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Dec 21, 2010 02:34 PM

What size roasting pan should I get?

What dimensions should I look for in a roasting pan for roasts up to 10 lbs? I want a pan that will fit the roast, but not squish it against the sides or be so wide that my gravy will burn. And will this same pan be too big for a 5 lb. duck?

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  1. Bigger is better than smaller.....I suggest you purchase one that allows you room to shut the oven door on any shelf level and allows two inches on each side to allow for air circulation.....Nothing Flimsy and stay away from black.....supposedly it inhibits heat transfer.or conductivity. I do not recommend glass for lack of browning purposes.

    16 Replies
    1. re: fourunder

      What size do you use and what do you usually roast in that pan?

      1. re: michaelnrdx

        Not to sound pompous, but I have an assortment of pots and pans collected over a five decade career in the food business. My pieces lean more towards commercial equipment. I'm not into the All -Clad, Williams-Sonoma variety. I've received the stuff over the years and I pull a Re-Gifting program for the people who would appreciate those things more. I have a full sets of Vintage Wusthof-Trident , JA Henkels and etc knives, but I use Commercial Dexter-Russell everyday....

        Commercial equipment is very durable and easily replaced. For most roasting for large holiday cooking, I will ususally used stainless steel hotel pans, i.e., the insert pans you see in the chafing dishes at a buffet line. Just because its expensive doesn't mean its good for cooking.

        For most heavy duty roasting, I use a rolled edge, bottom reinforced roasting pan made of steel that's quite heavy. it comes with two bar running lengthwise and upt the sides. It probably weighs 6-7 pounds alone. I also have a Carlise double aluminim reinforced covered roaster. These roasters are probably in the vicinity of 20 X 14 X 3.....and very old

        If it can fit, I like to roast in Commercial Braziers....I have varying sizes. and they work great for sauces, soups, braising and stove top pan frying.

        1. re: fourunder

          Do you have an idea of what dimensions of pans I should look for, if I'm roasting something that's 10 lbs vs. something that's 5 lbs? I'm trying to buy a suitable pan for this purpose, and I don't have a good idea of how big a 10 lb goose is, etc. I tried roasting a 5 lb. duck on a 16x13 broiler pan once and it totally burned the gravy. The pan was obviously too wide, so I'm looking for a smaller pan.

          The restaurant supply store in my area sells roasting pans that are 12x17, but that seems a little big. On this website ( ), they suggest 10x14 pans for 10 lb roasts, but I wanted to check with fellow CH'ers if this is about right. Can I roast 5 lbs. in it too, without burning the gravy? (Let's assume the bottom is thick and all, and surface area is the only factor in question.) If not, would a 9x13 rectangular baking dish be better for 2.5 to 5 lb roasts?

          1. re: michaelnrdx

            My suggestion is for you to measure your oven's depth from front to back and side to side. I actually have two kitchens, one with a commercial stove/oven that's large...but my home's wall oven's interior is approximately 20 X 17. My 20 x14 fits perfectly for large items and the necessary gap opening on the sides for air flow ...and shutting the door completely tight.

            With regards to length, or the longest dimension, lets say your roast (like a rolled stuffed turkey or Whole Loin of Pork) exceeded 20 inches......not to worry, as you could angle the roast from corner to corner and gain the inches you need.

            My best advice is for you to by ceramic coated or stainless steel and make sure they are sturdy. These two are very easy to clean. if you ever opt for a brazier...stainless steel or double/triple gauge aluminum with a cover.

            With thicker bottom pans, you will not burn the gravy or pan drippings quite so easily.

            1. re: fourunder

              I'm not worried about the pan being able to fit in the oven. I definitely will never roast something that big. I'm more concerned about finding the perfect dimensions for a pan that will provide adequate room for the meat (usually up to 10 lbs when dealing with everyday cooking) without having so much empty surface area that the gravy will burn.

              I suppose I could walk to the grocery store and measure the circumference of a 10 lb goose, but I was hoping someone had an intuitive idea of how big these things are and can suggest an approximate size pan.

              1. re: michaelnrdx

                If you do a lot of low temperature roasting, the size of the pan is very important, as you do not have to worry about grease splatter.....however, if you sear with a high heat blast either in the beginning or end, the size is very important or you will be doing a lot of cleaning afterwards. The weight of the goose really is not what I would worry about. It's the length and width of the bird and the extra inches needed for proper even heating.

                If you are using this vessel to serve at the table, that's another matter.

