Why the Misen Roasting Pan Is the Exception to Our No-Roasting Pan Rule

It’s thoughtfully designed, solving every qualm we have about roasting pans.

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An uncooked roast surrounded by potatoes and fennel and situated in a roasting pan

Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

Straight to the Point

The Misen Roasting Pan has lower sides, wide handles, and a whole bunch of other features that make it the only roasting pan we recommend buying.

I owned a roasting pan once. It was an oversized trough of thick aluminum with riveted handles that was too big to fit in my home oven, but could slide into the brick oven I'd built without first thinking through whether it made any sense to build such an oven in an urban backyard in Brooklyn. (It didn't.) I bought that roasting pan for one reason and one reason only, which was to hold a suckling pig I wanted to roast in the brick oven as a justification for having built said oven. I used that roasting pan only that one time, which made it one of the three times I ever fired up that oven, because, as I said, it made no sense to build it in the first place. After that, the roasting pan collected dust, then got tossed, and I've pretty much never needed one since.

The truth is, almost no one really needs a dedicated roasting pan at home, and I say that with all the conviction and authority that being a seasoned professional cook and recipe-writing veteran allows me.* It's something we here at Serious Eats have told readers again and again over the years, and rarely have we deviated from it. There is very little a roasting pan can do that a rimmed baking sheet (at times fitted with a wire rack) can't, and in fact very often a roasting pan is worse at it. Don't believe me? Read Kenji's explanation for why a roasting pan should be avoided in his recipe for a classic roast turkey, and his further argument about it in this article.

*Which is approximately less certainty than the knowledge it took for astrophysicists to knock an asteroid out of its orbit, but more than what's required of basically every opinion columnist to spin up a hot take on the latest news cycle.

To recap, just in case you don't feel like clicking those links, the reason is that a roasting pan actually makes it harder to properly roast and brown meats and vegetables, because its high walls and smaller footprint trap steam and limit the circulation of the hot, dry air that is necessary for proper roasting. This is something professional cooks figured out long ago, and why you're unlikely to see them roast almost anything in a roasting pan (yes, they do frequently use deep hotel pans, the commercial kitchen equivalent of a roasting pan, but rarely for roasting).

two handles grabbing onto a roasting pan's handles (the roasting pan has meat, potatoes, and fennel in it)

Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

All that said, having spent many years roasting anything and everything on a rimmed baking sheet, I have to admit it has its own drawbacks. First, it's flimsier and handle-less, which can be dicey when loaded with a heavy piece of meat. You are, without a doubt, more likely to drop a baking sheet loaded with a 15-pound turkey on the floor than a hefty roasting pan. I haven't yet, but I've come close.

Second, a rimmed baking sheet is called a rimmed baking sheet and not a walled baking sheet for a reason—that rim is low, maybe an inch or so, which I could confirm if I weren't too lazy to get up and measure. That means that any recipe that starts with a roast but ends with liquid—say deglazing to make a sauce from the roast's drippings—has a considerable slosh-and-spill risk. And as anyone who has preheated a thin aluminum baking sheet in the oven or over a burner knows, they have a way of warping with a dramatic pop. All of mine go back to their original flat shape after cooling, but it's still not the most reassuring thing to see a piece of gear do that.

Misen Roasting Pan

Price at time of publish: $135.

Enter, finally, one of the best solutions to this that I've yet to see, the roasting pan from Misen. It solves just about every problem I've listed for both roasting pans and baking sheets, making it the first roasting pan I'd actually recommend without hesitation. Misen was paying attention when they designed this thing (here I feel the need to remind readers that I am in no way connected to Misen nor have any illicit partnership with them: this is editorial, not an ad).

a person putting a full roasting pan into the oven

Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

There are several key specs that make this roasting pan a compelling one. Like a rimmed baking sheet, it has low sides to allow for proper air circulation and the escape of steam, but they're just a bit higher so that if you do add liquid to the pan, the risk of sloshing and spilling is less—still possible, to be clear, but less. The pan also has spacious riveted handles that are easy to grab even with hands stuffed inside heavy oven mitts, and they're tall enough to give you clearance over roasts of any height. The only downside to the handles I've found is, because of how they stick up, it's easy to graze them when moving around the kitchen and reaching over and around things, which can cause minor contact burns if the pan is fresh from the oven; that's easy enough to protect against with forethought, but worth being aware of.

Another great detail of Misen's roasting pan is it's sized just like a standard rimmed baking sheet (technically a "half-sheet pan" size), which means it can fit any wire rack you already own for your rimmed baking sheets, no need to get an extra rack just for the roasting pan.

A cooked roast sitting atop browned potatoes and fennel in a roasting pan

Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

And, lastly, it's made of stainless-steel–clad aluminum, which gives it good heat conduction properties (read: better, more even browning when set over two stovetop burners) but also significantly more sturdiness, so it won't warp if preheated empty.

All of this adds up to a roasting pan that delivers great browning and crisping of whatever is on it, with good enough heat conduction, durability, and volume for searing, pre-heating, deglazing, and holding moderate amounts of liquids.

Could its half-sheet size have been enough for my suckling pig? No idea, but it's been 20 years and counting since I roasted that one and I've not once thought about doing it again.

FAQs

Is the Misen Roasting Pan induction compatible?

Yes, according to the manufacturer the roasting pan is compatible with induction burners.

Is the Misen Roasting Pan dishwasher-safe?

It is, but it's also very large. We recommend hand-washing it and saving the space for dishes and whatnot.