Wednesday, May 20, 2009

All About The Savory Roaster


When I go thrifting, I like to go alone and with no other mission other than having a few hours mingling with the stuff. The stuff either speaks to me or it doesn't, but all stuff has a voice, you just have to look and listen. The Savory roaster and I fell for one another with just one touch. Just look at the smooth shoulders, the Venus of roasters, this roaster is a grand dame and I love her. The only trouble was I did not know much about her, so a-researching I went and this is what I found. She was made by Republic metalware company of Buffalo New York around 1908. Here is an ad in Home furnishing review of the time.

Home Furnishing Review: “Republic Metalware Co. Every buyer of house furnishing goods knows that the Republic Metalware Company of Buffalo NY manufactures the Savory Roaster. The sale of the roaster has been so enormous during the past year that there is not a housewife from Maine to California who does not know of these roasters. The Republic Metalware Company does not stop with the make of Savory Roasters however, but manufactures also the famous Hustler Ash Sifters. This is a rotary sifter that sifts out the coal clean without dust or dirt. The ashes are put in a hopper and the boy or woman of the house turns the handle which revolves a heavy galvanized sifter dropping the ashes into the barrel and throwing the unburned coal into a waiting coal skuttle. It is lots of fun to work one of these ash sifters and they will more than pay for themselves within a short time. The Republic Metalware Company also makes galvanized ash cans with broad tripple corrugated reinforced strips securely riveted on with large malleable drop handles. These are the best and strongest ash cans made and the entire equipment is one that should be known to every house furnishing dealer in the trade. Full particulars regarding this and the many other metal ware specialties manufactured by the Republic Metalware Company may be obtained by writing to this firm.

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Well it seems that royalty money was at the core of a dispute over the patient rights to the Savory roaster. The inventor of the Savory roaster, was a man named Mathy. He hammered out the orginal roasters in his home and sold them with the name “Savory” stamped into them. He later entered an agreement with the Republic Metalware company for the manufacture of the roasters. Mathy agreed to let Republic manufacture the pans in return for royalties but held on to the patent. Something went wrong between the two parties and Mathy went before the court of appeals, his contention was that the patent and “Savory ” trademark was still his and he had not abandoned or forfeited his rights to the contract. Republic Metalware tried to prove other wise. As best I can tell the judges ruled in favor of Mathy. Read it for yourself and correct me if I have re-capped anything incorrectly. Below is the drawing from the patent office. Click on the image or name to view and read the source. Including his claims for the roaster.

JOSEPH MATHY

J KIATHY DOMESTIC BAKES AND STEAMEE APPLICATION FILED FEB 7 1906 935,781

One final note: a Savory roaster testimonial.
Default Re: What is the most unusual cooking utensil/item you own?

I have about 10 or more Savory Roasters. My mother had one that was her grandmother's. When I left home, I was lost because she WOULDN'T GIVE IT TO ME!!! When my daughter was 4 and my son was an infant, while traveling through central Missouri on our way back to Texas from Illinois, I found 2 roasters in the same town. They traveled back to Houston under my children's feet. It took me another 12 years to find another. The best are the enamel glazed roasters that come in white, blues, red, yellow, green. They come in 3 sizes–regular large, junior and a tiny one. When my children get married or go off on their own, they'll be given their own roasters so they'll never say anything bad about me–at least regarding my hoarding of the Savory Roaster. I cannot dry out a turkey or chicken no matter what I do. They're wonderful. I don't mind sharing since I'm sure I have plenty in my own stock!

To visit this site go to- http://forums.cooking.com/showthread.php?p=42052

39 comments:

San Francisco Catering said...

If it was not for roasters I dont know what I would do with my San Francisco catering company. Imagine the times when they did not have any of these things. I dont even want to think about it

polly + dieter said...

Roasting and Thanksgiving are inseparable. Yes, imagine cooking the turkey in a frying pan! In these tenuous economic times, good food is one of the few things we are still willing to splurge on. Thank you for appreciating the roaster.

polly + dieter said...

to the anonymous person who wanted to purchase a roaster, we don't sell the roasters. if you want to purchase one the best bet is to search second hand stores, etc. that is where we found ours. good luck!

