From Dutch ovens to souffle dishes, here's how to spring for the right pan.
Roasting pans are designed for cooking large cuts of meat, such as a pork loin or Thanksgiving turkey. These heavy pans come in large rectangular or oval shapes with 2- to 4-inch vertical sides, which keep the pan juices from overflowing in the oven. They sometimes come with racks to keep the meat raised above the drippings as it roasts; if your pan doesn't have a rack, you can elevate the meat with vegetables (such as whole carrots and ribs of celery) or a wire rack that fits the pan, unless the roast has to cook for several hours (in which case the drippings help the meat stay moist). A good substitute is a broiling pan with a removable rack.