While the turkey may not make or break your Thanksgiving get-together, a succulent, crispy-skinned showpiece can certainly gain you a lot of admiration from guests. This is especially useful if you’re looking to establish yourself as the undisputed host of Thanksgiving. But what is the most reliable way to cook a turkey? Well, one key piece of gear you’ll definitely want at your disposal this Thanksgiving is a turkey roasting pan.
We won’t say that it’s easy to cook a turkey. Even with the best turkey roasting pans, you’ll need some experience in the kitchen if you want a perfectly cooked bird. Still, turkey roasting pans can make the task a little bit easier, as these specialty roasting pans are designed for a holiday feast.
Roasting a turkey is the most popular preparation; however, no matter how you choose to cook your bird, whether roasting, grilling or deep-fat frying, it’s always important to do the job correctly to ensure the result ticks all of those all-important taste, smell and appearance boxes. These elements include being cooked at the right temperature, for the correct duration and in the correct type of pan. One of the best investments you can make in a delicious turkey this year is choosing the right roasting pan.
What Is a Roaster Pan?
A turkey roaster pan is a kitchen cookware item that’s built larger for making roasting a turkey in an oven easier. Some turkey roasting pans are made from aluminum foil and cost just a couple of dollars, but you can also find premium roaster pans from cookware brands such as All-Clad. These latter options can last a lifetime, but you can cook a delicious turkey with either type.
These pans, usually oval, square or rectangular, have high walls to prevent juices and fat from escaping during the cooking process. This allows the meat to be cooked alongside other ingredients and food, such as potatoes or vegetables, which take in and give flavor to the surrounding liquids. Another piece commonly used with a roaster pan is a rack. Using a roasting rack helps heat circulate more evenly, delivering more consistent results and preventing the lower skin from becoming excessively wet.
Turkey roasting pans come in a range of shapes and sizes, and several factors may affect the best pan for you, such as the size of your turkey, the size of your oven or simply what’s available to you. Additionally, the appearance and level of moisture you’re looking to achieve in your Thanksgiving centerpiece can also make a difference to your approach.
Do You Have to Use a Turkey Roasting Pan To Cook a Turkey?
While not essential, a turkey roaster pan is a valuable aid when you’re cooking a Thanksgiving turkey. In general, a roaster pan makes cooking easier and lets you collect the delicious juices to create a delicious turkey gravy. A turkey roaster pan is a versatile piece of kitchen cookware that is critical to a good yearly turkey-cooking kit. Other essential items you may want include:
Below you’ll find the best turkey roaster pans for chefs of every level and users with every level of budget. Available choices include classic pans, disposable pans and stand-alone roasting ovens made specifically for the purpose. Find the right roaster pan for you and enjoy the most delicious turkey possible this Thanksgiving.
Good for turkeys, chickens and any other type of roast, the Circulon Roasting Pan is a straightforward and well-reviewed option. It features a durable, warp-resistant exterior that provides even heat distribution and can withstand temperatures up to 450°F.
There are also two side-mounted handles for easy, drip-free pouring and comfortable maneuverability when things get hot. You’ll also find a U-shaped stainless steel rack to help liquids drain and let your meat sit above the floor to ensure complete and even cooking. Furthermore, this pan measures 16 by 13 inches, is dishwasher safe and comes in your choice of gray or chocolate brown.
This durable, stainless steel roasting pan helps you roast delicious and savory foods for Thanksgiving and beyond. It offers even heat conduction and comes with a V-shaped rack to promote even cooking while allowing juices to flow to the bottom for basting or gravy. The easy-grip handles make it easy to handle as it goes in and out of the oven and is dishwasher safe for simple clean-up when dinner is over.
In addition to roasting, these aluminum pans are ideal for baking, storing and warming food, transporting dishes, and acting as a meat tray for a barbecue. They measure 9 by 13 inches, come in packs ranging from 10 to 30 and are constructed from durable aluminum foil, which saves you from washing up after your Thanksgiving party.
If you’re looking for an entire range of tools to roast your turkey, then the Viking Culinary Roasting Pan and Carving Set could be the choice for you. This comprehensive kit includes everything you need to produce a delicious Thanksgiving dish. You’ll find a roasting tray, rack, carving knife, and fork in the kit. The features a three-ply design made of a stainless steel interior, aluminum core, and induction-capable stainless exterior to provide a perfectly cooked turkey for Thanksgiving day.
