Prepping For A Turkey Dinner? These Roasting Pans Will Help You Serve A Delicious Bird

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by Margeaux Baulch Klein
Originally Published: 

Whether for Thanksgiving or dinner any day of the week, the best turkey roasting pans are an essential tool for cooking a perfectly roasted bird. Unlike other pans you may have in your kitchen, turkey roasting pans are deep enough to fit an entire turkey inside and strong enough to withstand the weight of a large bird and all of its drippings.

When shopping for one, you'll want to make sure you select the right pan for your needs. To help you choose, consider the following:

  • The size of the pan: Many roasting pans are designed to hold up to 25 pounds of food. To make them easier to maneuver in and out of the oven, you'll also find some that have oversized handles giving you a better grip.
  • The material of the cookware: Nonstick pans require less oil for cooking and are generally easier to clean because residue, as the name implies, should not stick to it. However, due to the delicate nature of that coating, nonstick pans are usually hand-wash only. Stainless steel cookware, on the other hand, is dishwasher safe but tends to be pricier.
  • Your preferred cooking method: Braising a turkey in a roaster can help produce a more tender and juicy bird, so if that's your preferred method consider using a pan with a lid. And if you like more of crisp brown skin, opt for roasting sans lid.

If you don't have an oven that's big enough fora traditional pan or prefer to not hold yours up for hours on end to cook a turkey, you can also find an electric roasting pan.

Lastly, don't dismiss disposable roasting pans. If you only roast turkeys once a year or don't have a ton of kitchen storage space, a disposable pan may make the most sense. Plus, they are the most budget-friendly option.

See below for the best turkey roasting pans you can buy — I've rounded up picks from Amazon for every poultry cooking need, including some with removable racks for even circulation, one made out of super strong hard-anodized aluminum, and two that have self-basting lids.


The Overall Best

  • Capacity: up to 24 pounds

For the price, you likely won't find a better quality turkey roasting pan than this 17-inch one by Circulon. It has more than 540 glowing five-star reviews on Amazon, with several fans mentioning that it also works work well for many other dishes, including ribs and briskets. It has a PFOA-free nonstick coating that's oven safe up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. The chrome-coated, removable rack dips down into a U-shape, so the pan will catch the drippings but not touch the meat directly. Plus, this allows for better circulation and more even cooking all around.

This pan also boasts wide and upright handles for easy lifting and shifting around in the oven. Besides traditional gray metal, this pan is also available in a modern chocolate brown shade (pictured), which would dress up any dining room table. Though some reviewers report they have put the pan in the dishwasher, the manufacturer recommends hand-washing in order to preserve the nonstick coating.

Helpful review: “I made a 20 pound turkey and on the bottom, I almost fit 5 pounds of cut up carrot sticks and a several stalks of celery. Next, I used it for a ham and the juices burnt to the pan. I thought that cleaning it would be a nightmare but it washed right off with a soft sponge. Both sets of handles are perfectly placed and serve a purpose."


The Best Dishwasher-Safe Set

  • Capacity: not specified (Reviewers noted it can hold as large as a 26 pound turkey)

For a quality roasting pan that can safely go in the dishwasher, look no further than this Cuisinart model. Both the pan and the rack are constructed out of stainless steel, a material that's known in the cookware world for its durability and flavor preservation (meaning it won't add metallic flavors into your your meat). Much like the pick above, the rack is removable and designed in a U-shape to allow for juices to drip easily and for air to circulate underneath. This set also comes with a turkey baster, two turkey lifters, a meat thermometer, and a fork and knife

This pan is oven safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

Helpful review: "This pan/rack set was perfect for our 26 lb. Thanksgiving turkey. The tools came in very handy and clean up was a snap. The pan and rack are non-stick and wiped clean with a sponge. I highly recommend this product."


A Roasting Pan With A Lid That's Great For Braising

  • Capacity: up to 15 pounds with lid; up to 18 pounds without lid

This Granite Ware 18-inch covered oval roasting pan is not only made of a stylish (and naturally nonstick) porcelain enamel coating, it's also highly functional. The addition of a lid enables you to braise the turkey — a method that involves adding a small of amount of liquid in the pan with your food and then covering it. This keeps naturally dry meat (like turkey) moist and tender throughout the cooking process. This model even has special dimples built into the domed lid so that as juices and steam collect inside, they'll drop down onto your turkey, self-basting it.

You'll also be happy to know that this pick is dishwasher-safe, oven safe up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Helpful review: "I loved the way the turkey cooked in this pan. The cover provided an excellent way to keep the moisture so that the turkey was nice and juicy. I never even had to baste the turkey once, the lid did all the work for me. I left the lid off for the last 15 minutes of cooking (to brown)...I plan on using this roaster pan every year going forward. I have even used it for cooking chicken with vegetables with excellent results."


The Most Splurge-Worthy

  • Capacity: up to 25 pounds

While it's a splurge, this Calphalon Classic 16-inch roasting pan has a lot going for it that may make it worth the investment. At only 4.4 pounds, it's the lightest weight (non-disposable) pick on this list. Its hard-anodized aluminum construction is stronger and more durable than stainless steel and will hold up to wear and tear longer. Plus, its nonstick coating will repel food residue, making it easier to clean, and the surface is non-reactive, so it won't impart any metallic flavor into your dish.

This pan is oven safe up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and features a removable nonstick rack that comes to a v-shape, which just like the u-shaped racks above, will help makes air circulate evenly. If there's one downside, it's that it's not dishwasher safe. You'll want to hand-wash it in order to maintain its stick-resistant coating.

Helpful review: "Good sized pan. Not as solid feel as more expensive ones I have had but this was good value. Cooked Thanksgiving Turkey in it with no problem. To prevent cleaning issues I always line the roaster with heavy duty tin foil and as usual it worked like a charm. Saw one reviewer angry at not being able to clean potatoes off bottom. Should have used foil liner. Anyway pleased with purchase."


The Best Electric Roaster

  • Capacity: up to 26 pounds

If you don't have an oven or don't want to tie up yours with a large pan, an electric roaster and oven in one, like this Oster one, is the perfect solution. It can hold a turkey up to 26 pounds and, similar to the covered roaster pick above, has a self-basting lid that recirculates moisture back to the turkey as it cooks. In addition, the enamel-coated steel pan and rack inside are removable to allow you to hand wash them more easily. Plus, there's an adjustable temperature dial that goes up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and a handy "keep warm" function.

Helpful review: "Very, very, very happy with this item! It arrived the day before Thanksgiving and I made my 23 pound turkey in it. The turkey was moist and delicious. I cooked the turkey at 425 for 1 hour and then set it down to 200 for the remainder of cooking time. After removing the turkey, I then made a huge pan of dressing with some of the drippings at 325 and again, moist and scrumptious. This is a large unit that can accommodate just about anything you want to cook AND it doesn't heat up the whole kitchen."


The Best Disposable Option

  • Capacity: up to 30 pounds

If you only roast a turkey a few times a year, don't have a lot of kitchen storage space, or are planning to drop off a meal at a friend's or family member's house, these Reynolds disposable roasting pans might be the best option. They come in a set of three, and each pan is made of sturdy aluminum that can hold a bird up to 30 pounds. Best of all, these pans are made to be one use only, which means, there's no cleanup to worry about! Simply toss them out when you're done.

Helpful review: "Okay so I really like these pans as they are very sturdy. I put a 22 pound turkey in this pan and was able to put it in the oven and take it out without the pan bending at all."

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