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When it comes to making one-pot meals, a braiser is Blair’s secret ingredient to delicious recipes like Rice Pilaf and Smothered Round Steak (among others) because they help the process go much more smoothly. The best braisers should have a wide base (like a skillet) and a domed lid to allow food to be lightly browned and then stewed in a closed container.  

Glass lid pan
Credit: Staub
Table of Contents
  1. Our Top Picks:
  2. Reviews of The Best Braisers
  3. Other Braisers to Consider
  4. Why You Can Trust Us
  5. What to Know About Braisers
  6. Best Braiser Recipes

“Braisers are typically deeper than a standard skillet, so they hold more food and less splatters on the stovetop,” Blair says. “It can even be used as the serving dish on your dinner table. It’s the ultimate tool for one-pan meals!” 

To create this list of the best braisers, Blair and I looked at top brands and bestsellers, focusing on braisers with enough surface area to fit big one-pot meals like French Onion Chicken Bake.

Le Creuset braisers are a staple in Blair’s kitchen, as she uses the Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Braiser on the regular, but she also likes Staub’s 3-quart option. We’ve even added a few other finds, including traditional cast iron braisers that are worth looking into, too.

Our Top Picks:

  1. In Blair’s Kitchen: Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Braiser – $367.95 at Amazon
  2. Blair’s Other Favorite: Staub Cast Iron Braiser with Glass Lid (3.5 Quart) – $199.95 at Amazon
  3. Best Large Braiser: Crock Pot Artisan Cast Iron Round Braiser (5 Quart) – $60.99 at Target
  4. Best Lightweight: Merten & Storck German Casserole Braiser – $159.95 at Amazon
  5. Best Cast Iron Braiser: Lodge Blacklock Triple Seasoned Cast Iron Braiser – $150 at Williams-Sonoma

Reviews of The Best Braisers

1. In Blair’s Kitchen: Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Braiser

Best braisers
Credit: Amazon

An enameled cast iron braiser is Blair’s go-to because it can go straight from the stovetop to the oven, and the cast iron also keeps the food warm long after it’s done cooking. You’ll find the 3.5-quart version of the Le Creuset Signature Braiser in Blair’s kitchen, which she uses for making recipes like Skillet Lasagna and Cajun Shrimp Pasta

“I love that I can also use this braiser as a serving dish on the dining table,” says Blair.  

The Le Creuset is extremely versatile, as it can be used in the same way as a regular cast iron skillet, but it has added functionality due to its tight-fitting enameled cast iron lid.

“The lid also makes it easy to transition from stovetop to oven,” Blair explained. Plus, the enamel coating doesn’t require seasoning, and it’s easier to clean than traditional cast iron. 

The Specs:

  • Material: Enameled cast iron
  • Capacity: 3.5 quarts
  • Weight: 13.7 pounds
  • Dimensions: 14.6 x 4.6 inches
  • Max temp: 500°F

The Pros:

  • Reaches high temperatures
  • Heat evenly distributed throughout
  • Durable
  • Dishwasher-safe (although hand washing is recommended for longevity)
  • Lifetime warranty

The Cons:

  • Heavy 
  • Expensive
  • Needs a decent amount of storage space

What Others Are Saying

The Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Braiser was named the best overall braiser by Serious Eats, The Kitchn, and America’s Test Kitchen. It also has a 4.8-star rating from more than 2,700 reviews on Amazon.

Buy the Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Braiser:

2. Blair’s Other Favorite: Staub Cast Iron Braiser with Glass Lid (3.5 Quart)

Credit: Amazon

Blair’s other top pick is the 3.5-quart Enameled Cast Iron Braiser from Staub, another one of her all-time favorite kitchen brands that make high-quality, long-lasting cookware. Unlike other braisers on this list, it features a glass-domed lid instead of cast iron. While some glass-lid naysayers will say that cast iron covers conduct heat more effectively, the Staub lid is tightly fitting and holds its own—especially considering the more affordable price point. 

The glass lid also makes the dish a few pounds lighter than the Le Creuset, and since it’s transparent, it’s easy to monitor progress without having to let out the heat. The braiser works well on all stovetops (including induction) and can go in the dishwasher for easy cleaning. 

The Specs:

  • Material: Enameled cast iron and glass top
  • Capacity: 3.5 quarts
  • Weight: 10 pounds
  • Dimensions: 16 x 6.8 inches
  • Max temp: 500°F

The Pros:

  • Moderate price
  • The glass top allows you to see into the pan
  • Dishwasher-safe (but hand washing is recommended for longevity)

The Cons:

  • The glass lid is more fragile than cast iron

What Others Are Saying

The Spruce Eats voted the Staub Cast Iron Braiser as the best braiser with a glass lid.

Buy the Staub Cast Iron 3.5-Quart Braiser with Glass Lid:

3. Best Large Braiser: Crock Pot Artisan Cast Iron Round Braiser (5 Quart)

best braisers
Credit: Wayfair

Made by Crock Pot, the iconic slow cooker brand, this round braiser is constructed from cast iron and ceramic enamel. It’s oven-safe to about 500°F, which makes it comparable to the aforementioned models from Le Creuset and Staub, but the Crock Pot artisan offers a larger, 5-quart capacity at a fraction of the price. 

