Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Oct 22, 2012 06:26 AM

Vertical Roasting - Yay or Nay

While shopping for some extra platters for the holidays, I came across the infamaous vertical roaster

For all you bird roasters out it a must have once converted ?
I generally roast my bird breast side up and then on the last 20% of cooking time, I'll flip it 180 to get the latter so both sides are nice and crispy...

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I think it's been proven that any liquid added for vertical roasting does not enhance flavor, e.g., *Beer Can Kitchen*.....but if your goal is to have crispier outer skin, then it certainly is a very easy method since you do not have to rotate at any point. However, one concern I've noticed with vertical roasting is grease splatter when using temperatures above 400*.......especially if you finish on higher heat at the end.....To combat this, I suggest you use a larger roasting pan with a two inch side/lip.

    I like the way chickens turn out with vertical roasting myself....but you need not purchase one to do so. You can also use cans or types of cake pans like Bundt or Angel Food to achieve the same results. If the cake pan has a thin neck, then you can also roast upside down by inserting through the neck, instead of the cavity.

    18 Replies
    1. re: fourunder

      I will dispute the fact that it's been "proven". When I make beer can chicken, I most defiantly taste the beer. I have used orange juice and lemonade, and not so much, but the beer very much comes through when using that method. And especially not being a beer drinker probably helping the flavour come out more for us.

        1. re: fourunder

          I'll chime in here too. I made beer-can chicken recently and DEFINITELY tasted the beer. I actually didn't like it all that much, the flavor was so pronounced. I'm not disputing anything, just relating my personal and subjective experience with my one-time beer can chicken effort. To the OP, I liked the result of vertical roasting a lot. It's really easy. I air-dried the chicken in the fridge for a day or two, put a simple rub on it, roasted it, and made a typical gravy/sauce from the drippings. I'll probably keep doing it this way for a while.

          1. re: TheCarrieWatson

            Easy solution if you can taste the beer: Pour it out and replace it with water.

        2. re: Midknight

          I agree with you Midknight - beer can chicken definitely flavors the chicken and keeps it very moist. My brother-in-law makes it quite a bit - grills it on his green egg cooker - delicious!

          1. re: Midknight

            I put wine in a well washed out can and do that instead. It tastes fantastic. I've never done the beer. Sounds good.

          2. re: fourunder

            You can jam the bird neck-end down onto a wider vertical roaster, can, or tube pan, too. It will open enough to work. If using a tube pan, cover the opening of the tube with foil or a metal jar/bottle lid so nothing drips through to the oven floor. The advantage to the legs being at the top is that they get more heat, so the white and dark meat reach their respective temp goals at the same time, and the fat from the legs runs down to baste the breast meat.

            1. re: fourunder

              even if you can't taste the beer, the can makes a nice cheap, disposable, vertical roaster and my grill-roasted beer can chickens are always really great and just different than any other chicken.

              1. re: danna

                Can't wait to try the vertical method (which makes perfect sense) with the following marinade. Made this the other day, started cooking back up then flipped it but the back skin ended up soggy anyway. Rest of the skin was glorious.

                2” piece ginger, peeled and chunked
                ½ tsp red pepper flakes
                1 shallot, thinly sliced
                2 Tbl vegetable oil
                2 cloves garlic, sliced
                2 Tbl fish sauce
                2 Tbl tubinado sugar
                1 Tbl soy sauce
                2 stalks lemongrass, peeled, sliced and minced in processor
                Add all to processor and process to loose paste. Marinate 6 hrs to overnight. Brush 3-4 times during cooking.

              2. re: fourunder

                I've got an old pyrex vertical chicken roaster in my cupboard for years, may just take it out after this discussion! It would seem that time is your friend......

                Many, many (!) years ago DH and I were up in the wee hours and, yes, we bought a "set it and forget it" Showtime Rotisserie. Fabulous when we only had one oven for holiday dinners. Friends even borrowed it. Gotta say, it does a darned good job on chicken, and thus retired the vertical roaster. This is probably about 17-18 years ago, and it's still going strong. So, sue me, y'all.

                Now that we've got double ovens, life is blessedly easier and ye old rotisserie has been retired. Fourunder has made me a convert for low and slow rib roasts, and I'm gonna give his methods a try for chickens and turkeys. Will definitely bring out the pyrex vertical roaster. The only thing I didn't like was that the funnel was solid. Wonder if a bundt pan would be better, with the hole in the top?

                1. re: blaireso

                  I've got an old pyrex vertical chicken roaster in my cupboard for years, may just take it out after this discussion! It would seem that time is your friend......

                  Speaking of old and ancient kitchen equipment...have a look here for my coffee making small wares...a percolator and an old Cory Vacuum, 40+ and 60+ years old respectively. Both make better coffee than any automatic drip or silly single cup maker presently the craze.


                  If you use the Bundt pan, I would suggest you place that on top of a roasting pan or sheet pan to catch any potential drippings and reduce the amount of cleaning for the oven.

                  btw... nice to hear you are a low and slow convert.

                  1. re: fourunder

                    I've been thinking about this, and wonder if the solid cone center might actually protect the moisture content of the breast area? I don't remember a lot of details, but it seemed to me that even with the drip tray design there was still a need for a baking sheet or something underneath.

                    Not sure I want to risk my beautifully seasoned, OLD bundt pan on a chicken. Think I'd rather use an old jello mold, ha ha. That won't make me cry if I have to toss it (and this is a light hearted remark, folks who go crazy over offhand remarks).

