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Casseroles are a very popular helper in our kitchens for preparing tasty dishes. Their ease of use and versatility have made them an indispensable cooking utensil for centuries. Pasta bakes, lasagnas and many other delicious recipes can be conjured up in no time and served attractively.
In our casserole dish test 2022 we would like to show you what types of casserole dishes there are and what criteria you should look for when buying them. We also explain how you can care for casserole dishes and how much money you have to spend to be able to hold a suitable casserole dish in your hands.
The most important facts
- Casserole dishes are used to cook and bake dishes in the oven. They can also be used to serve food on the dining table.
- Different materials are used for casseroles, each of which has different properties. They can be used to influence the cooking time or the taste of a dish.
- The casseroles allow dishes to be prepared quickly and are easy to clean. This saves time when cooking and cleaning.
The Best Casserole Dish: Our Picks
Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a casserole dish
Who is a casserole dish suitable for?
Since a casserole is a dish cooked in the oven, it can be difficult to find a suitable dish for baking. Not all dishes are suitable for the high temperatures generated in the oven.
Casserole dishes are made of different materials, which have different advantages and disadvantages. Each type is suitable for a different group of dishes, but they can also be used flexibly.
The time saving is not to be sneezed at. The casserole dish enables the food to be prepared quickly. Ingredients usually don’t need to be pre-cooked and a quick cooking time allows for finished dishes from around half an hour.
With a casserole dish, you can not only bake delicious dishes, but also serve them elegantly afterwards.
Oven gloves or tea towels help you to lift the hot casserole dish without burning yourself on the hot dish. The simplicity of a casserole dish makes it easy to clean.
What size casserole dish should I buy?
Depending on how many portions you want to prepare, you can either use a small, medium or large dish. If you want to bake for one person, you should choose a smaller model.
It is easiest to keep different sizes of casserole dishes in your kitchen so that you have the right size for each batch.
How much does a casserole dish cost?
Glass casseroles can be purchased for as little as 4 euros. Small casseroles are usually cheaper than large ones.
Moulds made of porcelain do not need an extra coating, which is why you can buy them at a lower price.
|Porcelain casserole dish||approx. 6-90€|
|Ceramic casserole dish||approx. 3-60€|
|Glass casserole dish||approx. 4-70€|
|Silicone casserole dish||approx. 6-20€|
|Stainless steel casserole dish||approx. 6-30€|
|Cast iron casserole dish||approx. 20-190€|
The price of moulds made of metal ranges up to 190€. The different manufacturers usually charge very different prices. Metal casseroles are usually non-stick, which is the reason for their higher prices.
What are the alternatives to a casserole dish?
|Cake tin||A cake tin is suitable for use in the oven, but should be leak-proof. Leftovers from the dish may remain in the edges at the bottom, but can be easily cleaned with a brush.|
|Roasters||The material, usually iron, conducts heat very well and heats the food quickly. Leftovers should be soaked before cleaning.|
|Fireproof bowls||Fireproof bowls or fireproof pots of any kind can be used for casseroles. It is important to pay attention to the different properties of the materials.|
It is not without reason that the casserole dish bears the dish as part of its name. Moreover, casserole recipes have been used since the beginning of the 18th century and have lost none of their popularity.
Decision: What types of casserole dishes are there and which is the right one for you?
If you want to buy a casserole dish, there are different types to choose from:
- Stainless steel
- Cast iron
The care and use of the different moulds each have their advantages and disadvantages. Depending on what you want to use the casserole dish for, a different type is suitable for you. With the help of the following section, we would like to make your decision easier.
What are the characteristics of a porcelain casserole dish and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
Porcelain, also known as “white gold”, has been used for thousands of years to make cooking utensils. So if you want to follow in the footsteps of your ancestors, a porcelain casserole dish could be just the thing for you.
The main ingredient is kaolin. Since this is already white, the casserole dish gets a clear glaze coating after firing. The difference to other casserole dishes lies in their fine appearance, whereby the surface has an aesthetic glow in the light. Its weight is less than that of a ceramic casserole dish.
