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Essential Roasting Equipment

Essential Roasting Equipment
A roasting pan is indispensable for cooking large cuts of meat and poultry. Its low sides allow the oven heat to reach as much of the surface of the food as possible, while catching juices that drip during roasting. Choose a heavy stainless-steel, aluminum or enameled-steel roasting pan to ensure even heat and to keep the bottom of the food and the pan drippings from burning. Glass, ovenproof porcelain or earthenware dishes and even rimmed baking sheets may also be used for roasting. Choose a pan or dish that holds the food comfortably, leaving enough room for the oven heat to circulate freely around the food and for you to spoon up or siphon juices for basting.

Placing meat or poultry on a metal roasting rack keeps the bottom of the food from stewing in the pan drippings and sticking to the pan, and allows more of the surface to brown. It also helps to produce clearer pan drippings, which means better-tasting sauces and gravies. A rack will also make it easier to remove the roasted food from the pan.

Finally, an instant-read thermometer is key for determining when meat or poultry is cooked to the proper degree of doneness.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Roasting, by Barbara Grunes (Simon & Schuster, 2002).