What to look for when buying:

When I dealt with the topic of roasts at the beginning, I immediately thought of the annual Christmas roast, which is classically prepared with this cookware. Otherwise, like the casserole, it disappears quickly into the cupboard after Christmas Eve and waits there for its use next year. A mistake, as I discovered during a recent conversation with a cook friend. The roaster is a real all-rounder in the kitchen that can do so much more than just stew. Because a roaster is a real all-purpose weapon in the kitchen, with which you can fry dishes both juicy and hearty. And with the right tips from my friend, I now know exactly what I, as a novice cook, can create with a roaster and what you should definitely pay attention to when buying a new roaster.

1. Roasting pan or casserole dish?

When looking for a high-quality roaster, the question often arises whether there is a difference between a roaster and a stewing pan. Basically there is no difference between these products as they are used for the same purposes. In the end, one often decides on one or the other based on the capacity. There are also other typical characteristics that distinguish roasters and casseroles from one another.

Roaster vs. Casserole dishes

Ein Bräter hat in der Regel eine rechteckige oder ovale Form und erinnert damit entfernt an eine Auflaufform. Im Gegensatz zu Auflaufformen, kann man Bräter auch als Kochgefäß auf der Herdplatte verwenden. Bräter von Berndes sind sowohl für die Zubereitung Ihrer Speisen im Backofen als auch für das Anbraten und Schmoren auf dem Herd geeignet. 

Stewpots vs. Saucepans

Stewpots, on the other hand, are often round, have wide handles and a glass lid, and resemble a saucepan. Compared to a conventional saucepan, stewing pans and casseroles are characterized primarily by their lower height. Vegetables and meat can be seared for a short time and then continue to cook in their own juice or with additional liquid. In addition, your food can easily be simmered in the oven in a stewing pan. For some casseroles with plastic handles, the permissible temperatures must be observed. Molded handles, however, are completely ovenproof.

2. What material should the roaster be made of?

The decisive criteria when looking for a good roaster are made by the material and the processing. During processing, care should be taken to ensure that the bottom of the roaster is solidly designed and that special materials offer special thermal conductivity. Of course, this advantage only comes into play when it is used on the stove. This ensures better heat distribution when cooking in the pot. When it comes to the material, there are various options to choose from, all of which have advantages and disadvantages. Everyone has to decide individually which properties are more important.

Cast aluminium

Advantage: The aluminum roasting pans are extremely light and handy. In addition, they have excellent heat distribution and heat storage. Thanks to the application of a non-stick coating, the roasters are also very easy to care for. Nothing burns and they can be cleaned easily after use.

Disadvantage: A little patience is required when heating the roasting pan, as the material is usually thicker.

Stainless Steel

Advantage: Stainless steel utensils are popular and tried and tested in German kitchens and they are often robust and durable. Some stainless steel roasters also have a non-stick coating, which offsets a disadvantage of the stainless steel roasters

Disadvantage: Stainless steel is a worse conductor of heat than aluminum and therefore consumes more energy when used on the stove. Berndes roasters largely compensate for this with a well-thought-out bottom design. In the case of stainless steel without a seal, food may burn slightly, which is a little more difficult to clean.

Cast Iron

Advantage: Cast iron is characterized above all by its excellent heat distribution and heat resistance, as this material (similar to aluminum) stores the heat and gives it off constantly to the roast. Cast iron roasters are very popular because the meat is particularly tender.

Disadvantage: One of the disadvantages of a cast iron roaster is its significantly higher weight in comparison. In addition, it is comparatively maintenance-intensive, so care must be taken when cleaning.

3. On the stove or in the oven?

Preparation on the stove
Here, as is so often the case, opinions differ. Some are convinced that fried dishes are better on the stove, others find stewing in the oven more flavorful. Whether roasting or braising, the secret of a good roaster is: it can do both equally well. If dishes are to be prepared on the stove, it is important to note which stove types the roaster is suitable for. The roasting pans from Berndes are ideally suited for all common types of stove. These include gas and induction stoves, but also glass ceramic and electric stoves.
Preparation in the oven
When using a roaster in the oven, it is essential to ensure that it is also oven-compatible. All Berndes roasting pans with molded handles, for example, are completely ovenproof. As a result, they remain durable and slip-proof even with regular use in the oven.

4. Size and shape of the roasting pan

As with pans, there are of course different sizes and designs for roasters. To give you a brief overview of the conventional roasting pan sizes and their areas of application, here is a brief summary:

10 cm: This size is a so-called cocotte. Ragouts, soups, stews or gratins are traditionally prepared in portions in a cocotte. Ideally suited for side dishes.

20 cm: Even with this size, ragouts, soups, stews or gratins can be optimally prepared. But in a larger amount.

24 cm: This is the ideal size for a meal for two. Smaller roasts can be prepared.

28 cm: The most common size for roasters. Dishes such as roasts or stews can be conjured up for 3 to 5 people. The perfect roaster for a family.

32 cm: This size is suitable for approx. 5 to 7 people and should only be used if there is enough roasting surface.

In addition to oval roasters, there are also those with a round basic shape. The roasting pans with an oval shape are best suited for dishes that contain additional ingredients when cooking. For example, the meat is fried crispy in the middle, while there is a little space on the edge for adding vegetables. In addition, the elongated shape is better suited for types of meat such as goose or duck. Round roasting pans, on the other hand, are ideal for casseroles or similar.

5. Checklist for buying a roaster

And which roaster is the right one now? There is no general answer to this question. It depends on the individual requirements in the kitchen, but in the end it is also a little bit a matter of taste. In any case, a reliable, high-quality roaster brings long-lasting pleasure, as it is more durable and the cooking result simply tastes better in the end. In order not to run the risk of buying a poor quality roaster, the following is a checklist for buying a high quality roaster.
  • What material is the roaster made of? (Preferably cast aluminum)
  • Is the floor made of a material that is as thermally conductive as possible? (e.g. aluminum)
  • Can the roaster be safely used on the stove?
  • Is the roaster suitable for all conventional types of stoves?
  • Is the roaster oven-safe?
  • Are the handles cast / welded onto the roaster?

6. What goes into the roaster?

Have you decided on a roaster and are now looking for a delicious recipe? Whether classic roast pork with a crust, crispy duck, braised dishes with crunchy vegetables or delicious roast beef - you can conjure up all kinds of delicious dishes with the all-rounders. You can find some delicious roasting recipes on our blog:

Leg of wild boar with mulled wine cherries

Bake bread in the double round

Local classic: roulades