Porcelain casseroles should not be put in the dishwasher. Instead, cleaning with a soft brush and a little washing-up liquid is recommended. If the dirt is more stubborn, special cleaning agents for porcelain can be used.
What are the features of a ceramic casserole dish and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
Ceramic casseroles are usually found in a simple design that concentrates on the essentials.
After firing, the ceramic is given a glass coating. This allows different colours and mattness levels to be designed. The ceramic casserole dish gets its waterproofness with the help of the glaze.
Unlike porcelain, ceramic casseroles are dishwasher-safe and can also be easily cleaned by hand. If the casserole dish shows signs of heavy soiling after eating, it can be cleaned carefully with a mixture of vinegar, alcohol and water. If the casserole dish is very dirty after eating, it can be cleaned carefully with a mixture of vinegar, alcohol and water.
The ceramic casserole dish, like the other types, is heat-resistant and can be used for baking in the oven.
What distinguishes a glass casserole dish and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
Compared to the other types of casseroles, glass is transparent. This means you can watch your dish at any time while it is baking. Uncooked food can be spotted immediately and you can leave the casserole dish in the oven for longer.
Glass is an attractive and timeless material that is suitable as a sideboard on the dining table. The reduced design of the shape harmonises with various table decorations.
Scratches from cutlery or other kitchen utensils are rare due to the strength of the material. However, care should be taken as the casserole dish can easily break if dropped.
What are the characteristics of a silicone casserole dish and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
Silicone casseroles are a fairly new product. However, more and more can be found on the shelves of mail-order companies.
In contrast to the other types, silicone dishes stand out because of their flexible material. This makes it easy to remove the dish and reach into all corners. It also guarantees resistance to breakage should the mould fall.
The material is ideally food safe and hygienic. It is easy to clean and dishwasher safe.
Like all casserole dishes, the silicone dish is heat-resistant, but can also be used in the microwave and freezer.
What distinguishes a stainless steel casserole dish and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
Stainless steel casseroles are easy to clean and food-safe. This gives them a high degree of hygiene. The robust kitchen utensil remains in its original shape even after long use.
Stainless steel is a poor conductor of heat. This allows dishes to retain heat inside them for a long time. Their simple design draws the eye to what is most important.
The material is rustproof and can be put in the dishwasher. Its heat resistance is the same as for the other types of casserole dishes.
What distinguishes a cast iron casserole dish and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
Unlike other casseroles, cast iron is said to intensify the flavour of the dish.
There are two different types. If the pan is uncoated and of good quality, the food can be enriched with natural iron. In contrast, the enamelled version is aroma-neutral. This means that fewer spices are often needed for baking.
The material allows heat to be conducted evenly. This allows the dishes to reach heat from all sides. The heat is stored for a long time and is therefore energy-saving. A cast iron casserole dish is a very good conductor of heat and cooks at lower temperatures.
Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate casseroles
In the following, we show you which aspects you can use to decide between the many possible casserole dishes.
The criteria used to compare casserole dishes include:
- Heat conduction
- Rim height
- Heat resistance
- Dishwasher resistance
- Cut and scratch resistance
In the following paragraphs, we explain what the individual criteria are.
As already mentioned, casseroles should effectively transfer the heat of the oven to the dish. Ceramics have the same heat conduction in all directions. As with the familiar tiled stoves, the material can store heat and transfer it to the dish over a longer period of time.
Heat conduction can often affect cooking and therefore the end result of your dish.
This ability is also present in cast iron casserole dishes. Cast iron is a good to very good conductor of heat. The material distributes the heat slowly and evenly in all directions. This makes cast iron casseroles particularly suitable for foods that are to be cooked slowly.
In contrast, stainless steel casseroles have a low heat conductivity. The heat stays inside the dish and is only released slowly to the outside. Glass, porcelain and silicone are also poor heat conductors.
Casseroles have different rim heights. Depending on what you personally like or what dish you want to cook, a certain height can be advantageous.
Dishes that need to be layered, such as lasagne, can be baked in high dishes. The height of the dish allows you to stack many lasagne sheets on top of each other to achieve a similar result to the Italian around the corner.
