On test: the 5 best roasting tins

Host a roast with the most by investing in a basic but essential piece of kit – a solid roasting tray for meat, potatoes, veg and much more…

Find out more about our BBC Good Food reviews.

Best… budget

Lakeland blue roasting tin

Lakeland Large Roasting Tin

Flameproof: No
Maximum temperature: 240°
Non-stick-ability: Excellent

For a budget pan this roaster has many features to make us recommend it – a generous capacity, easy-to-clean, non-stick surface and a pouring lip, ideal for collecting gravy juices. The only minus is that it’s not hob-friendly so you’ll need to finish sauces in another pan.

 

Best… blow-out

Stacked pile of colourful roasting trays

Le Creuset Signature Cast Iron Rectangular Roaster

Flameproof: Yes
Maximum temperature: 260°+
Non-stick-ability: Good

The smooth surface inside this cast iron pan made it easier to clean than expected. Plenty of room, sturdy design and an attractive appearance with a great choice of colours, notched up extra points. Cast iron provides good heat retention – a bonus when resting meat before serving.

 

Best… oven-to-table

Black rectangular roasting tray with square handles

 

Staub Roasting Pan

Flameproof: Yes
Maximum temperature: 260°
Non-stick-ability: Acceptable

Staub produce beautiful oven-to-tablewear and this roasting pan is no exception. Our roast looked all the more appetising against the stark black cast iron. The surface is not non-stick but becomes less adherent over time. Cleaning requires a bit more effort but you get plenty of those sticky, caramelised bits for tasty gravy and it’s worth the effort for long-term durability and appearance.

Available from Zwilling (£129).

 

Best… easy-clean

Black rectangular roasting tray on white background

Circulon Ultimum Large Roaster

Flameproof: No
Maximum temperature: 230°
Non-stick-ability: Excellent

If the thought of washing up after a roast fills you with dread then this is the choice for you. The Circulon pan was by far the easiest to clean, with no sticking whatsoever and therefore no elbow grease required. Due to its ultra non-stick surface, you can also use the minimum amount of oil for cooking – healthy!

 

Best… mid-range

Grey square roasting tin with silver handles

GreenPan Hard Anodised Roaster

Flameproof: Yes
Maximum temperature: 260°
Non-stick-ability: Excellent

Generously-sized handles make it easy to get a good grip on this roaster but they’re high so if oven shelves are close together, you can’t switch the pan around. The proportions are great for a big family roast and a ceramic interior means there won’t be too much complaining from the delegated washer-upper.

 

 
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Buyer’s advice

Why buy?

We’re guilty of having a drawer full of random tins, and we’re often left wondering how we ended up with so many when they’re often interchangeable. However a roasting pan is essential for cooking roasts as it catches juices (often they even come with a little rack to separate a joint of meat from the puddle of delicious cooking liquor) and can be used over a hob to make gravy. They can sometimes double up as a baking dish for making cakes or casseroles.


What to buy?

Roasting tin with chickenOf paramount importance is how non-stick the roasting tin is. Some pans fail so catastrophically on this front that you end up having to throw them out – which is even riskier if you’re rather over-zealous with your cooking timer. Consider the size of your oven and what you’ll be using the tin for – tins really do come in all shapes and sizes, and some of them are so big they’d struggle to fit into a domestic oven. Try and buy the right size for most of your cooking needs, as both over- or under-crowding the pan will result in less-than-optimum cooking results.

Testing notes

What we looked for:

Non-stick-ability: Our most important criteria
Handle: Handles or a lip can make moving the pan in and out of the oven easier, but handles that are too high just use up valuable oven space.
Flameproof: Ideally the pan could be used over a gas flame to reduce juices to a gravy or sauce.
Maximum temperature: A pan needs to be able to handle high heats over and over again, otherwise it’ll buckle and render itself useless.
 

How we tested:

Roasting tin with tray bakeWe tested using an all-in-one roast combination of chicken thighs, potatoes, garlic (the high sugar content of which makes the unpeeled cloves prone to sticking), lemon wedges and herbs. We looked for an even finish and nice crispy skin.
 

What didn’t set us alight:

Sub-par handles: We discounted handles that were either too small, too high or seemingly pointless.

Flimsy metal: As ever, we subjected pans to the Good Food knock and drop test to mimic the effects of long-term kitchen wear and tear. Anything that dented didn’t cut the mustard.

Now you’ve got your pan sorted…

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This review was last updated in March 2018. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at goodfoodwebsite@bbc.com.

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