With Thanksgiving around the corner, it’s time to prepare for making that perfect turkey that everyone’s going to be talking about – but you’re going to need the RIGHT rack. Finding the best roasting rack for turkey doesn’t have to be a chore and in this article, we’re going to offer a little helpful advice on the subject.
We’ll tell you a little about what you need to know when choosing a rack, as well as show you 10 of the best roasting racks on the market today. We’ll also throw in a few tips along the way and when we’re done, we’ll tell you our 3 favorites from the list and what we think they have that sets them apart from the others.
If you’re ready, then let’s explore the best roasting racks for turkey so that you’ll have all the info you need to make the right choice for YOU!
Our Top 3 picks at a glance
For those folks in a hurry who like to bookmark a page and read it later at their leisure, we’ve got a sneak peek at our top 3 favorites from today’s list. You can learn more when we’ll elaborate on each in our ‘Verdict’ section, but for now here’s a quick look at the best (in our opinion) of the list:
- Best personal rack and pan set – Chicago Metallic 16947 Professional Roast Pan with Non-Stick Rack, 13-Inch – Great for up to 25 pounds of meat, this set gives you a flat rack that is elevated perfectly so that you can put veggies underneath and still cook a great turkey. If you want a quick and versatile set that you can use to really up your cooking game, this Chicago metallic might just be your new favorite pan and rack combo.
- Handiest design – Nifty Turkey Lifter for up to 30 pounds – 13.5 inch with Easy-Grip Handles – After working hard to roast your turkey to perfection, getting it out in one perfect piece can be a real devil of a chore. With the Nifty Turkey, you’ve got a rack that you can put in a pan and when the cooking is done, you can lift out up to a 30 pound bird with ease. It looks a little gimmicky, but it works like a charm, making this our ‘handiest design’ option from today’s list!
- Best set overall – Circulon Nonstick Roasting Pan / Roaster with Rack – 17 Inch – Our Best set overall is this Circulon Nonstick Roasting pan with a rack, and it will hold a 24-pound bird and cook it to perfection. With the heavy-duty U-shaped rack, your bird is elevated exactly the right amount and handles on the side make it easy to lift to your platter when it’s done. What’s not to like?!
How to Pick the Best Roasting Rack
When it comes to roasting the best turkey for special occasions like Thanksgiving, having the right tools is essential. A good roasting pan can make all the difference. The best roasting pans are usually made with layers of stainless steel for superior heat distribution and an aluminum core that can withstand high temperatures, making them perfect for the high heat required to achieve that crispy skin on your main course.
Home cooks should look for pans with high sides to prevent spillage, stainless steel handles for safe transfer, and nonstick coating for easier cleanup.
A great roasting pan will often come with a nonstick roasting rack, which is key for allowing hot air to circulate around the bird, providing even cooking and that desirable crispy exterior.
Whether you’re a fan of classic stainless steel roaster options or prefer the ease of cleaning that comes with nonstick pans, it’s important to consider the bottom of the pan as well.
A flat surface with straight sides is generally the best option for a roasting pan because it can be used on the stovetop for easy deglazing to make delicious pan sauces.
During the holiday season, when turkey is the star, a high-quality nonstick rack can make or break your dish. Look for features like a nonstick surface for the ease of releasing the bird without tearing the skin, and a v-shaped rack or a reversible rack can offer additional support for larger roasts, keeping them securely in place.
Which roasting rack is best for you depends on a few things…
First, how big is your oven? There’s nothing worse than unboxing your new roasting rack only to find it’s too big for your oven!
Second, how big is your bird? If you’re roasting a 25 lbs turkey, you’re going to need a roasting rack that can handle that without falling apart.
Third, if you’ve already got a roasting pan and all you need is the rack, you’ll need to make sure the rack you choose and your pan will play nice and fit together.
And last but not least, consider what material you’re comfortable using. Do you mind a heavy cleanup? Do you need the superior heat conductivity or metal? A regular stainless steel or high carbon steel rack will work just fine for you then. Do you value ease of use and easy clean up? Go with silicone. Check out nonstick options, too!
Here at The Kitchen Professor, we’ve brought you the best of the best when it comes to turkey roasting racks, so without further ado, let’s take a look!