Its large handles also come in handy since it makes for a convenient, comfier grip while going between the oven and stove. The self-basting lid catches the steam on the interior ridges, resulting in moist, flavorful food. Note that hand washing is recommended for this braiser. 

The Specs:

  • Material: Enameled cast iron
  • Capacity: 5 quarts
  • Weight: 16 pounds
  • Dimensions: 13 x 4 x 13.25 inches
  • Max temp: 500°F

The Pros:

  • Large, easy-grip handles
  • Heat retention is distributed evenly
  • Works on all stovetops, including induction
  • Self-basting lid 
  • Affordable

The Cons:

  • Hand wash only
  • Heavy
  • Smaller dome size

What Others Are Saying

The Crock Pot Artisan Braiser has a 4.7-star rating from more than 1,700 reviews on Amazon.

Buy the Crock Pot Artisan 5-Quart Cast Iron Round Braiser:

4. Best Lightweight: Merten & Storck German Enameled Iron Casserole Braiser

best braisers
Credit: Amazon

The Merten & Storck German Enameled Iron Casserole Braiser gives you the most bang for your buck. Situated at a middle-tier price, it contains a 4-quart capacity so it can fit a fair amount of food.

The braiser is handmade in Germany with German enameled iron, which is a great alternative for those who love cast iron but would prefer something a bit more lightweight. This braiser weighs just 6.4 pounds, which is around 10 pounds less than comparative cast iron options. It can also withstand temperatures of up to 600°F. 

The Specs:

  • Material: German enameled iron
  • Capacity: 4 quarts
  • Weight: 6.4 pounds
  • Dimensions: 12.5 x 6 inches
  • Max temp: 600°F

The Pros:

  • Can withstand even higher temperatures than its competitors
  • Designed and handcrafted in Germany with pristine craftsmanship
  • Lightweight
  • Works on all stovetops, including induction
  • Made from more durable, chip-resistant material

The Cons:

  • Hand wash only, hard to clean
  • Takes up a lot of storage space

Buy the Merten & Storck German Enameled Iron Casserole Braiser:

5. Best Cast Iron: Lodge Blacklock Triple Seasoned Cast Iron Braiser

Best braisers
Credit: Williams-Sonoma

While many of the best braisers are made with enameled cast iron, the Blacklock Triple Seasoned Cast Iron Braiser is made of pure cast iron. Made by Lodge, a leading cast iron cookware brand, this braiser is extremely durable, making it an “heirloom piece” that will last for years to come. 

In traditional cast iron fashion, it’s triple pre-seasoned and while it does require extra care and hand washing, its excellent ability to evenly retain heat makes it well worth the effort. Use it for everything from braising and frying to sautéing and slow roasting on any kind of stovetop—even induction.

The Specs:

  • Material: Cast iron
  • Capacity: 4 quarts
  • Weight: 12 pounds, 6 oz
  • Dimensions: 12 x 14 ¼ inches
  • Max temp: Not specified

The Pros:

  • Sturdy and durable
  • Both oven- and broiler-safe
  • Works on all cooktops, including induction
  • Doesn’t chip or stain
  • Large cooking capacity
  • Made consciously with non-toxic materials

The Cons:

  • Hard to clean
  • Requires regular seasoning
  • Heavy and bulky
  • Industrial “look”

Buy the Backlock Triple Seasoned Cast Iron Braiser:

Other Braisers to Consider

Tramontina Enameled Cast Iron Covered Braiser

The Tramontina is comparable to other top options in capacity, material, and the maximum temperature it can withstand (450°F). Although that low price point is enticing, the 3-quart capacity model may be too small for some, and the 4-quart one doesn’t have a pouring spot like its 3-quart counterpart. The Tramontina Enameled Cast Iron Covered Braiser is available at Amazon for $47.95.

CorningWare 4-Quart Quick-Heat Braiser

This 4-quart braiser is a lightweight and affordable option from CorningWare that comes with a see-through, tempered glass top that allows you to monitor what you’re cooking. However, it’s made from aluminum and ceramic instead of enameled cast iron. The 4-quart Quick Heat Braiser is available at Amazon for $48.13.

Cast Iron The Always Pan

It’s the 8-in-1 multifunctional pan that’s all over the internet. Everyone has it, most of them love it, but it’s not exactly a professional cook’s go-to. However, there’s something to be said for the functionality of this pan—especially for the money. It can grill, sear, fry, sauté, roast, bake, broil, stew, serve, and braise. The 10-inch pan comes with a dome-shaped modular glass lid that provides a bird’s-eye view of your food, but unlike other full-cast iron braisers, the glass top can’t go in the broiler. The Cast Iron The Always Pan is available at Our Place for $155.

