The Trick To Stabilizing A Flimsy Roasting Pan

Foil roasting pans are convenient when you're hosting a large crowd or haven't got a sturdy oven tray that's big enough to accommodate a huge dish. However, their thin, flimsy sides also make them tricky to lift in and out of a hot oven, particularly if there's cooking liquid or meat juices inside that could spill and scold the skin. A simple way to stabilize a roasting pan that lacks structure is to place it on top of a flat baking sheet.

Aside from using foil roasting pans for large gatherings (because they can go straight from the fridge to the oven to the dinner table), they're also a great fit for when you need a bigger vessel to bake both protein and vegetables in the same tin. The benefit of roasting veggies alongside a beef brisket or with a side of salmon is that they soak up the yummy juices as they cook, making for a tender, flavorful side. Finally, even if you do have a roasting dish that's large enough to fit your trimmings, a family-sized lasagna, or multiple servings of meatballs, you might want to use a disposable pan simply to eliminate the dreaded post-dinner cleanup.

A flimsy roasting pan can sink through oven grates

A flimsy roasting pan filled with heavy joints of meat and liquid can sink through the grates of an oven rack if placed directly on top without any support underneath. If the base catches on the grates, it's harder to seamlessly pull the pan off the rack to baste the roast inside. Placing your foil dish on top of a large sheet pan provides an instant solution to this problem because it lends your disposable pan some stability and a strong foundation. Simply lift the entire sheet pan into and out of the oven while the foil roasting pan sits in the center. 

This easy move also makes it a breeze to check your food while it's cooking because you can quickly slide the baking sheet out and move it up or down the oven shelves to make space for other items. What's more, the baking sheet will catch any spills, splatters, or dribbles, resulting in a cleaner kitchen that doesn't smell of burnt foods — you can simply wash the baking sheet instead of scrubbing crusty remnants off the bottom of your oven. If you don't have a baking tray, a sturdy roasting dish with high sides that can accommodate your foil pan will work to lend extra support, too. Just discard the disposable pan after dinner is over and kiss bye bye to washing up.