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Choosing a turkey roasting pan for Thanksgiving 

Choosing a Turkey roasting pan for Thanksgiving

By Editor, November 23, 10:30am

Most of us don’t think too much about a turkey roasting pan until we realize it’s our turn to host Thanksgiving dinner and we panic, thinking “What the heck am I supposed to cook the turkey in?” Unless you’re one of the lucky ones who long ago realized the everyday value of a good-quality, go-to roasting pan, you might have one that never sees the light of day until Thanksgiving, or you dash out to purchase the one-time use aluminum pans.

Once you own a roasting pan,  you’ll see what an essential tool it is in your cooking arsenal. The clearest advantage is its size: It can easily hold a 16-pound turkey. While it’s typically associated with cooking a turkey at Thanksgiving, it’s also ideal for roasting poultry, ham and beef all year round.

ALSO TRY: Oven roasted turkey with BBQ sauce

There’s more to purchasing a roasting pan than meets the eye, though. You have several things to consider before you choose just the right one. Luckily, we’ve done the research for you so you can make an informed decision.

SIZE

With roasting pans, size does matter, so let’s begin there. Even the greatest roasting pan becomes worthless if it won’t fit in your oven. So, the first thing to do is measure how big your oven is: width and depth. Take this into account as you do your shopping and don’t forget to include the handles of the roasting pan in your measurement.

Whatever you’re roasting should fit in the pan without touching its sides. This allows for good air circulation and ensures that all sides cook and brown evenly

ALSO TRY: Herbed roasted turkey with shallot gravy

Bigger is not necessarily better, however. A pan that’s too big will allow the juices to collect on the bottom, where they can evaporate quickly and burn. You want less surface space so the juices collect in a deeper pool. One way to work with a pan that is a bit too big is to fill the space with vegetables, which helps prevent the juices from evaporating and burning.

When in doubt, remember: A big pan can cook small things, but not vice versa.

DEPTH

The depth of a roasting pan is important for a couple of reasons. First, you want the sides high enough to avoid the hot liquid splashing out onto the floor of your oven, causing lots of smoke, or onto you as you are basting, causing burns. Second, you want the pan to be able to hold additional items, such as potatoes and vegetables.

On the other hand, a pan that is too high means the air will rise more quickly and the food will not be cooked thoroughly. A pan with sides of 3 to 4 inches is ideal.

SHAPE

Rectangular versus oval? These two shapes each have advantages. Oval roasting pans work well with oval-shaped roasts; the lack of corners makes whisking a gravy or sauce easy as pie, too. They have limits when cooking multiple items, though, because of the loss of surface area.

The right angles of rectangular roasting pans provide a little extra room. This makes them better for cooking multiple items, but less convenient for whisking.

A rectangular roasting pan with rounded corners? That’s the best of both worlds.

WEIGHT

Is a heavier or lighter pan the best choice? Turns out it’s somewhere in the middle. You want a pan that is heavy enough to feel sturdy when lifting it and won’t twist or turn on you, risking burns. Then again, you don’t want it to be so heavy that it is difficult to lift.

Pans on the slightly heavier side also guarantee more even heat distribution and less chance of burned drippings.

ROASTING PAN MATERIALS

Let’s break it down what you need to consider in choosing the type of pan:

Copper

Cons: Expensive; difficult to keep looking good; reactive to acidic foods

Stainless steel

Pros: Durable; maintains flavor of food; good heat distribution; appearance
Cons: Can be expensive; poor heat conductivity unless it has a bonded aluminum
or copper base, which adds to the price

Aluminum

Pros: Lightweight; affordable
Cons: Soft metal warps and dents easily; reacts with acidic ingredients; stains easily

Cast iron

Pros: Durable; inexpensive; naturally non-stick if seasoned correctly; good heat distribution
Cons: Very heavy; somewhat reactive to acidic foods; takes longer to heat up; more difficult to maintain appearance

Non-stick finishes

These aren’t recommended at all. Not only are non-stick materials difficult to maintain, they scratch, peel and chip easily. Their coating can be destroyed if placed in an oven hotter than 400F. Some non-stick coatings have even been the subject of health concerns. Last in this cons-only list: When roasting, you need a “sticky” pan so you can deglaze all the delicious drippings.

RACK OR NO RACK?

This one comes down to personal preference. A rack raises the meat off the bottom of the pan, allowing air to circulate freely. When the meat sits on the bottom, it can become soggy and lacks the crispy, brown skin we love. A rack also allows the drippings to collect on the bottom of the pan so you can use them in a delicious gravy.

