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Jul 16, 2007 03:43 PM

Roasters - V-rack or not V-rack

When looking for a roaster, would Chowhounds recommend one with a V-rack or the traditional flat rack?

Any recommendation on brands/types? Right now I'm looking into getting a Calphalon Stainless Steel with the V-rack, but I'm worried that the V-rack will be a pain to store and I'm not sure if it's really needed

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  1. Cooks Illustrated rated that roasting pan and rack highly. They liked the rack to elevate the meat so it browns all round.

    1. I like the V-rack. It holds the roast steadier than a flat rack....nothing like a hot turkey rolling around to ruin your day!

      That said...that Calaphalon set is $100. You can get a rack by itself for about $20 and use it with a pan that you probably already have.

      1. jfood hates all racks, because of one word..."cleaning-it". yup, sprayed with pam but still has the tid-bits at the end.

        That being said, jfood also uses the v-rack for roasts and turkeys. as others have stated, a flopping turkey or roast is a dangerous thing and the hot air circulates so nicely that the roast gets done perfectly.

        With respect to your Calphalon question. Jfood finally found his NS Calphalon rack three weeks ago in the pantry, urgh turns to yippee. he loves the NS Calphalon and has already made a few batches of wonderfully roasted veggies (more in the car already for tonight). The only drawback is the U-handles. The protrude an inch or so above the top of the pan. It's FANTASTIC for steadiness but it does create some sub-division issues in the oven as it limits the shelf alignment. With this pan in the oven you are limited to a single rack of stuff (maybe a flat pan below). Cleans up like a breeze.Worst case is a 30-minute soaking and then whoosh, clean as a whistle (never understood how a whistle was clean, but what the heck).

        2 Replies
        1. re: jfood

          Thanks for the advice everyone, I'll go with the V-rack.

          jfood, the calphalon I have picked out is the stainless steel. In general, I thought stainless was better than non-stick for making gravy. The clean-up must be pretty terrible with a stainless roaster, but then again, that's what soaking is for!

          Sharonanne, thanks for the heads up about Cooks Illustrated. If they rated it highly then I have nothing to worry about!

          1. re: heWho

            I have a V rack that is adjustable and collapseable - making it easy to store. Not sure what brand it is though. I don't use a rack for roasting a chicken, but wanted one to roast duck, so that it would not be sitting in the fat.

        2. Reviving this thread with a follow-up question. Is the only difference between a V-Rack and a flat rack the steadiness factor? I have a flat rack and would prefer not to run out and purchase a V-Rack (I will be roasting a prime rib). Would the air circulation be the same for both racks? Thanks!

          3 Replies
          1. re: goodeatsgal

            If you use the 'turning method' for roasting poultry (on side 20 mins, on other side 20 mins, then remainder of the time breast-up), the V-rack is a definite plus because it lets the bird "sit" more securely when on the "side times". Especially when you need to pull the pan out, flip the bird onto its opposite side, then pull the pan out again to flip onto the breast.

            I also own a Scanpan rack, which is a gently curved one, rather than being either flat or V


            I don't like nonstick racks (or anything with a nonstick coating), but prefer stainless which I can scrub as hard as necessary to get perfectly clean.

            The only downside to the V-racks, IMHO, is making sure the inside of the V gets clean. Not an issue with flat or curved Scanpan racks.

            1. re: dessert_diva

              I do sometimes use the turning method for roast chicken, on the flat rack that I own, and the bird does have a tendency to flop around and lean to the side. So that's helpful feedback. Thanks. When do you use the curved Scanpan rack as opposed to the V-rack?

              I agree about the nonstick coating. I used to have a V-rack that was nonstick, and I threw it away because I still had to scrub pretty hard, and the coating scrubbed off in many spots. I've had that issue on our grill baskets, too, so I agree that stainless steel is the way to go.

              1. re: goodeatsgal

                I use the Scanpan rack if I'm roasting a Cornish hen, which because it's so small really doesn't need to get the "flip treatment". I also use it when roasting halved large veggies, like winter squashes, that I don't want sitting on the bottom of the pan and scorching.

                I only have the smaller of the two Scanpan rack sizes, though, because of their sizing quirk. The rack that I have, fits nicely into my small roasting pan; however the large version of this rack is bigger in one dimension (I forget offhand whether it is too wide or too long) than my standard size roaster. These racks were designed to fit the Scanpan roasters specifically, and although they are nice pans, only come in a nonstick version since in their infinite wisdom they decided to discontinue the Scanpan Steel. :-/ The pans are also $175 each which IMHO is a bit steep for a pan that's used only occasionally rather than every day. So I only have the smaller one, but do also have a stainless V-rack that I've had for years and honestly don't remember who made it. Don't know if anyone makes a similar one today; probably not, as I seem to be the Kiss of Death when it comes to a product being discontinued shortly after I discover how wonderful it is, LOL!