Dutch Oven VS Roasting Pan: Is There A Difference?

Dutch Oven VS Roasting Pan

You may have a recipe calling for a dutch oven, and you only have a roasting pan. On the other hand, you may have a dutch oven, but your recipe says to use a roasting pan. Dutch oven vs roasting pan, what’s the difference?

Dutch Oven VS Roasting Pan

First, let’s make sure we answer the question, what is a dutch oven? A dutch oven like the Dutchess from Great Jones is versatile cookware. A dutch oven is a versatile, heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid. The lid is an essential but sometimes overlooked feature of a Dutch Oven; the cover ensures heat remains in the pot. Technically anything you cook in a pot, you can also cook in a dutch oven.

The dutch oven must have thick walls to maintain a constant temperature. What makes a dutch oven so heavy is that they make it from black enameled steel or seasoned cast iron. On the other hand, A roasting pan is a piece of cookware used in the oven.

That means it must withstand high temperatures with no warping or damage,  which is not the case with many pans. Roasting pans are made with stainless steel, ceramic, or glass. Whereas a dutch oven vs roasting pan is a heavier material.

Best Dutch Oven

Great Jones Blue Dutch Oven

A Good Dutch Oven!

  • You can use it on all stovetops incuding induction.
  • Comes in many colors.
  • Emaneled, cast iron

Dutch Oven

In the Netherlands, the word for the dutch oven, braadpan, translates in English to mean “roasting pan.”  Due to their similarities, many people confuse the Dutch oven and roasting pan. A Dutch oven has the advantage of allowing you to brown meats, mushrooms, potatoes, onions, and cauliflower, then roast them. The ability to brown something first will create a deeper umami flavor.

Many cultures use their version of a dutch oven; for example, in Russia, they use a small pot; chugunok, that can cook an entire meal over a fire. Then in South Africa, they use a heavy pot with a round bottom that they call a  “Potjie.”

Dutch ovens began showing up in the US in the late 1700s, and then in the 1800s, the immigrants arriving in America took their Dutch ovens with them on the road as they began to head west towards California.

Can I Use a Roasting Pan Instead of A Dutch Oven? – (Dutch Oven VS Roasting Pan)

Remember that a roasting pan is not a replacement for a dutch oven. A roasting pan may or may not come with a lid, so it might be tricky to use a roasting pan instead of a dutch oven. However, if you don’t have a dutch oven, you can put all of the ingredients into the roasting pan and cover it with foil.

Doing this is not ideal, but it will allow you to improvise if you need a dutch oven and don’t have one. Alternatively, you could use a stainless steel pot with a lid or a glass baking dish with a cover. The glass does retain heat, so it may be a better option if you have no other choice. Just be careful not to put cold glass into the oven; it can shatter.

How to Use a Dutch Oven With a Conventional Oven, The Right Way

Dutch ovens are great for preparing meals in conventional ovens. The Dutch oven will heat from all sides, causing the inside to get to an internal temperature of 450° F.  A dutch oven, like glass cookware, retains heat, so your meal will cook faster inside of a dutch oven vs a roasting pan. A roasting pan doesn’t have a lid, and it’s not made from enameled cast iron.

How to use a Dutch oven with a conventional oven: Step by Step

Step 1 Preheat your conventional oven to 300° F.

Step 2 Place your Dutch oven with the lid on the inside of the oven.

Step 3 Frequently check the temperature inside o the Dutch oven. It needs to remain around 450° F at all times. Since a Dutch oven retains heat, a range set to 300° F should create an internal temperature of 450° F inside the Dutch oven. The trick is that everyone’s oven is slightly different; you just have to keep your eye on the temperature. If your Dutch oven is not getting up to 450° F, increase your oven temperature to 325° F, then recheck it after 30 minutes.

Step 4 Once your meal is ready as per your recipe instructions, carefully remove the Dutch oven using potholders.

Can You Roast in a Dutch Oven? – Dutch Oven VS Roasting Pan

Yes, dutch ovens are great for roasting potatoes; one of my favorite ways to eat potatoes is to cook them in a dutch oven. First, braise them on the stovetop, preheat your oven and place the dutch oven with the lid on it into the conventional oven.

You can remove the cover for the last 15 minutes to allow them to get crispy too! You can remove the lid for the last 15 minutes to let them get crispy too! Your potatoes will come out unique; you will never go back to cooking them the old way.

What is a Roasting Rack for A Dutch Oven?

A round roasting rack for a dutch oven is not typical. However, If you need to elevate the food you are cooking, you can use a cast-iron roasting rack for a dutch oven, like the one from Lodge. You can also use a trivet set inside of the dutch oven.

