Best Roasting Pans

Reviewed By: KRG Staff
Review Date:
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Whether preparing a Thanksgiving turkey with all the trimmings or a one-pan roast chicken for family dinner, a high quality roasting pan is a valuable investment and an essential piece of cookware for anyone who loves cooking. There are many factors to consider when deciding the best roasting pan to purchase, including materials used from stainless steel to nonstick, size and shape of the pan, as well as features such as dishwasher safe or stainless steel handles.

best Roasting pan with two roasted chickens and vegetables

Choosing the Best Roasting Pan

Material: As with all kitchenware, roasting pans are made from a variety of different materials. Each type of material has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it is important to choose one that will best suit your needs. A stainless steel roasting pan is highly durable, cleans easily, and is relatively lightweight; however, it may not offer the best heat distribution. Carbon steel roasting pans are popular for their even heat distribution and durability. However, they do require some extra care. Aluminum is another metal offering excellent heating but can warp easily and react with acidic ingredients. Nonstick roasting pans are easy to clean and require low maintenance care, but they can scratch or chip and need to be replaced more frequently. Cast iron or enameled cast iron is the most heavy duty material, however, it also requires the most maintenance. If you’re up for the task, cast iron is a top pick for longevity.

Size: Roasting pans come in a variety of sizes, so it is important to choose one based on the different types of foods you’ll be cooking, how many people you’ll be feeding, and your storage space.  For example, if you plan on baking a 20-pound turkey for Thanksgiving dinner then it’s wise to get a larger one. However, if you’re planning to prepare smaller meals or use your pan simply for roasting vegetables, then a smaller size may suffice. When roasting a large piece of meat, it is also important to choose a pan that is deep enough so that the juices will not overflow.

Shape: When shopping for a new roasting pan, make sure to take into consideration the shape and design. If you’re planning to use your pan on your stovetop often then you may want to opt for a flat versus raised bottom to avoid liquids such as gravies and sauces from pooling around the edges of the bottom of the pan. Depth is another factor to consider as it can affect air circulation and cooking time.

Features: There are many features to look for when choosing the best roasting pan for your needs including a lid to ensure your meat stays juicy, a roasting rack to keep your meat raised, baste, drain fat and prevent burning, and handles for lifting and transporting. Additionally material can come back into play here as you may prefer a dishwasher safe option or a nonstick rack versus a stainless steel rack.

Different ways to use your roasting pan

If you’ll only use your roasting pan once a year on holidays, you’ll want to consider this factor when choosing the best roasting pan for your needs. What you might not know though is that whether you’re cooking for a crowd or just yourself, there are many uses for roasting pans beyond turkeys and hams during the holiday season. Roasting pans can be used year-round for cooking everyday meals like lasagna all in one pan to baking warm desserts like bread pudding or blueberry cobbler, it’s all possible with this versatile piece of cookware.

The best way to make the most of your roasting pan is by using it for more than just roasting your typical meats, poultry, and fish. You can also use it to roast large amounts of vegetables and potatoes. It also serves as a great option for making large casseroles and frittatas. Depending on the material and shape of your pan it can also be a great tool for whipping up gravy or pan sauces. What’s more, just because it’s called a roasting pan doesn’t mean that you can’t cook with it using other methods such as braising meats, poultry, and vegetables and even baking large cakes and desserts.

Roasting pans are the perfect choice for home cooks looking to make a big batch or large quantity of food like enchiladas for a gathering or event. They also work well for preparing family-sized dishes in one pan such as shepherd’s pie. If you have a small family or you’re just cooking for one you can prepare foods in bulk amounts for weekly meal prep. You can also freeze leftovers to heat up any day of the week or whenever you want a delicious, homemade meal that’s easy to clean up while also saving you time and money.

Our Roasting Pan Recommendations

Best Overall Roasting Pan
The carbon steel roasting pan by Made In is an excellent piece of cookware – worthy of the #1 best roasting pan award. We were impressed with the quality and performance of this pan. It is made in France and oven safe up to 1200F. The included stainless steel rack makes it easy to clean and fit very nicely within the roasting pan. This pan is a great value and would be a great addition to any kitchen.


How well did it perform while cooking??


