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Roasting Pans


ol_ironstomach
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I honestly don't think it's worth the money splashing out on an expensive roaster. I replaced my Calphalon roaster last year with a really basic stainless steel one from Target to the tune of about $30, and haven't noticed any difference in the quality of the end product. It might make a difference if you're trying to reduce sauce in the roaster when you're done - I've always had better luck doing a quick deglaze of the roaster and finishing the sauce in another pan - or if you're not roasting on a rack.

Make sure whatever you get has fixed/standup handles, though - the fold-down handles are a real pain when you're trying to get a large roasted object out of the oven without accidentally branding yourself on the side of the pan or dropping the roast.

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Going through the same thing myself this year. Finally decided to trash my el Cheapo Ikea pan. It worked well, but I expect a pan to last more than a couple of years, even if I have put it through some harsh treatment.

Saw a Chicago Cutlery (?) one at Strohsnider's the other day for $50. Nice and heavy. So, I don't think you necessarily have to spring big $$ for All-Clad.

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Make sure that the pan you buy can be used on the stove top as well as the oven. Many of the cheap ones cannot. I use the Sur la Table pan that costs about half or a third as much as the All Clad. I have been very happy with it. Other considerations are handles, for a roaster you want to have solid (not hinged) handles that feel comfortable in your hands (with oven mits on). I have a cheap roasting pan, but rarely find a use for it that would not be better accomplished with my good roasting pan.

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With little over a week to go until Turkeyday, I'm thinking it's time I bite the bullet and find myself a good roasting pan.  Requirements: 16x13x3-ish, stainless steel interior, and "does not suck".  Recommendations?  Stick with All-Clad?  How's that relatively inexpensive Sur La Table roaster?

If you can go a wee bit smaller (14 1/2" x 11 3/4" x 2 1/2"), All-Clad's Lasagna Pan is available for under $100.
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I agree with the non-stick solutions (don't use it if you want good fond), I would take a slight issue with the handles question if oven space is tight. Spend your money on high end removal mitts or such rather than handles on your pan. One can save oven space by not trying to make room for such useful items (assuming they are fixed rather than hinged). I am completely open to disagreement since I have never, nor will I ever roast a turkey but have had some serious sides of beef and other large fleshy things come out of my oven in pans sans handles.

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Postscript. Despite my best intentions, I had a surprisingly difficult time finding a reasonably priced heavy pan that wasn't nonstick. The $99 stainless/aluminum/stainless article at BB&B and Sur La Table seemed a bit insubstantial, and I couldn't quite bring myself to shell out for the gorgeous out-of-box Mauviel copper/stainless number at the Williams-Sonoma outlet (with a coupon, it would have been $200...a bargain for a very heavy copper pan, but too rich for my blood).

No, I ended up buying the $30 W-S special, a thick, bright aluminum nonstick (Quantum 2) pan from Metro (model 1096), which came with a nonstick rack. Unsurprisingly, it worked fine for holding up the bird, a fresh 20-pounder from Whole Foods. Surprisingly, it also produced a decent quantity of workable fond. Whether it was because of the sugars from the healthy dose of maple syrup I used in the brine, or because of the grease from the bacon layered over the breast, the drippings were crusty, dark and intense...and easily scraped out without deglazing. Perhaps better results would be expected without a nonstick coating, but for 30 bucks and a really easy cleanup, I'm not complaining.

Thanks to all for your comments!

Dave

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Postscript.  Despite my best intentions, I had a surprisingly difficult time finding a reasonably priced heavy pan that wasn't nonstick.  The $99 stainless/aluminum/stainless article at BB&B and Sur La Table seemed a bit insubstantial, and I couldn't quite bring myself to shell out for the gorgeous out-of-box Mauviel copper/stainless number at the Williams-Sonoma outlet (with a coupon, it would have been $200...a bargain for a very heavy copper pan, but too rich for my blood).

No, I ended up buying the $30 W-S special, a thick, bright aluminum nonstick (Quantum 2) pan from Metro (model 1096), which came with a nonstick rack.  Unsurprisingly, it worked fine for holding up the bird, a fresh 20-pounder from Whole Foods.  Surprisingly, it also produced a decent quantity of workable fond.  Whether it was because of the sugars from the healthy dose of maple syrup I used in the brine, or because of the grease from the bacon layered over the breast, the drippings were crusty, dark and intense...and easily scraped out without deglazing.  Perhaps better results would be expected without a nonstick coating, but for 30 bucks and a really easy cleanup, I'm not complaining.

Thanks to all for your comments!

Dave

Congratulations! It's almost like winning the lottery, isn't it? :lol:

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