                    I remember my in-laws' old Corningware percolator, they swore it made better coffee than my Melitta or Chemex. Do you still use your percolator? My DH has been through several automatic coffee makers, while I ignore them and continue with my little plastic Melitta and filters. If I have to drink his brew, I dump in milk and sugar. With mine, it's blissfully black, clean up is a cinch, and I make only what I need. Do I sound like an old fogie?

                    1. re: blaireso

                      If you look down below, I just posted this past week with pictures a chicken I roasted with a solid cone ceramic vertical roaster I picked up at a Thrift Shop for $2.64. I don't think it keeps the breast any more moist than roasting in a dish or pan, but it definitely aids in crisping the skin...especially on the back since all areas can be exposed to high heat evenly. I do recommend them, and catching the pool of juices with a nice pouring spout is a great bonus.. I also use it in conjunction with a sheet pan for easier removal from the oven.

                      As for the coffee, I tend to use the Percolator more than the Vacuum Pot simply for one reason....I've got early Alzheimer's and am prone to being forgetful. With the electric coffee maker, I can set it up and walk away without any worries. With the Vacuum Pot, I have to stay and pay attention to it until the coffee is finished. I know I could purchase a new stove top percolator at any time, but I like the idea of searching for a nice vintage remind me of my youth and making coffee for my parents when I was 5 years old.....and seeing the smiles on their faces. I recall two percolators over those years....A very simple aluminum one and another Revere Stainless Steel Model with a copper bottom. That's the one I would like to procure.....I know I can get them easily on eBay....but I like the idea and challenge to find it at a garage sale or at an outdoor flea market to find it totally by chance.

                      In the past, I have owned a Melitta Brew as well, but I probably broke the bowl and did not bother replace it. It did make nice coffee. As for automatic drip....I've probably gone through at least a half dozen units.....I'll stick with my relics and both will probably outlive least I know the Vacuum Pot will.

                      1. re: fourunder

                        I'm with you. I carry around about 3 timers, one around my neck, a two-fer in my pocket. That's if I leave the room. I have two timers on the oven & microwave that are almost as many as I need when I'm in the kitchen, LOL. When one goes off I have to think what I'm supposed to do! There may be lists for those in my future. I have a big dry erase board inside my pantry door divided into which store sells what so I can make my list before I head out. If I lose my list I have to go home and start over. Blech.

                        I remember those Revere Ware coffee makers. Back in the early 70s I had a full set of Revere Ware. Loved them, didn't even mind the polishing. When I got divorced I bought a set of Farberware which I had for the next 37 years, still have the very useful 4 qt stockpot. Because of arthritis in my hands I could not replace them with All Clad, but I'm pretty happy with my Cuisinart pans. I do wish my 10" CI pan had a helper handle. I'd get an even bigger one except I doubt I could even get it out of the cupboard much less ever have a burner big enough to actually heat the whole surface--residential appliances, arrgh.

                        Anyway, back to the OP. I'm gonna pull out my pyrex vertical roaster after my next shopping trip and give it another run--I just checked and actually found it. It's also got a pouring spout. Not sure of the capacity of the well, hopefully I can squeeze a few slivers of carrot, onion and celery in there and watch for overflow onto the sheet pan (gotta set another timer, ha ha).

                2. re: fourunder

                  This year as I prepare to do my third full hosting of Thanksgiving (that is to say, I am doing the cooking) I will be vertical roasting in a caldero (sans lid). Cast aluminum construction with higher sides, I am thinking this will nicely contain some of the splatter. Inexpensive calderos are popular among Mexican-Americans and they are readily available and cheap in my neck of the woods. I plan to use it like a dutch oven on the grill in the summer months when 100+ degree temps motivate me to do a lot more outdoor cooking!

                  1. re: CaliforniaJoseph

                    What did you use to prop up the bird? This is a great idea, you can maneuver it out without spillage, put lots of vegetables in the bottom, and use to make gravy. How did it turn out?

                    Here in LV you can get a caldero at Walmart, they're that common. Best place might be there or at the swap meet.

                    If you have one oven, how did you manage the other items that require baking?

                    1. re: blaireso

                      I use a glass vertical roaster like this.

                      Since writing that I noticed you can readily find IMUSA calderos at any Walmart or Target.

                      I was pleased with the easy clean up - the shiny 36cm aluminum caldero was as fine a roasting pan as I have ever used! I believe I will be using it as a chicken fryer too! I got mine for >$27 at a local discount chain (DDs)

                    2. re: CaliforniaJoseph

                      Great idea! I am getting really tired of the vertical roasting splatter!

                  2. Hmmm.....brined or not. Which one produces a moister bird.
                    With the breast side up ,I know that it's constantly flowing down....

                    For those that have done both, does the Vertical still compare....

                    1. It's inexpensive enough and doesn't take up much space as a unitasker. It makes a good roast chicken, crispy skin but still doesn't compare to Zuni chicken.

                      1. I found a vertical roaster at my dad's house that he was never going to use, so I grabbed it.

                        I preheaed to 450 derees and rubbed the chicken with salt, garlic powder, put it on the vertical roaster and added wine and chicken stock to the bottom of the pan.
                        I cooked it 10 minutes per pound plus 10 minutes and another 10 minutes because the chicken was cold. About 1 hour, 10 minutes for a five pound chicken.

                        I stuffed garlic cloves and lemons in the cavity.

                        When it came out, the oven was a bit splattered but the chicken was divine. I believe in the vertical roaster!

                        1. I pretty much spatchcock all my chike these days. Crspy, easy to divide, still succulent. Yep.

                          But my dad loves to jam the can up a chicken so we do it when we camp with him. Hmmm.