Sunday dinner: save time with my favorite oven to table cookware

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Danny and I inherited an old lidded bean pot from his mother, the likes of which can be found in most any antique shop across Quebec. No doubt this brown stoneware pot has slow-cooked countless batches of baked beans, and delivered them to the table to be served up in rustic style. It is this oven to table method for feeding the family that I embrace wholeheartedly.

Since Sunday dinner is truly more about bringing family and friends together over a meal instead of trying to impress, there’s no need to dirty your fancy serving dishes for the occasion, should you have any (I don’t!).  I am willing to guess you’d rather go for an afternoon walk in the snow or take a snooze with the cat instead of washing extra dishes.

Oven to table cookware is one practical solution to help save time and effort spent on Sunday dinners. Whether your style is stoneware, enamelware, or vintage Pyrex, there is sure to be a collection of cook- and bake-ware that is pretty enough for the dinner table. Now, you’ll still need a salad bowl and a bread basket, but there’s no reason why the main and side dishes can’t be served up straight from the oven.

Over the years, I’ve put together a respectable collection of oven to table cook- and bake-ware that serves our family well. It’s somewhat of a motley collection, but the pans are very functional, and I can recommend any one them for your kitchen collection.

Oven to Table 101

Eight reliable options for oven to table cookware

Here are eight oven to table cookware options that I frequently use that I have found to be versatile and reliable, and fit in well to my rustic table-set style. They very in price from about $10 – $400.

1. Enamelware Roasting Pan from Crow Canyon

I call this my Jamie O pan, as he’s always cooking up something quick, family-style, in a pan like this. This pan is great for outdoor entertaining and has a summery feel to it.

  • Pros: Shatterproof, vintage style, naturally nonstick, lightweight, dishwasher safe
  • Cons: no complaints
  • My uses: Baked Lasagna Casserole, roasted vegetables, baked French toast, and much more.
  • Available from: Amazon, West Elm Market.
  • Price range: $15-30

2. Le Creuset French Oven

I’ve sung my praises of the Le Creuset French Oven many times before, and it’s oven to table appeal is just yet another reason to love it. I have two, a wedding present, the Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 5-1/2-Quart French Oven for smaller dishes, and the Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 9-1/2-Quart Oval French Oven in beautiful Fennel color for big batch cooking.

  • Pros: Versatile, durable, doesn’t hold flavors, acts as a slow-cooker, pasta boiler and much more.
  • Cons: no complaints
  • My uses: Baked Brown Rice Pilaf, Apple Cider Braised Brisket, almost everything else.
  • Available from: Amazon, specialty kitchen stores, major department stores
  • Price range: $225 – $350

3. Le Creuset Stoneware Casserole Dishes

These shallow baking dishes from Le Creuset come in an array of pretty colors and are as sturdy as they are lovely. I received two as wedding presents over 10 years ago: the 9-Inch Oval Baking Dish, and the 12-1/2-by-9-1/2-Inch Rectangular Baking Dish, and they still look as good as when I unwrapped them as a young bride.

4. Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron Oval Au Gratin

Formidable, dependable, and yet still elegant. Further appeal of the enameled cast-iron casserole dishes is their stove-top to oven to table abilities. For making gravy, there’s nothing better: while the roast rests, the pan can go over the flame to loosen all the tasty caramelized bits stuck to the pan.

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5. Pyrex

There is probably a piece or two of this classic glass bake-ware in every kitchen around North America, and has been for a few generations. Now the antique casseroles with soft colors and pretty patterns are fetching high prices on Ebay by vintage lovers.

I haven’t started my vintage Pyrex collection yet (although I’m partial to the Turquoise Snowflake set) but I do own one piece of glass Pyrex that takes on all sorts of duties in the kitchen. For a perfectly browned-bottomed pie crust, there’s nothing better than a Pyrex Pie Plate.

6. Anolon Nouvelle Copper Covered Skillet

I use this little covered pan frequently, as food can be started on the stove top, transferred to the oven, and then brought straight to the table. Over the holidays I must have made Deb’s garlic butter roast mushrooms with parsley and capers four times, serving them alongside Boeuf Bourgignon, piling them on top of crusty baguettes for a hot lunch, and pairing the mushrooms with my Christmas salad and tourtiere. This Anolon Nouvelle Copper Covered Skillet was perfect for the job.

  • Pros: copper-core base, stainless, affordable, excellent heat distribution
  • Cons: too small for most mains
  • My uses: most side dishes, sausages, crisps & cobblers, and much more.
  • Available from: Amazon, (I couldn’t find this pan on the Anolon website, but here is more info on Nouvelle Copper)
  • Price: $70

7. Cast-Iron Skillet

It’s the old-fashioned back-to-basic staple of the kitchen. Not everyone would consider the cast-iron skillet to be worthy of the oven-to-table label, but thanks to a renewed trend of modern bistro cooking, you can serve up your cornbread, crab cakes or peach cobbler at dinner straight from the skillet.

