Difference Between a Broiling & Roasting Pan

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Broiling and roasting pans are very similar types of cookware but each specializes in a cooking method. Roasting pans generally hold larger cuts of meat and cook meat more slowly than a broiling pan. There are differences in the way the heat is distributed to these types of pans as well.

The Design

Broiler and roasting pans vary in their designs. The main difference is that broiling pans are shallower like a baking sheet and have a slotted base, while roasting pans are deeper in size. Broiler pans allow food to cook more quickly and allow drippings of the meat to drain underneath the meat itself; this allows a better sear on the food from the high heat so the food can better become caramelized using this method. Roasting pans allow meat to cook in its own juices and can use lower temperatures and broader heating elements to get the internal temperature necessary. A broiler pan has two separate pieces to it. It has a lower pan which is called a drip pan and it also has an upper pan which is slotted. Roasting pans are generally a single deep pan that sometimes comes with a metal oven rack used for elevating the meat.


Both roaster and broiler pans are made out of the same materials. The most common materials are stainless steel and hard anodized aluminum although other substitutes such as enameled steel or cast iron are also used. Roasting and broiler pans come in several different sizes to accommodate the food that is being cooked. People desiring disposable roasting or broiler pans can purchase ones made of aluminum foil.

Heat Distribution

A broiler pan is used to cook food under very high temperatures from heat coming from the top of the oven. Roasting pans also are designed to cook food with high temperatures, but the heat is distributed from the bottom of the oven. A broiler pan is usually placed in the oven and the broiler setting is selected. This setting distributes the heat from the top. When using a roasting pan, the oven is set on the temperature desired. With the heat source coming from a different area of the oven, either direct heat from the top or the typical dry heat from the bottom, the hot air will cook the food differently.


Both types of pans are used for cooking the same types of food including meats like whole chickens, seafood and veggies. Foods that must baste in their own juices cook well in roasting pans, while broiler pans allow the meat to drain of its excess fat. Roasting pans generally cook meat more to a more tender and juicy state.