Misen Enameled Cast Iron Braiser

Made with four layers of chip-resistant, premium enamel, the Misen Enameled Cast Iron Braiser is both durable and relatively affordable. However, it doesn’t have a ton of reviews or ratings as of yet. Plus, it’s hand wash only, and at nearly 18 pounds, this braiser is the heaviest one on this list. The Enameled Cast Iron Braiser is available at Amazon for $140.

Why You Can Trust Us

I’m Stephanie, a lifestyle writer and product reviewer who is always on the pulse of the best kitchen gadgets. Some of my writing credits include home and online culinary publications including Real Simple, Better Homes & Gardens, and Southern Living. I worked on this roundup of the best braisers with Blair, who is constantly using her braiser for dozens of one-pot meals for quick-and-easy dinner ideas without extra dishes to clean! 

best braisers
Credit: The Seasoned Mom

To come up with our list, we started with Blair’s two favorite braisers that she uses regularly. We also looked at the most popular and well-rated braisers at major retailers and took into consideration the thoughts of buying guides, culinary experts, and other trusted review sites. After comparing them all, we came up with our list of the best braisers.

What to Know About Braisers

New to braisers? Here’s everything you need to know before purchasing—plus, answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about braisers.

Best braisers
Credit: The Seasoned Mom

Things to Consider when Choosing a Braiser

1. Easy-to Grip Handles

According to Blair, “Big handles are key for safely and easily transferring the dish from the stovetop to the oven.” You’ll want to look for ones that are large enough that they can be easily gripped—even with oven mitts on. 

2. Large Surface Area

When shopping for a braiser, Blair recommends looking for a pan with a large surface area. Her two go-to pans are between 14 and 16 inches wide, with a 3.5-quart capacity. 

“Smaller braisers just aren’t as useful because you need plenty of space to sear your meat before adding braising liquid,” she explains. “Without the proper space, the meat will get too crowded, causing it to stem instead of forming that signature braised crust.” 

3. Tight-Fitting Lids

Braisers typically have two types of lids: either glass or the same material as the rest of the braiser (i.e., enameled cast iron or ceramic). The pro of a glass cover is that you’ll be able to see what’s going on inside the pan, while a lid made of cast iron is more durable and can withstand higher temperatures in the oven (glass can also potentially shatter if it’s not rated for higher temperatures). A cast iron lid also helps braise more deeply and evenly, helping to form a braised crust around the food. Whether you go for glass or other material, it’s important that the lid fits tight to the pan. 

“A tight-fitting lid is extremely important since that’s a necessary component in the braising process,” Blair says. 

4. Material 

All in all, the most important feature to consider is the braiser’s material. Enameled cast iron is typically the most popular, but it’s also fairly heavy and some brands may require hand-washing. Traditional cast iron requires additional maintenance and can’t go in the dishwasher. Some other materials, like ceramic-coated aluminum, offer a more lightweight alternative, but may not provide the same heat retention abilities as cast iron. 

How to Clean Braisers

How to clean a braiser depends on the material it’s made from. For enameled cast iron, you can use dish soap and a non-abrasive sponge. Although many enameled cast iron braisers (like the Staub or Le Creuset that Blair uses) can technically go in the dishwasher, hand washing can promote longevity. 

best braisers
Credit: Williams-Sonoma

Traditional cast iron braisers should always be washed by hand and if there are particularly stubborn food particles that won’t come off, Blair uses a chainmail scrubber and a natural bristle brush to get any hard-to-remove bits off the bottom of a pan. 

What is a Braiser?

First off, braising is a method of combination cooking that uses wet and dry heat. You begin by browning the food at a high temp, then simmering it in cooking liquid. Braisers are large pans usually made of enameled cast iron that have a covered lid and handles on both sides. 

Dutch ovens and braisers are pretty similar, but braisers have wider bottoms and lower sides for shallow cooking in small amounts of liquid, whereas Dutch ovens have longer sides to accommodate recipes with more liquid, like soups and casseroles. 

“I think of braisers like a cross between a cast iron skillet and a Dutch oven,” says Blair. “They’re the best of both worlds!  Braisers aren’t as heavy and tall as a Dutch oven, but they accomplish many of the same tasks.” Blair explains. 

What are Braisers Used for?

Braisers are mainly used for combination-cooking meat dishes since they’re ideal for shallow-frying, simmering, searing, roasting, and braising in very small amounts of liquid. Blair also uses them for her one-dish rice recipes like Texas Hash and Spanish Rice

Do You Need a Braiser?

The main appeal of a braiser is that it can be used on the stovetop and in the oven. If you plan to only use your braiser on the cooktop, save your money and use a regular skillet to braise, like the Cast Iron Always Pan, which is a multi-functional pan.

A braiser is worth the investment because it is so versatile, or if you don’t have any skillets that are oven-safe. If you already have a Dutch oven, you might not need a braiser either. While Dutch ovens are designed to hold liquids, you could technically braise in a Dutch oven. 

Best Braiser Recipes

Credit: The Seasoned Mom

Ready to use your brand-new braiser? Cook your inaugural meal with any of the following recipes that require braising:

Prices were accurate at the time of publication.


Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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