What to look for when buying:
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.
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.
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?
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
- 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?