45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
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.
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
I hate wire roasting racks and hate washing them even more, that said I love this roasting laurel. I hate when I bake a meatloaf and it sits in the grease, this laurel holds the loaf above the grease...woohoo no more lifting the meatloaf out of the ecky grease pool and scraping the fat off. The laurel bends so I can shape it to what I am cooking, as a bone-in turkey breast has different needs than a beef/pork roast. I also like the example shown on the Amazon product page of holding up stuffed peppers.
This laurel goes right into your dishwasher and cleans up beautifully.
Per the limited instruction you can not use this in a microwave, or grill. Slowcookers/crockpots were not mentioned, I wish the instructions had more details. I will try more recipes and report back.
Update: Roasted rosemary chicken (bone in) breasts, came out perfectly. Browned all around, cooked evenly, and most importantly; did no sit in the grease.
Update 2-16-13....I use this quite a bit, especially when roasting large pieces of meat.
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
I hate everything about roasting racks from the way the meat sticks to them when you try to remove it to the difficulty cleaning them -- if I can't drop it in the dishwasher, I don't want it. Generally, I end up either balancing a chicken or roast on an inverted saucer or wasting a big hunk of expensive heavy aluminum foil to fashion a throw-away rack. With the saucer, the meat slips off into the grease half the time and with the foil, well, I don't have to wash it, but the meat still clings to it, creating a mess. Prepara's Roasting Laurel is an answer to a dream I didn't even know I had.
So far, I've roasted several big chickens, one pork shoulder, and kept baked apples standing upright by twisting this marvelous tool around to suit my purposes. It's easy, adjustable, and cleans in a jiffy. No hunks of chicken pull off when I lift it from the laurel, so everything looks great. This wonderful gadget is the absolutely perfect present for the cook who has everything -- or for reluctant cooks like me. It's worth every penny! Highly, highly recommended!
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
When I first used this with a five pound roasted chicken, it worked fine. I found this really a cool stuff that can change into any shape to fit almost any size chicken or a small turkey. It keeps the bird up, and the grease drippings could be collected by having a pan underneath. It is very flexible, the roasted bird does not stick, it is easy to clean and I found it is dishwasher safe. I have used this little tool three times so far and I didn't have to scrub like other roasting racks. I wish they made this a little larger that could have fitted a bigger bird like a turkey.
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
I have a few racks that I use for roasting foods like a whole chicken or piece of meat, that I don't want sitting in a puddle of fat. The problem with them is that they never quite fit the pans I have, so I was eager to try out the Prepara Roasting Laurel that I received from the amazon Vine program. You can bend this item to fit a variety of pans (big plus!) and the size of the item you are roasting. It worked as expected, and cleaned up easily in the dishwasher. I was jazzed about it until I opened the drawer where I have it stored a few days later and realized that it, and the drawer, now smell strongly (albeit deliciously) like the pork spareribs that I had marinated and cooked. Deliciously now -- I doubt whether the odor will be as pleasant in a few months, and after I've added a chicken or two, some lamb shanks and a hunk of grass-fed beef to the mix. I have used other silicone items that didn't retain odor, or so strongly. This, to me, is a real downside to an otherwise handy and useful item. It's true, I am sensitive to odors, and particularly anything rancid; so if you're more tolerant of random smells, this does work quite well and is very cute.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on December 7, 2013
While shopping at BB&B for a roasting rack, I saw this same product # on clearance for $9.99 and bypassed it as hype. When I later looked at all the favorable reviews on Amazon, I went back to buy it the next day, I used it this week in a 12x14 roaster for a tri tip and also in a 9 x 12 pan for a chicken.
I'm returning it for my money back.
Despite shaping the laurel, it expands during cooking. Both the tri tip and the chicken slid off the laurel to crust at the center of the pan--eliminating the benefits of a rack to promote heat circulation while roasting.
Although the specs state it can be used to 500 degrees, the actual package states a maximum of 482 degrees (same product #, I double checked). If a recipe calls for an initial sear at 500 degrees before lowering the temperature, this rack cannot be used for that recipe.
I expected it to be solid silicone. However, it is hollow under the leaves.