Read More: The 16 Best Turkey Basters for Winning Thanksgiving
All-Clad Stainless-Steel Nonstick Roasting Pan
If you’re looking for something a little fancier than your average turkey roaster pans, check out this All-Clad Stainless-Steel Nonstick Roasting Pan from Williams Sonoma. The two-piece set includes a pan and a rack made from thick, durable stainless steel.
The pan itself sports an attractive silver finish and has riveted handles for greater convenience when handling. The rack features a V-shaped design which helps promote faster, more even cooking. Additionally, the pan can accommodate up to 25 pounds, is oven safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and has an advanced non-stick cooking surface for easier food release and post-use cleaning.
Capable of housing birds or hams up to 25 pounds in size, the Calphalon Classic Roaster is a classy way to roast your dinner. The pan is made from medium-gauge, hard-anodized aluminum, which delivers even heating, while the included non-stick V-shape rack elevates your food to let liquids drain and heat circulate. The highly polished stainless steel handles simplify transporting the pan, and the non-stick interiors make the post-cooking cleanup effortless. This pan is also capable of withstanding temperatures up to 450°F.
With its hard-anodized aluminum construction, the Rachael Ray Hard-Anodized Nonstick Roaster is a durable and easy-to-store answer to roasting your Thanksgiving bird. When you don’t need it, this pan can easily fit in most under-oven drawers and will surely squeeze itself into your pantry. The pan comes with a dual-height nonstick rack, which allows you to roast various items, including meats and vegetables. Furthermore, it can withstand temperatures up to 500°F, and the dual-riveted stainless steel handles provide an easy way to move the pan.
Designed with amazing heat conductivity, the Blue Carbon Steel Roasting Pan from Made In is the answer to all of your holiday roasting needs. It features high walls to transmit heat throughout easily and comes with a rack that raises its contents for easy basting and gravy making.
This pan can additionally be placed on the stovetop to create a perfectly browned finish after going into the oven.
Read More: Carbon Steel vs. Cast Iron Skillets
With its included U-shaped rack for easy liquid collection and maximum airflow, the Cook N Home Nonstick Bakeware Roaster is an effective and budget-friendly option for roasting your turkey. The pan is made from thick aluminum, which helps distribute heat across the pan, ensuring an evenly cooked turkey. In addition to being dishwasher friendly, the non-stick interior also makes post-roast cleaning simple. Plus, the large pan allows birds up to 25 pounds in weight.
The USA-made Granite-Ware Columbian Home Products 18-inch Black Oval Roaster is constructed from heavy-duty porcelain on steel, which makes this unit both attractive and non-stick. The steel material gives the pan even heat distribution, making it ideal for successful turkey cooking. It’s also dishwasher safe and capable of holding turkeys up to 18 pounds with the lid off or 15 pounds with the lid on. If you love keeping all the juices inside your bird, this could be your choice.
The Oster Roasting Oven is a complete solution to roasting your turkey that’s perfect for oven-free kitchens. This free-standing electric roaster can deliver temperatures up to 450°F and includes options to defrost and keep food warm.
It’s capable of baking and slow cooking and includes a self-basting lid, which helps re-circulate moisture for a juicier final product. The large-sized oven can accommodate turkeys up to 26 pounds in size and comes with a removable roasting pan and rack.
Add a pop of color to your Thanksgiving meal with a Bruntmor Enameled Cast Iron Baking Pan, which stands out from the crowd. This popular, two-in-one pan measures 11 inches in length and comes supplied with a removable lid that can also function as a separate griddle. The pan features convenient carry handles and has a triple-layered wall, consisting of a non-stick interior, cast iron core and an enamel coating. Plus, if orange isn’t your jam it comes in blue and black as well.
An aluminum roaster this gorgeous is most certainly one to wish for, so nudge someone in your household a little bit and let them know you’re dreaming about using this for Thanksgiving dinner.
The material makes the roaster perfect for fast, even heating, so that you can cut your turkey roasting time a bit this year. It’s super easy to clean when the party’s over and low maintenance. There are handles on either side for natural transport from kitchen to dinner table, meaning you won’t have to plop the entire turkey out of the roaster when serving. aluminum
The Camerons Oval Multi Roaster is a multi-functional option that allows you to bake, sauté and roast your food. The kit includes an 11-quart stockpot, a roasting and draining rack and a four-quart sautéing pan, which also doubles as a lid. Each item is constructed from stainless steel, and the two pans have side-mounted handles for easy maneuverability and pouring. All products are dishwasher-safe and have stick-resistant interiors.
