There are some pots and pans that you stack in your cupboards and hope they don’t all fall out when you open them, and there are some you display on the stovetop. A braiser is the latter: stunning to look at and deserving of taking up permanent residence for everyday cooking. If you haven’t used a braiser before, it probably looks similar to a Dutch oven at first glance. It works very similarly: It is designed to slow-cook food by retaining heat and circulating moisture, but it also has a wider, flatter surface—like a skillet—for searing meats to lock in flavor before letting them simmer away and tenderize.
Braising is far from the only thing you can do in a braiser, though! It should be your go-to for one-pot meals, whether that’s a simple soup, hearty stew or chili, big pot of pasta, tender pulled pork, or a whole roast chicken. (Try our Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner Spice Kit for that!)
Here are some reasons we love the Braise-the-Roof 5QT Enamel Braiser—available in slate grey and a moody deep red called black cherry—and the best recipes to get cooking in it.
1. Slooow cooking wonder
You don’t need to own a slow cooker or another appliance for the most tender pulled pork, fall-apart short ribs, or succulent stews. The braiser can slow-cook food on the stovetop or in the oven, and the inner lid is textured to catch water, stock, or other liquid and redistribute it into the meat. It does the work for you!
2. Searing sensation
Because it has a large cooking surface at the bottom (like a skillet!), the braiser is perfect for searing meat or vegetables until golden brown. That way you can lock in the flavor and get nice caramelization before braising, slow-cooking, roasting, stewing, or baking. You can use a braiser in most recipes that call for a Dutch oven, unless there is a LOT of liquid.
This pot is ready to handle big batches of anything! You can turn any pasta into a one-pot meal if you cook your pasta in the braiser, drain it, and then make your sauce in the same pot. Since it’s made of cast iron, it heats evenly and retains heat well, but it has a nonstick surface to prevent sticking and a gorgeous enamel coating that washes easily, won’t rust, and protects the cast iron inside. Fun fact: You shouldn’t cook with acidic food, such as tomatoes, in a cast iron pan for long periods of time because it can make your food taste metallic. But with our enamel-coated braiser (and matching skillet), you can freely cook anything acidic because it will not react in the same way!
4. It’s a beautiful centerpiece
You can transport a braiser from the stovetop to the oven to the table as your new favorite centerpiece. As we get back to hosting dinner parties and holidays, use it to cook and display a big batch of soup or stew, buttery mashed potatoes, or your favorite roasted meats.