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TOP 5 BEST AU GRATIN PANS
Potatoes au gratin is a dish that transcends typical home cooking. With its creamy cheese sauce and brown, crispy breadcrumbs, this dish is both tasty and, let’s face it, pretty impressive when it’s hot. Furthermore, if you have the right equipment, it is easy to put together. You will need an au gratin pan in order to create this classic French dish.
HIC Harold Import Co. Fine White Porcelain Dishes
Le Creuset-Heritage Stoneware Dish
Update International-Stainless Steel Serving Dish Pan
Heats up favorites quickly and evely. 3-quart capacity. Features stylish handles and tapered walls. Microwave, freezer, and dishwasher safe.
Set of two pans. Made from stainless steel. Great for all food from cooked fish to small appetizers. Easy to stack, serve, wash, and repeat. Oven and dishwasher safe.
Can be easy chip
Food sticks to the bottom.
Great for basic dishes, but not ideal for time-consuming ones.
A bit to small
With these shallow oval pans, you can make any au gratin dish to perfection. The dishes can also be used for casseroles, cobblers, roast meats, and as elegant serving dishes.
Even though au gratin pans don’t have a lot of features, when choosing one there are still a number of things to consider. In this buying guide, we examine everything from pan size and temperature tolerance to price and materials. As well as our own top picks, we provide you with a selection of au gratin pans we consider to be among the best bargains or of the highest quality currently available.
WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER IT
There are various sizes of au gratin pans. You should know which size you need before buying one. How many people will you be cooking for? Is the pan going to be used often for large gatherings?
You can find pans labeled in ounces, but au gratin pans are usually labeled in quarts (a quart equals 32 ounces). Ausgratin pans range in size from one quart to three quarts and beyond.
There aren’t many choices in terms of depth, however. Typically, these pans are only 1.5 to 2 inches deep. Shallow pans make crusts crispier.
The temperature range
No matter what type of au gratin pan you purchase, it should be able to handle high temperatures. They are usually rated for temperatures up to 500°F or even 600°F, depending on the pan. Make sure your pan can handle 600°F if you need to cook something.
There’s no doubt that au gratin pans can be used in the oven, but you can also use some of them in other ways. Au gratin is cooked under a broiler since that’s an integral part of the cooking process. You can also use some of them in the microwave, on the stovetop, or even in the freezer. Your au gratin pan will have more uses in your kitchen the more ways you use it. Make sure you check the manufacturer’s recommendations before using your au gratin pan somewhere other than an oven.
The majority of au gratin pans are sold individually, but some come in sets of two, four, or even more. Although sets of au gratin pans are more expensive, they give you more options when it comes to cooking more dishes at once as well as choosing the right size pan for the number of guests you’re serving.
All au gratin pans are meant to go from oven to table, but some are more elegant than others, making them great serving dishes when entertaining. It is usually the material of an au gratin pan that determines how it will look on your dining room table. Steel is available in a silvery finish as well as earthier stoneware. There are glazed ceramic au gratin pans available in a variety of colors so that you can match it to the color or pattern of your dining room or other serving pieces.
In general, au gratin pans are made of a variety of materials, but stainless steel, ceramic, and cast iron are the most common.
Stainless steel: As mentioned above, stainless steel’s shine is attractive in a formal setting. It is also durable and long-lasting. If you choose a stainless steel au gratin pan, make sure it has a three-ply construction. A layer of another metal, such as aluminum, is sandwiched between layers of stainless steel, improving heat conduction and promoting even cooking.
Ceramics: Kiln-fired clay is used to create ceramic pans, such as stoneware and porcelain. Although these are a more traditional choice for au gratin pans, they are also less durable than stainless steel and can chip or break.
A cast-iron au gratin pan is nearly indestructible and nearly indestructible. Even though cast-iron pans conduct and retain heat efficiently, they are much heavier than stainless steel or ceramic pans and can rust if not maintained properly.
The handles on au gratin pans are usually located on each end so you can easily carry them from the kitchen to the table. Those made of ceramic are integral to the pan, while those made of stainless steel are riveted to it. There are loops and scalloped tabs with a grippy texture. A few au gratin pans have no handles at all. Any handle should be large enough to comfortably hold and durable enough to withstand frequent use no matter what shape it takes.
AU GRATIN PAN PRICES
Au gratin pans cost between $10 and $20. Smaller pans, usually a quart or less, are available in this price range. These are mostly ceramic pans, but there are also some less durable stainless steel pans. It is more common for these au gratin pans to be utilitarian than elegant.
The mid-range au gratin pans, with capacities up to 2 quarts, are between $20 and $30. They come in ceramic or stainless steel. Several au gratin pans in this range come in sets of two or three pans, which can be used to cook several different dishes or as a collection of matching serving dishes.
If you’re cooking for a crowd or looking for an elegant au gratin pan, you’ll spend $30 to $50 or more. These pans typically have a capacity of 3 quarts or more. In this price range, cast iron au gratin pans are more stylish and durable. You can also find sets of four or more pans here.
- Copper pans are ideal. Some stainless steel au gratin pans have a copper layer on the bottom. In addition to adding to the look of the pan, this also helps conduct heat more efficiently, allowing you to cook food more consistently in less time.
- Coordinate your pan with other cookware. To coordinate your cookware, look for an au gratin pan made by a company that makes a variety of products with similar designs.
- Check the pan’s temperature tolerance. The traditional way to cook potatoes au gratin is to bake them in the oven and finish them under the broiler for a crisp, brown crust. If you want to make the traditional recipe, pick up an au gratin pan that can be used under the broiler.
- Look for a warranty. An au gratin pan with a lifetime warranty is a sign of quality. This will protect your investment for years to come.
- Be sure to use oven mitts. Au gratin panhandles are convenient for moving the pan from broiler to table, but they are also hot. When moving your hot au gratin pan, always wear oven mitts or gloves.
Does food stick to these pans? A. The pan will determine whether food sticks. Some ceramic pans have a glaze, which makes them less likely to stick. It is also possible to find stainless steel pans with a stick-resistant surface. Even though it is uncommon, some au gratin pans have a nonstick interior, similar to that found in other types of nonstick cookware. If you want to reduce sticking on any surface, you should grease the interior of the pan with butter or oil.
- Are au gratin pans dishwasher safe?
Most of these pans can be safely cleaned in the dishwasher, but check the manufacturer’s care instructions before cleaning them for the first time. It will be much easier to clean the pan by hand if you first soak it in warm water to loosen any food that has stuck to it.
- A gratin pan comes with a lid, doesn’t it?
A. Traditionally, au gratin pans don’t have lids, but you may be able to find one that does. When cooking au gratin-style foods, you want the liquids to evaporate, which results in a crust that distinguishes these foods. Covering the pan would prevent the liquid from cooking off.