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These wide, heavy pans, which are like a cross between a Dutch oven and a skillet, can be used for searing, simmering, roasting, and, yes, braising. Does one deserve a place in your kitchen?

What We Learned

At a recent tastings and testings team meeting, we played a fun game: Each of us named our top five must-have pieces of cookware. My number one pick was a braiser. My enameled cast-iron braiser pretty much lives on my kitchen stove, ready to tackle anything from chili to sautéed greens to shakshuka to roast chicken. 

Traditionally defined, braising is a wet-heat cooking method t...

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