Q: I received Diana Henry's Pure Simple Cooking for Christmas. Last night, I attempted Smothered Pork Chops with Mustard and Thyme and while the chops were moist and flavor great, the potatoes didn't brown.
I used a 9x13-inch Pyrex, but I am thinking a roasting or cast iron pan would have been better. What would you recommend for an everyday roasting pan?
Sent by Whitney
Editor: Whitney, you definitely can't go wrong with a big cast iron skillet. I have used Lodge cast iron skillets for a long time, and they are inexpensive and durable. A 10-inch skillet will be big enough for many roasting jobs, like roasting a chicken or pork chops.
But it's also helpful to have a roasting pan. I personally do not have a "roaster" — although I do covet that big, gorgeous All-Clad Petite Roti Pan. (And if you want something more unusual there's always that roasting pan with removable chicken arm.) Instead, I use plain heavy commercial-grade aluminum 13 x 9-inch pans or steel cookie sheets from restaurant supply stores. I also on occasion use my Staub oval Dutch oven, which does a great job with pot roasts and chickens.
So, my main suggestion would be to get some heavy metal pans that are inexpensive and dual-purpose. Anything metal or cast iron will be better than glass Pyrex dishes, which can't go under the broiler. Readers, do you have other suggestions for Whitney?
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