Roasters: Tips For Choosing the Right One For the Job

Turkey Roaster Roasting is a traditional cooking method that generally takes advantage of low cooking temperatures along with longer cooking times. Many foods benefit from this combination. Root vegetables cook evenly all the way through without becoming dry on...

Turkey Roaster
Turkey Roaster

Roasting is a traditional cooking method that generally takes advantage of low cooking temperatures along with longer cooking times. Many foods benefit from this combination. Root vegetables cook evenly all the way through without becoming dry on the outside edges. Less tender (and so, less expensive) cuts of meat are tenderized with the long cooking times, yet remain juicy as well. Very large cuts of meat, such as whole turkeys, large beef roasts and hams cook all the way through to the center while remaining juicy. Longer cooking times also lend themselves well to incorporating herbs and spices. Spice rubs have time to infuse your meats and vegetables with flavor all the way through.

There are many types of roasters to choose from. You will need to consider a few things as you choose the perfect roaster for your needs:

  1. The first choice you will make is the size and shape of roaster that you need. If you are planning on cooking a large ham or a whole turkey, you will want a larger, deeper roasting pan. If you plan on mostly roasting smaller cuts of meat or vegetables, a smaller flat pan is the right choice. You will also want a shallow pan if you plan on cooking a flatter cut of meat, such as a rack of ribs or a corned beef roast.
  2. Decide whether you want to include a rack to your roaster. Some roasters come with a rack and some do not. You can buy a roasting rack separately if need be. A rack is used to keep your meat up off the bottom of the pan. It allows juices to drip down to the bottom without the meat sitting directly in the juices. This is important if you want to drain most of the fat out or if you'd like to collect the meat drippings for making gravy.
  3. Does your roaster need a lid? If you are roasting a larger cut of meat, you may want a lid. Extra long cooking times required for a large piece of meat may cause the top portion of the meat to become browner and more crispy than you'd like. A lid will keep this from happening. Roast the meat with the lid on until almost done, then remove the lid and brown to your taste. A lid will also speed up the cooking time of anything that you roast, as the heat is contained in a smaller space.
  4. What material is the roaster made of? Ideally you want a roaster that is made of a heavy material that holds heat well. This makes your meal roast more evenly. If you love making gravy from pan drippings, you may want to consider a roaster that is made of a material that will allow you to use it directly on a stove burner so that you can make gravy directly in the pan.

Choosing the right roaster for your needs is the easy part. Now it's time to sit back with your favorite cookbook or recipe website and dream up all the wonderful meals you'll make in your new roaster! Contact us for the perfect roaster as well as all of your other cooking needs!