A braiser is like a cross between a Dutch oven and a skillet. Like its name suggests, it can indeed be used for braising, but if a braiser could only braise, I never would’ve bought one (hey, it’s on the pricier side!)—and it certainly wouldn’t be one of the most-used pans in my kitchen.
Braisers are great for searing, simmering, roasting, and, of course, braising. They’re fun to use and cook in. Our favorite braiser, the Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 3.5-Quart Round Braiser (which costs about $300), comes with a lid and has large, comfortable looped handles that make it easy to pick up and transfer into and out of the oven, and are especially helpful when the pan’s full. We also like the Tramontina Enameled Cast Iron Covered Braiser (about $62), which is a lot less expensive but has handles that are smaller and harder to grip. Like our recommended Dutch oven picks, both the Le Creuset and Tramontina braisers are made from enameled cast iron, which has excellent heat retention and will brown everything from meatballs to chicken thighs to sandwiches evenly and thoroughly.