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how often do you use your gratin dish?

i am contemplating getting a gratin dish but i don't know if it's for utility or as a fetish object. how often do you use yours and for what recipes? i generally cook for only 2 people if that makes a difference in terms if easily substitutable vessels.

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  1. Hi,
    I use a cast iron gratin for fish, calzones, pot pies, & baked pasta in addition to vegetable/potato dishes. They're also good for reheating food in the oven-leftovers taste much better that way. An 8" skillet or 1 qt baking dish could serve the same purpose, but the gratin seems to fill a niche & is versatile & looks good on the table. The 1 qt oval is a good size for 1 or 2 people.

    1 Reply
    1. Mine gets a lot of airplay in the summer for ratatouille, in fact my wife got it for me as a gift specifically because she thought it would be perfect for it (and it is).

      That said, my ratatouille always turned out just fine in a ceramic baker. Other than looking prettier, the gratin doesn't bring any additional benefit and I could do just fine without it.

      1. Hi, jhonni:

        I use my gratins a lot, maybe 4 times a week. In addition to the named use, the "gratin" shape works really well for roasting meats and vegetables. I have one large and tall enough for a turkey, and a set of 5-inchers for individual gratins. My favorite use these days is for blackberry crumbles.

        Depending on the handle arrangement, metal and construction, you can also saute and fry in them, and the common oval shape is a great substitute for a dedicated fish skillet.

        They present well at the table, and usually transport well to functions, and several can fit in the oven at the same time. Different sizes usually nest, and therefore store, nicely.

        Very versatile with just a bit of imagination. Not really a fetish item.

        Aloha,

        Kaleo

        4 Replies
        1. re: kaleokahu

          Your turkey one is made of what material? And can you put it on the stovetop to make gravy?

          1. re: E_M

            Hi, E_M:

            You know better than to ask *me* the material--it's tinned copper. Deglazes beautifully for gravy.

            Aloha,
            Kaleo.

            1. re: kaleokahu

              Yeah, yeah, I knew that.

              It's just when I hear the word "gratin dish" I think porcelain or stoneware and creme brueles. I forget that they are made of other materials. I was thinking of buying some myself, and trying to determine the most useful material. This thread has been helpful.

              1. re: E_M

                Hi, E_M:

                That's good news. FYI and IMHO, copper "gratin" pans are about the best deals going for copper on eBay, and neglected because of the misguided idea that gratins are all they're useful for.

                You just need to be careful that your guests don't dig in with steel knives and forks.

                Aloha,
                Kaleo

        2. I'm another of the "I use it for everything" category -- in fact, gratins are probably the most infrequent use!

          1. I love 3 qt Le Creuset one and use it pretty often for everything from cobblers to baked fish to mac and cheese to traditional gratins. Oh and Ina Gartens brownie pudding is cooked in one too. I also have the smaller 1 quart that I use for smaller portions and for browning the topping on baked ravioli.

            1 Reply
            1. re: rasputina

              Hmm... I think 3 qt would be good for my family of 5, but twist my arm for a 1 qt - brownies, huh? Yum.