Top 7 Best Roasting Pans For Turkey

There are so many factors to consider when purchasing your first roasting pan for your turkey. Quite frankly, there are a lot of roasting pans on the market today which makes it a really daunting task to choose the best one possible that would suit both your oven and your needs. So what’s the best roasting pan for turkey? I have compiled a list of my top roasting pans picks that I’m sure, you’re going to want to have with you every time you wish to roast a turkey.

Characteristics of The Best Roasting Pan For Turkey

With the various kinds of roasting pans, shopping for the right one for your turkey can be very difficult if you don’t know what you should look for. Not all roasting pans are capable of cooking a perfect crispy turkey. Here are the main criteria you should focus on to benefit the most from your money.

Material

When it comes to materials, it is important to choose the ones that do not react with food. There are certain materials that’ll melt inside the oven once they reach their peak, which makes them dangerous for our health.

Here are the 4 materials that I found work perfectly that you should prioritize:

  • Tri-Ply Stainless Steel
  • Copper
  • Hard-Anodized Aluminum
  • Cast Iron

Tri-Ply Stainless Steel

The Tri-ply stainless steel or multi-ply cladding would be my number 1 choice considering the price and the performance. This type of materials is constructed in a way that the core (aluminum or copper) is sandwiched between 2 layers of metals to enhance the qualities of stainless steel and improve its heat conductivity, even distribution and durability.

Copper

Copper excels in every aspect and it’s very ideal. The roasting pans that are manufactured with copper material would without a doubt produce high results that would exceed your expectations. The only downside about this material is that it’s very expensive. A pure high quality copper roasting pan can cost from 3 to 5 times the price of a tri-ply stainless steel pan. Thus, It’s not affordable for most of us.

Hard-Anodized Aluminum

Due to the risks pure aluminum hold, this material undergoes a process called anodization to treat the alloy to prevent it from reacting. Also, it enhances the sturdiness and resistance of aluminum which makes it oven safe and a great choice for roasting your turkey.

Cast Iron

Cast Iron has always been known for its great qualities whether it’s heat retention, even distribution, durability, etc. In fact, I have written an article covering everything about cast iron pans and 8 reasons why you should be considering using cookware manufactured from this material. Which you can learn more about it in this article: Best cast iron skillets​​​.

After highlighting the main materials you should be aiming for, I’ve decided to cover these 2 materials that you must avoid when looking for a roasting pan:

  • Pure Aluminum
  • Pure Stainless Steel

You probably have already figured out the reasons behind avoiding these materials. But, for safety, you should be aware that pure aluminum is highly reactive and can lead to dangerous health risks which is why I recommended getting the hard-anodized one. As for the pure stainless steel, the reason behind avoiding it is that it’s considered to be a poor heat conductor that will lead to uneven heat distribution.

Size

Before you start exploring the roasting pans available for you, make sure to measure your oven beforehand to avoid buying an oversized roasting pan that won’t fit inside your oven. Also, consider the weight of the turkey that you usually roast. Having a large roasting pan that can hold a 25-pound turkey can be really beneficial for the long term in events such as thanksgivings or family reunions, etc.

Roasting pans are usually divided into 3 sizes (small, medium and large)

  • A small-sized roasting pan can hold up to 12-pound turkey.
  • A medium-sized roasting pan can hold up to 16-pound turkey.
  • A large-sized roasting pan can hold up to 20 to 25-pound turkey.

Weight

Weight is a very important factor when it comes to choosing the best roasting pan for turkey. You should always select a weight that you are comfortable with, keep in mind that there will be an extra weight added due to the turkey, so you’ll need a strong pan that won’t bend or sway when you transport it around. Therefore, stay at the safe side and avoid both the heaviest and lightest roasting pans.

Shape

This is a plus to pay attention to when you’re filtering through the roasting pans. They usually come in two different shapes: Rectangular and Oval. Each one of them has its pros and cons, for instance, Rectangular roasters can be used to cook multiple items thanks to the extra spaces on the right angles which make them more versatile. However, because of that, cleaning can be difficult. On the other hand, the oval shape is not as versatile yet they are made specifically to roast a crispy turkey.

Both shapes are great and will deliver promising results. In the end, it is just a matter of personal preference, you don’t have to waste a lot of time thinking crazy about it.

Handles

Another essential element to consider, carrying the heavy pan around requires solidly fixed handles that can be held firmly for stable transport. The handles need to be high resistance to withstand high degrees. It’s okay for the handles to get hot since the roasting pan will be inside the oven, however, the last thing you want is finding the shape of the handles deteriorate due to the high temperatures which can cause problems during contact or lifting.

