The Best Roasting Pans for Your Main Course

Whether you are cooking a holiday dinner or a weeknight supper, the right roasting pan makes a difference.

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The Best Roasting Pan Options

Photo: amazon.com

Roasting pans aren’t just for holiday turkeys. They are kitchen workhorses that can handle roasted chicken and potatoes or deep-dish lasagna. Accessories like elevated racks and materials that conduct heat evenly means a roasting pan can help prevent burned food and scorched drippings.

Whether you’re buying your first roasting pan or replacing an old one, choosing the best roasting pan can be overwhelming. There’s a big range of prices, styles, and materials. Stainless steel or a nonstick surface? Lid or no lid? Oval or rectangular? Keep reading to find the best roasting pan to add to your bakeware collection.

  1. BEST OVERALL: All-Clad Stainless Steel E752S264 Roaster
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless 16-Inch Roaster
  3. BEST BUDGET: Circulon Nonstick Roasting Pan / with Rack
  4. BEST FOR VEGETABLES: Farberware Bakeware Nonstick Steel Roaster
  5. BEST FOR CHICKEN: Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Square Casserole Baker
  6. BEST STAINLESS STEEL: Calphalon Contemporary Stainless Steel Roasting Pan
  7. BEST NONSTICK: Anolon Advanced Hard Anodized Nonstick Roaster
  8. HONORABLE MENTION: SAVEUR SELECTS 10-Inch by 14-Inch Roasting Pan
The Best Roasting Pan Options

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Buying a Roasting Pan

To choose the best roasting pan, consider how often you will use it, what you will be cooking in it, and how many people you will be cooking for.

Size

Roasting pans come in a variety of sizes, but the best roasting pan should be large enough to hold a turkey or straddle two burners for stovetop cooking but not so big that it won’t fit in a standard home oven. Some pans are shallow which helps expose food to more heat for browning. Others are deep to accommodate juices that cook out of the meat. A pan with sides that are 3 inches high is a good middle point. Choose a roasting pan that will fit in your oven with enough clearance around its sides for you to grab the pan’s handles without burning yourself.

Shape

Rectangular pans are more versatile than oval roasting pans. A rectangular pan has more surface area for cooking than an oval, meaning there’s more room to add vegetables or other ingredients while still getting the air circulation necessary for even cooking. It’s also a better shape for cooking techniques other than roasting. A rectangle pan is a better choice for cooking a layered casserole.

Material

Roasting pans need to be able to withstand heat from an oven or a stovetop. Enamel-coated steel pans and pans clad in anodized aluminum can withstand high temperatures and are super durable. Aluminum is an excellent heat conductor but it’s reactive, meaning it gives food a metallic taste when cooking acidic foods like tomatoes or citrus. Tri-ply or five-ply coated pans with an aluminum core wrapped in stainless steel outer layers offer the best of both worlds because they are durable, nonreactive, and distribute heat evenly.

Weight

A pan that weighs between 5 and 6 pounds is ideal. A heavier pan can be hard to maneuver once it’s laden with a turkey, and a lighter pan can warp from the heat.

Additional Features

Racks
Many roasting pans come with racks that elevate a piece of meat and allow heat to flow underneath. They can be V-shaped or flat. V-shaped racks are the most common, but flat racks offer more surface area and can accommodate larger turkeys or cuts of meat.

Nonstick
Nonstick pans make for easy cleanup because food doesn’t stick to them, but that coating tends to wear off over time. Nonstick pans’ dark interiors can make it hard to tell when food is browned, too.

Handles
Look for handles that are strong and comfortable on your hands, so you’ll be able to get a secure grip on a hot, heavy pan filled with turkey juices before you pull it out of the oven. Rigid, upright stainless steel handles riveted onto the sides of the roasting pan are desirable, and they should be big enough for you to grab while wearing bulky oven mitts.

Our Top Picks

Here are some of the best roasting pans by category, based on these shopping considerations.

Best Overall

The Best Roasting Pan Option: All-Clad Stainless Steel E752S264 Roaster
Photo: amazon.com

For a durable pan that will last for years, consider All-Clad’s stainless steel roasting pan. It combines premium-grade stainless steel with an aluminum core for durability and exceptionally even heat conduction. It also has a warp-resistant, bonded base so it can stand up to high temperatures. The pan can be used in ovens or on stovetops, so it’s super versatile.

It comes with a V-shaped roasting rack and in two sizes: a large 16-inch by 13-inch size and a small 14-inch by 11-inch size. The large pan can hold a 20-pound turkey, with room for trimmings and drippings. The pan’s stainless surface won’t react with food or alter flavor. The riveted handles are ergonomic so you can get a strong, safe grip on the pan while wearing oven mitts. Hand-washing is recommended.

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Roasting Pan Option: Cuisinart Chef's Classic Stainless 16-Inch Roaster
Photo: amazon.com

The Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless Roaster offers all the characteristics of a great roasting pan at an affordable price. The durable pan has tri-ply construction and Cuisinart’s trademark Heat Surround Technology that distributes heat evenly through its bottom and sides.

