If you want one of the most versatile pans out there, you need to try out a cast iron skillet. It’s like the perfect mix between a Dutch oven and a large skillet and you can’t beat that kind of functionality.
We recommend going with cast iron to give you even more options and for that down-home country cooking style.
The nice thing about a cast iron braiser is you can use it on the stovetop and then transfer it and all of the food to the oven in one go. No need to change pans!
But what makes for the best cast iron braiser? The best cast iron braisers on the market are durable and versatile and have non-stick porcelain or ceramic enamel to protect the raw iron in place of seasoning. You’ll also have to consider the size and weight of your braiser.
In this guide, we will share with you our top picks for the 7 best cast iron braisers on the market. We’ve sifted and sorted to find some really great options. We’ve got you covered if you’re on the market for a cast iron braiser.
A Buyer’s Guide to the Best Cast Iron Braisers
Before we start digging into our top product picks, we thought we would share some relevant information that could be useful to you as you go along.
We’ve put together a bit of a buyer’s guide that is designed to share a little more information about cast iron braisers.
The Difference Between a Braiser and a Dutch Oven
Dutch ovens and braisers are similar by design and also have a lot of similar uses. It is for this reason that you may have never heard of a braiser.
Or maybe you’re one of the many who thought these two kitchen items were really the same thing.
The truth is, they are not the same thing, but they are very similar. Most of the differences between the two are minimal.
A braiser pan has a wide mouth and wide bottom, providing you with a larger cooking area. Dutch ovens tend to have smaller cooking surfaces but are taller than braisers and can hold more.
Really, this the most noteworthy difference of the two. A braiser is the size and shape of a skillet but with handles on each side, while a Dutch oven is built more like a soup pot with handles on each side.
In both cases, there are enameled cast iron materials available, and if you choose enameled, you just want to be aware of the quality of the enamel.
There are a few other differences between Dutch ovens and braisers, including their primary tasks, but we have another article for that.
What Are Braising Pans Used for?
You can use a braising pan for a lot of things. If you want, you can even use it for casseroles, soups, or skillet foods. These pans are awesome because you can sear meat, brown meat, boil, braise, bake, fry, and more.
If you’re unfamiliar with braising, it’s a specific cooking method that combines wet heat and dry heat in the cooking process. Braising is most popular with meat, but there are other items to braise as well.
Here are some of the most common and favorite uses of a braising pan:
These are just a few examples and some of the most common uses you will find. As you can see, this pan usually turns out to be quite the MVP of the kitchen.
But this is only possible if you’re able to choose a high-quality pan that has everything you need and will last you a long time.
How to Choose a Braising Pan
There are a few things that you may want to specifically look for. Keep these details in mind to ensure you get what you need!
You will notice that there are various sizes of braising pans available. Our options include anywhere from 3-5 quart options.
Just be aware of the different sizes and be mindful of what size you may need. You will find that they hold quite a bit of food, even for the smaller sizes.
The size you need could vary depending on what you plan to cook as well as the size of your family and how many servings you cook at a time.
Remember that you are probably going to transfer this hot pan at least once. You want comfortable and large handles that you can grip easily. Not all handles will be alike, you will find there are a multitude of handle designs.
What you will want to look for is whether or not they are large enough to get a good grip on.
The 7 Best Cast Iron Braisers
Whether you’re looking for a sweet and simple budget-friendly braiser or you want to go all out and find something unique and amazing, we’ve got several really great options for you.
|1.||Crock Pot Enameled Cast Iron Braiser Pan||5qt, 10 colors, self-basting|
|2.||Tramontina Enameled Cast Iron Covered Braiser||4qt, self-basting, lifetime warranty|
|3.||Lodge Enamel Cast Iron Braiser Dish||3.6qt, 3 colors, dishwasher safe|
|4.||CS KOCHSYSTEME Heavy Duty Braiser||4-5qt, heavy-duty, dishwasher safe|
|5.||Le Creuset Enameled Signature Cast Iron Braiser||2.25qt, several colors, dome lid|
|6.||Bruntmor Enameled Cast Iron Square Braiser||3.8qt, square, even heating|
|7.||Puricon Enameled Cast Iron Braiser Pan||3.8qt, pre-seasoned, heavy-duty|
No matter your style, you can be right at home with your new braiser. Below, you will find our top picks for the 7 best cast iron braisers, complete with detailed reviews for your reference.
1. Crock Pot Enameled Cast Iron Braiser Pan
Let’s start off with a bang with our top pick overall.
We love this option from Crock Pot, which lives up to the brand’s reputation with high ratings across the board and the promise of quality.
You can choose from several different colors in this pan, including blush, blue, teal, black, red, and more!
This pan is certainly a slow cooker. It distributes heat evenly throughout the pan and will also retain heat. The handles are large and sturdy so you can easily grip them without worrying about bumping a hot pan.
The lid is self-basting so the food is constantly basting. The enameled surface is non-stick layered over cast iron. This is a sturdy and reliable pan. It’s also really easy to clean and designed not to rust over time.
This is our favorite because it’s a great size, you have options, and you really can’t beat the quality.
- 5-quart well-made braiser pan
- Choose from 10 color choices
- Non-stick enameled surface
- Large, comfortable handles
- Self-basting design
- Food sometimes sticks to the pan, even though it is labeled non-stick, but this can be helped with oil, butter, or other liquids
- The handles may chip easily
2. Tramontina Enameled Cast Iron Covered Braiser
Tramontina is a popular household name for practiced braisers.