Racks

Roasting pans can come either with or without racks. Having a rack can be really beneficial. Why is that? Well, before I answer this question, you need to be aware that having racks can be good and bad at the same time. Like anything else, racks have their pros & cons.

Racks serve to lift and keep the turkey off of the bottom of the pan and permit the air to circulate around freely in order to roast meat perfectly which results in a tenderized meat. However, sometimes food tends to stick in racks which makes it difficult to clean.

Personally, I prefer to use racks and enjoy a well roasted turkey despite the extra cleaning I’ll have to do in case the whole roasting pan is not dishwasher safe.

7 Best Roasting Pans For Turkey

It might be overwhelming to filter through all the roasting pans on the market, especially nowadays more and more are manufactured on a daily basis. Hence, I’ve decided to present you with my list of the top 7 picks that will surely entice you and meet your needs.

KitchenAid Roasting Pan

This stainless steel tri-ply roasting pan is designed in a way to secure stability while providing great heat retention and even distribution, thanks to the U-shaped rack that allows the heat to circulate around the entire roast.

This roasting pan from KitchenAid is built to last for long with proper care, it is sturdy and has a high resistance which makes it ideal for everyday use. Also, thanks to its durability, it easy to clean it either by hand or dishwasher.

PROS

  • High resistance
  • Versatile
  • Good heat retention
  • Even distribution
  • Dishwasher safe

CONS

  • Handles are a bit small

Overall

This roasting pan can hold up to 25-pound turkey. It has everything you need to cook a delicious crispy turkey. What I loved the most about it, is the removable rack which has a good nonstick quality that made cleaning like a breeze.

Calphalon Contemporary Roasting Pan

Another great stainless steel roasting pan with tri-ply construction. The heavy-gauge aluminum core that is sandwiched between two layers of stainless steel delivers an excellent heat conductivity with even distribution while providing great control over the high temperatures, which results in that crispy browning for your turkey.

This roasting pan offers a high resistance which makes it very durable to withstand the heavy duty from everyday use and also to be used in the dishwasher.

PROS

  • High resistance
  • Versatile
  • Excellent heat retention
  • Superior even distribution
  • Dishwasher safe

CONS

  • The nonstick quality of the rack might decrease by time

Overall

This Calphalon roasting pan can hold up to 25-pound turkey. What I liked about this roaster are the rack and the handles. It has a riveted loop handles to support the weight and to facilitate the transport. While the rack is designed in a V-shape to allow the heat to circulate in order to achieve a perfectly crispy browned turkey.

Viking Culinary Roasting Pan 

This is one of the high quality roasting pans that I’ve come across and enjoyed. This Viking roasting pan is built with high quality stainless steel tri-ply construction to deliver the best performance possible on any heat source, which makes it versatile and usable whether on the ovens or stovetops. 

The handles are designed in a way to distribute the weight for easy and comfortable lifting.

Thanks to the tri-ply construction, this roasting pan offers a superb conductivity with a great even heat distribution throughout the sides of the pan.

PROS

  • Superb heat retention
  • Wide and comfortable handles
  • Superb heat retention
  • Great even distribution
  • Dishwasher safe

CONS

  • The rack is not dishwasher safe

Overall

This roasting pan from Viking can deliver promising results for your turkey, it can handle a 20-pound turkey easily thanks to the V-shaped rack which not only help with transferring but also allows the food to be cooked quickly and evenly.

The only thing I didn’t like much about this roasting pan is the rack. It is not really dishwasher safe as they claim. Despite the fact that the whole roasting pan offers high resistance which makes it sturdy, yet the coating on the rack can be easily chipped off after a few cleaning, which is why I highly recommend to handwash the rack to preserve its nonstick quality.

All-Clad Roasting Pan 

This All-Clad Roasting pan has totally earned the title of “heavy-duty pan”. It is a perfect choice for roasting turkeys.

This roasting pan is built with high quality stainless steel tri-ply construction to provide high performance when it comes to resistance, heat retention and even distribution.

This pan can hold up to 20-pound turkey, however, thanks to the sturdy handles, transporting becomes an easy task to do, since they help in distributing that weight across the entire pan while securing a good hold when lifting the roaster around.

PROS

  • High resistance
  • Easy transport
  • Great heat conductivity
  • Even distribution

CONS

  • The rack is not dishwasher safe

Overall

This is a great option to roast perfect turkeys, It can last for a long time with proper care. The only thing I didn’t like much about it is the rack. While the V-shaped rack itself is nonstick and provide good benefits, it still falls a bit in term of quality compared to the others. The coating of the rack might start chipping off if it used often in the dishwasher.

