Once September rolls around, we shut the grill and switch on the oven.
And a new tool from Prepara has us plenty excited to cook indoors: its innovative, oven-safe Roasting Laurel ($25).
The BPA-free silicone gadget--which is, yes, shaped like a laurel branch--raises roast meats and vegetables above the base of the roasting pan to promote heat circulation as it keeps the meat above any fatty drippings. The branch also means purportedly faster cooking times. And unlike, say, using a rack, the laurel can be manipulated to fit any pan.
We tested it with a humble roast chicken. Because our bird was small, we easily formed the laurel into a heart shape for it to rest atop; the chicken browned evenly and, as promised, stayed far from its drippings. We could see where the gadget would come in handy with oddly shaped pieces of meat, or for keeping vegetables in place.
What we really loved: The laurel is dishwasher-safe and nonstick, so cleaning was a breeze.
Maybe it's time to branch out.