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The Best Braiser

Last updated on September 16, 2019

We looked at the top 10 Braisers and dug through the reviews from 48 of the most popular review sites including The House Talk, Best Reviews Guide, Sellaholics, BestReviews, ABT, Sur La Table and more. The result is a ranking of the best Braisers.

Best Braiser

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Our Picks For The Top Braisers

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall

Le Creuset

Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 3 1/2 Qt.

Overall Take

Best Overall BraiserGreat color options and the highest quality construction make this a braiser that will last generations.

Experts Included
DWYM Kitchen Experts plus BestReviews, ABT, Sur La Table, Williams Sonoma, The Good Stuff Reviews, The Chopping Block and 3 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Beautiful enough to transition easily from oven to table. Good size – holding 5 quarts. Large handles. Comes in 9 bold color options. Can be used on all types of stove tops or ovens. Can also be used as a..."
Cons
"We are not impressed with this braiser. After reading reviews about how easy it is to clean, we thought this would be amazing. It's not. Everything seems to burn, even on the low heat, making it a pain to clean...."

Calphalon

Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Cookware, Everyday Pan

Overall Take

Multi-Functional SetElegant stainless steel construction and compact handles make this ideal for everyday use.

Experts Included
DWYM Kitchen Experts plus The Cookware Advisor, Best Reviews Guide, House Tipster. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
" These Calphalon stainless steel pots and pans are oven safe up to 500F. So you can safely move it from the stove to the broiler or oven for the finishing touch to your favorite dishes."
Cons
"My only complaint with the quality of Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Cookware is the balance of the pots and pans with long handles, such as the sauté pan and the saucepans"

Tramontina

Enameled Cast Iron Covered Braiser

Overall Take

Good ValueThis colorful, enameled cast iron braiser is compact and multi-functional to suit many cooking applications.

Experts Included
DWYM Kitchen Experts plus BestReviews, Best 10 Choices, Offers.com, Bestalyze. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
" Food comes off easily. The size is a little smaller at 4-quarts. Stainless-steel knob is easy to grab with your oven mitt. Nice coloring. Weighs a little less than others of the same size. Does a great job with sauces..."
Cons
"Quite heavy and extremely difficult to manipulate"
  The Best Value

Cuisinart

7 Qt Round Casserole

Overall Take

Large-Volume SetDeeper than most braisers to allow for larger meals, this set comes in multiple colors and is compact for convenient storge.

Experts Included
DWYM Kitchen Experts plus New York Times Wirecutter, BestReviews, Only Portable, Heavy, Tech Zimo and 2 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
" Its larger cooking surface area allowed for more evaporation, thus a more condensed broth."
Cons
"Heavy and smaller handles can make handling difficult. Some say the enamel chips too easily."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
17

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the braisers available to purchase.
10

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

48

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: The House Talk, Best Reviews Guide, Sellaholics, BestReviews, ABT.

31,510

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Walmart, WebstaurantStore and 7 others.

Our experts reviewed the top 10 Braisers and also dug through the reviews from 48 of the most popular review sites including The House Talk, Best Reviews Guide, Sellaholics, BestReviews, ABT, Sur La Table and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Braisers.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 3 1/2 Quart Round Braiser

Our Expert Score
9.8
9 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.4
175 user reviews
Our Take

The Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 3 1/2 Qt. braiser is the best. all-around braising pan you can buy. It has easy-to-grip handles that were designed with oven mitts in mind and comes in a myriad of fun color options. So not only will this braiser look good in your kitchen, but it will also allow you to create countless delicious meals.

What other experts liked
Beautiful enough to transition easily from oven to table. Good size – holding 5 quarts. Large handles. Comes in 9 bold color options. Can be used on all types of stove tops or ovens. Can also be used as a...
- BestReviews
I've loved using the product. Great addition to our kitchen.
- ABT
I had an old Le Creuset braiser with a glass lid that was smaller and I have wanted to replace it. I hesitated to make the purchase until I saw the beautiful Sea Glass color and couldn’t resist. The braiser...
- Sur La Table
I have had this pan almost a year and I love it more every day I have it...really! It is so versatile for frying, browning, roasting, stewing...you name it. Best of all, it is absolutely gorgeous and goes so beautifully...
- Williams Sonoma
Easy to clean, even burn-ons, so just soak, or boil with vinegar if really bad or use Bar Keeper's Friend. Usually just wipe clean or use a "safe for non-stick" scrub pad. Dishwasher safe.
- The Good Stuff Reviews
December 26, 2015 | Full review
Nice big size and versatile for many types of dishes
- How to Live Gourmet
The 3 1/2 quart Braiser is great for cooking up many dinner dishes. It’s perfect for one-pot meals, slow braised meats, such as Apple Cider Braised Brisket, to beautiful pan sauces or Three Cheese Chicken Penne Bake!
- Tidy Mom
One of the aspects of braisers is the consistent heat they provide, which eliminates hot spots. This results in more even cooking.
- Dutch Ovens Cookware
One thing to mention about Le Creuset cookware is that it is very easy to clean. The chip-resistant enameled coating over the cast iron creates a nonstick surface that is also stain resistant. Even after burning my bratwurst, I was...
- The Chopping Block
September 22, 2017 | Full review
What other experts didn't like
Since this is cast iron, it is a heavy pot to use.
- BestReviews
We are not impressed with this braiser. After reading reviews about how easy it is to clean, we thought this would be amazing. It's not. Everything seems to burn, even on the low heat, making it a pain to clean....
- Williams Sonoma
Expensive. Again, just another case of you get what you pay for. Each piece is made by hand, then the mold is broken...one-of-a-kind.
- The Good Stuff Reviews
December 26, 2015 | Full review
Expensive and can’t go in the microwave or dishwasher
- How to Live Gourmet
One of the drawbacks of cast iron is the weight. They can be heavy…much heavier than you think.
- Dutch Ovens Cookware