A trivet set usually elevates the dutch oven either on a campfire or on your kitchen counter. Since the dutch oven is hot and retains heat, using an elevated rack like a trivet set will allow air to circulate on all sides and cool down quicker.

How To Use a Dutch Oven

There are many unique uses for a Dutch oven other than roasting meat. Bread is a popular item you can cook in a dutch oven. As you’ll see from our list below a dutch oven vs roasting pan is more versatile for a variety of cooking techniques.

Dutch oven vs roasting pan, what's the difference? - bread in a dutch oven vs roasting pan


1. The first way to use a dutch oven is to place it on the stove and cook food in it. You can do this with or without the lid.

2. Another way to use a dutch oven is to place it in the oven and bake food in it. You can also do this with or without the lid.

3. A third way to use a dutch oven is to put coals on top of it and cook food over an open fire.

4. A fourth way to use a dutch oven is to put coals underneath it and cook food over an open fire.

Roasting Pan

What is a Roasting Pan VS a Dutch Oven

An oven roasting pan is cookware that you use to roast meat or vegetables in an oven.  You can use a roasting pan with or without vegetables or other ingredients besides the meat.

A roasting pan usually has a rack inside the pan, which lets the meat sit above the fat and juice drippings. You use a shallow roasting pan for more minor cuts of meat, but a large-size roasting pan is what many people use for cooking giant poultry such as turkey or for more significant cuts of beef.

A deep roasting pan can hold vegetables and other, ingredients then the meat can sit on top of the vegetables rather than a rack. A deeper pan allows the vegetables to absorb the fat and juice from the meat while cooking, which is more in line with how a dutch oven works.

Whether you want a dutch oven vs roasting pan, just realize that the dutch oven is more versatile.

a roasting pan with butternut squash: Dutch oven vs roasting pan, what's the difference?

What is the Best Roasting Pan?

The best roasting pan is non-toxic, made with stainless steel, and versatile. Whether you want a dutch oven vs roasting pan, just make sure it’s non-toxic. The Precise-Heat roaster is so versatile that you can even steam fish by adding water to the bottom and a piece of fish on the rack above.

We love how the best non-toxic cookware material – is, hands down, stainless steel. It has a lid that allows you to use it similarly to a dutch oven. However, the stainless steel will not retain the heat the same way as a true dutch oven will.


Precise-Heat Multi-Use Baking and Roasting Pan with Easy Lift Wire Rack, Stainless Steel
  • DURABLE STAINLESS STEEL CONSTRUCTION: Built from T304 Stainless Steel with riveted handles this heavy duty pan will serve you well for years to come as you serve the family, loved ones and your guest's delicious meals
  • VERY USEFUL WIRE RACK: The wire rack is stainless steel and is very durable. The large collapsible handles make it super easy to lift even the heaviest roast from the pan, allowing you to use all those drippings for making gravy, right in the pan
  • EASY CLEANUP: This pan is dishwasher safe, which allows more time with your family and less time cleaning the kitchen. So go ahead and make that big dinner you've been planning and know you'll still have quality time with friends and family.
  • GENEROUS SIZE: The Multi Use Baking and Roasting Pan measures 20 inches x 12 inches x 8 3/4 inches. This means you have plenty of space to prepare all those wonderful meals for all the special people in your life.

What is a Good Round Roasting Pan with Lid?

The best roasting pan with a lid has to be the Precise-Heat Roaster. Just be careful when opening the cover because the steam can burn you. You can roast, brown, braise, and steam in this stainless steel round roasting pan with a lid. You will be so happy with this awe-inspiring pan. Not only is it a roasting pan, but also a steamer, saucepan, and so much more!

Precise-Heat Multi-Use Baking and Roasting Pan with Easy Lift Wire Rack, Stainless Steel
  • DURABLE STAINLESS STEEL CONSTRUCTION: Built from T304 Stainless Steel with riveted handles this heavy duty pan will serve you well for years to come as you serve the family, loved ones and your guest's delicious meals
  • VERY USEFUL WIRE RACK: The wire rack is stainless steel and is very durable. The large collapsible handles make it super easy to lift even the heaviest roast from the pan, allowing you to use all those drippings for making gravy, right in the pan
  • EASY CLEANUP: This pan is dishwasher safe, which allows more time with your family and less time cleaning the kitchen. So go ahead and make that big dinner you've been planning and know you'll still have quality time with friends and family.
  • GENEROUS SIZE: The Multi Use Baking and Roasting Pan measures 20 inches x 12 inches x 8 3/4 inches. This means you have plenty of space to prepare all those wonderful meals for all the special people in your life.

