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Roasting Pan Info

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
My current roasting pan is about 30-years old, and it is an inexpensive stainless steel pan with a flimsy wire rack to hold items above the floor of the pan.

I didn't roast very often, so this pan, which is but a step or two up from the disposable aluminum pans so many people buy for their Thanksgiving turkey, hasn't been much of an issue. However, I now want a better pan as there are plans to try a few roasts over time, and I want one that can accomodated some meat bones and vegetables to roast for making stock as well. Unfortunately, I don't know squat about what to look for .. a little help would be appreciated.

What size would be good for the occassional small roast (4-6 people), a nice pile of bones and veges for stock, maybe making roast potatoes or roasted vegetables? Material? I don't want a non-stick surface, but I wouldn't mind one that's easy to clean and maintain. How deep should the pan be? What type of rack is best? Is there a "best" type of rack?

However, my primary concern is performance, followed closely by durability and a reasonable cost. Heck, I don't even know what a reasonable cost should be $100.00?

Thanks for any help?
post #2 of 18
However, my primary concern is performance, followed closely by durability and a reasonable cost. Heck, I don't even know what a reasonable cost should be $100.00?

Thanks for any help?
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Shel

Calphalon Pro makes one it cost about $60.00 it comes with a rack and handles.Not teflon size 13x16 I either purchased it at BBBeyond or Target forgot which one. I wanted to buy in rest Supply but they were to big.
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post #3 of 18
I look for these features:

Won't rack from the heat. This means the pan won't warp, even temporarily from the heat as rectangles are wont to do when heated. When this happens, one corner usually raises up a bit and the pan burns in that corner. The cheap enameled metal ones are infamous for this This means a the roasting pan needs a somewhat heavy construction.

Can be placed on the stove and the sauce/gravy cooked in it. This isn't done very much anymore, but I find it pretty convenient. This is another time the pan is prone to twist and warp and the heavy construction really helps.

V-rack, not a flat rack. I want the V's valley to run lengthwise. Most do, but a few run width wise. it needs to be steep enough to hold a turkey in place on all 4 sides. Shallow V racks allow a turkey to tilt around from its wing sides. Also consider height, but this ties in with the side height below. Most racks are about an inch and a half above the pan base at their lowest point. I think this is too high but I live with it. On the other hand, flat racks are nice with butterflied chickens. and so on.

While talking about racks, Big Lots has had some small stainless/chromed adjustable racks. They're about the size for a chicken, two fill fit in a roasting pan. They can be adjusted from flat all the way to a steep V. I really like these and they're cheap. And LOW. Work really well in a half jelly pan.

Side height. I think most roasting pans are too tall and deflect too much heat from the sides of what you're roasting. It also stacks up too much steam around the roast I'd rather see dissipate more into the oven.

Handles. Handles should be straight up. Folding handles are very difficult to unfold in a hot full oven. Handles that stick out to the side cost you space in the roasting pan.

The best roasting pan I had was a thick aluminum non-stick one. I didn't like the non stick, but the thick aluminum was great to stop warps and on the stove top. I've got a stainless steel one now, but it's a bit thin in the base for stove use. It racks on the stove, but not in the oven with the weight of the roast in it.
post #4 of 18
I have a dark blue, with white speckles enameled steel roasting pan in the rectangular form, with a high lid. It's heavy enough that it doesn't twist with the heat. It will hold up to a 20 lb turkey. The lid does not always fit down over a large turkey, but I have foil for that contingency. It is not difficult to clean, and I especially like that the lid has no handle on the top. This enables me to actucally use both the bottom and the lid as roasters, if needed. I don't recall what I paid for it so long ago, but it wasn't a whole lot.

About 20 years ago a friend asked me if I thought $100 was too much to spend for a roasting pan for turkey? I said I thought it depended on how many turkey dinners he might have left (he was about 70 at the time). I thought I was being terribly cute and clever at the time...now, alas, I'm nearing that age myself, and it doesn't seem so funny any longer. However, I thought it was a lot of money then, and I still do. There are many justifications for spending that kind of dough on a roaster. A good one will be a lifetime investment, will provide years of worry-free service, and probably won't ever need to be replaced (unless you lose it moving :eek:). For myself, the one I have relied on since I cannot remember when, is probably all I will ever need. If I were a lot younger and just starting to equip my kitchen, however, I would certainly go for the best (not to be confused with the most expensive) roaster I could afford. The one I think looks good to me is the Calpholon anodized roaster without the non-stick interior. I'm always eye-balling yard sales & thrift stores just in case.
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post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the advice and suggestions. While looking for information on aCalphalon pan that Ed suggested, this article popped up: Roasting pans: Stick with these - Los Angeles Times recommending the Calphalon pan. There were a couple of other recos for it here and in other venues, so tomorrow, when I vist the local BB&B, I'll see if they have the pan and take a look at it.
post #6 of 18
Shel - I just bought a new roasting pan at BB&B last week. I looked at two different locations for the Calphalon Classic pan you mentioned and I think they just sell it on line - maybe they'll have it at yours. Their price was $59.99.

I like to put my hands on something before I buy it so I went in a different direction and bought the Oneida Extra Large Non-Stick pan with rack. It's heavy guage aluminum with a non-stick interior. I paid $39.00 and with a $5.00 coupon and a $10.00 rebate it came to $24.99.

