What Is the Difference Between a Baking Tray and a Roasting Tray?

Ever wonder, what is the difference between a baking tray and a roasting tray? They both are bakeware but used to cook different food. The difference between a baking tray and a roasting tray looks subtle, but they have significant differences. 

The baking tray and the roasting tray can be used interchangeably, sometimes, but they are not the same. A baking tray is usually made of ceramic, metal, or glass, while a roasting tray is usually made of metal. In contrast, the baking tray has lower walls, while the roasting tray has higher walls.

They can both be used interchangeably sometimes, but they aren’t the same. Compared to the roasting tray, the baking tray is lightweight and low-cost. 

Baking TrayRoasting Tray
MaterialMade of metal, glass, ceramic, stoneware, or silicone.Made of heavy-duty metal such as stainless steel, cast iron, or carbon steel.
Walls It has lower walls.It has higher walls.
ThicknessGenerally, it is lighter.It is thicker and heavy. 
Size Smaller in size.It is larger than a baking tray.
Heavy dutyYou cannot cook a large amount of food in it. It allows you to cook more food.
Stove SafeNot suitable for stovetop use.It can be used on a stove.
Handles It is without handles.It comes with handles. 

Keep reading if you want to know more differences between a baking tray and a roasting tray. You will get to know how they are interchangeable. And, if you wanted to have one, which one to get that meets your needs?

Baking Tray: 

The baking tray is the staple product for baking in the kitchen. A baking tray is made of metal, glass, ceramic, stoneware, or silicone with rolled-over edges.

It has lower walls which can’t be more than 2 inches high. The baking trays have no handles. Usually, they are used at lower temperatures.

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baking tray

What Can You Bake in it?

You can bake cookies, cakes, brownies, tarts, bacon, pizza, lasagna, and many other kinds of foods using the baking tray. Further, the baking tray can also be transferred to the refrigerator to save leftover food.

Read Also: What Can You Use Instead of a Baking Tray?

Size and Shape

The baking tray is flexible in size and shape. It comes in different shapes, such as round, square, oblong, and rectangular. It can be shallow or deep but not more than 2 inches in depth. It comes in various sizes.

You can select the baking which meets your needs. The standard baking tray size is 8×8 inches. The range of food which can be cooked using a baking tray is as versatile as the materials used to manufacture it.

How to Use it?

It is always a good idea to use parchment paper in a baking tray, even if the baking trays are non-stick. The parchment must be greased before adding anything to it. By doing so, food can be easily removed from the tray and you can clean the tray quickly thereafter. 

The baking tray has many advantages, such as it is light, compact, multipurpose, and cheap. But it has some limitations, such as it has no handles and is smaller in size compared to a roasting tray. If you’re interested in purchasing this baking tray, you can easily order it from Amazon here.

Roasting Tray: 

Roasting trays are made of heavy-gauge metal such as stainless steel, cast iron, or carbon steel, and have high walls. Generally, roasting trays are used to roast meat, vegetables, and starches at higher temperatures, such as 350°C or higher. 

Roasting tray1

Size and Shape

Moreover, different shapes and sizes of roasting trays are available. Also, the roasting trays have fewer variations as compared to the baking trays. And, the standard roasting trays come in a rectangle shape and measure 16 inches long.

What Can You Make in it?

The roasting tray comes with a rack that allows the meat to sit above the surface of the tray. As a result, the meat does not braise in its own juices. Raised racks organize the meat while cooking so it reaches the same temperature. It’s a vessel for cooking various foods.

  • Roasting veggies such as broccoli, asparagus, brussels sprouts, etc.
  • Making pizza, lasagna, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, meatballs, etc.
  • Cooking holiday foods such as thanksgiving turkey and Christmas ham.

In addition to being useful during the holiday season, the roasting tray is versatile throughout the whole year.

How to Use it?

Additionally, the dry heat causes the meat to brown and crisp. It is possible to cook vegetables below the rack while the meat cooks. As a result of meat drippings, vegetables become gravy that everyone loves.

In general, roasting trays do not have non-stick surfaces. These are made from durable material that can withstand scraping and scrubbing because the drippings from meat are stuck to the bottom of the roasting tray.

If that roasting tray caught your eye, you may buy it on Amazon here.

Can You Use a Roasting Tray as a Baking Tray?

Roasting tray

Yes, you can use the roasting tray and baking tray alternatively. However, baking is easier when you have the right equipment. In addition, food tastes better if it is cooked in the right cookware.

If you do not have a roasting tray, you can use a baking tray. For roasting in a baking tray, you need a rack where you would put your meat. But as baking trays are smaller, large cut meat cannot be cooked in them.

Similarly, you can use your roasting tray as a baking tray, although it does not come with a lid. If you are using your roasting tray as a baking tray, you can cover it with aluminum foil from the top.

If you have a small space, a low budget, or small gatherings of people, then you can have a baking tray. But, if you have enough budget, bigger space, and host big family dinners more often, then you should buy a roasting tray.

Read Also: Can You bake Cookies on a Tray?


In conclusion, we can say that the roasting tray and baking tray have significant differences, but both can be used interchangeably. Now that you know the difference between a roasting tray and a baking tray, you can decide which type you prefer. Depending on how you intend to use it, you can choose the right tray.

If you are interested in the best kitchen products and accessories, be sure to visit my Recommended Products Page (click to see my page), Which includes all of my top picks by category.

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