What is the Best Cast Iron Roasting Pot?

King Kooker is a cast iron roasting pot slightly different from a dutch oven. If you want a dutch oven, many models are available. However, there’s only one King Kooker. You can cook almost anything with this 5 inches tall, cast iron roasting pot. Keep in mind that it is 7 1/2 inches tall with a lid.

King Kooker is one of those roasting pots that will last a lifetime. You can plan on passing it down to the next generation; it’s that sturdy! Dutch oven vs roasting pan? King Kooker is great for dishes that call for a dutch oven or a roasting pan.

King Kooker CIOR12S Seasoned Cast Iron Roaster with Lid, 12-Quart
  • Product Type: Dutch Ovens
  • Package Dimensions: 47.498 L x 40.132 W x 14.732 H (cm)
  • Country of Origin: United States
  • Package Weight: 37.55 pounds

What is a Substitute for a Roasting Pan?

If you need a substitute for a roasting pan, use a square cake pan, a dutch oven, a ceramic casserole dish, or a glass baking dish. As long as the pan has high sides, you can use it as a roasting pan substitute.  If you don’t have any of these substitutes handy, you can also buy a cheap disposable aluminum roasting pan.

We do not recommend this as a first choice; however, they will work if you are in a bind and don’t have a traditional roasting pan. Learning about substitutes is why we wrote this article “Dutch oven vs roasting pan, what’s the difference?”

An alternative to a roasting pan is any pan with taller sides in your kitchen. If a pan has taller sides, you can use it as a roasting pan substitute. Just make sure that the pan you choose is oven-safe. Stainless steel is oven safe, as long as the handle is also 100% stainless steel. So if you have a stainless steel pot, you can use it as a substitute roasting pan.

What is a Shallow Roasting Pan Substitute?

When using a roasting pan, you usually don’t want the sides to be shallow. Then liquids and fat can easily spill over the sides of your roasting pan.  However, if you’re in a hurry and just need something shallow, you can use a rimmed cookie sheet. The best thing about using a cookie sheet is lining it with aluminum foil for easy cleanup.

If you don’t have any other substitutes on hand, you can use a cheap disposable aluminum pan. This may be your best choice when you only use a roasting pan once a year. You don’t want to spend hours cleaning up your oven after using a shallow pan.  On the other hand, if you are just roasting vegetables, which don’t usually have a lot of liquid, you can use a shallow cookie sheet.

What is the Difference Between Bake and Roast?

When it comes to the oven, there are a few main ways you can cook your food: baking, roasting, and broiling. The two may seem similar, but there are a few key differences that you should consider when choosing which one to use.

Which term you use is more a matter of semantics; you wouldn’t say you are roasting cookies; however, you would say you are roasting potatoes. You can technically cook them both on the same cookie sheet but use a different word to describe the cooking process.

With baking, you cook the food with dry heat, which means that the air in the oven is hot enough to cook the food. Baking is a suitable method for cooking items like cakes, cookies, and bread.

Place the food in a deep roasting pan, and it is at a higher temperature than baking. Using deeper pans is a  better method for cooking meats, vegetables, and potatoes.

On the other hand, roasting also uses dry heat to cook the food, but it also may use liquid that develops in the roasting pan. Both roasted and baked items can have a crispy outer crust or a softer crust. Both depend on the amount of liquid and oil that you use.

How to Use a Roasting Pan VS a Dutch Oven

1. Preheat your oven to the temperature you need for your specific recipe.
2. Make sure you choose a roasting pan that is large enough to hold your ingredients.
3. Add your food to the roasting pan place it on top of the rack. The rack is there to elevate your food. Raising it allows the hot air to hit all sides of whatever you are roasting. You don’t want to let it sit in a pool of liquid.
4. cook your food according to the desired instructions.
5. Remove the roasting pan from the oven when finished cooking. Keep the food in the pan until you are ready to serve it; this will keep it crisp and prevent soggy food.

Final Thoughts on the Dutch Oven VS Roasting Pan

The differences between a dutch oven and a roasting pan are as follows: A dutch oven can be used in the range, on top of an open fire or stovetop, whereas a roasting pan is only suitable for baking your food in the oven. However, the benefits of using a roasting pan rather than a Dutch Oven will depend on your end goal.

A roasting pan is made from stainless steel, cast iron, or aluminum, with thinner walls, allowing heat to transfer. The walls of a dutch oven hold a great deal of heat, allowing for slow cooking over an extended period. In contrast, a dutch oven has thick walls and is made from cast iron or ceramics. While they are similar pieces of cookware, I would buy the dutch oven if I were only going to buy one.


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