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For many newer home cooks, soufflés are the ultimate aspirational recipe. That’s because the versatile dish, which can be savory or sweet, hits on so many foundational techniques that it’s an ideal teaching tool. “Plus, it looks intimidating, but it’s easy,” says chef Kathy Gold, owner of In The Kitchen Cooking School in Haddonfield, NJ. But to make them, of course, you need the right cookware. To rise properly, soufflés need a heavy, straight-sided vessel with a fluted rim.
Uses for these small dishes, also sometimes called ramekins, go far beyond the eggy French classic. “They’re perfect for any time you want to construct a charcuterie board or cheese board,” says Gold. Use them for your olives, nuts, or honey. You’ll also probably need them if you are interested in molten chocolate cakes. And if you like to measure all your ingredients before you start cooking, these are the perfect little dishes for that mise en place action.
Ahead, the best soufflé dishes and ramekins on the market.
Best Overall: Emile Henry Ramekin
Comes in multiple colors
Great heat retention
Holds up to high temperatures
No lid or handles
This set of two ramekins will make a special addition to your cookware collection. Made in France from high-fired Burgundy clay, the manufacturing process yields a ramekin that’s remarkably tough even against sharp changes in temperature. You’re safe moving these directly from the freezer into a hot oven. The high-gloss glaze is ultra-tough, resisting chips, scratches, and stains, so even though these ramekins are on the pricey side, they are a good bet for everyday use.
They are heavy with excellent heat retention, yielding soufflés that are evenly baked and tall. They’re also a good choice for those fussy and easy-to-overcook baked or coddled eggs. The heat retention also means dishes will stay hot on the table longer. A range of possible colors means you’ll be able to find something that matches your decor. These are dishwasher safe and come with a 10-year warranty.
Material: Ceramic | Weight: 0.7 Pounds | Dimensions: 4.1 x 4.1 x 2.4 inches
Best Budget: Prepworks by Progressive Porcelain Stacking Ramekins
Comes in a set of six
Smaller than some others
Quality and finish varies from ramekin to ramekin
These ramekins are not only the best budget pick, but they’re also among the most classic options out there. The straight, ridged sides and fluted rim are a staple in professional restaurants and catering kitchens for a reason: They get the job done. They come six to a set, and you're sure to find yourself reaching for them in all kinds of situations that show off how versatile this cookware can be.
They can easily double as a serving dish for olives or nuts. Want to set up a neat chef-style mise en place, where you prep everything you’ll need for a recipe before you start cooking? These are a great tool for that job, too. The bright white color is timeless and stylish. The dishes are glazed for a completely smooth surface, which eases the release of baked goods and makes cleaning a breeze. They’re also oven, dishwasher, microwave, and freezer safe.
Material: Ceramic | Weight: 2.54 Pounds | Dimensions: 3.5 x 3.5 x 1.63 inches | Capacity: 5 ounces
Best Design: Delling Geometric 8-Ounce Porcelain Ramekins
Comes in multiple colors and sizes
Holds up to incredibly high heat
Matching dinnerware available
Feels a bit flimsy
The eye-catching pattern on these dishes makes them perfect for going from the oven to the table. Made from thick, ultra-sturdy bone china, these ramekins do well in recipes where even heat is a must. The thickness also helps protect them and make them more durable than average. These are thermostable, which means they go beyond oven safe. The manufacturer says they’re safe up to 1,400 degrees. (Note: Most home ovens top out at 500 or 550 degrees, max.)
Because they are so pretty and large enough to work for many types of dishes, you’ll likely find yourself using them to serve soups, salads, and desserts at your dinner parties as well as reaching for them for more everyday meals like your morning bowl of cereal and bananas. Of course, they’re also dishwasher and microwave safe.
Material: Ceramic | Weight: 2.72 pounds | Dimensions: 4.4 x 4.4 x 2 inches | Capacity: 8 ounces
You’ll see silicone soufflé dishes and ramekins out there—Gold doesn’t recommend them. “Soufflés just don’t seem to rise as evenly or high in silicone,” says Gold.
Best Nesting: Judy Jackson Stoneware Oval Nesting Ramekins
Includes a range of sizes
Require special care
Can’t go straight into a hot oven
Nesting ramekins are genius—you get a range of sizes to meet all your baking needs, and they fit snugly together for compact storage. These eye-catching dishes are the best of the bunch. Made by hand in Long Island City, New York, they are oxidation-fired, a process that makes them uncommonly durable. The finish is mostly smooth, but you will find a somewhat rustic edge that shows off the fact that it is a hand-crafted piece with individual character.
One caveat: You should know that these ramekins are only oven safe if you place them in a cold oven and let them slowly come to temperature, a process that isn’t compatible with recipes that call for you to place your dish in a preheated oven. For the style-conscious and space-limited person, though, this set of artisan dishes is perfect for all your soufflé, coddled egg, and crème brûlée needs.