It’s often a go-to braising pan for a number of reasons. The problem is, sometimes it can be challenging to find this braiser in stock. This is a 4qt model that comes in a red or cobalt.
This is enameled with a non-stick layer. It’s easy to clean. The enamel layer is guaranteed to be free of PFOA and PTFE in the cooking surface, which is a great quality to look for.
This pan is designed for self-basting with condensation ridges on the lid. Everything happens uniformly and cooking is even throughout the pan.
A unique thing about this particular option is that the lid can also work with some of the other Tramontina-brand pans, particularly the 12-inch cast iron skillet which gives you just a little more versatility.
This option is compatible with gas, electric, ceramic, glass, and induction cooktops. It is also oven-safe up to 450°F.
- Covered by a lifetime warranty
- Versatility with the lid fitting other pans
- Compatible with various stove types and the oven
- Self-basting lid design
- Enamel surface is free of PFOA and PTFE
- Over time, there might be issues with the enamel chipping too easily
- The outside may stain from heat and use
3. Lodge Enamel Cast Iron Braiser Dish
This next option comes from Lodge. This particular model comes in a gorgeous Caribbean blue or white.
You can easily broil, braise, bake, and roast in this pan. It has a heat tolerance of up to 500°F, which is higher than many competitor options.
It can also be used just fine on the stovetop for boiling, simmering, frying, and sautéing.
The surface is a smooth material that isn’t bothered by heat or specific ingredients. This is perfect for casseroles and other cooking. It has nice handles and a large knob on the lid.
- Heat resistant up to 500°F
- A smooth surface that doesn’t react to ingredients
- Can be used for multiple purposes
- Available in 3 different colors
- Dishwasher safe, although hand washing is recommended
- The handles may chip easily, like most enameled cookware
- The lid may not always fit securely
4. CS KOCHSYSTEME Heavy Duty Braiser
This option comes in either a 4 or 5 quart version.
The braiser pan has comfortable handles that are large enough to grip and move the pan as needed.
This pan is compatible with gas, electric, and induction, and is oven-safe.
The pan has a ceramic enamel coating. It is designed to be a non-stick coating and also is durable so it shouldn’t crack or chip too easily. There are two layers of cast iron between the layers of enamel.
This option is heavy-duty and is even built to be dishwasher-safe, including both residential and commercial dishwashers.
- Enamel surface is designed to be non-stick and heavy-duty
- Two sizes to choose from, 4 or 5 quarts
- Like others on this list, it may chip easily
- The top knob gets very hot and should be handled with care
5. Le Creuset Enameled Signature Cast Iron Braiser
If you really want a high-end model, this option from Le Creuset is pretty awesome.
It is one of the most highly-rated options you will find with very few complaints and nearly perfect ratings across the board.
This is a pretty small size at just 2.25qt. This cast iron braiser comes in several color options, including black, white, red, orange, and more. It’s a French brand and has been made in France since 1925.
The exterior is enameled, as is the interior. The outside won’t be harmed by heat or food and the inside is smooth and designed to be non-stick while also promoting caramelization. The lid is dome-shaped which actually gives you a tad more room but also helps to lock in flavors.
The handles are comfortable and large enough to truly grip when you’re moving the pan around.
- Wide, comfortable handle design
- Dome-shaped lid to lock in flavors
- A premium and reliable option
- Available in several colors
- Interior is non-stick and smooth
- Very heavy
- Smaller than other options
6. Bruntmor Enameled Cast Iron Square Braiser
Want something unique? Try out this square braiser.
Size-wise, it’s about 3.8qts, which isn’t very large but still a decent size.
It’s square, which makes it great for casseroles and things like that. It’s still got all of those sought-after braiser pan qualities!
This is a solid cast-iron pan that is enameled. It’s a beautiful bright red color, with no other color options.
You can use this for all manners of cooking and it’s designed to heat evenly over the surface. This also has nice, large handles to grip and move easily.
This pan looks great and works great. It is oven-safe up to 500°F, so it’s versatile enough to cook anything you need. The pan is durable and functional with a really nice design overall.
- Square braiser pan
- Oven-safe up to 500°F.
- Even heat retention over the surface
- Large, ergonomic handles
- Beautiful bright red color
- The exterior paint may start chipping too soon
7. Puricon Enameled Cast Iron Braiser Pan
This product is well-designed and earned its spot as our #7 choice for our reviews.
This comes in a classic blue color that is light and bright. It’s a decent size at 3.8qts with enameled cast iron materials.
This is a heavy-duty pan that already has a seasoned vegetable oil coating on the raw cast iron layers inside for extra heat protection.
It is easy to clean and offers even heat retention and heat distribution over the entire pan. It’s designed not to react negatively to foods or absorb smells and flavors.
The lid fits perfectly and provides a secure grip so you don’t have to worry about steam or things seeping out.
The handles are wide and comfortable as well, although maybe slightly thicker than other models. This pan is oven-safe up to 540°F, which is the highest we found.
- Oven-safe up to 540°F
- Classic blue color
- Heavy-duty design
- Comfortable handles
- Vegetable oil coating
- Not dishwasher safe
- The handles get very hot when cooking
- The inside coating is a bit rough
Up Next: 9 Best Cast Iron Seasoning Pans