Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
Mar 7, 2008 12:55 PM

What Is The Best Pot for Roasting A Chicken?

A cocotte? 5 qt or 8 qt? Round? Oval? Something else?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Do you mean roasting or braising?

    For roasting if you got the money get an All-Clad Petit-Roti. They were $160 when I just looked at BB&B still a bit big at 14X11.

    I use a 9"X13", cake pan but hope to get by the restaurant supply house to see if I can get something heavier. The size isn't bad for a 3 1/2-4 lb bird

    3 Replies
    1. re: Jack_

      Roasting as in the oven. I think you only braise on the stove top, although I wouldn't swear to that.

      1. re: omotosando

        braising just refers cooking with moist heat. I put my Le Creuset braisers and dutch ovens in the oven on low all the time. It's easier to maintain a constant temperature.

        You can roast a chicken in the dutch oven, but I'm not sure it would make much of a difference if you have a decent oven. The only real reason to do that is if your oven has big peaks and valleys in oven temperature.

      2. re: Jack_

        Roasting is generally done in a shallow pan, not a deep one, often on a rack. The heat comes from the oven, not the pan, so a deluxe pan won't make much difference.

      3. I use my trusty 12" cast iron skillet for roasting chickens.
        I have a rack that fits in it but I don't even bother with that any more. I throw some veggies or potatoes under the chicken. Or nothing under the chicken.
        Lodge. Are they $25? You can make gravy right in it.

        3 Replies
        1. re: MakingSense

          Just saw one at TJ Max for $15, I think $19.99 at Amzon (spend another 6.01 and get free shipping)

          1. re: MakingSense

            You bet. Cast iron all the way. No rack. I don't even put the chicken on vegetables. Just right in the pan. If it's well seasoned, the chicken won't stick at all.

            1. re: MakingSense

              ^^I do the same thing! Best technique ever!

            2. For many years, I've used heavy WearEver aluminum frying pans -- a 10" one for small chickens and a 12" one for big ones with onions, mushrooms and a whole head of garlic scattered about. They radiate heat all around, just like a super-expensive AllClad roasting pan, but cost 1/10 as much and are much easier to clean. I get one perfectly roasted chicken after another. Just rub the skin with butter, add salt and pepper, toss in a couple of sprigs of rosemary, one in the cavity and one tucked under the bird, and roast at 425, basting occasionally, until the skin is bronzed and the legs waggle easily.

              Over the years, my method has gotten simpler and simpler. I don't peel the onions or garlic -- the loose layers add color and flavor. Multiple spices just get confused. Use only one -- rosemary or sage are my favorites. Or squeeze a whole lemon on and around the bird and pop the remains in the cavity. Or use high-quality raspberry vinegar.

              3 Replies
              1. re: KRS

                The picture online of the WearEver frying pan made it look like it has a plastic handle.


                The plastic handle can go into the oven?

                1. re: omotosando

                  The plastic handle shown in the url is actually a "slip on" insulating sleeve, which can be removed for oven work.

                  But gosh yes I'm part of the cast-iron crowd. The aluminum pan pictured is for restaurant use with multiple turnarounds each night, light and conductive for hot stovetop applications.

                  The cast iron, at half the price, becomes a friend.

                2. re: KRS

                  Followed your lemon method in a Le Creuset skillet. Chicken good. Even better was the cauliflower I put at the bottom of the pan.

                3. I've always been a bit confused when people mention roasting a chicken in a dutch oven. Do the high sides brown the skin? To me roasting is in a shallow pan to give maximum exposure to the meat to the heat. Do you roast with the lid on in a dutch oven, and then remove it to brown? Do the sides of the chicken brown from radiated heat from the sides of the pot. Can someone please enlighten me on how this all works? Is it really possible to really roast in a dutch oven? Are the results juicier than using a standard pan, or pan and rack?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: blondelle

                    I think with a whole chicken you'd want a shallow roasting pans for the reasons cited above, better browning. also important as was mentioned is browning at high temperature, 25-450, for about the first 20-25 minutes if your smoke alarms can handle it. start with the breast on the bottom, then flip it after about 15 minutes so the breast side can brown.Turn it down to 350 until it's cooked. the skin seems to get nice and brown and crispy this way. toss in some fingerling potatoes and some root veggies and call it dinner.

                  2. The very best way to roast a chicken is with a little gadget my husband found at the grocery store for $5 bucks. It looks like this:
                    It's basically a small stainless steel bowl with two thick heavy wires bent into bell shapes. The tops snap together at 90-degree angels and the endws snap into the bowl. You stick your chicken on top, much like a beercan roaster, but with a couple of important differences. You can fill the bowl with liquid and herbs and other aromatics, I use wine or beer, both with great results, some shallots and some thyme or rosemary and some lemon and lemon zest. As the liquid in the bowl evaporates the steam goes up into the chicken. But because it's only wires, the air circulates and keeps the chicken firm, but steamed at the same time. The skin all over is crisp and delicious. I've been making chicken every which way since the beginning of time and, for me, this is by far the best.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Fuser

                      I do something similar with a one-piece angel food pan. With the 2-piece kind, you'd have to remove the center tube and use it in a pie pan or baking pan. And if you shove the NECK end onto the tube, the juices will run down to baste the breast, keeping it from drying out.