26 December 2009

Your Favorite Roasting Pans

Over Thanksgiving we filled our freezer chest with local meat and now we're in the market for some roasting pans to try a few new recipes. Our approach to buying things for the kitchen, is do it right the first time and never do it again. So far we've started a very small collection of Le Creuset, All Clad, and W├╝sthof, and they're great. What we're looking for now are roasting pans, both big and small, that can also be put over a gas range. For the hunt, we have a restaurant supply store nearby and there is also the internet. However, we do need your help with some suggestions. Personally I've never owned a roasting pan that wasn't cheap metal, or glass. I'm not quite sure what it is that I'm looking for and in my search for a quality piece, I'm afraid that I may over do it. So, if you all have any suggestions of brands or providers, please let us know. Many thanks.


Anonymous said...

I'm a big fan of both the Cuisinart Chefs Classic line and the Calphalon Tri-Ply line of cookware. For a skillet, go with the Calphalon, hands down, but for the rest, including a roasting pan, I think the Chef's Classic line is an excellent combination of quality & value. http://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-Classic-Stainless-16-Inch-Roasting/dp/B000M5PFHG/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1261886890&sr=8-12
Of course, you can also go with the classic Granite Ware roaster, too http://www.amazon.com/Granite-Ware-18-Inch-Covered-Roaster/dp/B000050AVC/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1261887267&sr=8-5

I suggest going with the Granite Ware in a turkey size, and the Chef's Classic or Calphalon for a smaller roasting pan you'll use more frequently, and which can also be used for lasagna.


Anonymous said...

Cast iron anything is good for cooking. Non stick and just about immortal. You can pass them down to your kids and they'll pass them down and so on. If they rust scour them with steel wool and then oil them and put them in the oven at 450 for a couple hours and they'll be good as new. Plus they come in all different shapes and sizes and you can pick them up at thrift shops. Seriously my gran has one thats 70 years old and she uses it still at least once a week

jaz@octoberfarm said...

Check out the new roaster i got. it is on my post from yesterday. it is a staub cocotte. i use my le creuset daily and love them. i have them in every size and shape and swear by them. and i do a LOT of roasting. i will be putting up a post today which shows me using an oval le creuset.

Kate said...

I don't own an actual roasting pan. I use one of my five cast iron skillets for roasting. They do a great job, and as already noted, they're nigh on indestructible.

Now, technically, and if you ask an expert, cast iron pans are not ideal roasting pans. In culinary school we were taught that a roasting pan should have fairly deep sides - something on the order of 5 inches tall. This helps retain moist air within the pan so that the roast doesn't dry out. But I gotta tell you, I've been using cast iron to roast whole chickens, prime rib, rack of lamb, and plenty of other things for many years. It works for us, and it doesn't clutter up the kitchen with a single-use tool. The bonus is that if you want to make a sauce from the drippings in the roasting pan, cast iron skillets can go from the oven to the burner with no issues. That's not true of all roasting pans.

Anonymous said...

We have one from williams-sonoma that is great for use in both the oven and on the stove top. It is actually my go to pan for making jams, as it straddles 2 burners, heats up very nicely and is fairly deep. Mine is also non-stick on the inside, although I don't know if that is necessary. Alton Brown from good eats went over roasting pans quite intensely in one of his episodes, maybe you could find it online and see what he says. I remember following his advice when buying our pan.

el said...

Hi guys...I thought about your post and realized that, if I were to total all the $ spent on my pans and roasters, it amounts to more than my car. I do have a tres expensive AllClad roaster that I love, but...my new favorite thing in the world, roasting-wise, is simple steamer insert pans from a restaurant supply house. They should be able to take the heat of being on the stove if you keep it on low. (Steam table insert trays are those ho-hum stainless steel pans you see food displayed in when you go to a cafeteria or an all-you-can-eat joint. Some are ridiculously heavy, heavier even than my spendy one.) I now have a large stash for our outdoor masonry oven. They come in different depths and widths and, more importantly, thicknesses. Hope that helps...

akitchenwitch said...

It's very Yuppie of me, but I LOVE my All-Clad roaster. It's taken me from the gas top of my stove to my oven to my broiler to my grill on one memorable occasion. (Smoked salt, anyone?) I've dropped it, left it on the stove empty for half an hour then dumped cold water in it, my toddler used it for drums and played boat inside of it. I use metal utensils, wooden ones, whatever. No problems. It's also ungodly expensive -- about $200.

That's my recommendation. If you're a kinder and gentler cook than I am, you may not need something so bullet-proof.

My one piece of advice is this: Buy big. You'll be tempted, looking at the petite pans, to buy smaller to save $50. But if you're going to turn on the oven and roast one chicken, you might as well roast two and have leftovers. A big turkey is bigger than you think and whole legs of lamb need space. Don't skimp on the real estate -- I know, I did and I regretted it for five years before I could afford a real sized pan.

Kelly said...

Ahoy everyone,

Thank you for all of the incredible information.

Meg and I have a "take your time and do it right" approach towards just about all of our purchases, so the plan for the roasting pan will be to buy in stages. From the list we gathered from your comments, we decided that there are a few options that we will explore (we want more than one pan).

We want to invest in the type of pan that can take a lot of abuse and then after we croak our kids can then beat the crap out of it as well. With that said I do believe that we are either going to invest in an All Clad or Calphalon Tri-Ply. After that we do want some multifunction pans that are sturdy but also won't break the bank. There is a restaurant supply store near buy that has oodles of steamer pans that will certainly do the job. Other than that, we have our trust cast iron pan and another oven save fry pan for those moments when needed.

Thanks again all. Cheers.

seo said...

I buy all of my restaurant supplies at

Joel said...

If you plan to visit San Francisco, you might make a stop at Cookin' (339 Divisadero Street).

It's a used kitchenwares shop, and they have an amazing selection of most everything, including enameled cast iron.

The woman who runs it is kind of impatient with questions, but I find looking through a variety that includes every brand durable enough to survive the trip to the shop helps me a lot.

There might be similar shops in other cities, of course.

Anonymous said...

All my life i've watched my mother cook with the same 4 cast iron pans. In them we've cooked breads and enchiladas, cakes and even an entire chicken one summer. I remember as a child sneaking out with the smallest of them to make mud pies and my mother cleaning it out, re-seasoning it and using it still. Once she went after one of the oil meter readers with one of the things thinking he was a burgler! I cant imagine what the poor man thought when he saw a crazy woman in her underwear coming at him with a 20 lb pan! Surely the thing could have cracked his skull like an egg. the largest one is about 11 inches across and maybe 5 inches deep so it is quite large enough to cook a good size chicken easily. Also they're just about impossible to break. If you get the kind without enamel you can just take a brillo pad to them if they get nasty, re-season them and heat them up for a while and they are good as new. I know my mom got them from my grandmother when she moved out of the house. She has also told me that when I leave I can choose 2 of them. They are like family heirlooms they pass down from mother to daughter. And i'm sure they will be in fine condition when I have a daughter of my own leaving the nest in need of a fine all purpose pan. Really there is no way you can go wrong with the old cast iron pans. They come in so many shapes and sizes, my grandmother also has a cast iron dutch oven and lord only knows how long she has had it. You never need to worry about enamel chipping, cracking or discoloring either. And another plus is you can pick one up for about 20 dollars and it'll last you at the very least 3 generations!