Do you want to buy a braiser, but you’re not sure if it’s the right choice? After all, brasiers tend to be quite expensive, and you could be throwing away your hard-earned money if it comes with little benefit. To decide if you should buy a braiser, you will fall into two camps, those that already use cast iron and those new to cast-iron cookery. So, do you need a braiser? Let’s find out.
Table of contents
- Benefits of buying a braiser if you already use cast iron cookware
- For Dutch Oven owners
- Do you need a braiser if you own a skillet?
- Brasier recommendations if you already use cast iron cookware
- For cooks that don’t use cast iron
- Benefits of using a braiser for first-time cast iron users
- Why you should buy a braiser
- Do you need a braiser?
- Final thoughts
For experienced cast iron users
If you already have a Dutch Oven or skillet, then you’re unlikely to gain many benefits from purchasing a braiser. But here are three reasons to include a braiser in your cast iron cookware equipment.
- Lids have designs that drop moisture back into your food.
- The weight of a brasier is manageable.
- Enamel cast iron will not become sticky due to infrequent use.
For Dutch Oven owners
Now, if you already use a Dutch Oven, buying a brasier could be unnecessary. And I would recommend delaying your purchase if you are in any doubt. You can braise just as well in a Dutch Oven as you can in a Braiser. And if you look at French braisers of the 19th century. You can tell they are similar in size and appearance to a traditional Dutch oven.
However, if you own a large Dutch oven, you could benefit from buying a braiser. Here are three reasons to use a braiser if you already have a Dutch Oven.
- Braisers tend to be lighter than large Dutch Ovens
- They sit lower in your oven so you can utilize another rack
- You can see and turn food on the stovetop more easily
If you own a Dutch oven, the benefit of buying a braiser comes down to the reduced weight and movability of the pan.
To learn more about the differences/benefits of Dutch ovens and braisers, click the link for an in-house article.
Do you need a braiser if you own a skillet?
Probably the handiest piece of cookware in your kitchen has to be the skillet. A cast-iron skillet can cook food on the stovetop and in the oven. So, it may be unnecessary to purchase a dedicated braising pan. And this is particularly true if you intend to use your braiser primarily on the stovetop.
However, if you want to braise, stew, or casserole your meals. The extra depth of the braiser would be the preferred choice over a skillet. And having two large handles make taking out a hot dish from the oven a lot safer. Here are another three reasons to buy a braiser if you already have a skillet.
- You can cook acidic foods without the risk of tainting.
- Enameled cast iron is usually dishwasher safe.
- A heavy lid gives you the choice of slow-cooking meals.
Keep in mind your skillet will have pour spouts, while a braiser does not. So if you plan to cook mostly sauces, then stick to your skillet. However, I recommend a braiser if you are cooking dishes containing a lot of liquid.
Here’s a specialized article on the differences between skillets and brasiers if you want to learn more.
Benefits of buying a braiser if you already use cast iron cookware
You can get away without a braiser if you have a skillet or a Dutch oven. However, if you plan to cook meals that require both oven and stovetop cooking, purchasing a could be beneficial. With size being the main factor as Dutch Ovens are often too heavy to lift, especially if your oven holds over 5 quarts in capacity.
Skillets, on the other hand, can be too shallow to hold a quantity of liquid. As a result, you may not be able to submerge your food in liquid or add your favorite vegetables. And without a lid, your food has an increased likelihood of drying out and becoming tough.
For cooks that don’t use cast iron
A braiser is a good option if you haven’t used cast iron before. Enameled braisers will not require seasoning like traditional iron cookware. And modern braisers have a shallow but wide profile that makes them easier to handle.
Benefits of buying a braiser
If you don’t currently use cast-iron cookware, buying a braiser could be a good option. As it opens up a multitude of different cooking methods such as:
- Shallow frying
You also get the full benefits of cooking with enameled cast iron. And no other cookware material can match cast-iron for thermal density. So if you want to slow cook meals while reducing hot spots, then consider cast-iron.
To learn the popular dishes you can cook in your braiser, click the link for an in-house article.
Why you should buy a braiser
A braiser is the perfect combination of a Dutch oven and a skillet. So if you’re looking to purchase one piece of cookware, or you can’t decide between a Dutch oven and a skillet, why not opt for a brasier?
Brasiers are popular in European countries, and manufacturers often market their braisers as a goto pan. And they are therefore designed for both stovetop and oven cooking. And the wide handles and low profile make it easy to move in and out of the oven.
But if you’re still undecided, here are three more reasons to buy a brasier.
- Reduce the need for storing multiple pots by choosing an all-purpose pan.
- Unlike regular cast-iron, enameled cookware requires no maintenance.
- You’ll be more likely to use a lighter pan over a heavy Dutch oven.
Do you need a braiser?
If you only intend to use your cookware on the stovetop, then purchasing a braiser is unnecessary. And continue to steam or fry your meals in a saucepan or frypan. However, if you don’t have any oven-safe cookware, and want to braise, stew, bake, or casserole, then a braiser is a good option.
If you’re not sure what a braiser looks like. Or you want to learn the benefits of using a braising pan, check out this article.
Conclusion: Should you buy a braiser?
Braisers for new cast iron users
A braiser may seem like a specialist item, but it is considered a go-to pan in European households. And I would seriously consider purchasing a braiser if you want one cast iron pan for multiple cooking methods.
Not only will this save you money, but it will also free up space in your kitchen. So if you have a small kitchen or live in an apartment, you might want to consider a cast iron braiser.
Braisers for experienced cast iron users
If you already cook with cast iron cookware, then purchasing a brasier could be unnecessary. Bit if you are still keen on a braiser. Then I would focus on choosing the correct size.
I usually recommend sizing down when selecting braiser for individual requirements. It makes cleaning so much easier, and you’re more likely to use the pot. If you’re interested, here are my recommendations for choosing the best size brasier.
Braisers are fun and easy to use
Ultimately, braisers are fun to use, and they are user-friendly for both new and experienced cast iron cooks. And I think you can’t go wrong if you buy a good quality braiser. Have fun.