Solving the big issues: lining a roasting pan, yay or nay?

Pressing issues as ever round these parts this Friday afternoon. You only have to watch one episode of Donna Hay’s cooking shows (or read one of her mags for that matter) that she is a fan of lining her roasting pans with baking/greaseproof paper. Plenty of food stylists will use them in shoots I suppose to add a little texture and make the food pop against rather than a plain black roasting pan but I must say I rarely do it.


Got me thinking (probably at 3.45am given my current mental state) about whether this is something that I should be doing? Now I know that it would completely change clean up of roasting pans which can be a bastard to clean (especially after a long, slow roast of lamb or pork) but does it effect the flavour or the roastiness of the meat if you do it? Does the meat still roast or sear as effectively as it would on a normal roasting pan?


I have long been a fan of the Scanpan roasting dish for the perfect roast EVERY SINGLE TIME. I have always given them as wedding presents, and was lucky enough to receive one myself for our wedding. They are just the business for roasting. And yet? I never line? SHOULD I LINE?

I want to know all the merits/pros/cons and reasons why you do it, or shouldn’t do it because that’s what its come to.

When you clean up afterwards do you use scrunch and bin and then still wash the roasting dish?
Can you still get that roasted look or does it stew?
Does Donna do it for any other reason than aesthetics?
Do you have to use foil as well as the baking paper?
Tell me all of the things if you would be so kind!


  1. I’m a liner. I think its better when you line. And I’m freakin lazy and hate the roasting dishes laying around to soak over night.

  2. I use the disposable foil baking trays to line my “real” baking dish, works well for me, no cleaning up, just throw the foil tray in the garbage.

  3. If I’m roasting meat – never! I just can’t do it, especially if I’m making gravy as I want all those stuck on bits of roast pan flavour.

    If I’m just roasting veggies then I always do.

  4. i do it when i remember simply for the easier cleaning up

  5. Anita Jones says

    I line NOW. I’m a late liner. My pans are ruined and sticky from all the retirement grease building on my pans from non lining. I only line with paper though, not foil and paper, foil also sticks to the retirement grease and makes me hate life when cleaning up.

  6. This post is uncanny in its timing.

    When I was in Berlin and staying in an Airbnb last May, most/all of the kitchen stuff was from Ikea and there was a baking dish with teflon coating that was unbelievable. No stick, no baking paper. Of course, as soon as I returned home I purchased one. I have been using it ever since without lining until last week when I cooked chicken wings and they all stuck and I lost half the bloody wing to the bottom of the pan. I now will line the dish.

    I don’t think that it tastes different, you still get the crisp and crunch on baking paper. The clean up is miles easier and yes, I wash the dish after disposing of the paper.

    There are two things I can’t live without; baking paper and the internet.

  7. If one lines a roasting pan, then the valuable juices and meaty crustiness can’t be used to make gravy !!! After making and devouring the beautiful roast and gravy, we then add some extra water and any leftover veg etc, and your dog’s usual dry food. Stir and slowly simmer it up for a bit to make heavenly tasting nutritious dog brekkie for the next day, straight from the roasting dish. Your Frank sure will appreciate it Beth !!!

  8. Nope! Maybe it’s me being lazy, or that the pan is amazing and non stick. Haven’t ever had a problem with sticky bits and it’s quite a few years old. But I rarely roast meat on it, I use the rack and throw the veggies underneath.

  9. I never line but maybe I should!! Beth, which scanpan do you use? The one with the rack at the bottom or something else? I’m in the market for one, thanks.

  10. Scanpan roasting dish is so much easier to clean. I rarely line that pan – in fact I don’t think I ever have. But my other non-Scanpan dishes I do. Usually I only bake vegetables and a roast chicken on a rack in those dishes. What I want to explore now that I saw Martha doing it (as in Stewart) is roasting my vegetables on a flat baking tray.

  11. I am a liner. As I am the only one who REALLY washes up anything properly, it saves so much time. Depending on what I have been roasting and for how long, some of the fat/juices still permeate through the paper so you might have to give the pan/tray a quick clean but no scrubbing! I haven’t noticed any difference with the taste.

  12. I line. It doesn’t taste any different, but then I wouldn’t remember as I’ve been a liner for ages!! I think I use baking paper more than cling wrap.

  13. When I was young ang idealistic I thought my grandparents were horribly wasteful for lining everything……I am now older and lazier/busier and line every time. Except for when I forget, both ways roast great.

  14. I am a big fan of lining lining and more lining – firstly I line that bastard with foil (and sometime s a second layer if I am doing chicken or something messy) and then Glad Bake so it doesn’t stick to the foil ha ha ha. I only do it because I am lazy and once the roast is cooked I can basically just pick up the foil, chuck it in the bin and usually put the pan away without a single mark on it… I am just lazy!!! The downside: you can make pan juice gravy with all the sticky bits, but this is a sacrifice I am willing to make sometimes. I do love me a good Scanpan though Beth!!!

  15. I line everything. Because I’m lazy. I believe it does affect some dishes’ flavour/look but I just can’t be bothered with the cleaning and the wear and tear. I make some exceptions, but not many!

  16. Nope I don’t line.
    I don’t like burnt baking paper and always turn my veg up after the meat comes out to make them crunchy.

  17. I am too lazy to line and also not a fan of scrubbing the pan. A chef friend once told me to spray the baking dish with oil. I do it every time, that way I get my lovely bits to make gravy and a very easy clean.

  18. Emily Furlong says

    I will confess that I line my cheap pans, but my Bacarrat beauties are never lined. Thinking about it now though, that is mostly because the Bacarrat is super easy to clean even when unlined (a 10min soak and a soft sponge scourer and done). And I have to confess that I’ve never had an issue with “roastiness”. But I will own up to the fact that at 33yo I’m yet to master the perfect roast spud.

  19. I line mine only because I have shit quality ones, if I had scanpan I would not line.

  20. I had a long love affair with my scanpan roasting dish and never lined…. but then i noticed the lining starting to disintegrate and peel off my lovely pan πŸ™ Am i the only one to have experienced this? tend to love the cast iron le creuset stuff now. I always line with veg but not with meat…

  21. Beth – what do you use on your Scanpans to clean the grease off them after a roast?

  22. Yep I line – probably because I saw it in a Donna Hay magazine or something πŸ˜‰

  23. I line with Gladbake my life depends on it and I happen to have aced the art (with no false modesty at all) of making a damn fine roast potato. I line regardless of the pan including throwaway foil ones if I am having a big party because that way I never lose half a crunchy potato to the bottom of the pan and because I am supremely lazy and would prefer to spend my time eating that scrubbing pans. To quote my 16 year old twins lining is “the bomb Dotcom”!

  24. Lisa Mckenzie says

    I never line but I always spray the pan with oil!

  25. I love my Scanpan. I love it so much Darling Husband went and bought a whole Scanpan saucepan set. And I was excited about that! Clearly I need to get out more……….

    Have never lined the baking tray because I like all the juice and bits for gravy.

  26. I’m jumping on the Scanpan wagon, just can’t make up my mind what size – what one do you have? I currently line but only because I have cheap roasting tins – once I get a scanpan I won’t bother.


  1. […] foil should allow you to scrunch it to close. Make sure it’s closed up tight. You can read this post about the merits of lining your roasting […]

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