Heats quickly and evenly
Rack is non-stick for easy food release
Handles aren’t super comfortable
A stainless steel roasting pan is a kitchen essential. Besides boasting good looks, its material offers excellent heat conductivity and retention, and it’s invaluable when it comes to preparing meals, cooking everything from a special occasion turkey to a weeknight roast chicken.
The Calphalon Contemporary Stainless Roaster With Rack features a modern design and has a large enough capacity to hold a 25-pound bird. That said, it’s priced close to $150, making it one of the more expensive roasting pan options out there. To see if its performance made it worth the price, we took it home and tested it ourselves. Read on for the results from our kitchen.
Design: Style and function combined
This roaster felt rock solid from the moment we pulled it out of the box. It also looks as good as it feels, with clean, modern lines and an attractive brushed exterior and mirrored interior.
We like that it fits easily over two burners, which is helpful for making things like pan gravy, and can fit both long and short ways in our standard-sized oven.
In terms of downsides, because the pan has a straight edge, we experienced some splattering when pouring drippings. Although the inward-facing handles are sleek, they’re also not the most comfortable to hold. They’re riveted, so they feel sturdy, but the curved design feels a little awkward when handled with potholders. We wish they were more ergonomically designed.
The included removable rack is nonstick and has extra-high handles that are easy to grip, which is helpful when lifting food out of the pan. The only thing we don’t love about the rack is its size: It seems a bit small for the pan and it actually shifts about 4 inches back and forth. This isn’t a deal-breaker, but it’s something to be cautious of when you’re, say, hauling a large turkey in and out of a hot oven.
We like that it fits easily over two burners, which is helpful for making things like pan gravy.
Material: Heats quickly with excellent airflow
Each product in Calphalon’s Contemporary Stainless Steel cookware line is made from two layers of stainless steel and a full aluminum core. This material is known for even heating and excellent heat retention, and this roaster is no different. It’s also extremely durable, won’t warp or buckle, and, with proper care, should last a lifetime.
The included rack has a nonstick coating, which is easy to clean and releases food easily. Nonstick coatings can degrade and flake off over time, but as long as you keep metal utensils away from it, the rack should last. If you prefer to avoid nonstick cookware, you might want to look for another model or use an all stainless steel rack.
Performance: Superb heat flow for even browning
We used the Calphalon roasting pan to prepare a 5-pound chicken roasted at 425 degrees for approximately 1 ½ hours. When we pulled the chicken out of the oven to cool a bit before carving, we couldn’t believe how perfect it looked. It was evenly browned and the skin was cooked to crisp perfection, indicating excellent heat flow in and around the entire bird. The meat itself was juicy, tender, and evenly cooked.
Our chicken was evenly browned and the skin was cooked to crisp perfection, indicating excellent heat flow in and around the entire bird.
We were also pleased with how easily the chicken skin released from the nonstick rack with little mess left behind to scrub. The roasting pan, on the other hand, was another story. We placed several sliced onions beneath the rack in the bed of the pan, but they ended up overcooked and too dark with caramelization and drippings to be enjoyed. That may be because of the higher oven temperature, but it may also be due to the fact that this pan gets hot and stays hot. We think that more hearty vegetables, like carrots and potatoes, should turn out perfectly crisp and tender in this pan at high oven temperatures.
Cleaning: Some elbow grease required
We soaked our roaster overnight to help loosen burnt-on residue and then hand-washed the pan as usual. The nonstick rack washed easily, but even after scrubbing it with a nylon sponge, the interior of the roaster looked less shiny and, well, obviously used. A second scrub with Bar Keeper’s Friend (view on Amazon) helped remove lingering grease stains and restore shine to the stainless steel.
Although the inward-facing handles are sleek, they’re not the most comfortable to hold.
One thing to keep in mind while cleaning this roaster is to dry it right after washing if you want it to remain spotless—otherwise, water spots may appear. If you don’t want to scrub and dry, the roaster and rack are also dishwasher-safe.
Price: A splurge
At around $140, this Calphalon roasting pan is priced similarly to other roasters from high-end kitchen brands, like All-Clad and Viking. If you already own Calphalon cookware and/or love the modern design of this roaster, it’s a quality choice. Plus, you can rest assured knowing that your investment is backed by the brand’s limited lifetime warranty. If a roaster will only get occasional use in your kitchen, however, there are equally lovely, sturdy, and functional roasters for much less money.
Calphalon Contemporary Stainless Roaster vs. Cuisinart Chef's Classic Stainless 16-Inch Roasting Pan with Rack
If the price tag on this stainless steel roasting pan is too steep, we love this budget-priced option from Cuisinart (view on Amazon), which we also tested. Priced at approximately $60, it’s made from tri-ply stainless steel and offers plenty of aesthetic appeal and performance at a fraction of the cost. It includes a matching stainless steel rack, which fits snugly into the pan so there’s no chance of slipping around like with the Calphalon rack.
Both roasters measure 16 inches long, but Cuisinart’s model is a bit smaller in width compared to the Calphalon. Speaking of size, we preferred the shape and contouring of the handles on the Cuisinart roaster. They’re more comfortable to grip with bulky potholders, but they’re oriented away from the pan which adds length and can prevent it from fitting in smaller ovens. It’s worth measuring your oven first to make sure the Cuisinart can fit the way you need it to.
The choice between these top-rated roasting pans comes down to your budget, which design you like better, and which handles you find the most comfortable.
Need some help finding what you’re looking for? Check out our list of the best roasting pans.
If budget allows, it’s a solid option.
Although the Calphalon Contemporary Stainless Roaster With Rack is priced on the high end of the spectrum, its eye-catching design and durability are perfect for anyone who loves modern cookware or the brand. We think that if you can swing it, it’s a great investment.
- Product Name Contemporary Stainless Roaster With Rack
- Product Brand Calphalon
- SKU LRS1805P
- Price $139.99
- Product Dimensions 16 x 13 x 3.5 in.
- Material Stainless steel
- What's Included Stainless steel roasting pan, nonstick rack