Roasting pans are must-haves in every kitchen. They roast your food evenly and are needed throughout the year. However, you can roast food without having a roasting pan. Roasting pan substitutes include cast-iron skillets, rimmed baking sheets, casserole dishes, foil roasting pans, braiser, broiler pan, etc.
This article will cover
- 6 Roasting Pan Substitutes
- Essential Things To Know About Roasting Pan Substitutes
- How to Maintain Your Roasting Pan Substitutes
- 5 Tips For Roasting Your Food When Using Roasting Pan Substitutes
6 Roasting Pan Substitutes
Roasting pan substitutes are other cookware you can use in place of a roasting pan. They cook your food almost the same way as a roasting pan.
1. Cast-iron skillet
A well-seasoned cast-iron skillet isn’t only suitable for sautéing or frying foods; it can also be used as a roasting pan substitute. It has low and thick walls, which makes it transfer heat and circulate air evenly. It is oven-safe and imparts an all-natural taste into your food.
2. Casserole dish
You can use a casserole dish to roast your food. Basically, roasting pans are large casserole dishes. The significant difference between both is the material they are made with. However, ensure that your casserole dish is strong enough to withstand the temperature you’ll be using to roast your food. You can find the relevant instructions at the bottom of the dish.
3. Rimmed baking sheet
This roasting pan substitute is often easier to handle than a roasting pan due to its lower sides. It roasts your food excellently as it is flat and big enough to fit larger meat chunks. However, ensure its sides are raised to prevent the fat from dripping into your oven. You can put a wire cooling rack inside it to enhance air circulation.
4. Foil roasting pan
If you have large food chunks that won’t fit a cast-iron skillet or rimmed baking sheet, a foil roasting pan is your salvation. It can accommodate extra-large cuts of meat. It is disposable, though it’s not recommended to reuse it. Besides, it is thin and flimsy; you may need to put it inside a baking sheet to avoid fat dripping into your oven.
A braiser is another perfect roasting pan substitute. All you need is to take off its lid. It is oven-safe and retains heat. You can easily maneuver it through its handles. It works perfectly without a foil lining because of its glossy cooking surface.
6. Broiler pan
Most times, a broiler pan comes with your oven. It is a perfect roasting pan substitute for foods such as turkey. You can fill the tray with the garnishings and place the meat on a flat rack.
Essential Things To Know About Roasting Pan Substitutes
Roasting pan substitutes are needed throughout the year, not just during the holidays. You need them in your kitchen if you will be roasting some foods. Here are some things to note about roasting pan substitutes.
Thick but raised sides
Usually, roasting pan substitutes should have thick but raised sides. The raised sides enable even distribution of heat, enhance air circulation and prevent fat from dripping. They also make it possible for you to cover the substitutes with aluminum foil to lock in moisture and improve your food’s flavor. If you are using a baking sheet, ensure the sides are raised.
If your roasting pan substitutes have handles, they should be strong. Cookware like cast iron skillets, braisers, broiler pans, etc., have handles that allow you to grip them well. Ensure that substitutes that have no handles have raised sides that you can use to carry them. For safety purposes, use big mitts when carrying the roasting pan substitutes out of the oven.
They also should be excellent heat conductors such as cast iron, baking sheet, etc., and oven-safe. They should be able to withstand heat as well, as you might have to sear your roasted food on the stove after you have finished roasting it in the oven. Never use cookware that isn’t capable of withstanding high temperature as a roasting pan substitute
Your roasting pan substitutes should be non-reactive. You would need to season your meat with acidic foods like lime, tomatoes, etc., or glaze the substitutes with wine. If your roasting pan substitutes are reactive, they will impart metallic tastes into your food which might be dangerous for your health.
Usually, every roasting pan has a roasting rack. A roasting rack cradles your food and keeps it from touching the bottom of the pan. It allows air and heat to circulate evenly in the pan. It cooks your food evenly without you having to move it around. You can use a wire rack, microwave rack, aluminum foil, or a bed of vegetables as your roasting rack substitute.
How to Maintain Your Roasting Pan Substitutes
With time, your roasting pan substitutes might start accumulating burnt food, and they become less attractive. However, with proper use and maintenance, your roasting pan substitutes will serve you for a long time.
