I was out shopping the other day and a display of beautiful Le Creuset braisers caught my eye. As many pans as I have, a braiser is not one of them - should it be? I can see how useful they are in going from stovetop to oven, but my trusty 12" cast iron can do that already, as can any of my All-Clad saute pans, albeit a bit more awkwardly due to the long handles. Does a braiser really provide a significant advantage? How do you use yours?
I don’t think so. That being said. If you have the space for another cookware, then go for it. I have starting get to state where I can buy another cookware, but I need to be careful if I have space for it. For some useful cookware, it doesn’t hurt to have more than one. For example, I have a few clay pot (Japanese donabe or Chinese sand clay). It is nice to have different size and also able to have multiple cooking at the same time.
Do you think you like to have multiple braising dishes going on at the same time?
Rarely, if ever. If I did, I have three Dutch ovens in different shapes and sizes, a 12" cast iron skillet, 12 and 14" All-Clad saute pans and a couple of other heavy skillets to do the job. Your comment about having enough room is also apt - I could make room if I had to, but should I?
I love my multiple LC braisers more than any other cookware I own (including my LC Dutch ovens) but I would be hard put to give you a rational explanation for why that is so. I love how they look and cook and use them endlessly.
Dutch ovens are very nice, but Dutch ovens can be a bit deep, so a braiser is shallower and easier to “pan fry”. You also have a couple of saute pans and skillet. So I think another braiser is nice to have, but not necessary must to have.
Maybe a reverse question. How often when you cook, do you feel you were running out of cookware and say “Man, it would be great if I have another saute pan/braiser?”. I think that may help.
I have an Emile Henry braiser that I like a lot. I use it for braised shanks, giouvetsi and stews.
I feel like this is the only reason I want one. I’m sure I will find ways to use it but at the moment, I just want the pretty shiny!
I have one that I use, as the short sides are good for braising things like chicken. But I also have excellent copper rondeaus that are probably superior. One thing that is nice about the shape is that they can go from stove/oven to table, look nice and keep the dish warmer for longer. That is tougher for many dishes with a DO (and the copper cools off too quickly).
Le Creuset braisers are indeed beautiful, but it does not handle well on the stove top (heavy, little stubby handles get hot, need two hands to move).
If I am going from stove top to oven I use a 3 qt covered clad stainless deep saute pan. Light, handles almost like a wok on the cook top, and is easily placed in the oven with its conventional, stay cool handle.
I do have a couple of Le Creuset dutch ovens, but to be honest I don’t use them that much due to the above. Most used are Lodge cast iron (uncovered) and clad stainless when tomatoes/heavy acids are involved or a cover is desired.
I have a 3.5-4 quart Staub braiser that I used a lot. I use it even though I have a Staub dutch oven in 4 quart, 7 quart, and 13 quart (monster).
I use it more on stove top when I need to braise meat in low liquid (goat curry etc.).
I find it useful for dishes that require water to submerge the meat but is not a soup/broth and the wide cooking surface of the pan is very helpful in reducing the liquid into a sauce.
I hope you get it!
I also have the Staub braiser. I like it for braising vegetables like endive, Brussels, etc. it also doubles as a paella pan. And of course as another fry-saute pan.
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I have both a Staub braiser and 28 cm “low” pot, but I’ve been neglecting them in favor of my WS Thermoclad SS.
It would be different if I were serving guests, but that has not been what we have been doing recently, is it?
Good point. Yes, it does come out more often for serving more than just the two of us.
This is typically what I use too, and it works perfectly. The only excuse I really have for the upgrade is that the braiser looks nicer if you go straight to the table with it, plus you don’t have to worry about the long handle sticking out and burning someone’s elbow.
Perhaps I should mention it to DH for a gift idea, that way I don’t have to feel guilty about buying it just because!
Haven’t we all succumbed to the siren song of "Damn! That (name the object of your affection) is SO beautiful ". We all own household items that serve more as food for the soul than daily work-horse tools.
In that case (unless your dining table is square) check out their oval braiser. Much more elegant than a round pan.
I’m an old lady having All-Clad, cast iron (regular and LC), copper, and a bunch of miscellaneous cookware, including pressure cookers (4) and CrockPots. Yet, 2 years ago I hunted for and found the LC 3 quart brasier and have LOVED using it frequently for everything it can handle. I think it does braising better than any other pan I own especially for things like beef cheeks, lamb shanks, chicken thighs, ribs, and anything that needs to be tenderized. Mine is a beautiful red.
I use mine for brisket, and without the lid for oven dishes that need lots of room to spread out.
Just used my Staub brasier for searing–and it was a revelation!
Heats up rapidly on induction–can use the lid to help control spattering and even helps cook the insides of the steak.