It comes with a stainless rack and has riveted stainless steel handles that angle outward to make it easier to pull out of a hot oven. The pan measures 12.8 inches by 16.8 inches by 3.4 inches and has room for a 24-pound turkey. It’s dishwasher safe and weighs 7 pounds.

Best Budget

The Best Roasting Pan Option: Circulon Nonstick Roasting Pan with Rack
Photo: amazon.com

The Circulon Nonstick Roasting Pan is large, nonstick, and easy to clean—all great features at a budget price. It comes with a U-shaped rack that keeps meat and trimmings suspended in the drippings for even roasting, and extra wide, riveted handles that make it easy to move the pan from the oven to the table.

The pan is 6.5 inches deep, so it can handle a casserole as well as a roast. The pan can hold a 20-pound turkey and is oven safe to 450 degrees. And because the entire pan and rack are nonstick coated, cleanup is a breeze. Hand-washing the pan is recommended to avoid damaging its nonstick coating.

Best for Vegetables

The Best Roasting Pan Option: Farberware Bakeware Nonstick Steel Roaster
Photo: amazon.com

The Farberware Bakeware Roaster offers an excellent combination of features, with a nonstick cooking surface and a flat rack. It’s smaller than many roasting pans, measuring 11 inches by 15 inches and weighing just about 3.5 pounds, so it’s a good pick for roasting side dishes like vegetables. It has dual-riveted stainless steel carry handles that fold down when not in use so it will take up less space in the oven. It can double as a casserole pan or a meat roaster, with room for an 18-pound turkey, and can withstand temperatures up to 450 degrees.

Best for Chicken

The Best Roasting Pan Option: Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Square Casserole Baker
Photo: amazon.com

This cast-iron pan will maximize the flavor of chicken thanks to a coating of cooking fats that builds up over time. The pan comes pre-seasoned and will deliver nonstick performance to rival a pan coated in Teflon. The pan is suitable for use in the oven, the broiler, the stove, or the grill, and it comes with a lid that can double as a griddle. The pan has excellent heat conduction and retention, and both the pan and the lid have carry handles. The pan can withstand temperatures to 450 degrees. It’s super heavy, weighing in at more than 15 pounds, so it will last for years. Hand-washing is recommended.

Best Stainless Steel

The Best Roasting Pan Option: Calphalon Contemporary Stainless Steel Roasting Pan
Photo: amazon.com

This Calphalon roasting pan has a heavy-gauge aluminum core encased by two layers of stainless steel, so it gives consistent heating, even browning, and can stand up to a beating from metal utensils. The pan comes with a nonstick, V-shaped roasting rack, and is large enough for a 25-pound turkey. This roasting pan can be used in the oven or on a stovetop, so you can roast a turkey in the oven and then make gravy in the same pan on the stove. Its handles are triple-riveted for stability.

It’s dishwasher safe and broiler safe and weighs a hefty 10 pounds.

Best Nonstick

The Best Roasting Pan Option: Anolon Advanced Hard Anodized Nonstick Roaster
Photo: amazon.com

Anolon’s anodized roaster has a nonstick surface that’s tougher than most nonstick pans, so metal utensils won’t scratch it and the heat of a dishwasher won’t weaken it. You get the easy cleanup of a nonstick pan without the drawbacks. The pan has stainless steel handles with silicone grips for comfort and comes with a nonstick flat rack. It can withstand temperatures to 400 degrees and can be used on stovetops, and this pan is part of a roasting set that includes a pair of lifting forks and a bulb baster/injector.

Honorable Mention

The Best Roasting Pan Option: SAVEUR SELECTS 10-Inch by 14-Inch Roasting Pan
Photo: amazon.com

Saveur Select’s roasting pan can be used to make a casserole or roast a 10-pound turkey, so it’s a good pick as a versatile roasting pan to use year-round. The pan is made from carbon steel for even heat distribution and is resistant to warping. It doesn’t have upright handles, but it does have flared ends large enough to grab with oven mitts. The nonstick coating makes for easy cleanup and, unlike other nonstick pans, this one is dishwasher safe. It can withstand heat up to 450 degrees but cannot be used on a stove.

FAQs About Roasting Pans

Still have questions about buying or caring for the best roasting pan? We’ve got answers.

Q. What are roasting pans used for?

Roasting pans are made for cooking meats like turkey, chicken, and roasts. They have high walls that maintain heat so your meat browns evenly. They can also be used for roasting vegetables and cooking casseroles, and they’re useful for year-round use.

Q. How do you use a roasting pan?

A roasting pan can be used in the same way you would use a casserole dish or a soup pot. You can roast vegetables in the oven, simmer a soup or pasta sauce on the stovetop, or use it to bake a cheesecake in a water bath.

Q. How do you cook a turkey in a roasting pan?

Place the turkey in the pan—on a rack, if desired—cover with a lid or aluminum foil, and then place the pan in the center of a preheated oven.

It depends on the material the pan is made of. Generally, stainless steel pans are dishwasher safe, while aluminum and nonstick pans are not and need to be hand washed. Cast-iron pans need to be hand washed, too.