Find a cast-iron casserole dish to suit your needs with our buying guide and test results.
A good-quality casserole dish can replace your large pots, slow cooker, fryer and baking tins.
Some casserole dishes (also known as Dutch ovens) are so attractive you won’t mind taking them straight from the oven to a pot stand or trivet on the table. However, you don’t need to spend big to get a good all-rounder that performs well.
If you can’t decide on shape or size, buy a round, mid-size dish (about 5 or 6L).
Also, check that the side and lid handles are comfortable and easy to grab with oven mitts.
Will you be able to lift the dish safely once you’ve added food and a lid? If you choose a lighter dish, make sure the base isn’t too thin as the risk of burning food is greater.
Deep and/or oval dishes are best for cuts of meat. Oval dishes are also easier to store.
Round dishes make it easier to stir soups and stews and they fit better on stove burners, making for more even heating.
Rectangular and square dishes are good for vegetables and baking.
As a rough guide, you’ll need a litre or two “for the pot”, plus one litre per person.
If you’re not sure a dish will be big enough, err on the side of caution and go one size up.
Some lids can be used as a skillet. Others have grooves on the underside that help with basting.
It’s never a case of “too many cooks spoil the broth” in our test kitchen, where we boil, bake and fry to see which dishes go the distance.