The Best Bang For Your Buck

Cuisinart 7 Qt Round Casserole

Expert Summarized Score
8.3
7 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.8
1,827 user reviews
Our Take

The Cuisinart 7 Qt Round Casserole dish is a great value in the field of braisers. The added depth allows for a bigger volume and lets you make larger quantities of food than most other braisers on the market. its size makes it handy for any number of cooking tasks.

What other experts liked
Its larger cooking surface area allowed for more evaporation, thus a more condensed broth.
- New York Times Wirecutter
May 22, 2019 | Full review
Combination of porcelain and cast iron constructions retains heat and keeps food hot for hours. 3 color options.
- BestReviews
The pot includes an oven-safe knob to guarantee endless cooking options. Its porcelain enameled exterior features a durable finish that comes in rich colors so that it can complement a variety of kitchen decors.
- Only Portable
The porcelain enamel exterior also stands out for its durable finish. You can use this cookware for cooking as well as serving and entertaining.
- Heavy
The dutch-oven has wide handles for effortless carrying and you can cook fantastic meals in the oven, the stove shirt along with perhaps even a broiler.
- Tech Zimo
July 4, 2019 | Full review
This is one of those beauties that you will find every reason possible to leave it out in the kitchen instead of keeping it in the cabinets just so that you can see it beautify the kitchen.But the magic with this product is more than just it’s appearance. It has...
- Propertylogy
August 21, 2016 | Full review
With the appealing colors and elegant enameled finish, this casserole is perfect for cooking, serving and entertaining.
- Real Good Cooking Tips
August 30, 2012 | Full review
What other experts didn't like
But that additional space also means additional weight. Plus, the Cuisinart has small handles that are less than ideal.
- New York Times Wirecutter
May 22, 2019 | Full review
Heavy and smaller handles can make handling difficult. Some say the enamel chips too easily.
- BestReviews
Some report that the exterior ceramic material can chip
- Heavy
The main issue I had with this casserole is it’s weight. At about 15 pounds, this is something that even a teenager might find too much to handle. And that is without counting what is inside it being cooked.
- Propertylogy
August 21, 2016 | Full review

Overall Product Rankings

Our Braiser Buying Guide

Our long-standing method for cooking meats and vegetables is to use high heat and a little oil to first brown our foods before slowly simmering them until cooked to the proper doneness for our tastes. This method of braising can be done by amateurs and professional chefs alike to easily bring robust flavors to our dishes.

Braising large pieces of tough meat will provide a nice caramelized, brown crust that really brings out the nuanced flavors of the specific cut of meat. It also allows them to cook at a slower pace and have time to truly soak in its seasonings. This process, also ideal for browning and caramelizing vegetables, lets the food gather flavor as the liquid evaporates and circulates back over the top of the meats and vegetables with the help of a tightly fitting lid.

An ideal set of braising cookware will be wide at the base, like seen in the Tramontina Enameled Cast Iron Covered Braiser. That provides a lot of surface area, so that all of the meats and vegetables can have direct contact with the pan directly while searing. The pan should also be deep enough to allow you to add your liquids and other spices or ingredients before placing the lid on to allow it all to simmer together. This will give your meats and vegetables tenderize to the perfect temperature and texture.