Ease of Use

Did this roasting pan improve our cooking experience



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Additional Options

The all-clad nonstick roasting pan is a great addition to any kitchen. The nonstick material makes it easy to clean, and the included rack is safe up to 500 degrees F. The pan is also large enough to roast meats and vegetables all-year-round. We recommend this roasting pan for entry level home chefs looking for an easy to maintain seasonal roasting pan
Le Creuset stainless steel roasting pan that comes with a heavy-gauge steel rack. It mentions being dishwasher-safe, although we highly recommend not washing roasting pans in the dishwasher. The pan is very durable and cooks well in the oven, stove top, and even on an induction stove. However, the pan is very heavy and might be difficult for some people to handle while cooking. The color is stainless, the material is stainless steel, and the finish type is stainless steel. The item weight is 5.8 pounds.
The construction seemed very solid out of the box and it performed well on both the stove top and in the oven. The only downside is that we’re not confident this roasting pan will last generations like some of the others we tested. Still, it’s a great option if you’re looking for something that’s dishwasher safe.

How to Care for Your Roasting Pan

Depending on the material they are made of, different roasting pans require different methods of care including seasoning and cleaning. Here’s how to care for your roasting pan depending on the type you choose:

Carbon steel: Carbon steel roasting pans are popular for their even heat distribution and durability. However, they do require some extra care. Season your carbon steel roasting pan before first use by rubbing it with a layer of vegetable oil. This will create a natural patina that will help to prevent sticking and rusting. After each use, wash the pan in hot, soapy water and dry it thoroughly to prevent rusting.

Stainless steel: Stainless steel roasting pans are a good choice for those who want an easy-to-care-for option. Unlike carbon steel, stainless steel doesn’t need to be seasoned before use. However, it is important to wash the pan in hot, soapy water after each use and dry it thoroughly to prevent rusting. If rust does occur, simply scrub the affected area with a steel wool pad. These pans resist corrosion and staining, and they’re also dishwasher safe.

Aluminum: Aluminum roasting pans are lightweight and easy to store. However, they can also be easily scratched and dented. To prevent this, line the pan with parchment paper or foil before use. This metal can also be prone to warping, so it’s important to choose a heavy-duty aluminum pan that won’t buckle under the weight of your roast. 

Non stick: Nonstick roasting pans are coated with a material that prevents food from sticking to the surface. This makes them very easy to clean, and many are dishwasher safe, but it also means that they’re not suitable for high-heat cooking methods like searing or browning. Be sure to use mild soap and avoid scouring pads or abrasive cleaners, as these can damage the nonstick coating. It’s also important to avoid using metal utensils, as they can scratch the surface.

Cast iron: Cast iron roasting pans can last for generations when properly cared for. Before using your pan for the first time, wash it with warm soap and water. Then, dry it thoroughly and coat it with a thin layer of vegetable oil. After each use, wash your pan with warm soap and water. Avoid using harsh abrasives, as they can damage the seasoning on the pan. If food sticks to the pan, use a little elbow grease and a wooden spoon to scrape it off. Avoid using metal scrapers, as they can scratch the surface of the pan. Once you’re finished washing the pan, dry it thoroughly and put it away in a dry place. Do not put it away damp, as this can cause rusting.

No matter what material you choose, proper care will help to extend the life of your roasting pan. After each use, be sure to wash your pan properly and once your pan is clean, dry it thoroughly before storing. If it’s made of cast iron, carbon steel or stainless steel don’t forget to coat the surface lightly with oil to help prevent rusting. With proper care, your roasting pan will be an essential part of your kitchen for years to come.

Common Roasting Pan Questions

What is a Roasting Pan

A roasting pan is a large, deep pan that is commonly used for roasting meat, poultry, and vegetables. Most versions have two handles that allow it to be easily lifted in and out of the oven. It also typically is used with a wire rack that helps to lift the food out of the pan to allow the fat and juices to drain away and hot air to circulate.

Does a Roasting Pan Need a Rack?

Whether or not a roasting pan needs a rack depends on the recipe being used. Some recipes call for the food to be placed directly on the bottom of the pan, while others call for the food to be placed on a rack. When in doubt, it is always best to follow the recipe instructions.

Does a Roasting Pan Need a Lid?

Using a lid with your roasting pan depends on the recipe being used and how you like your meat cooked. If you like your meat perfectly cooked and succulent, then you’ll want to use a lid. If you prefer crispy skin and well-seasoned meat, then it’s best to cook uncovered.

What are common recipes that require a roasting pans?

Roasting pans are typically used for larger cuts of meat, such as whole chicken or turkey. They are also commonly used for roasting vegetables or potatoes. Some common recipes include roasted turkey or chicken, pork tenderloin roast, and rack of lamb roast.

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