What is a Roasting Pan and How To Use It Effectively?

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If you enjoy roasting, then having a nice Roasting Pan in your kitchen is a must. But, What is a roasting pan? as the name suggests, roasting pans are heavy wide base utensils, used primarily for roasting large cuts of meats, poultry, or even vegetables.

Most of roasting pans come with racks to keep the meat a little elevated from the bottom of the pan. Using a rack is important for many reasons such as allowing the drippings and developing flavors at the bottom. These dripping can make the best ever gravies and sauces for the roasts.

Types of Roasting Pan

There are basically two types of roasting pans, the shallow pan and the large-sized pan. If you roast small cuts of meat on a daily basis, then the small-sized shallow roasting pans would work perfectly for you. However, if you are planning to roast large size birds such as turkey or whole chicken with vegetables, then you will need to get a large-sized roasting pan instead.

How to Choose a Roasting Pan

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  • If you want to get the best roasting pan, then you should certainly focus on a heavy-duty metallic pan because, metal can retain heat for a longer duration and distribute heat evenly. 
  • As far as the material is concerned, you can have a cast iron, stainless steel or copper roasting pans. However, keep in mind that most people avoid copper pans simply because they are too expensive compared to the others.  
  • The sides of the roasting pan should be high enough to adjust the whole piece of meat inside the pan.
  • The pan should be strong enough to handle large pieces of meat without being twisted or bent. 
  • Make sure that it has strong, riveted handles because these will make removing the pan easier from the oven.
  • Look for a size that offers a good space to roast large-sized meat pieces or birds without touching the sides of the pan. It should be spacious enough to add some vegetables. However, keep the size of the roasting pan within your oven size.
  • It should be ideally 6-8 cm deep. If your roasting pan is not sufficiently deep, you may lose all the delicious meat juices. On the other hand, if your pan is too deep, the hot air will not reach the bottom of your roast timely.

Why Do You Need A Roasting Pan in Your Kitchen

Roasting pans can help you cook food in a number of ways such as:

Making Large Meals in Less Time

Roasting pans are good enough to cook large occasional meals. Therefore it is good to make a one-time investment and have this multi-purpose pan of your own.

To Get a Two-way Benefit from Single Pan

If you want to make a perfect roast without burning the juices and utilizing them effectively, you need to be really smart using a roasting pan. Put your meat on your sturdy rack that comes with the roasting pan, make a layer of vegetables such as potatoes, onions, carrots or beans. This will not only help you trap all the dripping juices of the roast in your vegetables but also adds a unique flavor to these nutritious vegetables. I have tried this and found it an absolutely amazing combination to be served with your roasted meat. 

Helps Even Heat Distribution in Cooking Roast

Cooking experts say that a good roasting pan is able to provide uniform heat to all sides of the food you are cooking. The sides and bottom of the pan intensify and distribute the oven heat evenly. This will help you get a brownish color outside the meat while remaining  juicy and moist from the inside. 

For Daily Use if its Stove Compatible

Most roasting pans can be used in your daily cooking if they are stove compatible. You can make pancakes, eggs and many more.

What Can You Cook Using a Roasting Pan

We mostly limit the use of a roasting pan to specific days in a year. This versatile pan is capable of making a lot of good dishes for you and your family on a daily basis.  

Roasting a Thanksgiving Turkey

roasting turkey in a roasting pan

Roasting a turkey for thanksgiving dinner is exciting as well as challenging because it is difficult to handle a giant bird. However, it becomes an easy task once you get the hang of it. You can use an oval-shaped large size roasting pan that fits your oven for cooking your turkey. Place the turkey on the roasting pan rack and give it a massage of olive oil before putting inside the oven. A little bit of salt and a lot of black pepper is suggested to keep the original flavors of the turkey. Place the roasting pan inside the oven and roast it at 325 degrees for around 3-4 hours depending on the size of the turkey. You can cover it up with the foil before slicing it up.

Making the Most Delicious Chicken Roasts and Fish

roasting chicken in a roasting pan

Roasting pans are perfect for preparing a whole chicken with veggies sufficient enough for 8-10 people in just 2.5 hours. Also, within 30 minutes you can perfectly cook a protein-rich fish. 

Roasted Potatoes are Everybody’s Favorite

roasted potatoes in a roasting pan

You can use a roasting pan for making delicious roasted potatoes within 25 minutes. If you have kids, you should certainly try this because children love to eat roasted potatoes on every occasion possible. If you are a calorie conscious person, eating potatoes this way can be beneficial for you.

Making the Thick Multi-Layered Lasagna


Rich and cheesy Lasagna is one of the favorite dishes for a lot of people, especially kids. Roasting pans can be used for making an excellent lasagna. You just need to preheat your oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit to get the oven really hot before placing your dish. Afterward, you can grease the pan and add a thin layer of parmesan cheese. Start making the lasagna layers by following any recipe you want. Cover the roasting pan with an aluminum foil and bake it. Keep checking after every 30 minutes and within 2-3 hours, you will get an amazing lasagna using your roasting pan.

Roasting Vegetables

roasted vegetables in a roasting pan

The best roasting pan for vegetables is equally good to bake delicious veggies such as cauliflower, bell pepper and onions. Add just a pinch of salt and pepper and roast without covering them under 425 degrees Fahrenheit. You can add any other vegetables you desire and within 20 minutes, you will have your bowl ready.

When To Cover and Uncover a Roasting Pan

Well, this depends on what you are cooking and which type of meat you are using. If the meat is fatty and marbled, you may not use a cover as there must be sufficient juices and oils already but in case you have meat without fat, you will need to cover it to make it moist. In general, covering is not good for making roasts because it can steam your chicken or meat.

How to Clean a Roasting Pan

A roasting pan can start accumulating specks of dirt and traces of juices that get stuck to the pan. Do not immediately bring it to cold water after using it and let the temperature come down first. You need to use a non-abrasive sponge and warm water every time you use it. Use vinegar and baking soda and letting it sit for an hour in case you have burnt your pan is also a good idea.


Depending on your needs, you can choose a roasting pan of your choice to cook a variety of roasts, vegetables, pancakes and many more. I hope this guide has helped you to know what is a roasting pan and how you can use it to cook various roasts and dishes and roasts perfectly.