A baking dish is an essential kitchen tool, much like a good set of baking pans. These oven-safe vessels, typically crafted from glass or stoneware like ceramic or porcelain, are indispensable for preparing a variety of dishes. They are perfect for whipping up easy casseroles, classic meaty lasagnas, or delightful treats like brioche bread pudding. Baking dishes come in various sizes and shapes, but our kitchen pros recommend rectangular ones with a capacity of 2.5 to 3 quarts. This size is not only easy to handle but also capable of serving four to six portions.
Below, you’ll find our hand-selected list of recommended baking dishes, thoroughly tested by Food and Meal. We have chosen Best Baking and Casserole Dishes. Additionally, you can learn more about the different types of baking dishes available in the market and gain valuable insights into what to consider when shopping for one. Here, you’ll discover the finest baking dishes you can purchase, backed by our rigorous testing and the brands we rely on.
What to consider when shopping for baking dishes?
Consider these essential factors when choosing a casserole dish:
|Opt for 2.5 to 3-quart dishes, perfect for four to six servings. Smaller sizes suit side dishes, while larger ones are ideal for entertaining or meal prep.
|Rectangular dishes offer versatility and quick, even heating due to their ample surface area.
|Ceramic with a glaze provides durability and nonstick properties. Cast iron retains heat well, while coated carbon steel offers quick heating and browning. Glass allows for monitoring but may not brown adequately. Consider weight and ease of cleaning.
|Verify material suitability for drastic temperature changes before using a casserole dish straight from the freezer to the oven.
|Look for large, oversized handles for easy gripping, especially with oven mitts.
|Lids can help retain warmth, particularly when made from the same durable material as the dish, and facilitate storage.
Best Baking and Casserole Dishes
The Peugeot baking dish is a top contender in terms of ease of use, boasting curved handles that are effortlessly grippable and a surface that’s easy to clean, regardless of the dish you’re preparing. Its remarkable durability is evident in its thick walls, ensuring long-lasting performance.
Although the thickness may slightly increase cook time, once adjusted, this baking dish consistently produces evenly-cooked treats like bread pudding, as proven in our testing. With a range of deep, vibrant colors and various sizes available, this baking dish offers both style and practicality. The nesting feature allows for convenient storage, making it a versatile addition to your kitchen.
Don’t break the bank for a high-quality baking dish when you can rely on this budget-friendly gem from Pyrex. During our tests, it produced one of the best cornbreads, perfectly aligning with the recommended cook time. It also received high marks for ease of use, thanks to its oversized cut-out handles and smooth glass surface that effortlessly wipes clean. As an added convenience, this freezer-safe baking dish comes with a lid, allowing you to cook and store your creations in a single vessel. Another bonus is that you can purchase this dish as part of a set from Pyrex, which includes both square and round shapes.
The only drawback of this affordable option is that the glass construction may hinder browning on the bottom. However, the clear glass allows you to monitor your food from all angles, enabling you to adjust the heat or cook time as needed.
Le Creuset baking dishes have earned a widespread reputation for their exceptional quality. Crafted from durable porcelain and coated with an enamel-glaze finish, these dishes not only boast a stunning appearance but also offer outstanding resistance against chips, scratches, and stains. In our rigorous testing, this particular version of the baking dish demonstrated excellent cooking performance, especially for quicker-cooking items like cornbread.
However, what sets it apart is its unique feature—a flat lid that serves multiple purposes. It can be used as a platter to stack food on top, as a separate serving tray, or even as a trivet. Despite the relatively small handles, they are easy to grip, and they cool down quickly for added safety. Moreover, this baker’s versatility shines through as it is safe for use in the oven, broiler, microwave, and freezer. An additional bonus is the availability of nearly a dozen beautiful shades to choose from, allowing you to find the perfect complement to your kitchen aesthetic.