8. Le Creuset Round Braiser

Only on my wishlist, but the Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron Round Braiser is recommended by Simple Bites contributor, Katie, and pretty much every food blogger I know who has one. I love that it is more shallow than a French Oven and would make a nicer table presentation.

There are a lot of other options out there such as CorningWare or Pampered Chef, but they are not my style and I can’t dish advice on how well they stand up to use. Then there are options that I can only dream about, like the stunning Falk Culinair line from Belgium, gleaming Mauviel Cookware: M’Heritage 150B Copper-Stainless Oval Pan. Oh my word.

Please share your favorite oven to table cookware, if you have any, and what you like to cook in the dish.

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites.

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Comments

  1. I love the Staub gratin pans for gratin dishes, especially a zucchini dish I make. I love the Emile Henri braiser for making a fabulous baked spinach side. I also love the Mario Batali and Sur la Table Dutch ovens for braises and “low and slow” dishes. Oh, and the Mario Batali lasagne dish is absolutely beautiful and keeps the dish piping hot when serving.

  2. For those unable/unwilling to spend money on the big names in enameled cast iron, Kohl’s carries the Food Network brand that are very comparable in my opinion (I was a professional catering chef before I became a stay at home mom). I bought one to test out when they were on black friday special and have been very impressed. They have a 5 1/2 and a 7 qt version. If you search for online promo codes combined with a sale you can get them very inexpensively. http://www.kohls.com/product/prd-761699/food-network-5-12-qt-enamel-cast-iron-dutch-oven.jsp

    • This is a great tip, Kimberly, thank you! We don’t have Kohl’s up here, but this is a great resource for US readers. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I have a cast iron pan that fits the bill perfectly!

  4. I love my Polish pottery and it can go in the oven no problem, but I noticed that it takes way longer than I anticipate to cook a dish in Polish pottery vs any other vessel. So I rarely use it unless I have thought through the need for extra time and planned accordingly. I have Pampered Chef stoneware and some colorful pans from the grocery store (no idea what brand and no desire to climb up to see!) that work well for oven-to-table, as well as the Le Creuset, cast iron, and Pyrex you’ve mentioned.
    Thanks!
    kirsten@FarmFreshFeasts’s last post: Chocolate Cherry Cider Muffins (Monday Muffins)

  5. What a great list. I use my le crueset and other brands of oven to table baking dishes all the time- they make everything easier!
    Heather Christo’s last post: Pomegranate Lacquered Roast Chicken

  6. I have several LC pieces, and each of them is handy in its own way. I have a small oval French oven for when we’re just having a small roast chicken or similar, and a large “risotto” pan that I’ve never actually cooked risotto in – but it’s great for casseroles, stir fry, and frying chicken. But the one that gets the most work around here is our 5 1/2 qt round French oven. It lives on the stove, not in a cupboard. And nearly every dinner begins and ends with that pan. From cooking pasta to soup, beans to your 40 Cloves of Garlic Chicken, that’s our workhorse. I can’t recommend them enough.
    Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies’s last post: Homemade Refried Beans

  7. I am simply IN LOVE with oven to table cookware. I really do love my LC dutch oven for that reason. It just makes everything so simple and not to mention, easy clean-up. You have me clicking on all these links now and my wallet might not be so happy soon cause I keep thinking, “oh! how perfect would that be to add to my collection!” haha ;)
    Julie @ Table for Two’s last post: Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies

  8. What a valuable post, Aimee! I’ll be sharing this with my students as well. Thanks!
    Marian (Sweetopia)’s last post: Illustrated Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

  9. What a informative piece, I don’t have any LC pieces (yet) but after hearing how much you love them, they’re on a wish list. The colour is just so cheery. =)
    Breanne’s last post: To Make and Create: A Princesss Party

  10. Such helpful suggestions! Looks like I need to go shopping :)
    marla’s last post: Roasted Banana Chai Baked Oatmeal

  11. Always you provide unique ideas and unique posts, thank you …
    International Decor’s last post: Stylish floral wall covering designs, colors 2013

  12. Great advice. I love all my oven to table pieces. I’m a huge fan of Staub and Lodge, in addition to the ones you mentioned.
    naom’s last post: Peanut Butter & Marshmallow Sandwich Cookies

  13. Oven to table cookware can be very convenient ! You just need to be very very very careful not to touch it while it is hot! Thanks for the tips and comparison!
    Kevin @ Closet Cooking’s last post: 25 Decadent Game Day Party Recipes

  14. We pretty much never go oven to table top. I think Thanksgiving might the only exception this year. We just serve everything in the cooking pots off the stove and counter. I guess a big part is my aversion to dirtying (and cleaning) another dish. HOWEVER, I’ve been really thinking about trying to get my boys more involved with selecting their own portions, so perhaps at least moving those pots to the table would help!

    P.S. I love the tip about boiling pasta in the Le Cruset – I’ve never thought to do that!
    Alissa’s last post: Where the time went

    • suzanne McLeod says:

      I’m an art teacher in Texas and one of my students sent me a photo that they took of their grandmother’s canning cupboard. I put it though tin eye.com and it hit on your site. Just trying to figure it out. It’s not exactly the same, but pretty close. Slightly different angle.