                I haven't cooked a goose in a while, but it's not much different than a turkey in practical terms when roasting. I do not think you can get a pan any smaller than 16 X 13 X 3 , a covered oval ceramic turkey roaster or a lasagna pan.

                May I did you burn the gravy that you referenced. Was it in the oven or on the stove top? I suspect the broiler pan was too thin on the bottom. The broiler pan that was originally supplie with my home oven gets repeated use for roasting two chickens, a hotel turkey breast or split chicken...or a Whole Picnic Shoulder or Fresh Ham

                1. re: fourunder

                  Incredibly lame though this may be, I did a three pound roast in my 16 x 13 Calphalon roaster the other night, mostly just to see what would happen. I made gravy on the stove top afterwards. Ridiculously unnecessary as this pan was for the task, the gravy never came close to burning. I'm guessing burning would only be a major concern in a pan without a thick bottom, unless you tried to walk away for an unreasonably long period of time (in which case you'd have burning under any circumstances).

                  1. re: pothead

                    Your results are precisely what I would imagine them to problems and no concerns. the OP wants to cook something 2-4 times as big as your roast. there should not be a problem.

                    When I roast a 34 pound bird or a 6-8 inch Pork Loin Roast, Pork Tenderloin Roasts, I've used a 10 inch Fry pan. It's really not the vessel, but the methods used.

                  2. re: fourunder

                    I was roasting a 5 lb duck in a 16x12 broiler pan at 425 degrees (for the first 15 min.) then at 350 for another hour and 15 min. It definitely didn't have a thick bottom, and that may have been a factor, but the pan was also very wide. I was had one thinly sliced carrot and one thinly sliced onion in the pan, and the veggies burned to a crisp by the time the duck was done. I was supposed to make a sauce out of the fond and roasted veggies.

                    Obviously, it's not the weight of the roast that determines the fit of the pan, but the dimensions. I was assuming that a 10 lb goose, for example, has an average circumference associated with it.

                    But in your experience, if it's a thick-bottomed pan, the veggies shouldn't burn no matter how large the pan is?

                    This particular roasting pan at my local restaurant supply store caught my eye. It seems a little too big, but it is made of 24 gauge steel. (I'll have to check out how thick it really is.)


                    It's about $30, so it seems like a really good deal. But again, I haven't seen it in person yet. I'll visit the store soon.

                    1. re: michaelnrdx

                      I suspect your poor results were a combination of high heat and the thin bottomed pan.

                      The pan you referred to @ big tray is similar in construction to the heavy steel reinforced rolled lip pan I mentioned in my earlier comments. I'm sure you will not have any problems with it.....unless you burn something on the bottom. Steel is not like Stainless Steel when it comes to easy cleaning. I believe you will also be more comfortable with the size from this discussion.

                      1. re: fourunder

                        I see. Maybe I'll go check the pan out and if they allow returns, I'll test it out on a small roast and see how that goes.

                2. re: fourunder

                  OUTSTANDING ADVICE!

                  Nothing is worse that having stuff that won't fit, and in this case, a miss as good as a mile!

                  Don't forget to include the handles, especially if they aren't the sort that fold down.

                  Also, figure you will want to put this on your stove top in order to do the sauce or gravy. (That's why teflon is not necessarily a good choice -- a nice HEAVY anodized aluminum or multi-ply stainless is the way to go.)

              2. re: fourunder

                Oh, fourunder, you really did it. I am loving the pans in the links you provided. Already trying to justify why I need to order some of these pans, since they have such depth at 5 inches or so. Just wondering, if I do a tomato based dish, in your experience, does the aluminum react negatively to any ingredients? I know restaurants use aluminum all the time, so I'm assuming no, but thought I'd ask. Thanks.

                1. re: breadchick

                  I've never had a problem cooking my Sunday Gravy in a large Double or Triple Gauge Aluminum WearEver pot.. or a Bolognese in a shorter Brazier.....However, I would not let it sit in the pot to cool or store in the refrigerator with the sauce still inside......the inside of the pot turns a little black from oxidation(?)... or reaction to the acid in the tomato.

                  I have small braziers with 2 inch side up to 6 inches .

                  If you really want to have some fun, go to some restaurant auctions. You can almost steal them there.

                    1. re: breadchick

                      Well, I do not have any extra appendages, I still know who I am and where I live....and I'm here to tell you about it...


          2. You may want to refer back to your earlier thread on this:


            2 Replies
            1. re: c oliver

              I have and decided I needed better input, so I started a new thread.

              1. re: michaelnrdx

                What people generally do is reply to their own thread and that gives it a bump.