Many of us only use a large roasting pan a few times a year and even though the meals we are using it for are holiday dinners, where to is important to try to get the food as perfectly cooked as possible, it is hard to justify spending $200+ dollars on a pan that gets so little use. Cook's Country tested some inexpensive roasting pans, all under $100, to see if they would do just as good a job as the more expensive pans while staying in our budgets.
Each of the pans they tested was designed to work both on the stove-top, so they could be used to brown meats, and in the oven or under the broiler. They chose pans with a minimum size of 15" x 11" inches, to accommodate largest turkeys. Overall, they strongly preferred pans that had sturdy, upright handles, which were easy to grip and did not interfere with the way the pan fit into the oven by adding an extra 2-3 inches to the length. They also found that stainless steel pans with aluminum cores offered the best heat distribution, while plain stainless steel could be a bit spotty when it came to browning. Their top picks were:
- CALPHALON Contemporary Stainless Steel Roasting Pan ($100)
- CUISINART Chef's Classic Roasting Pan ($80)
- KITCHENAID Gourmet Distinctions Roasting Pan ($50) - Best Buy
- GRANITE WARE Oval Roasting Pan ($22) - Best Buy for very infrequent roasters