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A casserole dish is a cooking and entertainment staple that every home cook should have in their kitchen. This 9-inch by 13-inch rectangular pan can be used for a litany of savory and sweet recipes, including casseroles, classic lasagna, brownies, and roasted vegetables. Like other cookware products, the price of these dishes can range from a mere $10 to upwards of $300 and come in materials including glass, ceramic, and porcelain. But what is the difference between these casserole dishes, and will it genuinely make a difference for your Sunday night lasagna if you opt for the thriftiest one?
Deciding what to look for in a casserole dish is often guided by your intended use for it. For example, if you want a dish you can bake and serve, you might want to go with a more high-end ceramic dish. If you want to see if your brownies are done baking underneath, then a glass pan is going to be a better option. Setting your intended use will then allow you to set your budget and find an appropriate pan that fits your needs. Here are some of our favorite casserole dishes with the features everyone wants.
Read more: 30 Tools Aspiring Home Bakers Need To Have
How We Selected Products
The primary things we looked for in an outstanding casserole dish boil down to ease of use. For example, are the handles on the sides of the dish sturdy and wide enough to maneuver with oven mitts? After all, when you're carrying a bubbly tray of cheesy ziti around your kitchen, the last thing you want is to drop it. We also wanted to know if the dishes were easy to clean and relatively immune to scrapes and abrasions that could damage the finish. A dishwasher-safe pan was worth extra brownie points, as well as a finish that was aesthetically pleasing enough to double as an "oven-to-table" piece.
To develop our rankings, we examined the listed features of the individual products and what verified purchasers and other outlets had to say about the durability, ease of use, and value of the dish. Here are some of the most outstanding casserole dishes we reviewed.
Best Overall Casserole Dish: Mora Ceramic Baking Casserole Dish With Handles
Mora's ceramic baking dish is where elegance meets both functionality and frugality. The ceramic material of this dish is highly resistant to both scratches and to temperature shock — meaning that you can take this tray from your freezer to your oven without needing to preheat it. We love how modern and functional the glossy finish is; food easily slides off, which makes cleaning a breeze. Plus, the handle size on this dish is practical and optimal for serving. We would reckon this dish outperforms those three to four times more expensive, which makes Mora's ceramic dishes a good deal in our book.
Purchase the Mora Ceramic Baking Casserole Dish with Handles on Amazon for $39.99.
Best Ceramic Casserole Dish: Dowan Casserole Dish
Ceramic is a timeless material that is highly resistant to damage and can withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. At just over three inches in height, the Dowan Casserole Dish is much deeper than other products we've reviewed. This feature makes it a solid option for casseroles and lasagna but not for baking or recipes that require a shallow baking pan. We also love that this dish is dishwasher-safe and maintains a flawless finish (available in both white and light blue) for several years after purchase.
Purchase the Dowan Casserole Dish on Amazon for $35.99.
Best Porcelain Casserole Dish: Sweejar Porcelain Baking And Casserole Dish
If you're looking for a porcelain piece that comes in many different colors, Sweejar needs to be your go-to brand. This dish has a timeless shape and upturned handles that make gripping from underneath easy. The finish on this dish makes it easy to clean and ensures that it can withstand everyday wear and tear. Plus, you can purchase different Sweejar products in the same color for the matchy-matchy kitchen of your dreams.
Purchase the Sweejar Porcelain Baking and Casserole Dish on Amazon for $34.99.
Best Glass Casserole Dish: Anchor Hocking Oven Baking Glass Casserole Dish
Glass casserole dishes come with some important precautions. Rapid temperature shifts, such as going from cold to high temps, can cause thermal shock, resulting in cracks, breaks, and bursts. That's why preheating is such an important cooking step, especially when working with glass trays. To further prevent thermal shock, you should also avoid placing a hot glass dish on a cold countertop.
Despite these precautions, Anchor Hocking is one brand setting the standard for glass casserole dishes. It's one of the most shock-resistant, durable, and relatively inexpensive glass baking dishes on the market. We love that this pan has a fill-line indicator to prevent spills and comes with extra-large handles for easy carrying.
Purchase the Anchor Hocking Oven Baking Glass Casserole Dish on Amazon for $21.99.
Best Casserold Dish With A Lid: Lovecasa 4.5-Quart Casserole Dish With Lid
Not only is the Lovecasa a deep pan perfect for baking lasagna or a tater tot casserole, but its color and finish make it a statement piece for any home. The material is suitable for temperatures up to 428 degrees Fahrenheit and can be used in the dishwasher for easy cleanup. This pan and its accompanying lid are heavier than other ceramic pieces at around nine pounds, but it's a practical piece if you're looking to use it for both serving and cooking.
Purchase the Lovecasa 4.5-Quart Casserole Dish with Lid on Amazon for $54.99
Best Luxury Casserole Dish: Staub Rectangular Baking And Casserole Dish
Do we see a "treat yo' self" sign on the horizon? We do with the Staub casserole dish. This brand is among the most quality ones you'll find on the market. Its painted finish is unmistakable and makes for a dish you'll want to show off to your friends and family as much as you want to cook with it.
In addition, Staub is the best brand for folks who plan to use their dish for high-heat cooking. The brand is rated to withstand up to 572 degrees Fahrenheit, which is much higher than other brands on the market.
Purchase the Staub Rectangular Baking and Casserole Dish on Amazon for $79.95
Best Casserole Dish Set: Arthausen Ceramic Bakeware And Casserole Dish Set
Sometimes, just one casserole dish isn't enough — or you just don't want to take up precious oven space for a small batch of cobber. You shouldn't have to sacrifice quantity for quality when purchasing a set of casserole dishes. The Artahausen ceramic stoneware bake set includes three stunning farmhouse pieces, including an 8-inch, 10-inch, and 13-inch pan. These pans are sturdy enough for casseroles and baking and are dishwasher-safe for painless cleaning. Plus, they are very affordable, and Arthausen also makes other complementary farmhouse pieces to outfit your entire kitchen.
Purchase the Arthausen Ceramic Bakeware and Casserole Dish Set from Amazon for $74.99.
Best Lightweight Casserole Dish: Caraway Non-Stick Ceramic Rectangle Casserole Dish
At just under three pounds, the Caraway non-stick ceramic casserole dish is standing up as one of our favorites. The cleaning on Caraway products is an absolute breeze, thanks to the non-stick coating, which is free of chemicals like PTFEs, PFAs, and heavy metals.
Despite its lightweight material, this tray can withstand temperatures close to 550 degrees Fahrenheit, which means you can broil the cheese on your lasagna without fear. And although this pan might not be the most traditional aesthetic, it is a super functional piece for an amateur cook to have on hand. When shopping Caraway, rest assured that it's one of the best cookware brands you can buy.
Purchase the Caraway Non-Stick Ceramic Rectangle Casserole Dish on Amazon for $55.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.