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We registered for a roasting pan and it has been sitting around taking up a lot of space. Do I really need this or is this a "one-tasker" as Alton Brown would say?

I understand that the roasting rack allows the juices to drip down. I've had lots of success roasting chickens just in a baking pan with 2" high sides.

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4 Answers 4

A roasting pan is one of the definitive methods to make oven-roasted bbq, such as kansas city ribs. Most recipes involve a period of foil covered roasting on a rack (so the meat does not sit in its own oil) and covered with foil. It is almost a form of steaming, but different.

I do not know any other method to achieve truly splendid results.

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The one advantage to a roasting pan is that you can cover it easily with foil (or a lid), which is handy for dishes with a long steamed component. Tough roasts, for example, can be cooked low-and-slow in a roasting pan, tightly covered in foil.

Note that most restaurants do not use roasting pans. Instead, they use standard 4 and 6 inch deep rectangular stainless pans, which can also be used for marinating, storage, and so on. The key is the depth of the pan, which is useful if a dish needs to be covered when cooking.

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I use my roasting pan (either with or without a rack) at least once a week to roast vegetables - either for salads, for sides, or (for instance with pumpkin for soup) to get a slightly different and more concentrated flavour before blending the veges. I find the vegetables cook more evenly in a roasting pan than a baking pan - perhaps the higher sides help to create a kind of microclimate around the veges?? Not sure about that one.

When making roast vege salads, you can take the pan straight out of the oven and take advantage of the high sides to mix your other ingredients in (pasta, greens, dressing etc) then serve from there if no one is looking at your serving dish!

I also use it as a water bath when cooking souffles, puddings etc.

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+1 for water bath. Hard to do one in anything else. –  Satanicpuppy Oct 28 '10 at 14:53

I use mine, but I'm known for 20+ pound hunks of meat...In that case it's pretty much a requirement, both for the dripping, etc and for just being big and sturdy enough to handle the weight.

If you're not cooking anything that big, I wouldn't worry about it. Throw some starch in the pan to soak up the grease, and move on, or go old school, and cook it right on the rack with a Yorkshire pudding underneath to catch the drippings.

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