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Casserole dishes are some of the most versatile baking tools you can own, and that's why people consider them to be a basic kitchen staple. Unfortunately, not every kitchen will have a casserole dish available for use. Whether it's due to it being currently used for another dish or someone breaking it, it's good to know what alternatives you can use in a pinch. We've researched casserole dish alternatives so you can select another dish from your own kitchen and keep cooking!
Though casserole dishes are often the best possible tool for the job, you can use other kitchen items if you don't have a dish on hand. The most common options include:
- Cast Iron Skillets
- Baking Pans
- Slow Cookers
- Dutch Ovens
If you have a recipe that calls for a casserole dish, you need to make sure that the substitute you have actually is fit for the job. Otherwise, you may end up with a bad plate of food, or worse. Wondering what you should use and what to avoid? You're not alone, so please keep reading to get all the details on cooking with casserole dish alternatives.
The Best Alternatives For A Casserole Dish
A casserole dish is used as bakeware in high temperatures, so any replacement that you use needs to be able to withstand oven-level temperatures throughout its body. These replacement options below tend to be the best choices.
Cast Iron Skillets
A cast iron skillet might be a high-maintenance type of cookware, but it sure is versatile. Cast iron works with both oven and stovetop use, which means that it tends to work well as a backup choice for almost any type of cooking vessel. As long as you get a skillet that's deep enough and large enough to contain your food, you should be alright.
The only issues that you may have are with cleaning and food sticking to it. Use a seasoned pan to prevent stuck food. Make sure that you properly clean your cast iron skillet after you're done.
Saucepans are a hit or miss when it comes to being a casserole dish alternative. You should never use a saucepan that doesn't have an oven-safe rating as a casserole dish substitute. However, if your saucepan can be placed in an oven safely, it could be a worthwhile substitute. The way to figure out if you can use it as a switch is simple: choose an all-metal saucepan like the one below.
A pot can also work well in this situation since it can go in both the oven and the freezer.
Baking pans are an excellent choice for a casserole dish substitute. In fact, they are actually one of the most popular choices on this list. These pans are made to withstand high oven temperatures and have similar heat conduction to casserole dishes. If you have a baking pan capable of holding your casserole, this is a great pick.
Slow cookers can be a good choice for a casserole dish replacement, but it all depends on your slow cooker's build. If your slow cooker's pot is not removable, it's only good if you can cook the casserole in the slow cooker. You may need to adjust your recipe to get the same result, but it's doable in many cases.
If you have a removable pot as part of the slow cooker, you can use it as a casserole dish. The pots included in slow cookers are remarkably sturdy and work excellently as bakeware.
If you ask most professional chefs, they'll tell you that Dutch ovens are the best substitutes for casserole dishes by far. First off, Dutch ovens are great for use inside ovens. Second, much like casserole dishes, these beautiful enamel dishes heat food evenly, giving you a wonderfully balanced temperature. Third, they're easy to clean.
A Dutch oven might be pricey, but it doubles as a world-class casserole dish in a pinch. Their versatility is one of the many reasons why chefs love them.
Can A Casserole Dish Be Used On The Stovetop?
While some people use casserole dishes on a stovetop, it's not a good idea. Casserole dishes are designed to be bakeware, which means that they are meant to work with slow and relatively low temperatures. The direct exposure to the flame that comes with stovetop cooking can shatter weaker casserole dishes. To prevent injury and destruction of your property, it's best to avoid using casserole dishes on the stovetop.
Can You Wash A Casserole Dish In The Dishwasher?
This all depends on the casserole dish, but there's some good news here. Most of them are dishwasher-safe. However, it would be best if you gave them a good scrubbing with some baking soda paste before you pop them in the washer. This will help prevent you from having food stuck on the dish after it's been in the wash.
How Do You Get Food Not To Stick On A Casserole Dish?
Most people have dealt with a casserole dish that always seemed to have food cling to it, but that doesn't have to be your reality anymore. There are a couple of tricks you can use to reduce stickiness.
If you want to prevent food from sticking to a casserole dish, you will need to create an oily barrier between your dish and the food. Heating your casserole dish and spraying oil on it before using it for cooking can help. If you aren't a fan of oil, you can get similar results from butter and shortening.
If you have tried greasing the dish without good results, there's another option you can use. You can use a casserole dish liner to create a more solid barrier and reduce your cleaning time. If you choose to use a liner, make sure it's oven-save and single-use.
Do Casseroles Cook Faster Covered Or Uncovered?
If you're hoping to cook your casseroles quickly, the best thing you can do for your dinner is to place a lid on it. When your casserole dish is covered, heat gets trapped inside the vessel rather than letting the heat eke out from the food.
Along with having the perk of a faster-cooked meal, covering your casserole also can help lock in moisture. The end result is a juicier dinner that also happens to be done in a flash.
Should I Cover My Casserole With Foil?
Ideally, you will have a casserole dish that comes with a cover, but there's no need to panic if you don't. Most casseroles can cook perfectly well with a thin sheet of aluminum foil tightly wrapped over the top of the dish. Of course, if you want to get better results, it may be better to invest in a casserole dish equipped with a lid.
Having a casserole dish is a must if you are an avid chef, but that doesn't mean you need to panic if you don't have one on hand. If you're working with a recipe that calls for a casserole dish, it's easy enough to find a substitute. With a little common sense and resourcefulness, you will be able to enjoy that recipe in no time.