The Best Roasting Pan for Your Holiday Dinner
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Looking for the best roasting pan for holiday dinners and special occasions? Our Test Kitchen found great options to suit all cooking styles.
Taste of Home
When prepping a big dinner, we know you have a grocery list a mile long. But what about the supplies you need to make that showstopping entree? Do you have a roasting pan at the ready for an herb-glazed turkey or that citrusy ham recipe you’ve had your eye on? If your cupboards are lacking a roaster, you’ll want to snag one of these oversized pans stat.
A great roasting pan can be used for large meals, roasting proteins or even in lieu of a cookie sheet for your favorite sheet pan dinner. But what’s the best roasting pan for you and your needs? Our Test Kitchen tried the most popular brands to find out.
taste of home
How We Tested Roasting Pans
Our Test Kitchen had a lot of criteria in mind when it came to testing roasting pans. We wanted to make sure these oversized pans did their jobs well, so we kept these qualities in mind and then roasted pounds of potatoes and tons of turkeys.
- Durability and sturdiness: Does the pan feel weighty and solid? Does it seem hearty, like it would last a lifetime (or at least a long time)? Does the pan buckle, discolor or peel?
- Heat distribution: Does the pan heat evenly? Are there any hot spots?
- Ease of use: Is the pan easy to maneuver and move to and from the oven? Are the handles large enough for a sturdy and secure grip? Do they accommodate thick potholders? Does the pan fit easily in a household oven?
- Cleanup: Is the pan easy to clean? Is it dishwasher safe? Do baked-on, scorched-on foods come off easily?
- Size: How big is the pan? Is the pan large enough to fit a large turkey or roast with vegetables? Does the pan leave enough room in the oven for proper heat circulation? Would the pan be difficult to store in a typical kitchen?
- Other features: Does the roasting pan include a rack? If so, how does it fit within the pan? Are there other features worth mentioning? Does the pan have ridges on the bottom? Any other unique and/or innovative features?
- Price: Is this product affordable? Is it worth the price?
Our Test Kitchen-Preferred Roasting Pans
So what did we learn after roasting all those turkeys? Find out!
Best Splurge: All-Clad Stainless Steel Roasting Pan with Rack
If you use a roasting pan regularly (meaning for more than just the holiday season), you’ll want to invest in a sturdy pan that will last for years (even a lifetime!). That pan is the stainless steel roasting pan from All-Clad. It’s made for way more than turkey. Use it to make beef tenderloin, racks of lamb, roasted chicken, pork loin and more.
In our tests, we found that the potatoes and turkey both turned out beautifully. The turkey (a 25-pounder) fit in the included rack with room to spare. The rack was situated well in the pan allowing for the heat to circulate around the bird to create golden, crispy skin. The drippings at the bottom of the pan were a deep caramel hue—the perfect foundation for homemade gravy. As for the potatoes, they were lightly browned and tender.
This beautiful stainless steel pan is sturdy with a heavy bottom, wide handles and a large capacity. The included roasting rack is non-stick for easy cleanup. Because of its heavy construction, our Test Kitchen found that this pan was good for so much more than roasting. The heavy bottom would make it a great candidate for large casseroles too (just grease the pan well first).
Yes, this pan is pricier than other options, but our Test Kitchen admired its quality, heavy-duty construction and size. It’s worth the investment for serious cooks.
- Finish: Stainless steel
- Heat rating: Up to 600ºF
- Dimensions: 16-3/4 x 13-3/4 x 2-1/2 inches; holds up to a 25-pound turkey
- Price: $160
Best Large-Scale Roasting Pan: Calphalon Premier Hard-Anodized Nonstick Roaster with Rack
Got a large family? Chances are you buy the biggest turkey you can find. And you’ll need the biggest roasting pan to prepare that bird. Our Test Kitchen’s favorite oversized roaster comes to us from Calphalon Premier.
This non-stick roaster was just what our Test Kitchen needed to prepare a whopping 26-pound turkey. It also could easily roast five pounds of potatoes—perfect if you’re used to making large quantities. This pan, while large, wasn’t too heavy. It was lightweight but very sturdy feeling—including the handles.