Zubaidatariq said...

Hi

nice post! great site...great ideas.
i appreciate all the support and good ideas. go forth and keep writing. thanks !


John Williams
Zubaida

Jennifer said...

I am also the proud owner of a Savory roaster and have yet to dry out a turkey or chicken. One of my issues is that I sacrifice the yummy browned skin of a roast bird for the moist meat. Any thoughts on how to have both with this roaster?

Anonymous said...

I recently purchased a white SAVORY roaster and was very excited. But now I'm worried because there is no information about the type of enamel used. Does anyone know if lead paint was used on these? I have two little boys and don't want to cook with something that might be harmful.
Thank you!

~~louise~~ said...

I just had to take a moment to thank you so much for providing this detailed information on the Savory Roaster (yes I LOVE mine)

I am planning on doing a post about them some time next year and after spending hours on researching Sidney Shepard, the founder of Republic Metalware, I was indeed surprised to discover the info you provided. Amazing! I do hope you wouldn't mind if I link to this post in the future. And, I do hope you will be posting in the future:) I am on a bit of a "blog sabbatical" myself but will be returning to the blogging world in January.

Once again, thank you so much. I can not express enough how delighted I am to have discovered this post! Louise

Anonymous said...

I have two of these, a large and medium, that my grandmother presented to me back in 1966 when I was a sophomore in high school. I remember going to her farm house in Oklahoma for the holidays and she had three large cookers to roast three turkey that barely fed her extended family. Imagine, a 16 year old boy getting these as a gift, because I had always complimented her on her turkeys being so moist. I hid them away for years until re-discovering them later in life. Glad I did!!

I have them today and they are the very best because of the concave bottoms. The birds roast evenly and retain their moisture like nothing else!

In order to get a golden brown turkey I heat my oven to 500 and place the bird in the pan with top off in the oven for about ten minutes. I do this the night before cooking.

Then I coat the bird in olive oil, salt, garlic and rosemary...let it set for the evening until I place it, top lid on, in the oven the next day.

I think your nest bet to find a SAVORY is to hit estate sales in small towns in the Midwest. I’ve seen knockoffs of this roaster for years but they have flat bottoms. The key to the SAVORY is the underside of the roaster and it’s welded sides.

Anonymous said...

I love my Savory Roaster also, it was my husband's mother's and he remembers it as a child. It's a little banged up but works just as well.Nothing can go wrong when using this roaster. I love it. I will begin to start looking in thrift shops for it and online.

polly + dieter said...

We are overwhelmed by how many people love their Savory roasters! Not only does it deliver a great meal, but conjures up memories as well. Goes to show you, quality cookware is forever and does not need to be an expensive brand name. To answer the question regarding the type of enamel used, we are not sure about that, and yes please link to this post if you would like.
Happy New Year!

Groomer123 said...

I grew up not knowing there were any other kind of roaster out there other than Savory! I own 5 of the roasters, jumbo which can hold a 24 lb turkey with the legs tied up and have it as juicy as ever! I wish someone could purchase the patent from the family of Mr. Mathy and start manufacturing these roasters again. There is nother better.
Karen, Norton Oh

polly + dieter said...

your testimonial is proof that new is not necessarily better. we not only acknowledge, but also applaud your enthusiasm for the savory roaster. who would have thought so many people are savory roaster devotees!

Mary said...

I had no idea what I had in my possession! I picked up a Savory roaster for $5 (Canadian) at an auction last year. I love cooking with it, and always thought that the concave bottom was a really neat feature, one which I'd never come across before in a roaster. Perhaps they weren't marketed to Canada. I know that the auctioneers do a lot of their "picking" in the Northeastern US.
I bought mine on a whim, without even noticing the bottom. I just needed a roaster. When I discovered the different look to the pan, I was thrilled, just for it's uniqueness, but since using it, I love it for it's quality! I had no idea how old it was, or that they were no longer manufactured. I feel bad for anyone who can't find one!

