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In a Roasting Pan, does the aluminum layer need to go up the sides?

I would like to buy a stainless steel roasting pan to replace my old and scratched nonstick pan. From my research, it appears that some roasting pans have an aluminum layer just on the bottom, while others have the aluminum running up the sides. In particular, I've been looking at the Cuisinart Chef's Classic (aluminum core in base) vs. the Cuisinart Multi-Pro (tri-ply with aluminum core). http://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-7117-... vs. http://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-MCP11....

I've been looking at these two because they come with a stainless steel rack (I've had several nonstick racks and have come to really dislike them because the nonstick coating always flakes off when scrubbing the chicken skin off).

I use a roasting pan mostly for roast chickens and I sometimes deglaze the drippings on the stovetop. So I need a pan that can take the heat of the burners (gas). But does it really make a difference in either the roasting or the deglazing process if the aluminum is just on the base and doesn't go up the sides?

Thanks for any insight!

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    1. It shouldn't matter much for a roasting pan.

      1. I have to agree with K and CK. In addition, the pan with aluminum only on the bottom probably uses a much thicker layer, which would not only give you better heat distribution during deglazing, but might also make the whole pan feel stiffer and more solid.

        1. Thanks for all the replies! I knew you all would know. :) This was the answer I was hoping for.

          1. Are you sure the Cuisinart Chef's Classic pan has an aluminum layer on the bottom? The pots and pans in that line do, but I don't see anything in the product description that suggests the same is true of the roasting pan. In fact, I can't recall ever seeing a stainless steel roasting pan that had an aluminum layer on the bottom only ... though it certainly sounds like a good idea.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Miss Priss

              Good point, I don't remember ever seeing a clad-bottom roasting pan.

                1. re: Miss Priss

                  Maybe I have the terminology wrong? The Cuisinart site says that it has an aluminum encapsulated base. Is that not the same thing as having an aluminum layer? See this description here (not sure why it says it's discontinued since it's still being sold on Amazon and other sites): http://www.cuisinart.com/discontinued...

                  1. re: goodeatsgal

                    I suspect that the blurb (rather deceptively, IMO) describes the entire "Chef's Classic" line of cookware, rather than any individual piece. Notice that it mentions a "Cool Grip handle", a "helper handle", and a "Flavor Lock" lid, none of which appear to be applicable to a roasting pan. The same may be true for the "aluminum encapsulated base".


                    Chef's Choice Stainless:
                    mirror finish. Classic looks, professional performance.
                    Unsurpassed Heat Distribution:
                    Aluminum encapsulated base heats quickly and spreads heat evenly. Eliminates hot spots.
                    Stainless Steel for Professional Results:
                    stainless steel cooking surface does not discolor, react with food or alter flavors. Great for classic cooking techniques like slow simmers, rolling boils and reduction of liquids.
                    Cool Grip Handle:
                    Solid stainless steel riveted handle stays cool on the stovetop. A helper handle provides extra support and balance when lifting and pouring.
                    Drip-Free Pouring:
                    Rim is tapered for drip-free pouring.
                    Flavor Lock Lid:
                    Tightfitting cover seals in moisture and nutrients for healthier, more flavorful results, every time you cook.
                    Dishwasher Safe:
                    Premium stainless steel easily cleans to original brilliant finish.
                    Constructed to Last:
                    Lifetime Warranty.

                    1. re: goodeatsgal

                      Goodeatsgal, you have the terminology right, but I share tanuki soup's suspicion that the Cuisinart website may be misleading.

                  2. Goodeats-- I sometimes deglaze the drippings on the stovetop. So I need a pan that can take the heat of the burners (gas)
                    As long as the liguid covered all areas that are in direct contact with the flame you could simmer/boil in a paper plate (as long as it's a thin one) with out it catching fire or falling apart. I did this with a paper coffee cup and an oxi-acetelene torch that runs about 6300deg f , the cup turned brown but held as long a the water was above the hot spot

                    1. I've used a non-stick roaster (which never created the fond I liked for deglazing later on the range top, so I passed it on) as well as stainless steel and porcelain enameled steel (the graniteware and speckleware roasters that every good hardware store will sell.) With the porcelain enameled steel, it worked just fine and I didn't need any aluminum sandwiched up the sides. Heck, there wasn't any aluminum to be had. I've used it for deglazing and making gravy with no problem and clean up is easy. I mention this only because they can be purchased at a really reasonable price, and you can get them with a cover if you need it.

                      So, to answer your original question - no, you don't need the sides clad to get good results. If you didn't need to create a sauce or gravy, a wide heavy carbon steel pan would work well too!