It’s easy to fall for the charms of a delicious gratin, especially if you’re a fan of potato-based dishes. But one of the best things about this dish is how easy it can be to make—assuming you have an au gratin pan, of course.
What sets gratin apart from other casserole dishes is the crispy crust that tops it. The best way to ensure you get that perfect top layer of bread crumbs or cheese is with an au gratin pan. Made of materials like stainless steel, enameled cast iron and stoneware, this oval-shaped piece of cookware is typically no more than 1.5 inches thick, and has handles on either side so that it can easily maneuvered. That’s important, since you’ll be placing it under a hot broiler for the final part of the cooking process. Of course, you’ll also want a pan that looks nice, since you’re most likely going to be placing it directly on your dinner table.
So, if you’re ready to start preparing gratins on a regular basis, then the time is right to invest in a dedicated pan. Here are four of the very best on Amazon.
1. Le Creuset Heritage Stoneware Au Gratin Dish
Le Creuset’s stoneware has developed a strong reputation for two simple reasons: It looks and works great. And its au gratin pan is no different. The dish features a traditional look that’s been given a slightly modern makeover thanks to a two-tone color scheme and scalloped handles that are easy to grip. It’s also an ultra-durable pan that can withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit while still evenly distributing heat. Plus, it’s dishwasher-safe, which makes for easy cleaning.
2. All-Clad Stainless-Steel Gratins
When you think of an au gratin pan, chances are you think of one made of enameled cast iron or glass. But, as All-Clad’s offering proves, stainless steel works just as well. The company’s pan isn’t the biggest, but it makes up for that by coming in a set of two. Made of heavy-gauge, polished stainless steel, it evenly spreads heat and can withstand temperatures up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit. Plus, its large handles make it easy to move around.
3. Anolon Vesta Ceramics Au Gratin Pan
Sometimes it doesn’t matter what a piece of cookware looks like, as long as it works. That’s not really the case with Anolon’s au gratin pan, though, because you’ll frequently put it on your dinner table so that guests can serve themselves. That’s why the ceramic 3-quart pan really stands out. Solid and durable, it’s also one of the better looking on the market. And if blue isn’t the color for you, no worries—it’s also available in red and orange.
4. BIA Cordon Bleu Oval Au Gratin Baker
There’s nothing fancy about BIA Cordon Bleu’s oval-shaped au gratin pan, but that’s part of its charm. Instead, its value lies in its craftsmanship—because after 60 years of making excellent cookware, the brand knows exactly what it’s doing. The simple, classic look and porcelain color scheme won’t turn heads, but it will cook a mean gratin thanks to a wide design that helps ensure an even dispersal of heat. It’s also easy to clean and more than durable enough to withstand a go or two through the dishwasher.