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Nov 1, 2011 07:40 PM

What size roasting pan would you recommend?

I'm looking to finally get a good roasting pan. A few years ago I made the mistake of getting a non-stick roasting pan and soon discovered it wasn't very good for sauces or gravy. So I'm looking at getting a heavier duty stainless steel pan. My big question is how big of a pan should I get? Normally, we'll roast chicken, rack of lamb or a beef rib roast. But I doubt we'll be roasting a turkey each year. I was initially thinking that its better to get a bigger 16"x12" pan just in case we want to do something bigger. But when I saw the size of it, I started thinking that it would be too big for a smaller roast. Any suggestions on the size? If I do go with the larger pan (but get a good heavy duty one), do you think I'd having any issues burning the juices on the bottom of the pan? Thanks in advance.

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  1. Hello,
    Here is a link that you might find useful. There are a couple of pans on sale. Hope this helps.

    1. I'd get a nice, heavy duty roasting pan that I could also use on the stove to make a nice gravy. I'd get the size that I would accommodate what I normally cooked. See, for me, I don't like heating up a huge roasting pan for a small bird or rack of lamb because I've actually warped a pan before (kind of like when you heat up a baking sheet and only use like 1/3 of it and rest overheats or something and warps ).It also becomes an issue of the drippings/juices. I've found that the larger the pan, the greater the surface area, which means the juices of my normal sized bird/roast really spreads out on the bottom of the pan and because its a thin thin layer, it either burns on or evaporates. It also becomes a storage issue, too. So for these reasons, I pitched out my super huge what if I roast a 20 lb turkey every 7 years pan in favor of a pan that accommodates my normaI cooking habits. I have a really heavy duty pan, and I love it.

      1. One that fits in your oven. I got a nice roasting pan from my mother-in-law beacuse it was too big for her oven.

        1 Reply
        1. re: suburban_mom

          Sweet! Yup, pan's gotta fit in the oven...

        2. Don't bother with getting roasting pan for smaller roasts and chickens.

          I use my 11" diameter saute pan or my 10" fry pan to roast chickens, partial/single racks of lamb and most roasts. Usually the choice of which I use depends on if or how thick a bed of vegetables I plan to put down to flavour the fond and what I need on the cook-top to prepare the other dishes of the meal. They won't fit a large turkey or a standing rib roast, but those are not smaller roasts.

          IMHO, for roasting, you want to use the smallest vessel that will suffice, so even smaller items could go in smaller fry pans/saute pans if you have them

          4 Replies
          1. re: khuzdul

            Thanks for the great reply. Never would have thought of using a fry pan for roast chickens or racks of lamb. You mentioned that a rib roast is a larger roast and would be too big for a saute/fry pan, how big of a pan do you think you'd need for a 7-10 lb roast? I still tended to think of that as a smaller roast.

            1. re: leisterbrau

              Just to be sure that we are on the same page, I believe that a 7 to 10 lb rib eye roast should fit fine in a 11" saute/fry pan, though I haven't cooked a 10 lb rib eye roast myself so I can't be positive on the high end. If you can fit the roast in to the pan without crowding in order to sear it, you can fit it in the pan to roast it in the oven.

              The larger roast that I was talking about was a full standing rib roast (a bone-in hunk of meat spanning rib 6 to rib 12, 7 ribs total, usually in the 16-18 lb range but can go well above 20lbs) is a large beast and can be over 17 inches long.

              I do have a large copper oval roasting pan that I bring out perhaps twice a year in a busy year to roast turkeys for holidays. Even that would not large enough for a full standing rib roast or a 25 lb turkey.

            2. re: khuzdul

              Thanks for the great reply. Never would have thought of using a saute/fry pan for roasting chickens or racks of lamb. You said that rib roast were larger roasts and wouldn't work in the saute pan. How big of a pan do you think you'd need for a 7-10 lb rib roast?

              1. re: khuzdul

                I was going to suggest using a cast iron skillet. If you want to use a rack, you can buy a stainless round cake "cooling" rack that will easily do the job of keeping your smaller roast lifted off the bottom.

              2. Also look into big gratin dishes / gratin pans. They are beautiful in the kitchen and on the table. The oval shape is perfect for the things you mentioned. They come in all kinds of material - porcelain, ceramic, copper, stainless, enameled cast iron... I have been drooling over one of those for quite some time now because they are so pretty, but I too have been roasting little things in an appropriately-sized skillet with a small roasting rack and have been happy with the result.

                I would also look into one of those low wide braisers with lid. The shape of the cooking area is almost like a skillet. Instead of one long handle and the optional loop handle, these braisers have 2 loop handles, which are convenient when you take them in and out of the oven.

                1 Reply
                1. re: cutipie721

                  I have used my 13" braiser to roast mid-sized fowl that did not fit well in my saute pan before and I thought that there was too much dead space in the pan. I prefer to use a 15"/16"oval roasting pan over a 13" round braiser (about 430 sq inches to 530 sq inches) when the occasion calls for it. As you say with the gratin dishes, an oval roasting pan often is a perfect shape for many roasts. I've seen some 9" and 11" gratin pans that would work marvelously for most DINK and small family roasting needs.