After use, I spent frustrating time using a pipe-cleaner sized brush to clean out the underside leaf hollows and the crevices between the leaves (this chore is kind of like using q-tips for cleaning around the ears). . It retains food smells, too. Yuck.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
I must admit my expectations for this odd little item were pretty low, but I was very pleasantly surprised to find that it actually is extremely versatile and works wonderfully!
Although I don't eat a lot of meat occasionally I roast a chicken, bake a fish or do a turkey. Recently I had to give my dog a rather unpleasant powdery medication for five days in "wet" food. I knew dog food wasn't going to fool her or have her gulping down the meds! I used the Prepara Roasting Laurel when roasting the chicken. It served a two-fold purpose-one it kept the chicken out of the grease droppings and secondly it allowed me to maximize the grease dropping quantity! I was able to chop the meat up and use a couple tablespoons of the grease to mix the medication in and the dog was in seventh heaven with her human food.
I also used the Laurel to roast some peppers like those shown in the picture. It helped keep them upright. That successful cooking experience led me to using with squash. I love the way you can move the Laurel around in order to keep the peppers and squash upright!
As time goes on I'm sure I'll find more uses for the Laurel. I'm so glad I decided to take a chance on it.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I do a lot of roasting and smoking. Of course I have any number of racks and trays for that purpose, depending on the meat and its size/weight. Racks don't always hold the meat where I want and they aren't easy to clean up when covered in juices, sauce, and fat that has been burned on over several hours. For a long time, I resorted to using makeshift racks made from folded and stacked aluminum foil, but this can also be sticky and messy, and it is wasteful and tedious.
Well, thanks to the roasting laurel, no more piles of foil will be necessary. I tried this right away on my toughest recipe, involving bourbon, brown sugar, and spare ribs (right: sugar, more sugar, and fat). The laurel bends to about any shape needed and then holds that shape, sitting neatly in most any tray. I put it in a foil lined pan, plopped my ribs on top and slathered on the sauce. They were cooked over three hours, turned several times, always adding sauce on top each time. As usual, the drippings and sauces/sugars formed an eighth of an inch deep pool at the bottom of the tray, eventually drying, crusting, and burning to a crisp black. (The ribs turned out great, thank you very much.) After I removed the ribs, I let the tray cool to room temperature. When I went to remove the laurel, it pulled right out from the tray, leaving the blackened sauce and crusted foil behind (with a pretty cool leaf pattern). I started to soak it in water, but most everything floated right off. I was a little annoyed by the large number of nooks and crannies between the leaves and the indentation where the leaves meet the stem, but no scrubbing was necessary - just soapy sponge and even rubbing. I estimate cleaning time of the laurel compared to a typical rack to be about one-fourth as time intensive, and probably one-fiftieth energy intensive. The fact that it didn't get stuck to the sugar and fat hardened to a black tar like coating was impressive enough. This thing is great, and I'm going to get a lot of use out of it. I can't wait to try this during next summer's smoking season!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on May 28, 2013
Maybe I'm just THAT stupid, but I couldn't get it to work. In theory, it should work out fine if it would stay in place. When I tried it for my turkey, the "laurel" shape wouldn't stay put and the turkey wound up sitting on the bottom of the pan. Also, it's not a piece of solid silicon. It has gaps on the bottom side, so any juices or liquids that are in the pan get stuck in there and it's a pain in the butt to clean. I'm not sure if it's because we hand wash everything, but I wouldn't be too confident that an automatic dishwasher would be able to get it clean either. It's soooooo not worth the effort! I'll go back to using my veggies as a turkey roasting rack.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 12, 2013
Got tired of cleaning meat rack in roasting pan, so after hints family gave me this for Christmas. Loved the looks and concept. But first time out, using it for a leg of lamb, I found it very fussy to clean. Soaked and scrubbed it several times and have put in dishwasher twice, but though it looks clean, it still smells like lamb. Maybe a good soak in vinegar and baking soda will do the trick, but I still don't like how fussy it is to clean. I may not have been able to get the inside -- it's hollow -- clean enough. However, it may be that silicone holds odors. I'm a big fan of silicone and use silicone baking sheets regularly, but they're never exposed to as strong an odor as lamb.