On the flip side, racks can be heavy and awkward to handle. They also tend to collect some of the drippings, which can get stuck and are then difficult to remove. Without the bulk of the food sitting on the pan to absorb the heat, the juice can evaporate too quickly.

TYPES OF ROASTING PANS

Covered

Typically made of anodized aluminum or enameled steel, these come with lids to keep the food covered as it cooks. Food cooked in a covered roasting pan tends to be juicy inside and crispy outside. (For crispiest skin, take the cover off for the last 30 minutes of cooking time.) A word of caution: If your lid does not have a steam vent, be careful when taking the lid off to check the food’s progress. Steam can shoot out and cause burns.

Open

For some cooks, going lidless is the only way to roast a turkey, because it tends to result in crispier skin than using a covered pan. The downside is that it also can produce a slightly drier bird.

Electric

This option’s convenient because it’s so portable, and it’s perfect for slow cooking. It excels at retaining heat and keeping food warmer longer. In general, the cooking time and temperature settings are the same as for a conventional oven.

Disposable

These are the single-use aluminum pans you see everywhere as Thanksgiving approaches. When choosing an aluminum pan, always go for the heavier, better- quality choice; it ensures a safer cooking experience. Disposable roasters tend to be extremely flimsy, so place a metal baking sheet under it so your turkey doesn’t flop onto the kitchen floor when you’re lifting it from the oven. Take care when using knives; they can pierce and cut through the aluminum easily.

ROASTING PAN ALTERNATIVES

If you know you won’t use a roasting pan more than once or twice a year, then purchasing a new one may not be your best option. In this case, you might be able to use something you already have to prepare a Thanksgiving turkey.

You’ll need an oven-safe dish with sides that are at least tall enough to collect the drippings: a cast-iron or stainless-steel skillet, large casserole dish, broiler pan, or other similar, large special-purpose pan. Don’t have a rack? Just set the bird on top of a pile of potatoes and vegetables.

One final option: Borrow a roasting pan. There’s a decent chance a friend, neighbor or family member has one that’s not being used.

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Checkout the Fall’s Coolest and Most Versatile Haircut

Checkout the Fall’s Coolest and Most Versatile Haircut

OCTOBER 14th, 2018 10:56 AM

by Adetoun Adeyemo

Bye Summer!

When the temperatures start dropping, nothing says that autumn has arrived like getting a fresh chop. From bangs to bobs, and crops to long locks, the best fall hairstyles are all about making a statement as we step right into sweater season. Old-school trends are coming back with a vengeance, including airy feathered texture and smooth middle parts, while spanking-new ones are showing up strong too. (We’re looking at you, baby bangs.) Whether you want to make a dramatic chop or tweak your current cut, we’ve got the fall 2018 hairstyle inspiration you need to refresh those locks just in time for the season.

LAYERLESS LOB

Oh, the layerless lob, how we love thee. The long bob is inarguably the most flattering cut ever sheared, and the forever-cool style makes it very clear that layers aren’t required. Add dimension to super dark hair with warm fall colors, like this cinnamon brown á la colorist Mizz Choi.

 

AdetounAA – Doublecrown Wigs

SUBTLE SIDE SWEEP

We’re aware that the early 2000s are over, but this side-swept bang situation is bringing back our love for the hairstyles of yesteryear, courtesy hairstylist Adetoun Adeyemo. The straight long length with a deep side part and curly is already simple and chic, but the subtle side layering brings some serious sass that we need to round out 2018.

 

@salsalhair

MAJOR FACE-FRAMING

When that autumn breeze hits, let these flattering face-framing layers do the rest. No matter your face shape, those cheekbones can always benefit from some fresh layering. It’s also the quickest way to looking like a modern-day Pocahontas when the fall leaves start blowing with “all the colors of the wind” and so forth. We’re imagining that’s what LA-based stylist Sal Salcedo was thinking, anyway.

@mizzchoi

CURLY BANGS

Get on the baby bang train, like these gold-flecked ones on a modern shag cut. Let’s face it: The shag haircut is never not going to be in. But we’re making a case for curly bangs on every length and cut this season.

 

@buddywporter

BLUNT LONG LAYERS

This season, we’re seeing thick, healthy ends win out when it comes to medium to long length haircuts. These long layers, courtesy stylist Buddy Porter, give just enough flattering movement and style to fresh color and soft waves.

 

@lucyhale

GLASS HAIR

It’s shiny, sleek, and straight—it’s the current trend: glass hair. You’ll be seeing glass hair everywhere this fall, from magazine covers to the pumpkin spice latte line. Get yourself a short, razor-sharp, blunt, geometric cut like this, ASAP.

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