Monica Hewitt is an accomplished chef with an extensive background in setting up kitchens around the world. From selecting kitchenware and kitchen utensils to menu planning, Monica has been responsible for establishing complete restaurants from the ground up. As the Kitchen and Cooking Expert at Homesthetics, Monica is in charge of reviewing and curating all cooking and kitchen-related content on the platform. In her free time, Monica is a good sport, enjoying critiquing our homemade meals around the clock and telling us what could have been improved in sandwiches.
The oven’s broiler setting can cook food using, of course, the broiling method. But what is broiling?
Broiling is used to cook food at extremely high temperatures using direct heat from the top of the oven.
As such, it follows that a broiler pan cooks your favorite foods under very high temperatures while heat is distributed from the top of the oven.
But what does an oven-broiling pan look like?
Broiling pans have a flat surface and consist of a bottom pan and an upper pan. The higher pan is designed with a slotted base for the juice and meat drippings to drip onto the bottom pan while your dish is cooked.
Because of this, the lower pan is commonly called the drip pan.
Broiling pans are made of heavy metal or steel with a non-stick surface to withstand high temperatures. This includes enameled steel, cast iron, copper, and aluminum foil.
Healthier Cooking – Broiling is a healthier method than frying using a frying pan vs. a skillet. It only uses the natural fat from vegetables, poultry, meat, and seafood in cooking.
Fat Removal – Cooking meat or fish on a broiler pan drains excess fat into the drip pan. This removes unwanted fat content from your dish.
What I Don’t Like
Resulting Dryness – The design of a broiler pan naturally drains moisture from dishes. This often results in dryness in meat dishes.
Roasting Pan Overview
Roasting is also used to cook food at high temperatures. However, the heat is distributed from the bottom of the oven instead of the top, as in broiling.
The cooking methods may be similar, but their cookware is easier to differentiate. This is because a roasting pan has higher sides that resemble a tall sheet pan than a broiling pan. Instead of an upper pan, you get a metal rack for roasting pans.
This design facilitates a more even heat distribution, which allows the marinade to flow through. Ironically, this isn’t best for coffee roasting.
Roasting pans usually come in stainless steel, copper, aluminum foil, and vitreous enamel-coated cast iron cookware. Most of these have a non-stick coating.
What I like
Moisture Retention – Roasting pans can cook meat and vegetable dishes that are tender and juicy since moisture can flow through the cookware.
Large Capacity – They can hold more food since these pans are deeper.
What I Don’t Like
Heavy Construction – The roasting pan is often heavier than a broiler pan because of its design and capacity.
Broiler Pan vs Roasting Pan: Comparison of Features
Let’s now compare these two pans side by side to know which one is superior.
Material – Broiler pans and roasting pans typically use the same materials. Stainless steel, hard anodized aluminum, enameled steel, and cast iron are commonly used. Both also come in aluminum foil pans for a disposable option. WINNER: TIE
Size – Although using the same materials, broiling pans and roasting pans come in different sizes to accommodate the cooked food, ranging from small pork roasts to large turkey dishes. However, broiling pans are generally shallower, so their variety isn’t as much. WINNER: Roasting Pan
Design – A broiling pan is similar to a baking sheet regarding shallowness. It has two separate pieces: a slotted base and a drip pan. Roasting pans are made of a single deep pan and an optional metal oven rack. For how they cook food, each serves its purpose properly. WINNER: TIE
Cooking Time – Broiling pans and roasting pans are both used for cooking food at high-temperature. However, the heat distribution is different. Heat comes from the base of the oven in roasting pans, while for broiler pans, heat comes from the top. Heat comes in contact with the food faster in broiler pans. WINNER: Broiler Pan
Even Cooking – Broiler pans drain the dripping from the meat and sear food with high heat. On the other hand, roasting pans cook meat in their own juices and can use lower temperatures and broader heating elements to achieve an even internal temperature. WINNER: Roasting Pan
Final Verdict: Which One Is Best?
Now that we’ve specified the differences between these cookware pieces, here’s when it’s best to use each one:
Use a Broiler Pan If…
You want to sear your food. Broiling pans have a shallow base, as in a baking sheet. This construction makes using a broiler pan perfect for quickly searing or grilling food like steaks. Know the difference between the broiler pan vs the baking sheet here.
You need to extract excess fat from your food. Broiler pans have a slotted bottom and a drip pan that extracts the fats and juices from your food as it cooks.
Use a Roasting Pan If…
You want a slow cooker for large cuts of meat. If you want to cook a chicken or beef dish that needs to baste in its own juices, a roasting pan is your better option.
You want juicy meat cuts. Roasting pans are better because they cook meat in their own juices. You won’t have to prepare a separate marinade or glaze to give you moist meat.
Broiler pans and roasting pans have different heat distribution designs.
What to use depends on the delicious recipes you want to cook. You can achieve a variety of dishes using these two pans even if you use the same ingredients, such as meat, poultry, vegetables, and seafood.
These cookware pieces are great must-haves in your kitchen because they each offer a low-calorie cooking method to promote healthy and yummy dishes in your home.