The Lodge name is synonymous with top-quality cast iron kitchenware, and this roasting pan is no different. And even if you’re not into all-black, hardy-looking cookware, the Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron Baking Pan comes pre-seasoned with 100% natural vegetable oil should be speaking to you.
This pre-seasoning helps users produce greater flavor in dishes, which, combined with the cast iron’s unparalleled heat retention and even heating, produces some truly standout results. The pan measures 15.5 by 10.5 inches, and while it might not have the depth that other pans do it’s perfect for smaller birds or roasting chicken thighs, wings and other poultry.
This Caraway Rectangle Pan is a versatile addition to any kitchen, which can be used for baking, roasting and creating a range of delicious foods, including roasted vegetables and brownies. At 9 by 13 inches, there’s plenty of space for family-sized meals, while the six available colors mean there’s likely an option to match your existing kitchen decor. The pan is also oven safe up to 550°F and covered in a non-toxic, non-stick coating, making cleaning and removing food quick and easy. Furthermore, it comes backed by more than 2,000 five-star ratings from Caraway customers.
Cuisinart has a reputation for producing high-quality, well-designed cookware, and this Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Stainless Steel Roasting Pan is a prime example. The 16-inch, triple-ply pan ticks all the right boxes. Standout features include wide-grip riveted side handles, Heat Surround technology for even cooking and a non-stick Interior. It also comes with a V-shaped roasting rack for more consistent results and is entirely dishwasher-safe for easier cleaning.
If you’re looking for a roaster that wears more than one chef’s hat, look no further than the All-in-One Cast Iron Grill from Uncommon Goods. Turn your Thanksgiving turkey into an outdoor cookout with this grill that can roast, wok, smoke, skillet, braiser, deep fry, slow cook and stockpot.
Meaning you can roast your turkey for dinner and deep fry some Oreos for dessert, all on the same night. While this roaster should be used outdoors, the top half comes off with carrying handles for easy grill-to-table serving, making your Thanksgiving dinner that much easier.
Our Place Ovenware Set
If you want to add more than just a roasting pan to your kitchenware arsenal, your best option may be this Our Place Ovenware Set. The set includes five pieces: an oven pan, three bakers and an oven mat. At 20.9 by 11.8 inches, the oven pan offers a large space for roasting, baking, frying, or anything else.
If you want to add more than just a roasting pan to your kitchenware arsenal, your best option may be this Our Place Ovenware Set. The set includes five pieces: an oven pan, three bakers and an oven mat. At 20.9 by 11.8 inches, the oven pan offers a large space for roasting, baking, frying, or anything else. It also sports a non-toxic, non-stick ceramic coating and has ergonomic side handles for better control during use. Handily, when not in use, the five pieces in the set neatly fit inside the oven pan for a storage solution that takes up less space. The set also comes in five different colors.
How To Cook a Turkey in a Roasting Pan
Your turkey cooking method should be enhanced by the roasting pan and it should help make your dinner prep much easier if you’re using it correctly.
The basic best practices for cooking a turkey in a roasting pan include:
1. Low and Slow
Cooking a turkey is a lengthy process, especially if your bird arrives frozen. Give your bird about a day for every pound of weight, on average, before you begin brining, stuffing and roasting.
2. Basting Regularly
Poultry can get dry without the right preparation, so make sure you’re regularly basting. Every 2 hours is preferred, if not more often, and make sure you’ve got a good turkey baster so you can target those juices at every part of the bird.
3. Give It a Rest
When you remove your turkey from the oven, make sure you give it at least 15 minutes to rest at room temperature and retain all those juices. Carving into it too early can release all the liquid and make your bird lose flavor.
What Else Can I Use a Roasting Pan For?
If you think having a turkey roasting pan for Thanksgiving would be great, but having it for the other 364 days wouldn’t, then don’t worry. So long as you pick the right piece of cookware, you can use your new roasting pan to prepare a variety of meals. Of course, a roasting pan for turkey is useful on Thanksgiving, but these versatile kitchenware items are surprisingly useful for several other cooking tasks. Roasting pans can also be used to prepare vegetables, roasts and fish. In addition, some roasting pans can also be used for frying food on a kitchen hob.