat retention capacity to keep food warm for a long time, it is equally helpful to keep foods cold. You can freeze ingredients and serve them in the same braising pan. The use of the same vessel for double tasks cuts down cleaning time. And at the same time, cast iron keeps the ingredients cool and turns into a fantastic cold food server.
Why buy Le Creuset Signature 1-1/2 quart braiser?
- It measures 9.6 x 7.8 x 3.4 inches, perfect to cook for 2 persons
- Oversized handles provide comfortable grip wearing mitts
- Built-in lid stabilizers provide a secure, no-slide fit
- Lightweight of the cookware makes it easy to slide in and out from the oven
- Composite knobs are heat-resistant to 500 degrees F
- Light color interior enamel is engineered to resist staining and dulling
- Backed by a lifetime warranty
- The exterior coat is shock-resistant to prevent chipping and cracking
6) Le Creuset LS2532-3067 Signature – 3.5-Quart Round Braiser (Cherry Red)
Using bright colored cookware boosts up the mood. And the cherry red color of this Le Creuset round braiser is simply amazing. Not only it makes great cookware but you can also use it for serving food directly after taking it out from oven or stovetop. This saves you a vessel and eases cleaning. Speaking of cleaning, you can either wash LS2532-3067 inside a dishwasher or with hands. Plus, it does not require any seasoning like all cast iron braiser. Thus, great in looks and easy to maintain.
While all other features of Le Creuset LS2532-3067 are similar to the above unit, there are few differences. First of all, 3-1/2 quart capacity of braiser is suitable to feed up to 5 persons. You get a wide base to put ingredients in a single layer for proper searing. Such a wide base when receives heat evenly in all directions makes a great tasting braiser recipe. If you love searing long cuts of beef or fish then choose a braiser pan with large capacity like that of Le Creuset.
What makes Le Creuset LS2532-3067 worth buying?
- Wide bottom lets you sear or fry a large portion of meat or fish
- Vibrant color exterior looks beautiful in any type of kitchen interior
- The domed lid continuously circulates steam to lock in moisture and flavor
- You can easily handle or lift the vessel wearing mitts, thanks to its 45% larger size
- Safe to use on any heat source, including induction and outdoor grill
- Apart from cooking, it can be used to freeze and store food
- The bright color porcelain layer is highly durable and does not fade even after daily use over a while
- Ideal for both slow cooking and high-temperature searing
- Backed by a lifetime warranty
7) Crock Pot Artisan 5 Quart Round Enameled Cast Iron Braiser Pan with Lid, Scarlet Red
Easy to care, Crock Pot Artisan 5 quart enameled cast iron braiser is great for searing meat and making pasta sauce. Credit goes to high sides of braising pan that can hold the liquid in a good amount. You can also broil vegetables and other ingredients while stewing meat. The tight-fitting lid ensures the steam does not escape. It collects the vapor uniformly and directs again onto the food. This, in turn, tenderizes food evenly as well as keeps nutrients intact.
Solid cast iron construction is the reason behind its durability. The same cast iron is responsible for excellent heat retention. It distributes heat evenly in all directions so that no chunk of meat remains unbrowned. From center to edges, cast iron keeps the food warm for a long while. Whereas, porcelain enamel coating over cast iron eases its maintenance.
The durable enamel does not require seasoning. Plus, the coating is light in color from inside to let you check the cooking process. It is safe to wash the unit inside the dishwasher but prefers washing it with hands. Regular use of dishwasher will dull the exterior layer of porcelain. Besides, it will only take a minute to wash the braiser thoroughly with warm water and soft nylon scrub.
Although the cast iron construction of Crock Pot Artisan enameled braiser is of top quality, it is very heavy. This 5-quart unit weighs nearly 15.7 pounds and the weight increases when you cook food inside it. Therefore, handling the unit becomes difficult for some even though it has wide loop handles. But it is undoubtedly a great vessel for slow cooking as it does not require much lifting and tossing ingredients in between.
Why go for Crock Pot Artisan 5 qt braiser?
- It offers a 5-quart capacity and a large 12-inch diameter in very low price
- Oven and stovetop safe
- Safe to wash inside the dishwasher
- Snug fit and low profile design easily fits in a regular size electric oven
- The 5 quart enameled cast iron braiser comes in 5 colors to match with your kitchen interior
- Self-basting lid creates a continuous basting environment that holds nutrients and flavor of food
- Non-stick surface prevents sticking of food as well as eases cleaning
- A light coating on the interior for better cooking and cleaning of the braiser after use
What is the difference between a Braiser and a Dutch oven?
Many people think a braise and dutch oven are the same cookware but they are not. Although both enameled cookware has a shiny and vibrant exterior that upgrades your cookware collection, there are a few differences. And a major difference of all is size. You can easily spot a braiser out from the other cookware, thanks to its wide bottom. The bottom of the braiser is wide enough to fit a whole medium size fish easily.
On the other hand, the dutch oven also has a wide diameter but not as wide as a braiser. Instead of big diameter, a dutch oven has tall straight sides. You can easily fit a chicken for pot roasting.
The lid of a dutch oven also sits tightly as a braiser. This lets you cook vegetables and meat without losing away extra moisture. In fact, the meat cooks in its own moisture that brings out more taste. And when spices contain in a shallow or deep chamber then you know your dinner is going to be delicious.
Shallow design and sloped sides of brasier make it ideal for searing, browning, sauteing and baking a casserole. The wide bottom is also perfect to make pasta and sauces. While deep sides of dutch oven make it suitable for stews, pot roasting chicken, etc.
What size Braiser should I buy?
Just like Teflon frying pans, braisers also come in different sizes. And selecting the right size braiser can be intimidating for first-time buyers. But not to worry as we’ve done the hard part for you. Take a look below to decide which size braiser is best for you.
- 1-1/2-quart: Ideal for 2 people who cooks regularly at home. Also good for reheating a small portion of food.
- 3-3/4-4 quart: Good to make a filling meal for 4 to 6 people. It is wide enough for thick vegetable stews and pasta sauces.
- 5-quart: Perfect for 6 to 8 people. A 5-quart braiser is wide enough to fit whole fishes without sticking on sides.
Can you fry in a Braiser?
Yes, you can undoubtedly use your braiser to fry food. In fact, enameled cast-iron braisers are a great choice for frying because of smooth nonstick interior and wide bottom. The width of the braiser lets you fry more ingredients at once. You can quickly fry a bunch of chicken wings for a family dinner night. Besides, braiser is great for both deep and shallow frying. From whole chicken wings to vegetable patties, braiser is more versatile than you think they are.
Braising is a type of cooking that is best done by using a cast iron braiser. But a full cast iron braiser requires seasoning after each use and it hard to clean. So an easy way out is to cook food on an enameled cast iron braiser. The smooth coating over cast iron surface does not need any seasoning as well as is easy to clean. Also, the wide bottom and shallow side of a braising pan allow you to sear large cut of meat like pot roast. And now that you have a list of best enameled cast iron braiser, order yours today and try braising different foods.