The best casserole bakeware set
Nothing quite compares to pulling dishes of lovingly made food out of the oven to enjoy with family or friends. But to make all your casserole dreams come true, you'll need the right casserole bakeware set.
If you need to learn more about casserole bakeware before you make your purchase, this guide will help you out. Our top choice is Libbey Baker's Basics Glass Casserole Baking Dish Set, a comprehensive set that features three casserole dishes of varying sizes plus lids.
Considerations when choosing casserole bakeware sets
First, consider the size of any casserole set you're considering and what you'll receive. The majority of casserole bakeware sets contain between two and four dishes, but you can find larger options, too. If the set lists the number of pieces, always check whether this tally includes lids. For example, a four-piece casserole set may contain four casserole dishes or it could contain two casserole dishes and two lids. You don't want to be disappointed by receiving a smaller set than you were expecting.
Casserole bakeware sets almost exclusively feature casserole dishes in a range of sizes rather than two or more dishes of the same size. It's nice to have a variety of dish sizes so you have some suited to cooking for a crowd and others that are perfect for solo dinners or small side dishes. Of course, how many people you can serve from a single casserole dish will depend on what you're making, but a 2- to 3-quart dish should make plenty for an average family.
The most common materials for casserole dishes are glass and ceramic, though you can also find some metal casserole dishes and ceramic-coated cast iron (such as Le Creuset and its many imitators).
Glass casserole dishes are great conductors of heat, so food cooks quickly and evenly. It's more prone to browning quickly, but since it's transparent, you can keep a close eye on your food's progress.
Ceramic casserole dishes are durable overall but can chip or crack if dropped. They tend to be the most decorative of all casserole dishes and are available in many colors and patterns.
Metal casserole dishes (including ceramic-coated cast iron) are unique in that they can go from cooktop to oven. Plenty of casseroles require some cooking on the top before putting in the oven, so with a metal casserole dish you can do everything in the same pan.
Square or rectangular casserole dishes have larger capacities than round or oval dishes of the same length and width. This aside, performance is almost identical, so go with your preference.
Some recipes specifically call for a lidded casserole dish, so it's ideal if your casserole bakeware set includes lids. However, you can make do by covering an unlidded casserole dish with foil.
You can find some small sets with two or three dishes from $20 to $40, whereas the largest and most elaborate casserole bakeware sets can cost up to $250.
Q. What does it mean to serve food family-style?
A. Food served "family style" is placed on the table in a large dish so that everyone can help themselves. This is the perfect way to serve casseroles, since you can transfer your casserole bakeware straight from oven to table (though be sure to warn your family or guests that it's hot).
Q. What can I make in a casserole dish?
A. The term casserole can refer to any food baked in a casserole dish. When you hear the term "casserole," you might think of green bean casserole or hash brown casserole, but actually you can bake anything from lasagna to biryani to cassoulet in a casserole dish.
Casserole bakeware sets we recommend
Best of the best: Libbey Baker's Basics Glass Casserole Baking Dish Set
Our take: With three casserole dishes varying in size from 1 to 3.2 quarts, this is a versatile set that should meet all your casserole needs.
What we like: Dishes stack together for storage. Lids help keep food moist while cooking. Dishwasher safe.
What we dislike: Lids don't give an extremely tight fit.
Best bang for your buck: CorningWare's French White Round and Oval Ceramic Bakeware
Our take: This relatively large yet affordable set is a great place to start if you don't have much bakeware.
What we like: Set features 1.5- and 2.5-quart casserole dishes with lids, smaller 16- and 24-ounce dishes, plus 4-ounce ramekins. Also includes plastic lids for storage of leftovers.
What we dislike: Some buyers report receiving chipped or broken items.
Choice 3: Copper Chef's Deep Dish Pan Set
Our take: Since they can go straight from the cooktop to the oven, these dishes are great for recipes that combine stove and oven cooking.
What we like: Heavy-duty construction. Won't chip or break. Square design fits more food than round or oval dishes of a similar size.
What we dislike: Finish can scratch.
Lauren Corona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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