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What do you roast your turkey in? I am reluctant to purchase a roasting pan, and considering a Staub piece instead--but which? Thanks!

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I have been roasting turkey in pyrex the past couple of years, looking to make an improvement this year :) Can you use LC or Staub for this purpose? If I must make an investment, I'd rather those. Thanks

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  1. Cast iron would make a great roasting pan, BUT:

    You know it's going to be heavy. Now figure that a stuffed turkey will add another 15-25 pounds.

    The benefit of a good roasting pan is scraping it down afterwards for gravy. I would be a little worried about the enamel.

    My suggestion would be to get a stainless pan. A good stainless roasting pan ain't cheap but no need to break the bank if you shop around. We have an oval Calphalon pan (anodized aluminum) that works pretty good, for what it's worth.

    11 Replies
    1. re: MikeB3542

      thanks. I live in a small apt. and have a tiny kitchen, so I was trying to avoid purchasing a pan that'll be used only twice a year or so...I can justify buying my first enamel piece (LC or Staub) as they'll be used far more often. But you are right, stainless steel pans do not seem to be expensive. Thanks for your thoughts.

      1. re: madteaparty30

        Don't go cheap -- a roasting pan should have some thickness to it. Thick enough with nice strong handles so no issues managing heavy roast. Thick enough that the bottom doesn't warp. Thick enough that you can put it on your stovetop and not have to worry about burning the gravy.

        Do realize that the pan will look pretty nasty after a few uses -- stuff will splatter and bake on, and trying to scrub it all off is wasted effort. (It also means you will feel like a mug if you buy an AlClad pan.)

        Do check out restaurant supply places -- they often have good stuff at reasonable prices.

        1. re: madteaparty30

          Get a throwaway aluminum pan. Put it on a half sheet pan. No worry about having to store a big thing you'll use once a year. (if you don't have sheet pans, get some. they're cheap and wonderfully useful.)

          1. re: dscheidt

            I just bought a Mauviel stainless steel shallow roasting pan for my turkey. This is my first turkey and I thought I should probably try to use a cheap aluminum pan first. Then if I decide making turkey every year is going to be my ritual then I'll go get a proper pan. But then I read about all these pan juice and "delicious brown bits", I couldn't help but buy one for myself :-) I don't believe you can put any aluminum pan straight onto a stove top. To make it worse, mine's an induction cooktop so AC stainless steel won't work either (according to Williams-sonoma's customer reviews)

            I figured I would be able to use the pan for other roasting jobs in the future. It's pretty enough to be used as a serving platter at the very least. :-)

            1. re: dscheidt

              Ditto for the disposable aluminum. I got a roasting pan a few years ago, but used to buy two disposables, double up for sturdiness then place on a baking sheet. If you're going to invest in a LC or Staub pot, let it be one you'll really use and enjoy (which might not be one that'll hold a turkey!).

          2. re: MikeB3542

            I agree. Be careful about weight. Around this time of year, all of the fancy kitchenware stores show beautiful roasting pans with even fancier racks. Most important is to figure out if it will even fit in your oven, as some wall ovens tend to be smaller that you realize. Then go ahead and pick one up. If you can imagine yourself lifting this thing with an additional 20 to 25 pounds, plus hot greasy pan drippings on the bottom, then go ahead and buy the fancy pan. Yes, this was meant to be sarcastic. But not really -- I just love ogling those pans, but I can't lift one safely while "fully loaded", so I don't own one.

            Is there a Walmart near you? They sell granite ware, or what seems to be granite ware. These are porcelain coated aluminum pans with in dark colors with white flecks on them. They come in black, navy and dark red. You might see items made of similar material sold in sporting goods stores in the camping section. My favorite turkey pan is a deep, sturdy, but light weight granite ware pan. Mine is a large rectangular pan, which doesn't weigh much when empty, and is deep enough to hold a very large bird, drippings etc. I insert a round or square rack under the bird to roast and it has been my go-to roaster for T-day for thirty years. They still sell them. You can find even large oval ones with covers for very little money. This would be my first recommendation. BTW, you can always invest in one of those V shaped roasting racks, but I don't like the way they tend to make the bottom of the bird v-shaped as it cooks, making it impossible to stand upright when carving.

