Nothing brings out flavors in meat like roasting. Roasting meats, however, does require a good quality roasting pan to handle the heat that is involved. Some cooks will use throw-away aluminum foil pans but these are not only bad for the environment but they generally do a poor job of roasting.
The ideal pan will be heavy and sturdy enough to keep from warping. Remember, you will be roasting something for a long periods of time at high heats, depending on what is called for in your recipe. You don’t want it to be so heavy that it’s awkward to handle but you want strength in the pan. Make sure the edges are high enough to handle juices and splatters, they should be around 3″ high.
You might want to chose a pan with a meat rack, it makes for better heat distribution and is easier to clean.
There a 4 materials that are used for most roasting pans. Anodized aluminum, stainless steel, cast iron and stoneware. There are glass based materials as well but they tend to be less than ideal for meat roasting. The size of the pan is important, it should have an inch at least between the side and the meat. You may want to make sure the pan has handles, they make removing the pan from the oven much easier. Just like when you are baking, you want to make sure you have a rugged pan.
Calphalon Nonstick 16-Inch Roasting Pan
This heavy gauge aluminum is anodized for durability but is still dishwasher safe. The pan has a non-stick coating and the handles are large and secure. You can also use this pan on your stove top, a nice benefit when you need to thicken sauces from meat drippings. It also includes a stainless steel meat rack.
Cuisinart 17″ Ovenware Classic Pan
Cuisinart is one of the world’s most respected names in kitchen appliances and utensils and this 17 X 13 roasting pan is an example of that excellence. The heavy duty steel pan is non-stick and comes with a stainless steel V shaped meat rack. Wide grip handles make this easy to remove from any oven.
Granite Ware 15-Inch Covered Oval Roaster
We all probably saw this type of roasting pan in our mom’s or grandmother’s kitchen. It has been a staple in American kitchens for decades and it is still an excellent value priced option for a basic pan. It’s a basic ceramic coating on steel construction and it will last forever. The handles are basic but functional and the lid is a nice feature. The bottom of the pan is ridged to help heat circulation. You can usually find these roasting pans for under $20 and they last a long time.
There are many other styles of roasting pans available and you will find many price points as well. This can be an important tool in your kitchen and it pays to do a little research before buying.