Clean the roasting pan substitutes with hot water after use
One way to prevent your roasting pan substitutes from accumulating burnt food is to clean them with hot water immediately after use. As soon as you have finished using them, pour hot water into them and place it in the oven for 20 minutes. After, remove the cookware from the oven and drain the water. This will make the pan clean.
Use aluminum foil or parchment paper
Another way to maintain your roasting pan substitutes is to use aluminum foil or parchment paper to line them. If you are using cookware like a cast-iron skillet, casserole dish, or broiler pan, etc., you should put a sheet of aluminum foil or parchment paper in it before you place your food. This will help trap the juices and stop the cookware from browning.
Polish your roasting pan substitutes regularly
If you use a cast-iron skillet or a broiler pan to roast your meat, you need to polish them often. This will make them well-seasoned and non-stick. It will also preserve their color and increase their lifespan. Use a premium polish. Apply some of it into a paper towel and use it to clean the exterior of your cookware.
Use vinegar and baking soda to remove burnt food residues
Having burnt food residues in your roasting pan substitutes causes the food you are roasting in them to burn. If you have burnt food residues that prove challenging to remove, make a paste with vinegar and baking soda and scrub the roasting pan substitute with it using a soft cloth.
The acid works well for burnt food residues that are difficult to clean. Rinse the paste off and repeat as many times as possible. Also, always ensure you wash and rinse your roasting pan substitutes after use every time.
5 Tips For Roasting Your Food When Using Roasting Pan Substitutes
Roasting is one of the easiest cooking methods. What determines the quality of your food’s taste is how you prepare the food before roasting it, not necessarily the type of cookware you use. Even if you use a roasting pan substitute, well-prepared food will come out nice.
Tips 1. Use the best cookware
The best cookware for roasting your foods is a roasting pan (How To Use A Roasting Pan Like an Expert). However, if you don’t have a roasting pan, you can use substitutes like a cast-iron skillet, broiler pan, rimmed baking sheet, casserole dishes, etc. Ensure that the substitute is big enough to contain your food and thick-walled enough to transfer heat evenly. You can also use a wire cooling rack to avoid rotating and flipping the food and a meat thermometer to check if the roast is done.
Tips 2. Ready the oven before roasting
To make your roast turn out well, it is advised you ready the oven before placing your food. You should heat your oven to a certain temperature before you start roasting. Your food won’t brown properly in a cold oven. Besides, when you preheat your oven, your food starts roasting immediately after it enters the oven.
Tips 3. Avoid frequent basting
While basting your meat is good whenever it is in the oven, you should avoid frequent basting. Opening the oven door and allowing heat escape doesn’t make your roast cook properly. It will also prolong the cooking time of the roast. You don’t have to keep your food moist through basting alone. Glazing can add additional flavor and moisture to the food.
Tips 4. Follow temperature guidelines
Not all foods should be roasted at the same temperature. Different foods have different cooking temperatures. For instance, foods like pork require a higher internal temperature than lamb or beef. Generally, you should roast your food at low temperatures to make it juicier.
23 to 25 min/lb
25 to 27 min/lb
Whole Chicken (5 to 7 lbs)
2 to 2 ¼ hours
Turkey (8 to 12 lbs)
2 ¾ to 3 hours
Turkey (12 to 14 lbs)
3 to 3 ¾ hours
Turkey (14 to 18 lbs)
3 ¾ to 4 ¼ hours
Turkey (18 to 20 lbs)
4 ¼ to 4 ½ hours
Turkey (20 to 24 lbs)
4 ½ to 5 hours
Tips 5. Allow the roast to rest
Before you start serving, allow the roast to rest after taking it from the oven. The resting time will depend on the size and type of the roast, but it can often be around 20 minutes. The meat often generates enough internal heat and continues to cook even after you switch off the oven. Also, the juices of the roast are distributed better when you allow the meat to rest.
You don’t need to have a roasting pan in your kitchen before you can roast your food. You can easily use roasting pan substitutes in your kitchen, and the food will come out well-roasted and delicious. However, ensure your roasting pan substitutes have high heat conductivity, distribute heat evenly, and are sturdy enough to hold your roast.
Michael Johnson is the founder of Pan Mastery, Inspired by his blacksmith grandfather’s legacy has a deep appreciation for hand-crafted pots and pans, he provides invaluable guides, reviews, and recipes to enhance your culinary journey.