Friday, September 28, 2012

The Roasting Pan

Everyone is in the kitchen
It is getting again to that part of the year when everyone is in the kitchen. Several times a year, if you are lucky, you are called upon to entertain a large group of friends and relatives. For me, these are some of the year’s best of times. During these festive events, you will find yourself needing a large roasting pan for a whole ham, whole standing rib roast or large turkey.  The basis for choosing the size of the pan depends on the refrigerator size for it will sit on the biggest shelf. 

I want a big roast or turkey for several reasons:
People feel more comfortable with helping themselves to seconds if it looks like there is plenty.
I don’t have to cook again for days
If doing a bird, it takes a big one to hold enough dressing to last several meals
Dark bits in roasting pan floor
When cooking a turkey I find the larger ones are in the range of 23~25 pounds. My roasting pan (see picture below) is 18 x 13 x 3.5 inches because that is what fits my refrigerator. If one has handles that fold down when not in use so much thr better. (Take up no extra length when not in service.) Enameled steel pans (Granite ware), stainless are all good for service. A non stick pan is undesirable as it is less useful at producing those wonderful dark caramelized bits that stick to the pan’s bottom that make such great gravy. The pan serves to hold the turkey, ham or roast as it defrosts in the refrigerator which will take days so plan ahead if thawing a “big one”. Brand names for some manufactures of pans in these larger sizes are EURODIB (Homichef brand), KichenAid, and Matfer Bourgeat. The high side wall prevents excessive splatter and anything less than 3 inches is less serviceable.The bottom of a good roasting pam will look something like the picture to the left.

This is the type of pan one keeps forever so paying a premium is justifiable. If Aunt Martha stuck a fork or baster through your last tin-foil roasting pan and caught the stove on fire, you will be especially happy that this is not possible this year.

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