This pan also included a rack that our Test Kitchen pros really loved. The wire rack sat very low in the pan. This normally restricts the airflow around what’s inside (meaning the outside of your turkey won’t get crispy and brown), but thanks to the clever design, the heat was able to circulate easily and the oversized turkey we prepared turned out perfectly golden.
Cleaning up after making turkey and potatoes was a breeze. The hard-anodized surface is durable (you can even use metal utensils on it) but it’s also nonstick, meaning our crew was able to soak this pan in the sink and have it clean in just a few minutes.
- Finish: Hard-anodized non-stick
- Heat rating: Up to 450ºF
- Dimensions:16-1/2 x 15 x 5-1/4 inches; holds up to a 26-pound turkey
- Price: $100
Best Dishwasher-Safe Roasting Pan: Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Roasting Pan with Rack
If you prefer to let your dishwasher do the cleanup after a big dinner—be it roast beef, turkey or even a large casserole—you want a roasting pan that’s dishwasher ready. Our Test Kitchen’s preferred dishwasher-safe roaster is Cuisinart Chef’s Classic. This stainless steel pan can go right into the dishwasher without having to worry about ruining the integrity of the pan.
But what about what happens before cleanup? Well, our Test Kitchen found that this lightweight pan was large enough to accommodate a pretty large turkey (ours was 22 pounds!). The included rack helped raise the bird enough so it browned evenly and allowed enough room for the drippings to collect and caramelize underneath.
Because the stainless steel surface isn’t nonstick, it’s not ideal for roasting veggies (they tend to stick even with a liberal coating of oil), but it’s worth every penny for turkeys and roasts.
- Finish: Stainless steel
- Heat rating: Up to 500ºF
- Dimensions: 16 x 13 x 3-1/2 inches; holds up to a 22-pound turkey
- Price: $60
Best Budget Option: Circulon Non-Stick Roasting Pan with Rack
We get it: If you’re only using your roasting pan occasionally (or only on Thanksgiving) you might not want to spend a lot. That’s OK, though, because you can get a very good roasting pan for your holiday meals at a good price from Circulon. This roasting pan is large enough to accommodate a large holiday turkey—20 pounds or more. It was also lightweight, so you don’t have to work any harder than necessary to lift out your showstopping entree.
Our Test Kitchen liked some of this pan’s bonus features as well. The wide handles on the pan were heavy-duty, so our team felt comfortable lifting a large turkey out of the oven. Additionally, the included roasting rack includes silicone coated hooks on the stainless steel rack. This helps keep the rack in place as you slide the turkey in and out and it helps protect the pan’s non-stick coating. And that non-stick coating? It made cleanup a breeze, even on the textured bottom of the pan.
When it came to our cooking tests, our Test Kitchen found it didn’t brown the potatoes as evenly as expected and we wanted just a bit more caramelization on the drippings from our turkey. Overall, though, our Test Kitchen thought this was a great affordable option that did the job that most of us want from a roasting pan: to roast our holiday turkey.
- Finish: Non-stick coating
- Heat rating: Up to 450ºF
- Dimensions: 17 x 13 x 6-1/2 inches; holds up to a 24-pound turkey
- Price: $40
How to Use a Roasting Pan
Roasting pans are invaluable when it comes to cooking big meals thanks to their size. Bring your roasting pan out of storage whenever you’re looking to make a turkey, holiday ham, pork roast, prime rib, roast beef or other large cut of meat.
You can also use roasting pans to make big batches of roasted vegetables or even oversized casseroles. If you want to make a lasagna that’s big enough for everyone (and with some leftovers to spare), a roasting pan is your friend.
If you have a big family, a roasting pan is a great investment. You’ll be able to feed everyone without having to load the oven with smaller dishes. Next, learn how to make au jus from roasting pan drippings.
Note: This blind taste test was performed by our staffers and was not part of a sponsorship. All opinions shared are our own, and have not been influenced by advertisers.