When it comes to traditional meals, the roasting pan is necessary cookware when you want to prepare tasty roasted meat. Some people use it only for Thanksgiving and then store it, but it doesn’t have to be so. You can use your pan for preparing many tasty meals throughout the year.
If you don’t have one, it is time to consider buying it to enrich your cookware collection and make some food preparation more comfortable. In case you are a beginner in a kitchen and wonder how to use a roasting pan, here is the answer. I will help you to learn about the ways of roasting and the characteristics of this useful dish.
The Process of Roasting
Using a roasting pan seems like an easy job, including choosing the meat, seasoning, placing it on the rack, and putting the pan in the oven. However, there are some details to take care of if you want to get a perfect meal.
Roasting is a process of cooking the meat and veggies in the dry heat. The most common way to do that is to use an open flame or oven. Keep in mind that the necessary temperature in the oven needs to be at least 300 F (150 C). There are a few ways of preparing the meal in this way.
Slow roasting – It is a suitable option for large pieces of meat or a whole turkey or chicken. The oven temperature should be approximately 200 to 320 F (95 – 160 C) to get a juicy and soft meal.
Many experienced cooks will prepare the turkey for Thanksgiving in this way. Slow roasting overnight or during the day while having fun with the guests is an excellent solution to get a delicious meal without much effort. Keep in mind that you need a thermometer to check the meat temperature occasionally.
Fast roasting – It is the procedure of preparing the meat on the higher temperatures. That way, you will get the crust creates on the top, while the inside remains soft and juicy. For the lovers of the medium-rare meat, this is a perfect way of roasting.
Searing – Some people prefer to sear the meat. This option includes initial preparing the meat in the non-stick pan on the stove and then placing it on the rack and in the oven to continue roasting. As a result, you will get the golden-brown crust.
Lately, chefs use modifying techniques instead of traditional searing. Start baking on the lower temperatures and raise the oven’s heat when it comes to an end. That will help in creating a crispy crust, as well.
Basting – It is a helpful technique to create a perfect crust on the meat, especially when it comes to chicken or turkey. Believe it or not, it is not complicated to get crispy, golden, tasty skin on top.
Use a spoon to pick up the released juices from the bottom of the pan, and pour them over the meat from time to time. Another option is to use a brush to apply the fat or butter over the meat.
Once you finish with baking, leave the meat to rest. Pull the pan out of the oven and give it some time to cool down. While it is cooling from the outside, the inside of the meat will continue to cook, making it easier to cut the perfect slices.
Prepare Quality Meals in Your Roasting Pan
As soon as you chose a convenient roasting pan, you should look for the tasty dishes you want to prepare.
Fish – Preparing the fish is an easy and fast process. If you use a fillet with the skin, make sure to place the skin side on the bottom. You can add a foil on the bottom to prevent it from sticking.
Vegetables – Use your roasting pan to prepare potatoes, carrots, zucchini, and beetroot. Place them between the pieces of meat and let them soak all the taste from the dripping.
Another option is to make vegetables separately. Keep in mind that quality seasoning and added herbs will improve the taste of both meat and veggies. Make sure not to put too many pieces so they can roast evenly.
Butternut squashes – It will take approximately an hour to prepare them. The precise baking time will depend on the type of roasting. You can prepare squashes sliced in cubes or cut in two equal pieces. If you don’t want to make it to brown, add a small amount of water in the pan.
Souffle and custard – Put water in a pan and then add the cups with souffle or custard inside. This technique of creating a water bath is also suitable for cheesecakes.
Shepherd’s pie or lasagna – You can prepare these dishes in your roasting pan, especially if you expect many people at dinner. Don’t forget to remove the rack when making them. To ensure your meal from sticking, use a parchment paper as for any other baking pans.
Breakfast – There are no reasons not to prepare eggs, sausage, and bacon in a roasting pan with a small amount of oil. It can be comfortable when you have a big family of guests. In such a case, the frying pan is not a practical solution since it is smaller.
Crucial Roasting Pan Features
A roasting pan’s essential characteristics allow the withstanding of high temperatures, up to 500 F (260 C). Its high sides and a rack placed on the bottom will help you roast the meat evenly by enabling the hot air to flow around.
Plus, the rack is a highly helpful addition when preparing a large cut of meat or a big turkey. It is hard to turn them over in standard pans, so this cookware is an ideal solution.
When you make your meal on the rack, the hot air will flow below and enable even roasting. Also, the juices and fat from the meat will melt and drip into the pan. You can use them later to make a tasty gravy.
There are two types of racks:
- V-shape rack
- Flat, horizontal rack
If your oven is not too big, you should choose a horizontal rack. The V-shape model will position the meat too high so that you may get overcooked or dry meat. Nowadays, you can also find a roasting pan with a bottom similar to the grill pan.
One of the most significant benefits of the rack is that your meat won’t be laid in grease while roasting. Still, some prefer not to use a rack but place the meat on chopped onions or other vegetables, which improves the taste. Basically, it will depend on your preferences.
Sizes and Shapes of Roasting Pan
Roasting pans come in different sizes. Therefore, you should precisely measure your oven before making the final decision. In most cases, this pan is up to 3 inches (7.6 cm) high, with the typical size of 16 by 13 inches (40.5 x 33 cm).
When you put your chicken meat or steak inside, you should always provide at least 2 to 3 inches (5 – 7.5 cm) of space between them. That will help in proper roasting. The next thing to pay attention to is the shape of your pan. It can be either oval, round, or rectangular.
The convenient shape for roasting turkey or chicken is oval, but steaks will do better in the rectangular shape because of the cutting. It is convenient to have handles on the pan, especially if the piece of meat you want to bake is exceptionally large.
Although some of these pans come with lids, you should avoid covering the meat while roasting if you prefer getting a crispy crust. Unfortunately, most of the meat and vegetables will be steamed, not roasted when covered.
On the other hand, a lid will shorten the roasting time. However, remove it when baking is almost complete and roast it uncovered for a while to get more crispy crust on the top. Be mindful of removing the cover but not lift it towards yourself to avoid getting burned with the steam. Then, take the meat from the oven.
The most common materials for roasting pans are stainless steel, aluminum, cast iron, coated enamelware, and clay. Some have a non-stick surface, which is a practical option for proper preparation and cleaning cookware afterward.
A quality roasting pan should be heavy and sturdy, not to warp or flex while exposing it to high temperatures. That will allow you to use it on the stove when your meal requires that way of preparing. Once you put it inside, you need to be sure that it won’t burn fast.
The use of roasting pan in several different ways will simplify and enrich your cooking at the same time. So, you should consider including this cookware into everyday cooking, instead of using it only for Thanksgiving and other holidays.