I haven't used it yet so I can't give you any info on performance but it appears to be a value - take a look at it.

Willie
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tip. I've never seen an Oneida product at the local BB&B, but I'll take a look tomorrow or Saturday. Right now I'm not leaning in the direction of a non-stick pan ... but things change fast in the big city.
post #8 of 18
Shel
I have found anything I ROAST in a teflon pan comes out darker. I believe the same principal that applies to baking in a darker pan applies to useing teflon, so I do not roast in them anymore. Also since teflon and silverstone are plasticized coatings that are bonded, I alway worry it is comeing off on the food. I could be crazy, but some pans say not over 450F temp recommended.
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post #9 of 18
Regardless how carefully the pan is used, the finish will develop scratches and wear marks, and evenutally will not be 'pretty' any longer. Even if possible outgassing were not a problem, non-stick just doesn't hold up over time.
Yes, roasts do seem to come out darker when roasted in a darker pan. For me , that's a plus, as my family prefers that deeper color.
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post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
I bought a can of Spray 'n' Roast -when you're done cooking your roast, if the meat isn't dark enough, you just give it a light spray with this stuff and it darkens the roast.

The Calphalon pan we were discussing is dark, but not non-stick.
post #11 of 18
Hi Shel,

I usually try to stay away from Teflon coated pans all together. I don't care for the way they cook and I have to worry about the possibilities of out gassing. At minimum I want no chance of the coating coming off in the food. The only advantage I have found in new Teflon pans is easy clean up. But I've always thought clad or AA pans that have been deglazed were easy clean up anyways.

For a large roast or a medium to large turkey I use a Calphalon AA roasting pan with V-rack. But for most small/medium roasts or birds I use either a fry pan or sauté pan (size depending). The smaller size seems to suit the drippings better. The lower sides seem to give me a better roast with darker color. The higher sides always seem to steam the meat and trap too much moisture resulting in a slightly soggy skin or underdone crust. For a rack I either use a wire rack that fits into the pan or a bed of vegetables (Usually onion, carrot, celery and garlic on top or potatoes, onion and garlic on top)



happy hunting,
dan
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
I've done the frying/sauté pan thing as well. I have a 14-inch (I think that's the size) cast iron skillet, and will sometimes throw a rack across the top. Works a treat for some things, but it's sometimes difficult to get heavy or cumbersome items out of the oven. Also, a sheet pan (cookie pan - whatever you call those things with the real low sides) has worked in a few instances. Lots of circulation in both cases - it seems browning is pretty good.
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hey Willie ...

I found the Oneida at the local BB&B. They had it for $19.00 and with the $10.00 rebate it could be had for $9.00. The pan doesn't look very heavy duty, and the rack looked a little flimsy, but for $9.00 it's hard to go too wrong. There were some of the heavier Calphaplon pans in the store, but darn, I didn't remember which one I was looking for - gotta go back with my notes on the subject.

I didn't care for the expensive All-Clad - nice pan, thick, sturdy - but the handles looked as though they mat be difficult to use when trying to remove a roast from the oven.
post #14 of 18
I second gonefishin's vote: for smaller roasts, I use a skillet, and I adore cast iron for it. If I want to elevate a chicken above the drippings, which I don't always want to do, there are el-cheapo wire racks that will sit in a pan, and they do the trick fine.

But Calphalon is durable, reliable stuff, and I don't really think you could go wrong with that at $60. You won't have to worry about it, either, because unless they've changed their warranty lately, you can return a pan that warps significantly -- lifetime guarantee.
post #15 of 18
I have the All-Clad roasting pan with the v-rack. I had gift cards for it or I'd have bought the Calphalon or similar. I like the large size because you can put a ton of bones, etc. and have a lot of surface area for everything to be in contact with the metal if you want. It's a heavier gauge than the lasagne pan (which is smaller but thinner), so I have no fear of putting it on the burner to deglaze the pan.

I've found the handles to be suitable. I don't have dainty, little hands, either. :)
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post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
I don't know much about the Calphalon warranty, but BB&B stands 100% behind what they sell. If they carry something I want, or if they can get it, that's where I'll buy it. I've had nothing but good shopping experiences there.

Yesterday I went in to the local BB&B looking for a stiff brush to clean a certain pan, and the sales person suggested one and made it a point to say that if it didn't work for my purpose to just return it for a full refund or credit.

I "complained" to the customer service lady that I'd not received a 20% off coupon for a while, and was interested in a particular stock pot. Her response was simple - buy the pot, complete a form, BB&B would send a coupon, and I could get the discount later. Sounded reasonable ... unfortunately, there was a new stock pot in the desired capacity and configuration that I'd not seen before, so a little more thought on the final choice is in order. Meanwhile, I completed the requisite form ...
post #17 of 18
Shel - That Oneida pan is a different one than the one I bought. I saw that one also and you're right it's not quality at all. They should have another one ( actually two - one has a dome top - also cheaply made ) that is a heavier guage and has a better rack. If you're going to be going back to the store and you don't see it ask someone. It's also on their website if you wanted to check it out ahead of time. They say it's actually approved for commercial use for what that's worth.

Willie
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
I'll be in the area early next week and will look further. Thanks!
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