Cooking is no easy feat. Before the preparation and cooking stage, you must shop for kitchenware. Even though shopping is often deemed fun and relaxing activity, it is less so when it comes to kitchen items. Since there is quite a little technical know-how, you can easily become confused and overwhelmed.
One of the areas that most people struggle with, especially first-time buyers, is casserole dish vs dutch oven. At first glance and to the inept eyes, they will appear the same. But to decide on one, there are differences worth knowing between them.
- Casserole Dish Vs Dutch Oven: Overview
- Casserole Dish Vs Dutch Oven: Detailed Comparison
- Casserole Dish Vs Dutch Oven: Which Should You Choose?
Casserole Dish Vs Dutch Oven: Overview
A casserole dish is a deep and large pan or bowl that is used for preparing and serving baked foods. They have bases and sides that are similar in thickness to ensure even distributions of heat. Also, they have handles on either side.
Common recipes made using casserole dishes include shepherd’s pie, lasagne, cassoulet, moussaka, pasta, etc.
You can find these dishes in different shapes and sizes. There is also a range of materials used for casserole dishes, which we will go into detail about later.
A dutch oven is a pot that comes with a tight-fitting lid and thick walls. It is most commonly used for slow cooking. However, there are more uses, which you will find in the section below. Most people make stew, soup, and pasta with a dutch oven. For more recipes, check this site.
See how to make a stew using a dutch oven here:
Casserole Dish Vs Dutch Oven: Detailed Comparison
Casserole dishes can be made of glass, ceramic, aluminum, stainless steel, or cast iron.
– Glass and Ceramic:
These look nice and can stay hot for a long period. However, they are not good at handling sudden temperature changes. You will need to wait for them to cool down before you can slip them into the fridge.
They are also a bit more demanding when it comes to cleaning. You must soak them in a mix of baking soda and dish soap for at least 15 minutes. If you leave them uncleaned for too long, stains and grease can become difficult to remove.
These are typically used as disposable catering trays. They are lightweight and thus, easy to handle. Plus, aluminum conducts heat well and allows for ideal browning. However, they are not great for storing food.
– Stainless Steel:
These are lightweight, versatile, and cost-effective. Most people choose stainless steel casserole dishes to make cakes. They are also quite easy to clean, which makes kitchen life a lot easier.
– Cast Iron:
This is a durable and solid material that is compatible with stovetops as well as ovens. Generally, this type of material will come with an enamel coating, which makes the dishes safe for acidic meals, like cacciatore and lasagna. You can also clean these easily by wiping them down with a cloth.
On the other hand, dutch ovens are primarily made of cast iron. Sometimes, but very rarely, they are made of ceramic or cast aluminum. Thus, compared to casserole dishes, they are less versatile in terms of materials.
Their cast-iron builds, however, can be “bare” or “enameled”.
– Bare Cast Iron:
The former is excellent in retaining heat for long periods of time. It is also good at keeping the oil temperature consistent for deep frying. The material is heavy but durable; it can last a lifetime if you take care of it properly. In particular, you only need to regularly season it to maintain and ensure that it always looks right.
Enameled Cast Iron:
This one is praised for its heat-retaining capabilities as well. It is equally heavy, but better than bare cast iron, its enameled coating makes it easier to clean.
There is no need for seasoning or special maintenance. Moreover, it comes in many colors to offer an aesthetic value. For these qualities, though, enameled cast iron dutch ovens are pricier.
Shapes & Sizes
Casserole dishes, as mentioned, come in many different shapes and sizes. They are square or round. The standard sizes included 8 x 8, 7 x 11, 9 x 9, and 9 x 13 inches for square dishes, and 9 x 5 x 9, 11 x 4 x 11, and 16.1 x 10.6 x 3.4 x inch for round dishes.
These sizes will have varying capacities depending on the brand that you purchase. Common capacities are 5 to 8 quarts.
Like casserole dishes, dutch ovens are available in many shapes and sizes. There are square, rectangle, round, and oval ones. Impressively, they can offer up to 13-15 quart capacities, which is equivalent to roughly 15-20 servings.
Hence, they are perfect for catering and large holiday dinners. You can make larger batches of food easily. An example is one whole 15-pound turkey in a single dutch oven!
Still, there are smaller sizes that you can get for 1-2 or 2-3 servings. There are ones as small as 0.5-quart. The smallest ones can be used to make individual side dishes and desserts, such as creme brûlée.
Casserole dishes, given their versatile builds, can be used to make sauces, stews, soups, and pot roasts, to name a few. In addition, thanks to its ease of use and heat-retention function, it is the go-to kitchenware for any meal. From sweet to savory, you can make it all with a casserole dish!
Casserole dishes that are made of glass and ceramic can also be used in ovens. However, you cannot use them directly on stovetops.
Dutch ovens, on the flip side, can be used on stovetops as well as ovens. As such, beyond the uses of casserole dishes, dutch ovens can also be used for deep-frying, searing, browning, and broiling.
Casserole Dish Vs Dutch Oven: Which Should You Choose?
Both the casserole dish and dutch oven are reliable companions in the kitchen. But the better kitchenware is the one that suits your needs. So, assess your specific cooking requirements to make a choice.
If you need to serve a lot of people at once, know that you will be using stovetops more frequently than ovens, and are willing to pay a slightly higher price, then it is a good idea to go for dutch ovens instead of casserole dishes.
Otherwise, you may want a casserole dish that fits your budget, comes in the standard family size and is not too difficult to clean.
Now that you have gone through this article on casserole dish vs dutch oven, you can make your final call. Which will it be? Let us know in the comments! We look forward to hearing from you soon!