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Best Braising Pan

The Best Braising Pan is one that can start cooking on the stove and finished in the oven. For that reason, something that is compact and can conduct heat is important. Different materials and shape are important things to consider here. Cast Iron pans for example hold heat well but takes a while to heat up. Long handles are better for maneuvering but takes up a lot of space. And things like lid are important, a tight fitting lid will help keep moisture in better. A weak one means that you will have dried out food. This article will go through the different things you should consider when buying a braising pan. Hopefully, you will get a better idea on what to look for.


What to look for in a Braising Pan or Pot?

A braise is a technique where you sear food and soak it in broth or sauce. This helps the food retain moisture while at the same time, cook the food. Typically you want to finish the dish in the oven so the top portion will develop a maillard reaction. This also gives you time to prepare other food. Another good thing to consider is the appearance of the braising pan. You can actually bring the pan fresh from the oven and impress your guess. After all we eat with our eyes. Below, you will find a list of things to look for in a braising pan.

Shape

When buying a braising pot, it is best to look for one that has tall sidewalls. These sidewalls help trap steam and retain moisture. While at the same time, you want to be able to sear food without steaming it. Because of this, you want something that is wide enough so you wont crowd the pan. Low flaring pans are good for frying, but it holds less moisture which ultimately makes it bad for braising.

Handle

The best braising pans has a two loop handle. These pots are typically called Rondeau. They are slim down making it easier to fit in the oven. Also the two handle makes it easier to carry and move the pan around. When you bring it to the table, it looks a lot more neat and cohesive to the dinning table.

When looking for a loop handle, you want something that is wide and easy to carry. After all, you will be using a glove to move it around. Small handles will only increase the chances of you dropping the pan and spilling your hard work. Don’t go for pans with skimpy handle.

A long handle like those you find in a frying pan are great for moving a pan around while cooking. However, they get in the way inside a oven and looks out of place in the table.

Materials and Construction

You want a metal that will sear food and stay hot. Cast Iron usually offers the best performance in this aspect. While it does take a while to heat up. Once its hot, you should be able to sear food without it turning cold. Since they are usually oven safe to a very high temperature, putting it in a oven should not be a problem.

Another good thing about cast iron is when you bring it to the table. The added heft and heat retention properties means that it will stay hot when you serve your guest. Other thinner and lighter pan will just turn cold. No one likes cold food.

Metal like Copper and Stainless Steel are good at conducting heat. But that also means it gets cold faster. It really depends on you. If you do not plan on serving guest, these would be a better option. They certainly cook faster than cast iron.

Appearances

Appearance matter when you serve your guess. Some of the best looking braising pans are made by Le Creuset and Staub. The stainless steel look from All Clad is great but cold looking. They do not have the warmth that the french counterpart has. However, my taste in style may differ from yours, pick one that suits your own aesthetic.

Le Creuset Braising Pan


Categories
Le Creuset 5 qt Braising Pan
PerformanceExcellent
Country of ManufacturerFrance
Oven Safe Temperature500 Degree Fahrenheit
CompatibilityGas, Electric, Halogen, Glass Top, Induction
Capacity5 qt
MaterialEnamel Cast Iron
ShapeLe Creuset braising pan is wide with a slight raise in the sidewall. While a taller sidewall will trap moisture, its heavy lid more than makes up for it. The inside corner has a gentle gradient letting you whisk and stir sauces with ease. This is perfect for making roux in the early stages of cooking. Overall, it is a good shape but the sidewall could be a little higher.
HandleLe Creuset has pretty much perfected the handle. It has two loop handles on either side of the pot. This allows for easy and comfortable grip even with gloves on. You are unlikely to drop the pan when transporting it.
AppearancesLe Creuset has one of the best looking pots in the industry. Its beautiful rich and vibrant colors will draw anyone in. They have a wide range of color that suits any household. The name will also impress guest regardless of their background. After all, they are world famous.
ThoughtsLe Creuset Braising pan is perfect for searing, baking and table presentation. The heavy cast iron construction means that it will stay hot on the table. Its striking appearance also makes it a perfect table piece. As far as braising goes, it is one of the best pan available.
Reviewed CookwareLe Creuset LS2532-3267 Signature Enameled Cast-Iron Round Round Braiser, 5-Quart

Tramontina Enamel Cast Iron Braising Pan


Categories
Tramontina 4qt Enamel Cast iron Braising Pan
PerformanceExcellent
Country of ManufacturerChina
Oven Safe Temperature450 Degree Fahrenheit
CompatibilityGas, Electric, Halogen, Glass Top, Induction
Capacity4 qt
MaterialEnamel Cast Iron
ShapeTramontina Braising Pan is a true rondeau. It has two loop handle with tall sidewall. This helps it retain moisture and hold more liquid. The wider base means that you can space food letting you sear more food in a single batch. Overall, this is a good design.
HandleThe handles are good but a little narrow. They could have make it a little big bigger so that you can hook your finger in. This would have given it a more secure grip. Nevertheless, it still does it job and you should be able to transport it.
AppearancesThe colors are not as varied as Le Creuset. They come in Blue and Red and the enamel are prone to chipping. While for my personal taste, they are not as refined as Le Creuset, it should suit most people need.
ThoughtsAs a braising pan, it does a better job than Le Creuset. However, the enamel durability is not as good as Le Creuset. They are prone to chipping and can affect table presentation. With that being said, they cost a fraction of what Le Creuset Charges. You get better performance just poorer aesthetic.
Reviewed CookwareTramontina 80131/050DS Enameled Cast Iron Covered Braiser

Tramontina Stainless Steel Braising Pan


Categories
Tramontina 3qt Stainless Steel Braising Pan
PerformanceExcellent
Country of ManufacturerBrazil
Oven Safe Temperature500 Degree Fahrenheit
CompatibilityGas, Electric, Halogen, Glass Top, Induction
Capacity3 qt
MaterialTriply Stainless Steel and Aluminum
ShapeThis is also a perfect rondeau. It has a straight sidewall that helps retain moisture. This submerge food in liquid while the top portion can brown properly in the oven. The wide base also means you can sear more food in a single batch.
HandleIt has two loop handle. They are wide and large, much better than the cast iron construction. Overall, you will get a firm and secure grip even with glove son. It is a good design.
AppearancesThe stainless steel apperance is a little cold. Not as warm and inviting as its cast iron competitor. However, it does match certain home decor. Whether it works for you depends on your home.
ThoughtsThe Triply construction means that it conducts heat better than the rest. However, it also cools down as fast and the lid is not as heavy. It wont be able to retain moisture as well. It is a trade off, this is more better if you do not plan on serving guest with this pan. More gear toward professional kitchens.
Reviewed CookwareTramontina 80116/009DS Gourmet Stainless Steel Induction-Ready Tri-Ply Clad Covered Braiser

Best Braising Pan Thoughts

There are many factors that goes into the Best Braising Pan. You should buy one that suits your need. While I do have a preference for Le Creuset, they cost a lot and the sidewalls can be a little bit taller. Competitors like the one from Tramotina is a good choice. They cost a fraction of what Le Creuset is but they are not as durable. Having said that, all these pans listed here are great braising pans, you cant go wrong with any of them.


I hope you like this Best Braising Pan article, If you would like to see more, please visit our Pots and Pans Review page.

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