Emile Henry offers a diverse range of baking dishes in different shapes and sizes, but our testers found that the large rectangular version delivered exceptional results when baking both cornbread and bread pudding. The dish’s high sides were also appreciated as they effectively minimized spillovers during cooking. Its versatility shines through, as the manufacturer confirms that this glazed ceramic baking dish is safe for use in the oven, microwave, freezer, and dishwasher. To provide added peace of mind, the purchase includes an impressive 10-year warranty.
However, our testers did encounter one significant drawback with this baking dish—the small and curved handles. They found it somewhat challenging to obtain a secure grip, particularly when handling heavy dishes.
While the majority of baking dishes we tested were made of stoneware or glass, the cast iron option from Lodge proved to be a standout. This casserole dish comes pre-seasoned, allowing you to use it right out of the box. However, it’s worth noting that cleaning this dish can be challenging, especially when dealing with sticky ingredients like eggs or cheese.
Additionally, its heavy weight adds to the complexity of the cleaning process. Once you overcome this obstacle, you’ll appreciate the remarkable capabilities of this baking dish. It excels in conducting and retaining heat, ensuring even cooking and browning throughout your dishes, particularly for heartier items such as bread pudding and cornbread.
The baking dish under review boasts a crisp white exterior adorned with appealing blue trim, presenting an aesthetically pleasing appearance that catches the eye. However, its delicate nature demands cautious handling, as we encountered an unfortunate incident during our tests where one of the handles broke off. This drawback highlights the need for gentle care when using this product.
Despite this fragility, the dish has several commendable features that make it stand out. Notably, its heat resistance capabilities are impressive, withstanding temperatures up to an astonishing 650° Fahrenheit—surpassing the average limit of most hot ovens. This attribute makes it an ideal choice for those who enjoy cooking in extremely high-temperature conditions.
Moreover, the manufacturer’s claim that the dish can transition directly from the freezer to the oven makes it a highly suitable option for meal preppers. This convenient feature saves time and effort for individuals looking to plan and prepare their meals ahead of time.
FAQs about Baking and Casserole Dishes
Q1: What makes a baking or casserole dish the “best” for cooking and baking?
- A1: The best baking and casserole dishes are characterized by durable materials, even heat distribution, and features like non-stick coatings. The ideal dish depends on your specific baking needs and preferences.
Q2: Can I use baking dishes for casseroles and vice versa?
- A2: Yes, in many cases, baking dishes can be used for casseroles and vice versa. However, it’s essential to consider the material and size to ensure compatibility with your recipe.
Q3: What materials are commonly used for high-quality baking and casserole dishes?
- A3: Common materials include glass, ceramic, and metal. Each has its advantages – glass retains heat well, ceramic promotes even baking, and metal is often preferred for its durability.
Q4: Are there specific sizes recommended for baking and casserole dishes?
- A4: Sizes vary, but common dimensions range from small individual servings to larger family-sized dishes. It’s advisable to have a variety of sizes to accommodate different recipes and occasions.
Q5: How do I choose between glass, ceramic, and metal baking dishes?
- A5: Consider the recipe, as each material has unique heat retention properties. Glass is suitable for even baking, ceramic is great for slow, even cooking, and metal is durable and heats up quickly.
In summary, the baking dish’s captivating design adds a touch of elegance to any kitchen setting. However, prospective buyers should be aware of its delicacy and handle it with care to avoid any unfortunate accidents. On the other hand, its remarkable heat resistance and freezer-to-oven compatibility are compelling advantages, making it an excellent choice for those who prefer cooking at high temperatures and engaging in meal prepping activities.
20 December ·
The Baking Dish Insider: Choosing, Using, and Cherishing Cookware
By Food And Meal
Welcome to Food and Meal's Kitchen Essentials podcast! Today, we're diving into the world of baking dishes - those oven-safe vessels that are a must-have for every home cook. From casseroles to lasagnas, and delightful treats, baking dishes play an essential role in creating delicious meals. We've handpicked the best baking dishes through rigorous testing and we're here to share valuable tips for choosing the perfect one. So, let's elevate your cooking game with the right baking dish!