Top positive review
54 of 56 people found this helpful
I absolutely love it!
on October 2, 2012
As happens with any completely unfamiliar new product, you tend to compare to the closest previous version that you are familiar with--in this case it's the wire roasting rack.
A point-by-point comparison tends to overwhelmingly favor the Prepara Roasting Laurel:
Versatility: with the wire rack, you have to have the correct size for each roasting pan (or pyrex) you have. With the Laurel, one size fits all. Should you want to, you can get it in a pyrex that is 8"x 8" by tucking the front leaf from one frond between the leaves of the opposite one. It reshape to fit your pan, whether is round, square, rectangular, wide or narrow.
Health and flavor considerations: No brainer. The fat doesn't touch the meat; the juices evaporate and concentrate flavors. Your meat really roasts: it doesn't `fry' or `boil.' (You may have to adjust your recipe if you want more liquid to serve as a sauce or make gravy.). The overall browning is more even since the sides of the pan don't come up as high with the meat raised.
Functionality: I have thus far tried roasting an eye round roast and a bone-in turkey breast. I found that the Roasting Laurel nestled the meat much more efficiently so it didn't slide around when I rotated the pan and it even felt more secure when removing the pan from the oven. For the turkey breast, I used it in a circular shape; for the eye round, I elongated it. Whatever shape you bend it to, it will stay that way until you re-shape. (There is a metal frame that runs between the leaves so it will hold its shape). I always had a little sliding around with the wire rack when I took the pan out of the oven. There is no sliding. (Even with a previously-frozen turkey breasts which was a little misshapen). I was afraid that the fact that the turkey breast is raised a full inch from the bottom of the roasting pan would make it more wobbly and feel unstable when removing from the oven, but I didn't find that to be the case.
Drippings: This it's up to personal taste. I want some evaporation of the cooking liquids to allow for caramelization of the sauce and vegetables. This is why I often cook in a larger roasting pan than absolutely necessary. Others might prefer less evaporation and more liquid left in the pan. Since the meat is raised, more of the liquid is exposed to evaporation. I like that.
Cleaning up: The wire rack is horrible to clean and I (and my nails) have hated that part over the years. I wasn't sure how this would go so the first time I used cooking spray on the Roasting Laurel and the second time I did not. (You really don't have to). You could put it in the dishwasher, but I preferred to wash by hand after a brief soak because the bottom side is hollow and I wanted to be sure I got every trace out with Q-tips. (I may not be this fussy as time goes on, but I want to keep it looking new for a while).
Reservations: I wish it came with instructions. It just comes with the same descriptive text in several different languages, but the text doesn't tell you things like: Should you spray it or not? Are there any cleaning products you shouldn't use on it? Can it withstand acids when cooking? (I have a strong citrus, vinegar, and garlic marinade/sauce that I'm concerned about using it with). It doesn't state if discoloration will take place if you cook with tomato sauce or red wine. It does tell you that you can't use it on the grill or stovetop. It tells you the temperature limit (485 degrees) and not to use it in the microwave (why not?), but that's the only useful information it comes with.
I guess, I'll find out the answer to my questions as time goes on (I'll report any problems) but, right now, I'm delighted with my new Roasting Laurel. I like the way it securely nestles my food; I love the way my sauces cook when I use it; I love the way it looks; and I even found a new use for it: it's a great trivet to use on the counter.