Fairlady - - CONTENTS -

We test roast­ing pans

ALU­MINIUM is light, with ex­cel­lent heat con­duc­tiv­ity, but leach­ing can oc­cur with acidic in­gre­di­ents. It’s a soft metal that warps and dents eas­ily, and can stain. An­odised alu­minium pre­vents leach­ing.

CAST IRON dis­trib­utes heat evenly and re­tains it well. It’s re­ally durable, but usu­ally too heavy to han­dle. It’s best to opt for enamel-coated cast iron as un­coated cast iron can re­act to acidic foods. Take care when han­dling enamel-coated pans – they can chip and crack.

NON­STICK pans need less oil and clean more eas­ily, but they don’t brown as quickly as others. Most are coated with Te­flon, a known toxin that may leach at very high tem­per­a­tures. In cheaper pans the coat­ing is likely to flake.


Oval pans work well with sim­i­larly shaped roasts. Rec­tan­gu­lar pans are more spa­cious. Size-wise, go for what­ever suits your needs, but the pan must ac­com­mo­date the largest roast­ing item with­out it touch­ing the sides, and al­low ad­e­quate cir­cu­la­tion of air for roast­ing and brown­ing.


The height of the sides makes all the dif­fer­ence in roast­ing and brown­ing. Low sides al­low hot air to cir­cu­late around the en­tire piece of meat, cook­ing and brown­ing it well. High-sided pans pre­vent hot air cir­cu­lat­ing round the lower parts of the meat dur­ing roast­ing. Medium height is best.


COP­PER Ex­cel­lent con­duc­tor of heat; per­forms ex­cep­tion­ally. It can re­act to foods, and should al­ways be lined with stain­less steel. Trendy – but pricey.

STAIN­LESS STEEL gen­er­ally per­forms well. It is durable and non-re­ac­tive, but can heat un­evenly.


Your pan should be solid when han­dling and heavy enough to han­dle heat with­out warp­ing, but not hard to lift. Heav­ier pans usu­ally per­form bet­ter, as heat is more evenly distributed.


Straight, solid, metal han­dles riv­eted to the pan are best. Fold-down han­dles are great for stor­age, but they’re flimsy, and tricky to grip. Make sure the han­dles are sturdy and ac­com­mo­date oven mitts.


Whether you need a rack or not is a mat­ter of pref­er­ence. There are dif­fer­ent types: V- and bas­ket racks cra­dle meat in place. Some V-racks are ad­justable and eas­ily hold a va­ri­ety of meats; V-racks work bril­liantly on the grill and in the oven. Flat racks don’t hold the roast in place. Ver­ti­cal poul­try racks, hold poul­try up­right, sear­ing all round.


Be­fore de­cid­ing on a size (in­clud­ing han­dles!), mea­sure your oven. • Choose a sturdy rack that fits in­side your pan and al­lows at least a 5cm space be­tween your roast and the grill. ✤

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.