Many of the braisers that top the product category also boast a design that allows them to go in the oven for the latter half of the cooking process. The Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 3 1/2 Qt. has large handles that can be easily picked up and maneuvered while wearing oven mitts. As a general rule, it would be wise to stay away from any products which have rubberized handles that aren’t rated for oven temperatures up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

The edges of most braisers will rise up a few inches to allow for larger quantities of food to sit in the same pan that you do your browning in. This means fewer dirty dishes during the process of creating your meal and also gives a lot of flexibility to how the braiser can be used in the kitchen. The low stance of the pan allows it to be used for simple frying tasks, like cooking eggs, but provides room to use your spatula to flipping things and moving food around. The depth of the braiser can determine how much food you can create in the one dish, generally ranging from three to seven quarts in volume. A deep pan, like the Cuisinart 7 Qt Round Casserole, can be very handy in creating large batches of soup, chili or stews for a large crowd, or for those of us who like to meal prep large quantities of food to have handy for the upcoming week.

A braiser will need to have a tight-fitting lid to help circulate all the steam and flavoring back into the dish as it simmers on the stove or in the oven. The lid doesn’t have to be anything too fancy, but it should have an easy-to-use handle that can be grabbed while wearing an oven mitt. The user should always be mindful to not have their face directly over the pan when removing the lid, as there will generally be a release of steam that you might not want to have directly in your face.

Another part of the design to look out for in most braisers is a short handle on both sides of the pan, which allow a solid grip while picking it up and moving it. A long single handle, like seen on many frying pans, will get very hot and could be dangerous if the user doesn’t exercise caution.

Braisers are truly a multi-use cookware set, as touted by the Calphalon Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Cookware, Everyday Pan. As it suggests in its name, you might find yourself grabbing this option for most of your daily cooking needs. It provides the versatility many look for while shopping for new cookware.

Many braisers are even coated with nonstick ceramic finishes that make cleaning them a breeze; just a little soap and hot water will allow you to easily remove all the food debris you created from cooking. You won’t need to use a  scrubber and a good amount of elbow grease to get them clean.

DWYM Fun Fact

Braised meats became popular in European cooking in the 19th century when many families began braising large cuts of red meat, like pot roasts and mutton. This was not only a simple approach to feeding large groups of people, but also a nearly fool-proof method of creating a flavorful dish. The term originated in France, where “braiser” was a method that referred to the use of both dry and wet heats in the creation of a dish. The method of cooking catered to the working class people of the time who didn’t always have fresh meats or expensive ingredients to use. The idea of tenderizing older or tougher meat while also being able to add simple ingredients, like broth and onions, helped make the idea popular.

The Braiser Tips and Advice

When looking to purchase a braiser, there are a number of factors to keep in mind that will help ensure that your new cookware lives up to the task.

  • Find a braising pan that has a large bottom surface area. In order to brown or sear your meats and vegetables, they should have as much contact with the hot surface of the pan as possible. Any pieces stacked above the bottom layer will not braise, but will start cooking slowly as the heat passes up to them.
  • Determine how many portions of food you will generally want to make in your braiser. A smaller braiser can hold a few quarts of food, which is often enough to feed an average family. A deeper braiser will let you build a much larger dish that can be divided up into many more servings. But the depth of the pan will not allow for browning more meat, so this option is best suited for stews or soups, where the larger volume is beneficial.
  • Look carefully at the specs of both the lid and the pan. Make sure that both will handle the high temperatures of roasting in the oven, which is often the method used for the simmering portion of the recipe.
  • Choose a pan that is easy to lift with two hands while wearing oven mitts. This will also make the pan more compact as it won’t have one long handle and will, therefore, fit more conveniently in your cupboard when in storage.
  • Braisers can come in many beautiful colors as well. If you like the idea of taking the simmering dish out of the oven and setting it directly on the table for serving, look for an aesthetically pleasing color and finish. If you’re looking for a braiser that will look nice on the table as a serving dish, you may want to lean toward purchasing one that has a thicker construction, which will help the dish retain its heat over the course of the meal. A thicker enamel-coated cast iron braiser will keep foods hot much longer than a thinner stainless steel model. The thicker braisers will also help eliminate hot-spots as the food simmers.
  • If you intend to use the braiser as a skillet, look at the braisers that will cater to that need. It should have a shorter depth that allows you to get down to the bottom of the pan easily with a spatula or other utensil.
  • Note that some braisers have a glass lid while others have an opaque lid that matches the pan. The glass lid has the benefit of allowing the user to see into the pan and check on your food. Other than that, both types of lids serve the same function during the cooking process.

About The Author

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Russell Hinkle 

Russell Hinkle is a writer and engineer based in Longmont, Colorado. One of Russell Hinkle's favorite hobbies is cooking. He has dabbled in a variety of fad diets, always using them as a fun challenge to cook well-rounded meals that fit into the constraints of the diet. Through years of experience, he knows when it's appropriate to make a very educated decision on products like pans and kitchen gadgets, and he is always looking for the perfect multi-use tools that can save on storage needs while providing the perfect solution to kitchen needs.