On test: The five 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…

Our five favourite roasting trays…

Best… blow-out

Scanpan roasterScanpan classic roasting tin

Flameproof: Yes
Maximum temperature: 260°
Non-stick-ability: Excellent
Price: £112

What we liked: This is food editor-at-large Barney’s all-time favourite roasting tin. It’s expensive but stands the test of time, as Barney can attest. It has excellent heat-retention capabilities, has that really cheffy heavy duty weightiness to it and the handles are a good size and feel comfortable in the hand.

Buy from Haus

Best… budget

PyrexPyrex classic roaster

Flameproof: Yes
Maximum temperature: 230°
Non-stick-ability: Excellent
Price: £13.99

What we liked: To state the obvious – for a hunk of metal, this is remarkably cheap. Absolutely nothing stuck to the bottom of the pan and we found the lipped handle really useful. We can’t guarantee this will last you a lifetime as the metal isn’t as robust as a £100+ pan, but for those on a budget we can’t fault it.

Buy from Pyrex

Best… Multi-functional

StellarStellar 6000 hard anodised square roaster

Flameproof: Yes
Maximum temperature: 240°
Non-stick-ability: Excellent
Price: £94.49

What we liked: This is another budget-busting pan, but it’s worth it for regular roasters, and also people who are partial to a one-pot or casserole as it comes with a very handy lid. Those with small ovens should take note – the handles are high and the lid slightly domed, so you’ll need plenty of space between oven shelves. The surfaces are hard-anodised, making them (according to Stellar) twice as hard as steel, and this is certainly an ultra sturdy-feeling piece of kitchenware.

Buy from Legend Cookshop

Best… mid-range

GreenpanGreenPan hard anodised roaster

Flameproof: Yes
Maximum temperature: 260°
Non-stick-ability: Excellent
Price: £50

What we liked: This is one good-looking pan – ideal for those Sundays when you fancy an all-in-one roast plonked straight on the dining table. It retains heat really well, and is super roomy, making it ideal for families, Christmas or those who like entertaining the masses. But be warned it isn’t dishwasher-friendly so be prepared to exert some elbow grease.

Buy from Greenpan

Best… for baking

Lakeland roasterLakeland square roasting tin

Flameproof: No
Maximum temperature: 240°
Non-stick-ability: Excellent
Price: £8.99

What we liked: This diminutive roaster could double as a brownie tin, and it would be great for those cooking solo or with a plus one, and of course those with small ovens. It can’t be used over a flame, so this isn’t one to buy if you like whipping up gravy from pan juices, although you can always decant them into a saucepan. It's available in larger sizes too.

Buy from Lakeland

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 June 2016. 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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