Calphalon Classic Roasting Pan 

The Calphalon classic roasting pan is unlike the rest of roasters, it’s not so versatile, it starts gradually lose some of its qualities when used on other heat sources. Nevertheless, if you are looking for a roasting pan solely for your oven, this one would do just great.

It’s built with hard-anodized aluminum to improve its heat retention quality and to ensure an even distribution inside the oven while preserving the nonstick coating on the rack to prevent food from sticking. On the other hand, this roasting pan is manufactured with stainless steel double-riveted handles to secure a safe and comfortable lifting.

PROS

  • Good heat retention
  • Sturdy handles
  • Even distribution

CONS

  • Not dishwasher safe
  • Can only be used in ovens

Overall

This classic roasting pan is made specifically to be used only in ovens. It will guarantee good results when it comes to roasting your turkey. However, keep in mind that it is not dishwasher safe and all parts need to be hand-washed only.

Calphalon Contemporary hard anodized Roasting Pan 

One of the best roasting pans Calphalon have ever made. This contemporary roasting pan is built with high quality hard-anodized aluminum to secure the highest performance possible while maintaining high durability for long use. It is designed with multi-layers of nonstick coating to enhance its resistance so that it can withstand high temperature inside ovens (up to 450 degrees F) while maintaining its qualities.

This roasting pan comes with a nonstick V-shaped rack that can hold up to 25-pound turkey. The rack serves to circulate the heat while reducing the fat which results in that crisp browning for your turkey.

PROS

  • Versatile
  • High durability
  • Even distribution
  • Superb heat retention
  • Triple-riveted handles
  • Dishwasher safe

CONS

  • The handles are a bit short

Overall

This is by far one of the best roasting pans from Calphalon. It’s versatile, which mean you can use it everywhere without worrying about its qualities from decreasing. It has everything you need, from performance, resistance to lifting.

Cuisinart Roasting Pan 

A great cast iron roasting pan from Cuisinart. Despite the fact that it’s rack-less, it excels in both heat retention and even distribution thanks to its primary material, cast iron. Which makes this roasting pan versatile and ideal for various cooking styles, whether it’s roasting, baking, broiling, etc. 

While the pan has a simple design, It can still be used for serving purposes. Also, It can be cleaned easily by hand or dishwasher.

PROS

  • High resistance
  • Even distribution
  • Superb heat retention
  • Dishwasher safe

CONS

  • A bit heavy due to cast iron material
  • No rack

Overall

This Cuisinart roasting pan is ideal for people who are on a budget and doesn’t like to use racks. It is built to fulfill your daily needs since it can be used on almost any heat source. Just keep in mind that this roasting pan is made to roast small birds only, therefore, it can at max handle 10-pound turkey. Also, with proper care, this roasting pan can last for long.

Comparison of The Best Roasting Pans For Turkey

Here is a better look at the different roasting pans in our list

Roasting Pan

Material

With Rack

Turkey Weight Capacity

Current Price

Our Rating

Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Construction

Yes

Up to 25-pound

Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Construction

Yes

Up to 25-pound

Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Construction

Yes

Up to 20-pound

Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Construction

Yes

Up to 20-pound

hard-anodized aluminum

Yes

Up to 20-pound

hard-anodized aluminum

Yes

Up to 25-pound

Cast Iron

No

Up to 10-pound

Common Questions I Get Asked About Roasting Pans For Turkeys

Do I need a roasting pan for turkey?

The short answer is Yes. There are 2 main reasons why you should be using roasting pans. The first one is that this type of pans are made to withstand high temperature so they can be used in ovens.

The second reason is that they are built with racks which add a lot of benefits when it comes to roasting turkeys. 

Should I use a roasting rack for turkey?

Racks help to keep the turkey lifted in order for the heat to circulate around the pan while reducing the fats of the turkey. Which results in a crispy tenderized meat for you to enjoy.

What size roasting pan do I need for 20 lbs turkey?

For 20 lbs turkey, you’ll need at least a roasting pan that’s around 16 inches (16 x 13 x 3 inches). This size can also handle 25 lbs with ease. 

Can a roasting pan go on the stove?

Most of the roasting pans are versatile and can be used on any stove. However, some roasting pans tend to lose a few of their qualities such as even distribution when used on stoves due to the primary material it is built with or the shape of the pan. 

The Takeaway

Hands down, the best roasting pan for turkey in my list is Viking Culinary Roasting Pan. It surpasses most of the pans when it comes to performance. Its heat resistance has exceeded the rest since it’s capable of maintaining its qualities even under 600°F. It is literally built to ensure perfect roasted turkeys.

My choice for the cost for value roasting pan would be the Calphalon Contemporary hard anodized roasting pan. It is affordable and delivers promising results. It has everything you need to amaze your guests with crispy roasted turkeys.

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