Monday, November 24, 2008

Roasting Pans

This week, millions of Americans will be sitting down to stuff themselves with roast turkey. If you're going to roast a turkey, you're going to need a good roasting pan.

Roasting Pans

A heavy roasting pan with easy to grab handles is my choice. Some people swear by enameled pans. I like them, too, as long as they'll hold up to the stove burner. I like being able to make gravy in the same pan so I can use all the delicious fond (crunchy bits) that form on the bottom.

As long as the turkey's not too big, you can find some really good ones that are quite affordable. Some pans have lids, but I've not found that to be critical. Some roasting pans have pour spouts to help drain off the drippings. To my mind that's just needless fluff.

Again, buy the best you can afford, but don't think that price always means the best results. Then again, the cheap throw-away aluminum foil pans will fall apart when you try and get them out of the oven, possible causing an accident that will result in an injury, or at least ruined dinner. So, don't go cheap, either. Comparing how many times you'll use the pan during the year against the cost, helps keep me in check when I start lusting after kitchen equipment at my local kitchen specialty store.

I used to wonder if roasting racks were worth it, but I'm starting to fall in love with them. They get the bird, or other roast, out of the juices and let the hot air circulate around them for more even cooking. If you don't have a rack, or can't afford one, I've found that cutting 1/2 inch disks of onion or potato, to stand the roast on, works pretty well. I prefer the onion because it helps add flavor to the drippings, and thus the gravy I make from them.

Meat Thermometer

Another great roasting tool is a meat thermometer. An instant read thermometer is best. I wish I had one. My old-style dial version works pretty well, though. More and more I've started cooking roasts to temperature, rather than just for time. I've gotten much better results that way, too.


Jordan said...

You should be a professional writer. Oh wait, you are! Hope your turkey is as good as mine!

John Newman said...

Jordan! Glad to see you here, my friend. Thanks! I wish I was a professional writer. Someday, maybe. I'll email with more info.