Anonymous said...

If anyone finds one of these savory roasters, please post. Mine was my grandmother's and the bottom has lost enamel but i use tin foil and it still cooks the same moist turkey.
I have looked 4 yrs and am still looking.
thanks.
ladiharli

polly + dieter said...

we found ours at some local resale shops. make sure to check there. good luck!

beth said...

we just got one today for two dollars at a garage sale, nothing wrong with it,

when did they stop making these roasters, we'd like to know the history of it.

Chinese Soups said...

Interesting history on the roaster. Thanks for writing this post!

One of the kitchen tools I own that I imagine would be different to most readers here is a three-prong lifter used in grabbing/picking up round steamed dishes from a Chinese steamer. I use it every time I steam fish or other dishes. It's very useful and it saves me from many unnecessary hand burns! Life saver!

Anonymous said...

I think these pans are for braising meat, rather than roasting. The difference is that braising is wet heat, and the lid is used to keep the food moist during cooking, while roasting is done without a lid, and is dry heat. The domed lid and bowl-shaped base keeps cuts of meat with less fat in a moist environment, which tenderizes tough cuts of meat without drying them out too much. I just found a Savory Jr at a garage sale, it cleaned up pretty well using oven cleaner and Qtips, and I'm looking forward to using it soon.

polly + dieter said...

thank you for clarifying the difference between roasting and braising. the savory roaster certainly inspires some interesting conversation.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so very much for all the info and comments. I purchased two beautiful large cobalt blue roasters at a flea market for $8.00each yesterday and cannot wait to use them.

polly + dieter said...

i think you got a good deal. there is a white one on etsy for $ 28.00

Anonymous said...

Found a large light blue Savory roaster in my grandmother's basement that was filthy! Cleaned it up and it looks great. Has worn enamel in places. Is it still safe to cook with or is there a way to repair it for use? Would anyone else repair theirs? I remember my grandmother using it for years and don't really want to ruin it by having it refinished.

polly + dieter said...

I found something about repairing enamel cookware here. http://www.ehow.com/how_5978646_repair-enamel-cookware.html. I recently some chicken cooked in a similar pot to the savory roaster. It was so moist and delicious! Thank goodness for our grandmothers.

gus said...

I am a 72 year old savory collector I have in excess of 25 roasters 10 different colors and 5 different sizes I also have about 50 other products made by savory.I have 1929 salesmans catalog. The most expensive roaster was the red ones at a cost of $30.00 per dozen I paid just under $300.00 for a near perfect one. The blue jr roasters cost $8.50 per dozen.

polly + dieter said...

hi there gus. that sounds like a fantastic collection. if you have any good photos of your roasters or other objects, we would love to post them on our blog. contact us at dtamson@c.ringling.edu. thank you! it seems that so many people love these roasters and also have lots of questions about them.

Fran said...

I have a smaller svory (dark blue) that is covered with burned on food from the many years of use. I have soaked it in boiling water and also used oven cleaner on it. I want to restore it to its original beauty. Someone said to put it in a self-cleaning oven. Any suggestions?????

polly + dieter said...

i read using the self cleaning oven technique was primarily for cast iron cookware. someone in a previous post used oven cleaner and Qtips to clean their roaster. i am not sure about this one...

Miss Dawn said...

Hello, Today I bought my second savory (LG) roaster. The first was stolen! I wish i was kidding. I went out to the back poarch to get it one day and it was gone! nothing else was touched! A year of hunting for one led me to an ebay auction, My new "baby" will be here in a few days, bright candy apple red... It cost me $112.00 dollars and to me it was worth EVERY PENNY. We even do other foods in it, any roast of any kind you can think of just comes out better. In a pinch I have even used mine to transport and serve potato salad. Now that I will have this big red beauty i think i will be doing that even more, my (stolen) one was a very dark blue and was my Grandmothers... I will have to see which one of My kids gets this one... Hummm may use it as a "bribe" some day LOL, You know, the way some kids will ask which one of them you are leaving a ring to, well my kids have allways asked who is getting the roaster !!!

polly + dieter said...

