Braising pans and Dutch ovens have similar uses in the kitchen. They differ in shape and some cooking applications. In addition to the type used in home kitchens, there is also a commercial variety of braising pans.
Built for Braising
Both types of cooking equipment are designed for braising, stewing and other types of one-pot cooking. They are heavy, lidded and ovenproof, usually with two side handles. A braising pan is sometimes called a rondeau, buffet casserole or braiser. Dutch ovens are also known as French ovens.
Braising pans have short sides and wide bottoms. Dutch ovens are deeper and narrower than braising pans. A braising pan may have straight or sloped sides; Dutch ovens have straight sides.
Braising pans are designed for searing. They have a wider cooking surface than Dutch ovens to maximize the food's contact with the bottom of the pan, like a saute pan. Dutch ovens can sear smaller amounts of food, but their steeper sides can accommodate a greater volume of liquid for boiling or braising.
Commercial Braising Pans
In a commercial kitchen, a braising pan is also called a tilting skillet. These pans have a capacity of 10 to 40 gallons and are used for frying, braising, warming, boiling and steaming.