Tips from The Kitchn

No Roasting Pan? Here 5 Alternatives You Might Already Have in Your Kitchen

updated Nov 8, 2021
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Credit: Lauren Volo

We get it: Cookware takes up lots of space. Especially a bulky item like a roasting pan, which come with V-shaped racks that perfectly cradle poultry, like chicken and turkey. A roasting pan’s great for roasting veggies, whole fish, and deep casseroles, too. But, if you’re short on storage space and only think you’ll use a roasting pan once or twice a year (around the holidays, perhaps?), there are suitable alternatives.

Related: The Best Roasting Pans You Can Buy Right Now

Really, the big advantage of a roasting pan is that it’s big, literally. A standard roasting pan can easily fit a 16-pound turkey. But many of us don’t actually need to be roasting that large of a bird. A smaller turkey will quite easily fit in some of the cookware we already have!

For a roasting pan alternative, look for an oven-safe dish that has sides tall enough they’ll catch the drippings from the turkey, but not so tall that it steams the turkey instead of roasting it (i.e. avoid a Dutch oven). And what about the roasting rack to lift the turkey off of the pan? You can fashion a makeshift one out of aluminum foil! You can also simply rest the turkey on a bed of potatoes and onions, like we do when roasting chickens.

Here are five roasting pan alternatives:

1. Cast Iron Skillet

Really, is there anything a cast iron skillet can’t do? You may have already used one to roast a chicken in the past, which means it can handle a smaller turkey!

2. Stainless Steel Skillet

A good stainless steel skillet, like this one from All-Clad, is oven-safe to 600°F. And while it lacks a helper handle (which makes transferring it into and out of the oven a bit harder!), if you stick with a smaller bird, you should be fine.

3. Large Casserole Dish

A good casserole dish is essential and you can add roasting a small turkey to its list of can-dos. With a casserole dish, you get the advantage of having two handles, so it’s easy to lift, even when full of poultry.

4. Broiler Pan

A broiler pan has a perforated rack that sits on top of the pan itself. This has a huge advantage: It catches all the turkey’s drippings! So, if you’re a fan of gravy, a broiler pan will be your best friend.

5. Paella Pan

If you have a paella pan, it doubles as an excellent roasting pan (for turkey and chicken). It’s lightweight and has two handles, which makes it easy to pick up … even when loaded with a heavy bird.

And there’s one more option that we haven’t mentioned yet: Borrowing a roasting pan. Ask your dinner guests if anyone has a roasting pan they wouldn’t mind loaning you for the holiday, and chances are that at least one of them will deliver!

Any other suggestions for roasting pan alternatives? Leave them in the comments!