I hope savory roaster theft does not become widespread! Glad to hear you found a new one. We love ours. The chickens we cook in it are amazing and tender. We have one large enough that we cook two chickens at a time in it.

The roaster should be left to the child who exhibits exemplary behavior!

Anonymous said...

my sister in law just gave me a SAVORY roaster that her husband found in a college attic. just cleaned it up . beautiful very old I think . roaster has hing on both sides to close tight. anyone have a similar one or know anything about this one.

polly johnson said...

I have never seen one with a hinge.

Anonymous said...

I found a savory Roaster the other day at a thrift shop , so glad to read all the blogs about them, i have a dark blue one and on one side the stamp is done twice is that the way it's supposed to be or a mistake? thanks

polly + dieter said...

hi there, you are fortunate to have found one. when we cook in ours we are always amazed at how great it is. i have never seen one stamped twice on one side. can you post a photo somewhere for us to take a look?

Kaitlyn said...

Hi - I'm the one with more than 10 roasters quoted at the bottom of your blog. I have seen them on eBay. Be sure to see a picture of the inside. You really want the porcelain glaze to cover the entire pan. Tiny chips are ok and inevitable, but chips greater than a nickel in size are too large. Here is an easy, easy recipe for pot roast.

Put a chuck roast (or other inexpensive meat since chuck roast is going up in price) in roaster. Add carrots on one side and new potatoes on the other. Sprinkle McCormick's Pot Roast Seasoning (Bag & Season - throw away the bag) over everything. Drizzle with water - about 1/2 cup.

Bake in a slow oven - 275 - until meat falls apart - 4-5 hours. Or use 325 to finish it up or to cook for a shorter time.

Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

The first Savory Roaster I received was purchased by my mother at a yard sale about 30 years ago. Boy! What a treasure she had found. After cooking with it a time or two, I knew I would NEVER cook a roast in another type of pot/roaster. You can NOT mess anything up in one. Fill it up with baking potatoes or sweet potatoes and you will never go back to cooking them any other way! I own probably 30 or 40 in all the sizes and various colors. I also own two of the Savory "Steamer" Pots, but they seem to be much harder to find. I also have two Savory measuring cups and a flour sifter. I just love anything to do with the Savory products. eBay is a good source to check for them, but prices can be an issue. Thanks for all the info you have posted about the "history" of the Savory Roaster!

Anonymous said...

I need a recipe for cooking a chicken in the savory roaster. Time, temperature, can I cook vegetable,s with it?

Anonymous said...

To cook Chicken with vegetables.

I Put a 5 lb chicken on a rack (I did not know if this was right but there was plenty of room in the roaster)
I poured olive oil all over it and put it in the oven for 10 min at 500 degrees to brown it. it Next I put potatoes and carrots all around it.I poured olive oil over all. I put rosemary, crushed garlic, salt & pepper (just like a a previous comment on this site said to do) and I put lemon,s in cavity of chicken and pieces of lemon in the veggies too. salt and Pepper to taste.
It was done in 1 hour but I did leave it in 15min longer at 350 degrees because I was cooking something else and I like to make sure my chicken is done. It was still juicy. Next time I will do only 1 hour.
I found my pot at a Thrift Store. It has a tiny bit of rust on the under side of the lid which I would love to find out how repair the enamel if anyone knows how please comment on this.
I had never heard of these roasters but it is just as wonderful as this site and all the comments make
I

Anonymous said...

my mother and I were junking about 30 years ago, thus my first lg blue granite roaster and my love affair with the wonderful Savory roaster. I have every size and use all of them. yard and garage sales are a good place to find these roasters at a reasonable price. I really wish I could get a red one. I have blue, white, grey and a light bluish grey.i have an aluminum roaster but I don't know what it is used for. love my roaster and so do all my children.

polly + dieter said...

thank you for your comment. we use our large
roaster all the time. every time we are amazed at how delicious the food turns out. we keep thinking someone should manufacture them again!