Choosing the Right Roaster
Most professional cooks choose an open, low (2- to 3-inch high) roasting pan with rack, and use foil to cover the breast, either at the beginning or after the breast is brown to avoid overcooking. But some cooks prefer a high-sided pan with a lid; this steams the bird, cooking it in almost half the time.The right size pan
will be appropriate for both your turkey and your oven.
Other qualities to look for in a pan are:
- If cramped in the oven, the turkey may burn or stick to the sides of the pan. If set in an oversized pan, air circulation (which roasts the turkey) will be inhibited.
- Allow at least two inches between the sides of the pan and the turkey, and between the sides of the pan and the oven walls to achieve a perfect evenly cooked turkey.
- Well-affixed upright handles that are steady and easy to grasp.
- A heavy thick bottom so that the pan drippings do not burn.
- A stainless steel lining, which will render the caramelized pan drippings essential for a well-flavored pan gravy. While a nonstick surface makes for easier cleanup, it does not render drippings.