My Emile Henry roasting pan review is the result of my search for a pan for oven-baking chicken parts.
I've been using the 13.8" x 10" lasagna pan since I bought it several months ago. It is awesome. I do not regret buying a mid-priced roasting pan rather than a cheaper one. I'll be using it once or twice a week for many years.
It meets all my requirements:
The 13.8" x 10" measurement includes the handles. The inner dimensions are 11.5" x 10". The product number is #9642.
(When shopping, pay attention to the model number in the fine print--different sized pans may look or be labeled in a similar way.)
I oven-bake, that is, roast in the oven, chicken parts of all kinds: drumsticks, thighs, whole legs, wings, bone-in breasts, and boneless breasts; also, turkey parts and pork chops. (You can, of course, use this pan to roast a whole bird.)
I did not need the pan to be "flame-proof," that is, I didn't need to be able to use it on the stovetop.
Although Emile Henry USA sells this piece on its website as a roaster, when I received it, it was labeled as a lasagna pan (which can, of course, be used to roast meat). Perhaps this is to make it clear that it should never be used on a stovetop, since some people may expect to be able to use a roaster to make pan gravy on the stovetop.
I'd been using my mother's vintage Pyrex glass roasting pans.
It seems that finally I'd chipped the bottom surface of the 12" x 7.5" pan--the one that six large chicken thighs can fit into. I felt its glass may have lost its integrity. It's usually recommended that glassware not be heated after it's chipped. I didn't want to take the chance that the pan might break in the oven or shatter anywhere in the kitchen.
I tried using my mother's vintage 2 1/2 quart Corningware roasting pan. It's very attractive, with an unusual design for a roasting pan: oval, with no handles. I did confirm that this pan, marked "F-4-B," is indeed technically a roasting pan.
But it turned out that the lack of handles made it impractical for roasting chicken parts. If you're wearing oven mitts, you can't quite get a grip on it. When I tried it out, and it became slippery with hot grease, I could see that this was just not going to work.
I knew I preferred glass and ceramic, because they are naturally non-stick materials.
• I want to avoid non-stick coatings, such as Teflon, because of the health hazard. (See this Wikipedia article about polymer fume fever.)
• I want to avoid cooking sprays. They are unhealthy forms of fat that also mess with the taste of the food.
There are many choices of materials for roasters, so I considered everything except those with non-stick coating.
The material I ultimately chose, that of the Emile Henry pan, is a European-made ceramic.
Its Burgandy clay ceramic is non-stick and non-reactive, and does not need cooking sprays. According to Emile Henry's US website, there is no lead or cadmium in any Emile Henry product.
It can be heated up to 480 degrees Fahrenheit.
That's quite a requirement, isn't it?
You may be as amazed as I was to learn that American-manufactured glass and ceramic pans, with famous and trusted brand names, since around 1998 have become notorious for "unexpected shattering," or perhaps more accurately, "random exploding." These include Pyrex, Corningware, and Anchor Hocking brands. The problem appears to be from changes in the manufacturing process. There are consumer complaints, lawsuits, and an investigation by Consumer Reports.
In contrast, Emile Henry products appear to be non-exploding. They are made of ceramic, not glass, and they are made in France. Based on my reading about European manufacture, I don't think that French cooks would put up with exploding crockery.
Emile Henry's Use and Care Instructions simply warn not to use on direct flame or hot plates, and not to put a hot dish on a cold or wet surface.
The Emile Henry pan has comfortable, ergonomic handles that support the weight of the pan.
The pan has a substantial weight, about five pounds, much heavier than an equivalent sized Pyrex. However, I'm a small woman with very weak arms, yet I can still just lift and manipulate the pan. I have judged Le Creuset pans as too heavy for me to lift.
After trying to use the oval vintage Corningware piece, I realized that less food fits into an oval than into a rectangle. This is especially important when spreading chicken parts into a single layer for roasting.
--It is a little wider than Pyrex pans. It still fits into the dishpan.
--Its high sides (3" measured from the outside) capture spatter from chicken and turkey.
--The one thing that I would change is the unglazed underside; if that were glazed, I would consider this the perfect pan.
I'd call it mid-priced, at a discounted price of approximately $50 (list price $75). You'll see a range of prices for this pan, and, again, check the size and model number carefully.
See theEmile Henry 13.8 by 10-Inch Roaster, Sand
I did a lot of research when searching for a roasting pan. You can see here what I learned about choosing a chicken roasting pan, with some cheaper options.
For getting started with roasting chicken parts, check out How to Cook Chicken Legs (includes other chicken parts).