      Thoughts?

  15. Lynnette Dodge says:

    I use the Costco brand roasting pan. It is heavy and that’s the only drawback, but it is just as wonderful as LC.

  16. Thanks for sharing your favorites!
    Maria’s last post: Slow Cooker Chicken Chile Verde

  17. I adore oven to table pieces! They’re my favourite for feeding a crowd, and I’m pretty certain we must have very similar looking kitchens for I have nearly everything on your list (exact pieces! Oh, and I LOVE the Crow Canyon pan – mine was a birthday gift from West Elm earlier this month).

  18. Cheryl McGregor says:

    I have Staub, Pyrex, French White Corningware and the Cornflower Corningware as well as some antique Bake King. They are all great for oven to table. My problem with Staub and Le Creuset is that they are so heavy. The French White Corningware washes up so nice that they look new even after 20 years. I think Corning was great about oven to table, providing trivets and clear glass lids as part of the package.

  19. Love this Aimee! So helpful and informative :)
    Jenny Flake’s last post: Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup

  20. Blissmamaof3 says:

    I did braised short ribs provencale in my 5 1/2 qt le Crueset Dutch oven last night, went from stove top to oven to table to fridge with ease, chicken and rice is another meal I love making in that pot, absolutely love le Crueset, worth every penny for the great results and ease of use and it looks pretty too!

  21. You’ve got quite a collection there. Pretty stuff! :)
    Sommer@ASpicyPerspective’s last post: Sweet and Spicy Beef Nachos

  22. I haven’t coughed up the money for LC yet, but I do have a Kitchen Aid Dutch oven that I love love love. I wonder if you would comment on what happens to enamel finish as the piece gets used – I guess it’s normal for the finish inside enamel cookware to darken over time, but I wasn’t aware of that when I got mine and I think I’ve damaged it some from excessive scrubbing. Is there anything special that you do to clean yours? Do you specifically avoid scrubbing it?

  23. Linda Crosbie says:

    Staub. A bit less expensive than LeCruset, but IMHO, a better choice. Although I have a few pieces of LeCruset, Staub is my fav.!!!
    Link and reviews, one of many:http://www.williams-sonoma.com/search/results.html?activeTab=products&words=Staub&cm_sp=OnsiteSearch-_-GlobalNav-_-Button&type-ahead-viewset=ecom

  24. I have Pyrex dishes and a big roasting pan. I don’t have a cast iron skillet though – and I’d really like that!
    Steph’s last post: Preparing for Survival Mode: Life with a Newborn

  25. I love the way you broke this down! You always put so much thought into your posts. This does really beat a bunch of dirty serving dishes. I love my cast iron,want more, but I would definitely take a couple of those Le cruset gratin dishes!

  26. Cook’s Illustrated rated Tramontina’s enameled cast iron dutch oven as highly as Le Creuset and Staub’s, but at a fraction of the price:
    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Tramontina-6.5-Quart-Cast-Iron-Dutch-Oven/11989387
    I was lucky to receive my Le Creuset dutch oven from a dear friend who gave me her old one when she received a new one as a gift. It was one of the most beautiful gifts I’ve ever received and even more special to me since she passed away in October. I always think of her when I use it, which is often. It’s my favorite pot.
    Ann’s last post: Do You Need a Doula?

  27. I love this round-up Aimee! I have a question for you about the enamelware. I actually just bought a few pieces of this exact same brand. I’m feeling like I’m doing something wrong because it seems like everything I cook in it ends up staining it in some way. Although, these were my first piece of enamelware, so maybe that is to be expected? Curious about your experience because I’m having trouble finding a lot of info about enamelware cleaning tips online.
    autumn’s last post: Masking Tape in the Kitchen

  28. I wish I had realized how amazing pans like these would be when I got married. I would have registered for all of the above :)
    stephchows’s last post: Jambalaya Rice- and a giveaway!

  29. Great recommendations, thanks for sharing! I’m a diehard Le Creuset girl, but they’re tough to find on sale and there are lots of other comparable products out there.

  30. So glad to see this, I’ve been looking to get more cookware but hadn’t decided which way to go. This post and comments are a huge help! Thanks!

  31. Yes, I WOULD rather take a snooze with the cats than do more dishes – how did you know!? We have an almost identical arsenal of cookware in our kitchen, but I’m eyeing up one of those Jamie O pans for myself. Time to hit up West Elm Market!
    Casey@Good. Food. Stories.’s last post: Where to Eat During Miami Art Week

  32. Lovely roundup! I adore my cast iron skillet despite its upkeep requirements. My Le Creuset dutch oven is also indispensable for risotto and the like. I’ll be keeping my eye out for more of the dishes you listed!
    Tracy’s last post: Neapolitan Cupcakes

  33. damienfxyn.soup.io says:

    Andrea, this is a GREAT round up. I think I want a mandolin slicer plus you reminded me which my apple peeler/corer/slicer should be replaced! Loved everything.

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