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Roasting pans usually remind you of the holiday season with a cozy dinner table, flavorful and tasty roasted turkey, however its versatility has made roasting pans a valuable kitchenware for any passionate cook around the world. Given the product’s various choice, finishes and price ranges, the task of choosing the best roasting pan can spin your head. That’s why in this article, we are going to have a look at all the essential criteria for the best roasting pans!
A good roasting pan needs to be sturdy and strong, distribute heat evenly and versatile enough that it can be used frequently ranging from roasting a big turkey to a small chicken or vegetables, a one-pan meal like lasagna, or dessert for a large group. Usually there are 4 types of roasting pans: Copper roasting pans, Aluminum roasting pans, Stainless steel roasting pans and Cast iron roasting pans.
First of all, copper pans look stunning and perform exceptionally in terms of conductivity and heat distribution. And it makes the transition from oven to stove easily. However, this type will require a little bit more effort in cleaning and maintenance. And if you want to use it on an induction stove, look for one that is lined with stainless steel for maximum safety.
Let me introduce you to the Copper H-02725-WV Turkey Roaster Pan. This medium size pan is safe to use in the oven up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. No more worries about cleaning up due to its non-stick coating, it also comes with a “V” shape, removable rack which makes browning meat and collecting meat juices during roasting as easy as a breeze. But wait, there’s more: the handle allows easy transportation and all parts are dishwasher friendly.
Looking for something that offers even more versatilities? The Copper Chef Casserole Pan is the product you want. With high quality components from the carefully anodized pan for the best durability to the exclusive non-stick ceramic coating or the unique deep square shape. With a stainless steel induction plate, you can use this in an oven, or on your cooking stove. This extraordinary pan can do it all, from roasting, steaming to baking cakes or pies.
Pure aluminum, despite excellent heat conductivity, wouldn’t make an ideal material because it can be reactive. Therefore, anodized aluminum, an electrochemically treated aluminum with a nonreactive, nonstick surface, and aluminum clad in stainless steel are much better choices. They heat quickly, evenly and are extremely durable.
The All-Clad E7649764 HA1 Hard Anodized Roasting Pan will make a valuable purchase. It’s premium quality material includes hard anodized aluminum, scratch resistant and non-stick coating will result in quick and even heat distribution and easy clean up. This sturdy, medium size pan will comfortably hold up to 25 pounds and in the oven it is safe to use up to 500 degree Fahrenheit. A cozy, tasty meal has never been more effortless and convenient than this before!
This type is probably the most well-known material. It is relatively light weight and generally performs as well as any other material, it is also durable and brings an elegant aesthetic to your kitchen. Unfortunately, it’s only down point is it is a poor conductor. Hence, a stainless pan which has a thick base of aluminum makes a great solution.
A great product in this category is Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Stainless Roaster. The triple ply construction with a pure aluminum core will distribute heat evenly in a blink, and the stainless steel handles make it all safe and hassle-free when placing the pan in the oven or lifting it out. But wait, there’s more, this pan is dishwasher safe and induction cooktops compatibility.
Cast iron has always been a professional chef’s favorite material when it comes to roasting pans. They deliver steady, even temperatures while cooking. If you like a thick material and don’t mind the heaviness, an enameled cast iron pan is the perfect choice for you!
The Crock Pot Artisan 13 Inch Enameled Cast Iron Pan makes a wonderful choice with its elegant design, and it works on almost everything: gas, electric, ceramic and induction stoves. It can go straight from the cooking stove to the serving table. This cookware item is here to last with high quality enameled cast iron ensuring outstanding durability. Its multiple color selection will fit in any kitchen aesthetic as well!
Another excellent candidate here is Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Roasting Pan featuring a chic design, a stainless steel knob and loop handles for easy control. Feel free to use it anyway you like, there is no limit with this versatile product, from roasting, baking and braising, to saute, fry or simmer on any stovetop. This pan is meticulously enameled with 2 layers of hard, glossy porcelain that are chip resistant and easy to clean. With a little bit of warm soapy water and quick hand washing, this cookware will be your friend in the kitchen for a long time.
