Choosing a roasting pan doesn't have to be a big deal. Chances are, your turkey will come out fine regardless of which pan you use. However, there are advantages, other than how they actually roast. And there are seemingly endless options out there — each one looking nearly the same as the one on the shelf before it.
I'm here to help make it easy for you. These are the three best roasting pans on the market, based on what you need and how much you're willing to spend.
Why You Should Trust Our Gear Pro
For more than 30 years, I was in charge of testing and reporting on everything from wooden spoons to connected refrigerators at the Good Housekeeping Institute. I've walked the floors of every trade show and read every new product release for longer than most digital publications have existed!
My street cred? I also worked as a chef in New York City restaurants for seven years. And, I've made dozens of turkeys.
I've played with, tested, and used nearly every piece of kitchen gear (including roasting pans) to come on the market for years. When it comes to gear, it takes a lot to impress me, and I know what actually works.
Picked by a Pro. Tested by Real Home Cooks.
I've tested what feels like every roasting pan on the market (at all the price points, low to high!) and these are my all-time favorites. But you don't have to take my word and my word alone, either. Kitchn editors — a unique hybrid of professionals and home cooks, who develop and test great recipes in real home kitchens — and real Amazon shoppers weighed in on some of these picks too, testing my favorites in the context of their actual home cooking.
After all, when it comes to kitchen gear, what matters is that it works for a home cook — not just that a chef endorses it, or that it passed some high-flying bar in a sterile test kitchen. You want gear that is, above all, practical, long-lasting, and mindful of real cooks, real kitchens, and real budgets.
The Best Roasting Pan for a First-Time Thanksgiving Host
I've roasted countless turkeys in aluminum foil roasting pans and they've come out just as beautifully bronzed, moist, tender, and delicious as ones I've made in super-expensive heavy-duty pans. Do I have to tell you the advantages? After deglazing the pan to get all the delectable drippings, you simply crunch it up and toss it. No scrubbing required and no big pan to take up cabinet or closet space the rest of the year. And if Thanksgiving at your house is a one-time deal, there's no big investment in something you don't really need.
Yes, I know a disposable aluminum pan isn't as environmentally friendly, so you have to decide for yourself whether or not you can live with the waste just this one time and, of course, you can opt to wash the pan and recycle it. Hint: If the pan seems flimsy, I suggest doubling up to make sure the pan doesn't sag under the weight of the bird.
Second opinion: "Honestly, I've used these disposable roasting pans more than my traditional roaster!" says Associate Food Editor Meghan Splawn. "Whether I need multiple pans for roasting more than one turkey or I just need something disposable to store my raw turkey overnight, these are big and sturdy enough to handle the job. When I'm feeling industrious I will wash the dirty pans and save them for craft projects with my kids."
The Best Budget-Friendly, Practical Roasting Pan
Nonstick inside and out, this reasonably priced roaster won't take you hours to clean up. (Yes, it's dishwasher-safe, but most likely your machine will be full of plates and glasses, so it's nice to have something that will clean up easily.) Along with the pan, you get a roasting rack — also nonstick — that hangs over the side of the pan, making it very easy to lift out.
And don't worry about any rumors you may have heard that you won't get caramelized drippings on the bottom of the pan because of its nonstick surface. You'll get plenty of browned-on bits to help make your gravy good-looking and delicious. I love the oversized handles that help you get a good grip when you're taking the pan in and of the oven.
Second opinions: "High-quality product and affordable," says one Amazon reviewer. "We have purchased several other Anolon products over the past year or so and have been extremely pleased. The nonstick surface is excellent and clean up is easy." Another reviewer says: "We bought it for our Thanksgiving turkey and it did not disappoint."
The Best (Slightly Splurgy) Roasting Pan
This is the pan you want if you live for that ooh-and-aah moment when you pull the turkey out of the oven in front of an audience of hungry friends and relatives. In fact, you might get as many gasps for the beautiful stainless-steel roaster as for the burnished bird. However, definitely be prepared to spend some time scrubbing this pan clean. The roaster comes with a nonstick-coated rack and both the pan and the rack have handles that make them easy to maneuver.
Second opinion: "This roasting pan was bought for me and my husband from our wedding registry, but now that I've used this a few times, I can say that I would have splurged on it myself, without question," says Associate Food Editor Kelli Foster. "It's sturdy and durable, and I learned last Thanksgiving that it really can hold a 20-pound bird. The particularly high sides also prove convenient, preventing liquid from spilling over, either in the oven or when you lift the pan to the stovetop or counter."