Material: Stoneware | Dimensions: 7.5 x 2 inches, 6 x 2 inches; 5 x 2 inches, 3.75 x 2 inches; 2.75 x 2 inches
Best Decorative: The Pioneer Woman Flea Market 4-Inch Ramekins, Set of 8
Comes in a set of eight
Microwave- and dishwasher-safe
Matches other dinnerware
Not freezer safe
If you like to use ramekins for serving nuts, fruit, or other small snacks, this set of eight is a great option. The decorative design is a treat to look at, but these ramekins are more than beautiful—they’re made of durable stoneware that makes them extremely practical, too. The ramekins are microwave- and oven-safe, so in addition to serving snacks, condiments, or arranging your mise en place, you can also whip up mug cakes, souffle, or mini chicken pot pies.
Another perk: The signature pattern matches other items in the Pioneer Woman’s line, so you can coordinate with other dinnerware, serveware, and cookware you have in your kitchen. Storage is a breeze, too, since they stack neatly and securely.
Material: Stoneware | Weight: 5.34 pounds | Dimensions: 9.84 x 7.48 x 5.12 Inches
Best Stacking: Sweese Porcelain Souffle Dishes
Bigger than most
Durable and chip-resistant
Lower temperature threshold
These classic souffle dishes stack neatly for convenient storage. At 8 ounces, they are a little bigger than most, but the extra capacity makes them more versatile, too. The precisely-designed fluted edge is what makes them securely stackable. Some similar designs aren’t manufactured with the same precision, which can leave you with a wobbly stack of dishes you hoped would be more secure.
You can use these for single-serving chicken pot pies or French onion soup, for example. (If you’re making a rich dessert, like crème brûlée, you can also simply fill the dish only one-third or halfway so it’s not too much.) The smooth glazed porcelain is durable, attractive, and easy to clean. It’s also extra sturdy and chip resistant. Like all ramekins, they work equally well as small serving or prep bowls. Note: They’re oven safe up to 400 degrees only.
Material: Porcelain | Weight: 8 ounces | Dimensions: 15.39 x 5.08 x 5.08 inches
Best Mini: DOWAN 4-Ounce Ramekins
Comes in multiple colors and sizes
Slightly tapered inside, which affects true capacity
Colors slightly off from advertised
Sometimes only a tiny ramekin will do, especially when it comes to the decadent desserts these little dishes are so ideal for. A portion of rich chocolate mousse can seem a bit scant in a bigger vessel, such as a 6- or 8-ounce ramekin, but in these right-sized dishes, they feel more abundant without bringing on bellyaches from too much dessert.
These little dishes can help you keep all your snacks smaller in size if you want to portion them. You could use these to serve cheese, nuts, and olives. The classic style makes an elegant presentation on the table or cheese board. These aren’t an ideal choice for your first ramekins or soufflé dishes—you’ll want something with a bit more capacity for that—but if you find yourself getting frequent use out of a 6-ounce or 8-ounce ramekin, you’ll probably love having these around, too.
Material: Porcelain | Weight: 2.83 pounds | Dimensions: 3.7 x 3.7 x 1.7 inches | Capacity: 4 ounces
What to Look for in a Ramekin
Though ceramic is generally the most common material, ramekins also come in porcelain, stoneware, glass, and even stainless steel. While any of these materials are fine options for mise en place or serving small snacks or condiments, ceramic and stoneware are generally the best options for versatility, since they hold up to higher heat and are largely more durable.
Some recipes require depth (souffle or mini chicken pot pie, for example), while others require width (crème brûlée , for example). Consider what you’ll most frequently be using the ramekins for before purchasing. If you’re unsure, a 6- or 8-ounce ramekin is a nice, versatile option.
Because many ramekins come in sets, you’ll have multiple small dishes to store. Look for ramekins that stack neatly, so you don’t end up with a precarious tower or a whole shelf clogged with small dishes. Also, consider whether the ramekin of your choice is microwave- and dishwasher-safe to make reheating and cleaning a breeze.
1) What can you use ramekins for?
You can use the humble ramekin for a wide range of things. Use these small, but mighty dishes for prep work to keep your ingredients portioned and close at hand, to serve condiments or small snacks like nuts, or to cook side dishes like individual portions of mac and cheese, main dishes like mini chicken pot pie, or desserts like chocolate lava cake.
2) Are ramekins oven-safe?
The vast majority of ramekins are oven-safe, but you should always check the specific product for information about their heat-resistance.
3) Can you put ramekins in an Instant Pot or air fryer?
If your ramekins are oven-safe, they can go in the Instant Pot or air fryer. Just make sure to compare the temperature threshold on the product you’re using with the temperature required for your recipe.
4) How high should you fill souffle ramekins?
It’s smart to consult your specific recipe, since some souffles rise more than others, but in general, you should fill the ramekin no more than ¾ of the way.
5) What size ramekin should you use for crème brûlée?
Again, this largely varies based on the exact recipe you’re using, but in general, crème brûlée requires a wider, shallower ramekin.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Joy Manning is a food writer and recipe developer. Her work has appeared in many publications including The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Washington Post. She’s the author of Almost Meatless and Stuff Every Cook Should Know. For additional research, she interviewed Chef Kathy Gold, owner of In The Kitchen Cooking School in Haddonfield, NJ.
This roundup was updated by Brigitt Earley, who has written and edited hundreds of articles in the food space for various publications over the course of the last ten years. Brigitt also attended the French Culinary Institute in NYC and regularly uses ramekins for everything from prepping to serving to cooking.