Best Roasting Pans For Thanksgiving Turkey And Beyond

Half the battle is knowing what size turkey you need and how long to cook your turkey per pound, and the other half is having the right tools ― like a roasting pan, that classic piece of holiday cookware that also comes in handy for all sorts of things, from roast beef or pork to ham to mac and cheese and lasagna. The glory of a roasting pan is that its rack allows you to set the meat up high and roast vegetables in its drippings below. And the pan can also go straight to the stovetop for searing or making gravy (provided it has a mostly flat bottom, something to keep an eye out for when shopping). Plus, unlike cheap disposable pans, good roasters won’t rip under the weight of your bird.

Although you can find roasting pans in a wide variety of shapes, materials and configurations, experts and testers say a few features are crucial: Tri-ply stainless steel, which typically has a middle layer of aluminum, browns foods much better than either plain or enameled stainless; the handles matter a lot, since you’re maneuvering and carrying a large, heavy and extremely hot dish; and the roasting rack should fit snugly enough that your turkey (or whatever you’re roasting) doesn’t slide around dangerously when you’re moving it in and out of the oven. Most experts recommend rectangular pans over oval types, since these typically line up better with the burners on your stove for gravy.

(A note about size: The size given for a roasting pan typically reflects the pan’s interior, not necessarily its total length. For example, a 16-inch roasting pan may actually be 20 inches wide from handle to handle, so check the full dimensions and measure your oven before buying the pan you want so you can be certain it will fit. Keep in mind that if your pan is too large for your turkey, the drippings may burn, though covering the bottom of the pan with chopped vegetables can help with that.)

Here are the best roasting pans that testers have given their seal of approval:

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