            Second choice is anodized aluminum pans like Calphalon or one of those specials at the warehouse clubs. You can find nice ones right about now for about $40. However, given the choice, I still prefer the granite ware. Lighter and cheaper.

            If you use a Staub or LC, which I have done with chickens, I assume you will use a large oval or round dutch oven, without the cover. You will have difficulty crisping the skin. Too much pan around the bird, and not enough dry air circulation. The chickens are very moist when cooked this way in the oven, but the skin is not what I would like it to be.

            My pan is so large that I can easily stack all sorts of other things in it for storage, so it has never been a problem, even when I had a very tiny kitchen.

            Hope this helps.

            1. re: RGC1982

              "My favorite turkey pan is a deep, sturdy, but light weight granite ware pan'.

              I seriously didn't know they made them anymore. I remember my Grandmother, one of the best cooks I've ever known to this day, using ONLY granite ware for her turkey.
              Her turkey was magnificent and she claimed it was because of this roaster.
              I'm going looking for one, thanks! :).

              1. re: RGC1982

                "You will have difficulty crisping the skin. Too much pan around the bird, and not enough dry air circulation'>

                You sound like you know what you're doing when it comes to roasting birds. This is exactly why I don't use my LC any longer for roasting turkey and decided to go with stainless steel, which I love. However now that you've mentioned granite ware.....hmm.

                1. re: RGC1982

                  I have used graniteware roasters for turkey and chicken for many years. I think using them produces a fine bird. All of mine are vintage, one I bought decades ago, and a couple of others bought second hand. You used to be able to find them in all sizes. Now you might have to search for them in a hardware or farm supply store. I have never roasted in an open pan, although I have uncovered the bird late in the cooking process to brown a bit more. A graniteware pan should not cost you an arm and leg.

                  1. re: RGC1982

                    RGC you are of course right about a lidless dutch oven, but I'm sure the OP is referring to one of these, which come in different sizes. Similar non LC items are available at about 1/3 the price from restaurant supply sites here in the UK:

                    http://www.chefsresource.com/lecreus1...

                    What you describe as granite wear is widely available over here and very good it is too. I use a large one lined with foil as an extra BBQ when we have a crowd.

                    1. re: Robin Joy

                      I thought about this shape when I read the original post, but the Staub reference made me think it was a Dutch oven that the OP had in mind. Good point. Regardless, I think these are quite heavy if you get them in a large enough size to handle even a 12 lb. turkey. I have two smaller ones, which can maybe handle a chicken, and the enameled cast iron weighs a ton. Chickens are okay, but I draw the line at big birds in these heavy pans.

                      Here is what I was thinking. I have a large rectangular one. I am sure you can find the oval and a rectangular one elsewhere if you just search on-line:

                      http://www.goodmans.net/get_list_880.htm

                2. I've been roasting The Turkey in the same pan on the same rack for almost 50 years. It's a plain ordinary roasting pan with a separate rack. I don't even know where I bought the set up but probably the discount store somewhere in the boonies where we were living lo those many years ago. Sometimes it's in the oven and sometimes it's in the Weber. Somehow it all turns out perfectly.

                   
                  1. I use my tri-ply stainless Calphalon everyday pan for roasting and it works beautifully. Gravy is easy too. The pan doesn't warp at all.

                    1. <What do you roast your turkey in?>
                      One of those disposable aluminum roasting pans in a Reynolds roasting bag.
                      Cook it with the breast down and open the bag and turn it right side up the last 30 minutes. Toss everything when you're done. Never a dry turkey.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: monku

                        I used alum roasting pans for years at Thanksgiving. Now I have a beautiful copper Mauviel one I picked up for a steal a few years ago. I have to honestly the turkey roasts comparably in both. The Mauviel gives me a lot of aesthetic pleasure but I can't say it really has improved the quality fo the turkey.

