What can I use instead of a roasting pan?

What can i use instead of a roasting pan? Firstly, let me be honest with you…the only time the roasting pan sees the light of day in my home is to accommodate the turkey on Thanksgiving dinner.

Its not that it isn’t a functional piece of equipment, it truly is…it’s large, spacious and the rack within it makes for great roasting results.

The reason is simple…it’s so damn big that it ends up at the bottom of the cupboard with plenty of things piled onto it. When it comes to it, I’m not prepared to do the lifting and removing to free it from its current prison.

We do like a roast chicken every now and then, so we get creative instead of having to clear the kitchen cupboards to rescue the roasting pan.

Over the years, I have used a number of different pans and cookware to achieve my roasting needs. I will discuss the merits of each but essentially, all are capable of doing the job.

So, what can I use instead of a Roasting Pan?

  • Dutch Oven
  • Cast iron skillet
  • Rimmed Baking sheet
  • Bundt pan
  • Casserole dish
  • Cake pans
  • broiler pan that came with your oven
  • Ovens grill tray
  • Slow cooker
  • Romertopf
  • Paella Pan

Dutch oven

If you are lucky enough to own a dutch oven, it’s versatility will leave you amazed. I own a Le Creuset Dutch oven which has been in the family for over 30 years…with numerous guardians in that time.

Although I mainly use it to cook stews, I have used it many times to roast a chicken. My Le Creuset delivers a very even, consistent heat and has a tight-fitting lid which retains the moisture within the chicken. Its spacious so can take a large chicken…the results of which are amazing. Be warned though, the high sides mean that it may not brown as it normally would, nor be as crispy.

Can a Dutch ovens go in the oven?

Cast Iron Skillet

As with a cast iron dutch oven, a skillet can also do the job adequately. Heat retention is amazing, especially from the premium brands. It’s easy to handle and takes little room. With their fantastic non-stick properties, it’s definitely a good option. Classic frying pans can also be used as long they can withstand the oven temperature…but cast iron is best.

Rimmed Baking sheet

A simple yet effective option but you need to make sure it won’t buckle.  With plenty of surface area, it is a simple option. However, you need to take extra care when removing it from the oven. The juices will be hot so take extra care.

Bundt pan

Ok so this may seem a little bizarre…but prop the chicken up as you would with beer can chicken. Be warned though, use a baking sheet for the juices that will run out of the center.

Casserole dish

It’s a viable option…as with any oven cooking, a casserole dish will do the job. Obviously won’t retain heat as a cast iron would but if you have one, it will work. However, the chicken should brown nicely.

Cake pans

A surprising addition but if you simply focus on the basics…they are designed for the oven. Depending on the size, they have sufficient capacity and will work adequately.

Broiler pan

Again, another solution as these pans are often supplied with the oven.  Similar to a baking sheet, they will do an adequate job.

Ovens grill tray

Most ovens come supplied with these grill trays as ovens rarely have a dedicated grill. They are now elements at the top of the oven. The grill tray serves in a similar way to a baking tray…but with deeper sides. Additionally, it has the added benefit of fitting your oven perfectly and can cope with the high temperatures.

Slow or pressure cooker

It’s a viable option if you want chicken but are prepared to sacrifice the oven cooked taste. There are plenty of recipes only that involves cooking chicken in a slow or pressure cooker. Let your imagination run wild and give it a go.


You may never have heard of one…but it is a German clay oven. Quite frankly, it makes the most amazing chicken ever that will fall of the bone. The sealed environment really does infuse the flavor and ensures a tender juicy meal.  Its sealed too…so no messy clean up afterwards.

 Paella Pan

I’ve included this option, but it’s a last resort really. It’s not ideal…but beggars can’t be choosers. However, it will do the job as required but check it can withstand the temperatures.

What is a roasting pan?

A roasting pan is designed for the oven and has a rack that’s sits inside it. It is designed to lift the meat off the floor of the pan to allow the juices to fall away and roast the food all around. It also allows you to cook vegetables at the same time by placing them on the floor of the pan…the juices from the meat add in more flavor.

Why use a roasting rack?

A wire rack allows you to lift the meat from the floor of the pan thus allowing the heat to circulate, cook evenly and roast properly.

Can I use disposable aluminium pans?

Of course, you can. They are increasingly available and can save a lot of clean up at the end. However, the end results may be mediocre…and its worth noting the aluminium foil balls trick below…you will get better results doing it.


So, in answer to your question, what can i use instead of a roasting pan? Obviously, I have listed many alternatives above…most function very effectively. You will need to ask yourself whether it is worth buying a roasting pan. Will you use it often enough? Is it worth spending the money?

Alternatively, if you haven’t got a roasting pan…borrow one. Problem solved.

Some final tips that will produce better results…if you are not using a Dutch oven, try and keep the meat off the floor of the pan…thus allowing the heat to circulate and roast all around.

As a cooking rack substitute, consider the following.

An effective hack would be a cooling rack, they can withstand the heat and serve the same function as a rack.

Alternatively, simply use aluminium foil. Roll up some aluminium balls and place them in the bottom of the pan. Simply place the meat on top which lifts the meat off the floor.

Since you are here…can i ask a favor?

It would be really kind of you if you could pin this image on Pinterest…it’s just a couple of clicks for you but it means the world to me.

Thank you so much…





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