A baking dish, also called a casserole dish, is at the center of every meal. Most commonly in either a rectangular, square, or oval shape, they are pieces of bakeware that can be used in the oven. These pieces are perfect for both sweet and savory dishes and look beautiful when you bring them to the table and serve out of them. Most baking dishes are dishwasher safe, microwave safe, and oven safe up to 650F. These attributes are a sign of baking dishes that will perform exceptionally well and last forever. There are many different materials for baking dishes, as well. The three most common ones are glass, porcelain, and ceramic baking dishes, while aluminum baking pans are also common but aren’t as strong or valuable since you have to throw them out after one use.
Baking dishes and bakeware sets are such a valuable and necessary component in any kitchen. In this blog post, we’re going to take a look at what makes a baking dish unique, the best bakeware material, and some fantastic recipes you can make with them.
What is considered a baking dish?
A baking dish is an oven safe pan that is most commonly used to bake savory or sweet dishes. They are around 2 inches in depth, with common dimensions being a 9x13 rectangular baking dish, an 8x8 square baking dish, and an oval baking dish around 10 inches long and 6 inches wide, which can hold about 2.5 qts.
These three sizes cover everything that one would need from a baking dish. The rectangular and square baking dishes perform the same tasks, the only noticeable difference being the pan size. The oval baking dish differs as there are no corners, making it perfect for custards, potato gratins, and roasts. These sizes are the most common, but you may see some specialty sizes, such as small baking dishes for individual servings.
Baking dishes must conduct heat gently and evenly, and some materials do this better than others. The best material for bakeware is porcelain, even though many compare the differences between stoneware vs porcelain. A porcelain dish conducts heat exceptionally well, is oven safe up to 650F, and is dishwasher and microwave safe, while also extremely resistant to thermal shock.
What can I use instead of a baking dish?
There is not much that can replace a baking dish, so we think it is one of the most valuable tools in the kitchen. Its unique ability to heat evenly and gently is what makes it so special. A saute pan or frying pan could work if needed, but it would not deliver the same results.
Baking dishes are a timeless piece of bakeware that will last for generations as long as you take proper care of them. At Made In, we believe that each piece of kitchenware has a specific purpose and don’t believe in tools that can double as another, especially if it delivers lower-end results. By choosing and purchasing the right piece of bakeware early-on, you will have a beautiful piece that will last and provide endless amazing meals and memories for as long as you can remember.
Can I use a baking pan instead of a baking dish?
Baking pans or sheet pans serve a similar purpose to baking dishes, but in the end, they should not be used as substitutes for one another.
Both are only meant to be used in ovens, but the fundamental difference is the walls. A baking pan has a rim, but no walls, making cooking roasts and proteins more difficult as the lack of walls prohibit a proper sauce from forming. The walls also transmit heat exceptionally well, so if you’re looking to roast meats such as a standing rib roast or a whole chicken, your protein will cook more evenly than if you’re using a baking pan.
The added height of a baking dish, similar to a roasting pan, allows you to build layers, whether that’s a potato gratin or ratatouille. And most baking sheet pans are only oven safe up to 450 or 500 degrees, while a porcelain dish can handle heat up to 650 degrees.
Sheet pans obviously have a place in a kitchen. Whether you’re roasting vegetables or baking cookies, there is not a pan that can replace it. That’s why we think a sheet pan that is made from professional-grade aluminum and baking dishes made from the best raw materials are two necessities to have in your kitchen.
What is the best baking dish?
The most reliable baking dishes are made from the best raw materials and made from generations upon generations of expertise.
Our French Porcelain Baking Dishes are crafted in Mehun-Sur-Yèvre, a town in the middle of France known for producing baking porcelain. Our manufacturers have been producing bakeware from the same 202-year-old recipe, unchanged. Due to an abundance of resources within close proximity to Mehun-Sur-Yèvre, specifically kaolinite, our bakeware is as strong and durable as it is beautiful.
Made In’s Porcelain Bakeware can handle heat up to 650F, is safe to use in the dishwasher and microwave, and is also thermal shock resistant, meaning you can take it straight from the fridge or freezer into the oven. These attributes are highly important when it comes to baking and can only be achieved with true porcelain bakeware.
The final piece that distinguishes our bakeware from others is its sheer beauty. Our bakeware comes in a pure white that can only be achieved with genuine porcelain. Each of our rims is hand-painted by artists so that when you bring your baking dish to the table to serve out of, you’ll fully grasp the gorgeousness of our baking dishes.
Our bakeware comes in three different sizes, so whether you cook for yourself or a large family, we have any size you need. Our rectangular baking dish is perfect for lasagna, cake, and roasting a chicken or a whole head of cauliflower. Our square baking dish serves the same purpose, just for smaller meals. The oval baking dish is perfect for gratins, clafoutis, crème brûlée, and other desserts that won’t necessarily benefit from having corners. All three of these pieces have unique uses and are essential when adding or starting your bakeware collection.
The bottom line
Ultimately, baking dishes will transform how you bake as they heat evenly and gently, are microwave and dishwasher safe, thermal shock resistant, and are beautiful, all essential attributes. If you’re in the market for bakeware, make sure to buy French porcelain bakeware, as it is unmatched.