Buying Guide for Roasting Pans
Why buy a roasting pan?
A roasting pan is basically just a large, heavy-duty pan designed to cook large cuts of meat such as whole turkeys and chickens, pork loin, lamb leg, or beef roasts. However, roasting pans can be used for much more than meats. Roasting pans are great for savory holiday sides, perfectly roasted vegetables, and decadent desserts. Many home cooks couldn’t imagine a holiday feast or large family gathering without their best roasting pan cooking up the goods. If you’re looking to make your time in the kitchen more efficient, or if you’re looking for a tool to help you cook perfectly roasted dishes, one of these pans may be just what you’re looking for.
What should you consider in a roasting pan?
- Materials: Roasts usually require multiple hours to cook in a high-temperature oven, so it is best to invest in a roasting pan made of heavy-duty, long-lasting materials. Stainless steel roasting pans are a great choice because they are rust-resistant, handle extremely high temperatures, and prevent the pan from warping or bending.
- Add-Ons: Because most roasts are larger, heavier cuts of meat, they can be more difficult to lift, especially when hot. Consider looking for a roasting pan that features wide, sturdy handles that will allow you to easily remove your roast from the oven. You should also look for a roasting pan that comes with a fitted rack to support the roast and keep it from touching the bottom of the pan, allowing the fat drippings to fall through the rack and create a more even cook. Here’s a pro tip: you should hang on to those extra drippings because they are the key ingredient to making an award-winning gravy that’ll perfectly pair with your roast.
- Cleanup: Cleaning a roasting pan shouldn’t be a nightmare, so choose one that’s either dishwasher safe, easy to wipe clean, or disposable. If you’re traveling for a holiday feast and bringing a dish, you might not want to clean up after, so a disposable roasting pan is a great alternative to a traditional roasting pan.
How long will a good roasting pan last?
Buckle your seatbelts: a good roasting pan should last a lifetime. If it’s made with high-quality materials and cared for properly, a roasting pan will last for decades. After some time, the finish may degrade, and some food might stick. You can clean that up with a bit of elbow grease and continue to use your pan again and again. Also, you can avoid sticking by using a rack and using a proper amount of oil or fat while roasting.
Our Picks for the Best Roasting Pans
Granite Ware Covered Oval Roaster
This nonstick roasting pan is both high-capacity and dishwasher safe, making cleanup a breeze. And unlike many other coated pans, this one is made with food-safe porcelain enamel.
Pros: This is a fantastic roasting pan for smaller roasts like chickens, cornish hens, pork loins, and vegetables. You can start a meal in it on the stove and transfer it to the oven, and you can even use this pan on the grill or in your smoker. The pan is also surprisingly lightweight, making it easy to get in and out of the oven. It also nests beautifully if you purchase multiple sizes, making storage a breeze.
Cons: It doesn’t come with a rack.
Bottom Line: If you want a smaller roasting pan that makes a fantastic dinner for two, this may be just what you’re looking for. It’s easy to clean, so you can enjoy more time with your loved ones. Plus, this pan is a great value.
Circulon Nonstick Roasting Pan with Rack
Made from tough alloy steel, this nonstick roasting pan can hold up to 24 pounds of delicious food.
Pros: There’s a lot to love about this roasting pan. First, the handles are strong, helping you to get a good grip and avoid dropping or spilling. It’s also nice and big, so it can fit just about any holiday meal. Without the rack, this is also an excellent pan for casseroles or lasagna.
Cons: This roasting pan is not intended for stovetop use. Also, it takes some extra effort to clean and maintain.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a heavy-duty roasting pan, this may be a good choice for you. It’s nice and sturdy, and it will last a long time if properly cared for. Plus, the handles on the rack make transferring your cooked meals a breeze.
Reynolds Kitchens Aluminum Pans with Lids
Perfect for holidays, family gatherings, and outdoor feasts, these no-fuss disposable roasting pans come in handy all year long.
Pros: These disposable roasting pans are much more durable than similar off-brand pans. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit your roasting needs. They’re also nonstick, which is great for cakes and casseroles.
Cons: The lids may not fit perfectly.
Bottom Line: If you love to cook and take meals on the go, it’s a great idea to keep some of these on hand. Not only are they great for roasting and baking, but they also make convenient carrying pans for cupcakes, muffins, and other pre-made goods. The updated royal blue color is also a nice touch.
Cook Pro 4-Piece All-in-1 Lasagna and Roasting Pan
These durable stainless steel roasting pans with removable racks are a must-have.
Pros: This set of two pans is an incredible value. They’re made from food-safe stainless steel, which is sturdier and healthier than other nonstick options. Plus, they remain shiny even after multiple washes.
Cons: The handles bend for storage, which may be inconvenient when trying to pull them out of the oven. The handles also get very hot.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a set of roasting pans for convenient cooking and easy cleanup, these may be just what you need. They can be used with or without the racks, so you can get creative and use them for many different dishes. Plus, the stylish and shiny finish makes them great for cooking and serving.
Mr Captain Roasting Pan with Rack And Lid
The top-of-the-line cooking surface of this beautifully designed roasting pan heats evenly.
Pros: This is a fantastic, high-quality roaster. It can fit an entire turkey plus the juices, so it’s a fantastic choice for Thanksgiving. It’s heavy-duty, easy to clean, and made to last. And it’s conveniently dishwasher safe after you’ve worked in the kitchen all day.
Cons: It may be a bit too heavy for some people to lift.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a quality roasting pan that will last for years and years, this may be the one for you. It comes in a couple of high-capacity sizes to suit your needs.
What do you need most in a roasting pan? A great, heavy-duty rack so you can get juices out of your roast? Easy cleanup? Ask yourself these questions before you buy, and then check out our top picks.