                        1. re: ziggylu

                          Roasting pan would be a once a year tool in my kitchen, so I never invested in one.
                          I don't think the turkey knows.

                          1. re: ziggylu

                            You must be very strong:) Do you work out?

                            Oh, those copper roasters are beautiful.

                        2. I used a Le Creuset for years and decided I wanted stainless steel.
                          Purchased All Clad all stainless steel and it was one of the best investments I've ever made.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: latindancer

                            Why? What is the difference?

                            1. re: c oliver

                              I have both LC and All Clad...
                              I now own mostly All Clad pots and pans.
                              Oh, and I also own a Viking roaster which I also love....I can roast vegetables in it while roasting my turkey in the other.
                              I buy a large turkey approx. 30# so I have the largest roaster they make. The pan roasts and cooks the turkey evenly and I never have to worry about the drippings burning while it's roasting.
                              The All Clad sears and roasts evenly and beautifully with the crisp skin I found I never got with LC. I never found the same with LC although I do admit I love the large LC dutch oven to be one of my best pots for various other things. As another poster stated I can roast vegetables in it, superbly, and make lasagnas and it's just more versatile. Nothing sticks like it does in LC. I simply didn't have the same results with LC

                          2. Goodness, my All-Clad roasting pan is among the most-used items in my kitchen. In addition to roasting poultry and red meats, I use it to roast veggies for soups/stews/ and salads. It also comes into play for browning bones and veggies for stock making. I can't imagine doing without this pan. And, of course, you can press it into service for making a huge lasagna.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: pikawicca

                              I use a 11" x 14" roasting pan and rack from Chicago Metallic. It is commercial restaurant stuff, not expensive. I really try to stay away from Teflon as I've seen a few disasters with the Teflon letting loose and being stuck to the food. (they also have a 12" x 17" version)

                              1. re: Alacrity59

                                I don't like nonstick roasting pans, as they inhibit the formation of fond, but I think it's crucial to have a heavy-bottomed pan to prevent burning. cheap is usually not good.

                            2. Why do you prefer LC or Staub?

                              1. I guess I am different to all the others. I roast the bird on the oven rack. On a lower oven rack I put a pan partially filled with water. The drippings from the bird drop in the pan making your gravy - just don't let it boil dry. It's easy to clean. It also cooks quicker in steam rather than dry air. Finally the higher humidity (IMO) helps reduce evaporative loss from the turkey.

                                Each to their own, I guess.

                                1. A smallish roasting pan isn't a unitasker - you can do lasagnas, roast veggies (especially if the veggies are below a nice layer of slow roasting meat, rendering fat down on top of them.mmmm... pork belly)..

                                  1. This Calphalon roasting pan beat out Al-Clad in CI's tests. http://www.amazon.com/Calphalon-Conte...

                                    I have it, and absolutely love it. It is perfect for roasting of course, inc chickens, turkeys, pork roasts etc. It is also the absolute best thing for water baths for cheese cakes. I also just used it for a huge batch of chex mix that wouldn't have fit in anything else.

                                    This pan cleans perfectly in the dishwasher. It still looks like new. It will also last a lifetime.

                                    You really want a high enough quality pan to do pan sauces directly in the pan on the stove top after roasting. This pan does not burn the drippings because it is so high-quality.

                                    I am getting my sister one for Christmas this year.

                                    1. As much as an All Clad all stainless steel roasting tray is on my lust list, I would rather put the money towards an All Clad stainless steel dutch oven or Staub. I would not buy one just to accommodate roasting a turkey mainly because of the size.

                                      I roasted a turkey this past weekend up at Lake Tahoe (in Altitude) using two (doubling up) disposable aluminum pans and bought a roasting rack. I have to say this was the best turkey I have made and one of my friends is a chef thought it was the best he had too and was a hit with everyone.
                                      The skin was golden crisp and the inside was extremely juicy. Now I did brined the turkey the night before so not sure if that made the difference.