How to Use a Roasting Pan

by G.K. Bayne

A roasting pan is a large pan, often with a lid, that is used to roast meats in the oven. The pan can be made of stainless steel, aluminum, or other metals and have enamel or nonstick coatings. Roasting pans are available in a variety of sizes to suit different types of roasting. The key to properly using a roasting pan is to leave at least 2 inches of air space around the meat that you are roasting.

Using a Roasting Pan:

  1. Place the meat rack in the roasting pan. Some models of roasting pans do not include a rack and instead have ribs on the bottom of the pan to elevate the meat.

  2. Place the meat to be roasted on the rack. Center the meat in the pan. Leave 2 to 3 inches from the edges of the pan all around the meat. This allows heat to circulate and evenly cook the meat.

  3. Place the roaster on the center rack in a preheated oven. Follow the recipe for the desired oven temperature and cooking time.

    Roasting Pan Cooking Tips:

    • Dark-colored roasters will cook faster than unfinished metals, such as stainless steel, because they absorb and transfer heat faster.

    • Deeper pans can slow down the cooking time as it is harder for the heat to circulate in a deep pan. Use a deep roasting pan for meats you wish to slow cook.

  4. Cover the meat with the lid or with tented aluminum foil. A covered roasting pan will cook foods faster than an uncovered roaster. A covered roaster creates a mini-oven inside your regular oven. If browning is occurring too quickly before the meat is cooked to the desired temperature, cover the pan with the lid or aluminum foil.

  5. Allow the meat to rest in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes after it is removed from the oven. Transfer the meat to a platter and allow it to rest for another five minutes. This will help to distribute the natural juices throughout the meat. Cutting the meat too soon will let the juices come out on your cutting board, and you won't get to enjoy eating them.

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Updated March 17, 2015