In order to get the most optimal performance, several factors need to be considered such as the size, the shape, the material and the overall weight of the pan. So, let’s dig in!
In terms of sizes, it's best to select a pan with enough capacity to fit the largest items without touching the sides and one that allows proper air circulation. A good note here is to check the inside measurement, because some roasting pans measurement includes the handle and others don’t.
Below here is a few rule of thumb for size requirements:
A small pan (14 x 10 x 3”) is great for turkeys up to 12 pounds
A medium size (16 x 12 x 3”) can accommodate turkeys up to 16 pounds without a doubt
A large pan (18 x 13 x 4”) works well with turkeys up to 20 pounds.
You should pay attention to the height too. Edges that are too low can lead to risk of splashing hot sauce when braising, on the other hand, edges that are too high make it difficult to handle large cuts and could leave the meat on the bottom undercooked. The best choice here is 3-4 inches in depth.
Roasting pans come in two basic shapes: oval and rectangular.
Oval pans work well with chicken, turkey, ham, ribs and so on, making gravy or sauce is as easy as a breeze with this type too. However, oval pans can come in short in baking due to the loss of surface area.
Next we have the rectangular pans, this is ideal if you are cooking more than one item. But corners can be difficult for sauce making, and you need to pay more attention to them while cleaning.
Can we combine the best of both worlds? Yes, it is possible with a rectangular pan with rounded corners.
When it comes to roasting pans, the heaviest isn’t necessary the best, and neither is the lightest. And you are going to learn all about it, right now!
A good pan is something that is sturdy enough to not bend, buckle or sway, make sure it is easy to handle when it’s coming out hot from the oven with all the additional weight from the food in the pan. If it’s possible, try to lift the roasting pan to see since different material can have different weight
You should definitely consider stovetop performance when buying a roasting pan. Having to transfer your food to another cookware when you want to make gravy or deglazing isn’t much fun.
If you have an induction stove, the problem here is only certain material will work on it. So clad stainless steel, enameled cast iron or cast iron by itself are good options.
Some roasting pans come with racks, and some don’t – and there are pros and cons for both.
A rack keeps your roast off the bottom of the pan, allowing free air circulation which is essential for the meat to be roasted properly. Without it, the meat in the bottom will get soft, saggy skin on poultry and inadequate browning.
And a rack will collect all of those beautiful, delicious meat juice on the pan bottom, which is necessary for making gravy and sauces. On the other hand, foods tend to stick on the rack, so they can be a bit of trouble to clean.
The solution here is to look for a rack that is anti-warp and has sturdy handles for easy lifting.
The best way to do it is: Allowing your pan to cool down to room temperature, then clean it with warm water and a non-abrasive sponge.
If there are some burn spots, let the pan soak in warm water for about an hour and start scrubbing until they are gone. If you need to take it up a notch for those stubborn spots, after soaking, rinsing and drying, coat the tough stains in baking soda. Then, in a small bowl, mix 1 cup of hot water and 1/3 cup of vinegar. Pour this mixture onto the stain and let the pan soak for an hour then start scrubbing. You’ll see your new and shining pan again in no time.
An easy solution here is to add some chunky vegetables and herbs on the bottom. This will prevent the drippings from burning and now you have some extra and healthy roasted vegetables!
The answer is no, as long as you own a good quality pan that will fit your food and distribute heat evenly. You can work your way up with a roasted chicken before moving on the big turkey.
It is true that the variety is big, but a roasting pan usually cost from $16 to around $100 depending on the material.
Having the best roasting pans will make cooking easy and enjoyable all year round. We hope that after this article, you will be able to get yourself the best roasting pans that are suitable for all your needs as well as budget.
The Copper Chef Casserole Pan will be your right hand in the kitchen with its multi-purpose usage and sturdy material. And the Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Stainless Roaster exceptional performance for an affordable price will put a smile on your family every meal. Last but not least, the Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Roasting Pan performs beautifully with different stoves and it will be a cookware that will last for decades.
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