The heights of the casserole dishes range from about 3 to 10 cm. According to our research, about 6 cm seems to be the most popular height.
However, a mould with a high rim should not be filled to the top, as this will result in poor heat distribution. It is considered appropriate to stack the lasagne about 5-7 cm.
In a low rimmed casserole dish, dishes for one person are possible. A high rim can gain space for dishes with several people. However, food does not have to be filled to the brim, so a single person can also use a casserole dish with a high rim.
All casseroles, regardless of the material they are made of, must be heat resistant. The dishes mainly include casseroles. These are cooked in the oven for a long period of time. This means that the kitchen utensils are exposed to high temperatures and must be able to withstand them.
There are differences in the temperature up to which a casserole dish may remain in the oven. Glass can often be used from 30 to 450 °C. Cast iron can withstand very high temperatures, so that the oven’s spectrum can be covered.
The designation “ovenproof” is an important indicator for casserole dishes. Ceramic products also withstand the high temperatures of the oven. Porcelain can be used up to approx. 250 °C. A stainless steel casserole dish will only retain its shape up to approx. 200 °C.
It is important to note, however, that heat resistance does not only depend on the material. The thickness of the material also affects its durability. You will find detailed information on heat resistance in the explanations of the individual products on the seller’s pages.
Not every casserole dish product is suitable for the dishwasher. Here, too, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding their product information.
In general, ceramic and glass casserole dishes are dishwasher safe. Moulds made of silicone can also simply be put in the dishwasher.
Dishwashers also clean stainless steel casserole dishes, but you should be especially careful with thin-walled products.
Porcelain casserole dishes, as already mentioned, should not be put in the dishwasher. Unsealed cast iron should not be put in the dishwasher, otherwise the product may start to rust.
If the casserole dishes are labelled dishwasher-safe by the manufacturer, they may be cleaned in the dishwasher. However, dishwasher-safe is not an official designation. This can lead to wear and tear of the product over a longer period of time.
Cut and scratch resistance
Cast iron in particular is cut and scratch resistant. With them, you can enjoy extensive baking time.
Be careful with sharp objects when using ceramic, glass and stainless steel casseroles. They are usually highly resistant to cuts and scratches, but the material may show minor marks after long use.
Sharp-edged and pointed objects are not welcomed by silicone and porcelain. Silicone in particular gets nicks in its surface easily. However, casseroles in porcelain and silicone moulds can be easily removed with a rubber spatula.
Trivia: Interesting facts about casseroles
What can I use to grease the casserole dish?
You can’t go far wrong with greasing. Coated casseroles often do not need to be greased. Their inner coating allows you to get the dish out of the utensil after cooking.
Uncoated pans can be greased with different products. You can choose them according to your taste or according to the recipe instructions.
Products that can be used for greasing casserole dishes:
- Baking fat
However, follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding his casserole dish to be sure that it does not need to be greased.
On what surface should I place the casserole dish during baking?
The casserole dish can be placed on the rack during cooking. Baking trays are often an alternative as well.
The rack should be placed in the middle of the oven. Your casserole dish has a stable base on this rack and can receive the heat of the oven evenly from all sides.
If you place your casserole dish on a baking tray, more heat may radiate from the tray onto your dish. If you do not take this into account, your dish may burn more quickly on the bottom.
However, you should not place the casserole dish on the bottom of the oven. Particularly with top bottom heat, heat can build up. This can damage your oven and your dish.
How can I cover the casserole dish?
Often casseroles are sold with matching lids. If you don’t have a suitable lid in your kitchen, there are alternatives.
Aluminium foil is often used as a substitute for the lid. Similarly sized pot lids also serve as an option.
If you can’t find aluminium foil or pot lids, a baking tray for short use is a solution. A second casserole dish can be used as a lid by placing it upside down on top of your first dish.
The casserole dish can also be covered with large cabbage leaves. The large cabbage leaves will retain some of the moisture. Your dish in the casserole dish will lose less of its water.
Further reading: Sources and interesting links
 This, Hervé (2002). Molecular gastronomy. In: Applied Chemistry 114(1): 87-92.
Image source: pixabay.com / RitaE