When the holidays are coming and bird is on the menu, you need a roasting pan. However, a standard roasting pan just wont cut it. If you let it sit, the bottom will get soggy and lack any sort of flavor. A roasting pan with rack will give your chicken or turkey air so that it can properly dry. The Best Roasting Pan with Rack should be easy to use and clean.
Why is a Roasting Rack Necessary
A lot of people have the wrong idea when it comes to browning. They assume that browning, means simply cooking the food and making it change color. However, there are two types of “Browning”. The typical browning that most people accomplished are a simple boil or steam. While the food does change color, very little additional flavor compound is developed.
The other type of “Browning” is known as a Maillard Reaction. A maillard reaction is a caramelization of the sugar compound. This can only be reached when the surface reaches a temperature of 300 degree Fahrenheit and above. If lets say the turkey or chicken sits on the bottom of the roasting pan, all the juices will flow there.
Since water will not reach temperature above 212 degree Fahrenheit, the turkey or chicken will never achieve a maillard reaction. As a result, the skin will be soggy and flavorless.
By using a rack, you raise the turkey above the liquid and let air circulate. Since there is no liquid inhibiting the rise of temperature, the turkey can now brown properly.
Is a Roasting Pan Necessary?
What might come as a surprise to most people is that the Pan itself isnt that important. What it basically does is hold the food in place. If you use that logic, all you really need is any container.
However, things start to change if you intend on start cooking on the stove. In this situation, material is important for the initial stages of browning. Certain metal like copper or aluminum will sear better. Also, the interior coating can affect how easy it is to clean. Nonstick variety are the easiest, but I generally prefer stainless steel for durability. You can always put a aluminum foil as a substitute if you hate cleaning.
Now in order to use a rack, you still do need a roasting pan. So if you intend on doing any bird roast, I still recommend getting a roasting pan.
Handles are Key
With all other factors bearing in mind, the most important part of a roasting rack is the handle. You need something wide and large. I have seen many roasting pan with dinky handle that hangs to the side. When you remove it from a 450 degree Fahrenheit, the last thing you want to struggle with is the grip. You can easily burn and hurt yourself. So when you by a roasting pan, find a handle that sticks up and away from the pan. Make sure it has enough room to fit your hand and the glove. This way you can get a good and comfortable grip on it.
Roasting Pan with Stove Top Compatibility
Most metal roasting pan are suitable for stove. Things like cast iron, aluminum and even copper. However, do not use glass or ceramic on the stove. There are some that are compatible, but unless they specially state it, do not do so. You will easily crack and ruin it.
I highly recommend that you just get one that is metal. The initial sear will make all the difference in flavor.
Best Pan for Roasting Vegetable
If your goal is to roast vegetable, then I still recommend starting cooking on the stove. However, if you only have a glass dish, then you can still roast it. Just make sure that the exterior of the vegetable is dry. This way, it can brown properly. Most glass roasting dish are at least 400 degree Fahrenheit oven safe. More than enough to achieve a maillard reaction.
Best Roasting Pan with Rack List
Below, you will find a list of some of the Best Roasting Pan with Rack. They come in a variety of price point and configuration. I have list one in each category, choose one that best suits you.
Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless 16-Inch Rectangular Roaster with Rack (Best Overall)
For a simple and easy to use roasting pan, cuisinart chef classic is a excellent choice. The stainless steel finish will resist rust and corrosion. You can use it on the stove top and the handles are up and away. You wont have any trouble getting a grip on it. The rack is made of stainless steel as well. One thing to note is that it is more difficult to clean than the nonstick variety.
All-Clad E87599 Hard Anodized Aluminum Scratch Resistant Nonstick (Easiest to Clean)
If the thought of cleaning a stainless steel pan scares you, youre not alone. The baked on grease will leave stains that is almost impossible to remove. Luckily, roasting pan with a nonstick coating is easier to use and clean. All Clad roasting pan is a classic example of how a roasting pan should be made. It features a V shaped racked to keep the turkey away from the liquid. The handles are wide and away from the pan as well.
Circulon Nonstick Roasting Pan / Roaster with Rack (Best Buy)
For a more affordable option, Circulon is a good alternative. The pan is large and wide with a hefty roasting rack. Its nonstick coating is durable and has a corrugated base for durability. This model is oven safe up to 450 degree, great for a nonstick pan. Best of all, handles are wide and large. It wont get in the way like other models.
Mauviel Brushed Copper Roasting Pan With Rack
If you feel like splurging then look no further than Mauviel. The gleaming copper exterior will wow and impress you. However, just be aware that copper tarnish with use. Not only that, this isnt a true copper pan, only exterior is copper. Nevertheless, this model is made in France and the handle are well designed.
There are a lot of roasting pans out there. The main thing you want to look for is a wide and generous handle. While it may seem minor, it will make all the difference when cooking. Stainless Steel Roasting Pans are the most durable and will do the job, but they are difficult to clean. Nonstick pans are a good alternative, but be aware that they have a limited shelf life. For those who just want to flex, then get a copper model by Mauviel.
Like Baking Food? Check out our article on the Best Au Gratin Dish and Pan.