Comfortable, contoured handles
Rack fits snugly in pan
Flared rim for mess-free pouring
Easy to clean
External handles may not fit all ovens
While roasting pans tend to be most in demand around the holidays for roasting turkey, ham, and rack of lamb, a good roasting pan can be a versatile addition to your everyday cookware collection. Yes, roasters are designed to fit Thanksgiving turkeys and large roasts with ease, but they can also be used to bake casseroles and lasagna for a crowd. They even make a great vessel for baked desserts that require a warm water bath, such as cheesecake or custard. So how does the budget-friendly Cuisinart Chef's Classic Stainless 16-Inch Roasting Pan with Rack perform in the kitchen? We prepped a classic roast chicken and vegetable dinner to put it to the test. Keep reading for our key takeaways.
Design: Beautiful, comfortable, and lightweight
This roaster has a gleaming, mirrored stainless finish on both the interior and exterior that is pretty enough to go from oven to table. It looks impressive and well-made. We were surprised by how light the roaster feels considering other stainless steel cookware we’ve used felt heavy even before putting any food in it. This is definitely a pro for moving heavier birds and roasts in and out of the oven more easily.
The pan itself is 16 inches long, which is plenty of space for two small chickens or one large turkey and easily fits over two stovetop burners for making pan gravy. Although we haven’t yet gotten around to roasting a turkey, other reviewers say the Cuisinart roaster fits one up to 20 pounds. The roaster is about 3.5 inches deep, which offers plenty of space to fit potatoes or vegetables beneath a roast. The tapered rim made pouring the pan juices over our carved chicken mess-free.
We were surprised by how light the roaster feels.
We love how comfortable the contoured handles feel on this roaster. They’re roomy enough to grip even with bulky potholders and feel sturdy and secure when removing heavy, hot food from the oven. Because the handles curve outward, they increase the total length of the pan to 20.5 inches, which may not fit in all ovens. This roaster only fit in our oven with the handles facing the sides of the oven. When we tried to position the roaster with handles facing the back and door of the oven, we weren’t able to shut the oven door all the way. This could be a downside for anyone who needs to maximize oven rack space, especially for holidays and large gatherings.
The curved rack fits snugly into the roasting pan and has handles that align with the roaster’s handles. This allows extra stability and lets you grip both sets of handles at the same time for extra support when lifting heavy roasts.
Material: Tri-ply construction heats quickly and evenly
Cuisinart’s Chef's Classic cookware line is made from tri-ply construction. An aluminum core is surrounded by stainless steel for fast, even heating. It’s also extremely durable. We noticed zero warping, buckling, or popping noises when placed in a high-temperature oven.
It’s oven safe to 550 degrees and the stainless steel won't react with food or degrade over time. There’s also zero chemicals to worry about when you choose stainless steel cookware.
Performance: Excellent, even heating and browning
We used this Cuisinart pan to roast a 5.5-pound whole chicken with root vegetables. For this recipe, we opted to forego using the included roasting rack and instead created a bed of cut carrots, celery, and onion in the base of the roaster for the chicken to sit on top of. The rack offers enough space beneath it for vegetables, and either method will result in the vegetables cooking in the chicken drippings, but we figured it was one less thing to wash!
It heats quickly and evenly, cleans up beautifully, and offers high-end aesthetics.
We cooked the chicken and vegetables in the oven for about 1.5 hours at 425 degrees Fahrenheit, then let the bird rest for 20-30 minutes before carving. Our chicken was evenly browned without any burnt spots and cooked to tender, juicy perfection. The vegetables were lightly browned on the exterior, cooked through on the interior, and extremely flavorful from roasting in the pan drippings.
Cleaning: Easy to keep looking like new
We let the roaster soak in warm, soapy water and then scrubbed it clean with a nylon sponge. There were a few grease stains and burnt-on spots remaining, so a second quick scrub with a bit of Bar Keepers Friend (view at Amazon) restored the mirrored shine to the stainless steel.
Our chicken was evenly browned without any burnt spots and cooked to tender, juicy perfection.
The roaster and rack are both dishwasher safe, but they will take up a lot of real estate in the dishwasher so we preferred washing them by hand.
Price: Low price, high performance
For about $60 (around $45 on sale), the Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless 16-Inch Roasting Pan is a great choice for novice and seasoned home cooks alike. It heats quickly and evenly, cleans up beautifully, and offers high-end aesthetics. You really can’t beat the quality and performance of this roaster for that price.
Cuisinart Chef's Classic Stainless 16-Inch Roasting Pan vs. Calphalon Contemporary Stainless Roaster
If you’re still not convinced the Cuisinart is everything you need in a roaster, you can also check out a luxe option. Calphalon’s Contemporary Stainless Roaster, which we also tested, is priced around $140. Like the Cuisinart, Calphalon’s roaster is made from two layers of stainless steel with a full aluminum core and comes with a nonstick coated rack.
The main difference, besides price, is the weight and size of these roasters. They’re both 16 inches long, but the Calphalon is a bit wider and the heavier of the two. It also has handles that are less comfortable to grip but fit easier in the oven. The Calphalon rack feels a little undersized for the pan and tends to slide around.
We think the Cuisinart performs just as well as its higher-end competition. Both are well-made and backed with lifetime warranties. The choice comes down to budget, brand loyalty, and design preferences.
- Product Name Chef's Classic Stainless 16-Inch Roasting Pan with Rack
- Product Brand Cuisinart
- Price $59.95
- Weight 6 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 12.8 x 21.1 x 5.8 in.
- Material Stainless steel
- What's Included Roaster, stainless steel rack
- Warranty Limited lifetime