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2.5 vs 3.5 vs 4 quart braiser

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Hi all, I can't seem to get the answer I'm looking for in the existing threads. I'm trying to decide on the size of a braiser to buy for purposes of cooking things like meat-stuffed zucchini and other veggies that cook much better in a single layer. I already have several LC and Lodge dutch ovens, which are great for most things but not wide enough in this case. It's very hard to tell what size would be most useful. Thoughts?

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  1. I have the Staub 2.5 qt. braiser, it's not large enough for more than 2 to 3 servings, naturally, depending on what's for dinner. I often wish I had the larger one. The only time I've wished for a smaller version of a pot or pan was with the 6 qt. sauté, the 3 qt is more practical, so now I have both. I would go for the 3.5 or 4 qt. given a fresh start.

    1. Are you looking for something with a fitted lid, or would a baking dish do?

      When I'm doing vegetable casseroles I often use an enameled cast iron gratin pan.

      If you do want a lidded braiser, and mostly for veg, then I'd agree that a 3.5 or 4 qt would be the most useful. The things that call for a wider 5 or 6 quart pan like short ribs can mostly be done in one of your Dutch ovens; large quantities of stuffed-zucchini-esque foods (for freezing or entertaining) can be done in your lasagna pan.

      1. Many pans sold as braisers have rounded bottoms, which limits the"floor space." Why not go for a rondeau, which has a flat bottom?

        1. thanks, all--much appreciated!

          1. Absolutely go with the larger braiser...more functional and can do meats and rice dishes. ...paellas, risotto etc.

            1. I really like the Le Creuset 3.5qt braiser. I thought I wanted the 5 qt but honestly, when i compared them, the 5 qt was simply too big for my burner. I use the 3.5 qt several times a week. It's bigger than I expected and the bottom is large and flat.