The Best Roasting Racks for Turkey
Now, let’s talk about the features that set the top picks for roasting racks apart. For the best roasting rack for turkey, you’ll want something with a nonstick coating to ensure your Thanksgiving turkey comes out without sticking to the rack. Good heat distribution is also key; a rack with an aluminum core will help distribute the heat evenly, crucial for both a golden brown turkey and for roasting vegetables alongside your bird. High sides are a bonus to contain the pan drippings that are invaluable for gravy.
For home cooks looking to invest in a rack that will serve them well for a long time, it’s worth considering those made in trusted brands like Le Creuset, known for their high-quality cast iron and excellent heat retention, or looking for options that offer triple-ply construction for sturdiness and even cooking. A rack with a nonstick surface is especially valuable during the holiday season, as it makes for easier cleanup – a gift in itself after the big meal.
Storage space is also a consideration; some racks come with the added benefit of being collapsible, saving precious space in your kitchen. And if the rack is part of a set, ensure it has sturdy handles – preferably stainless-steel handles – for safe and easy transport from the oven to the serving table. Remember, the right roasting pan can also be used for cooking large casserole dishes, roast beef, or pork loin, making it a versatile tool in your kitchen arsenal.
For those occasions when the turkey is not the only main course, or for those with a penchant for roast beef or pork loin, a good roasting pan is indispensable. And if you’re working with a particularly large bird or roast, make sure there’s enough room for it to sit comfortably on the rack. The last thing you want is a cramped space that prevents proper heat circulation.
Cooking a smaller bird or perhaps just a large casserole? There are different sizes and shapes available, with some rectangular roasting pans designed for smaller birds and additional features like a flat rack surface that’s beneficial for roasting smaller items.
In summary, for the best turkey roasting experience, you’ll need a pan and rack that can handle high temperatures, have a nonstick coating for ease of cleaning, and provide enough surface area for the turkey to roast evenly. Whether it’s for Thanksgiving or any other special occasion, the right roasting pan and rack will help you serve up that main course with a crispy skin that’s sure to impress.
1. Norpro 275 Adjustable Roast Rack Nickel-plated, 11 inches, Silver
Our first roasting rack is this nickel-plated Norpro and it’s a great little rack for roasting a 7 or 8 pound turkey, roast, chicken, or whatever else tickles your fancy. Measuring in at 11 x 7 inches, it has grooves that allow you to choose the angle of rack for optimum support and the nickel-plated wires are thick enough that said support is robust.
When you’re done, just clean it up and fold it, and it stores away easily until you need it again! If you have a small oven or are only feeding 2 – 3 people, it’s just about a perfect fit.
The support from this rack is excellent and it’s a great size if you are looking for a personal rack, rather than one for a large Thanksgiving bird and a lot of guests.
If you DO need to feed a lot of guests and have a large oven, then you’re going to need a bigger rack from this list.
2. HIC Harold Import Co. 11.25 inch Adjustable Baking Broiling Roasting Racks
Next up we have this Adjustable baking, broiling, and roasting rack from the Harold Import Company. Measuring 11.25 x 10.62 inches, it’s adjustable to 7 sizes and the chrome-plated steel wire is rust-resistant and can take up to 500 degrees of heat!
The sturdy frame helps to ensure that your turkey, chicken, beef, or pork doesn’t take a fall, just be sure to use it in a roasting pan and when it’s clean up time, this rack is hand-wash only.
This is a modest, heavyweight rack that is both durable and easy to clean. The chrome-plated steel wires are thick, so you won’t have to worry about getting a flimsy rack.
If you will be cooking for a large family, then a larger rack will be desirable, but this is a great option for cooking for 2 – 3 people.
3. Chicago Metallic 16947 Professional Roast Pan with Non-Stick Rack, 13-Inch
This good-looking pan and rack combo is the Chicago Metallic 16947 and it starts things off right by being a non-stick option! If you’ve ever had to clean roasted meat off of a rack before, then you know that this is definitely a plus.
The rack itself measures 11.75 x 8.25 inches, while the pan it fits in is 9.6 x 13.5 inches, and 2.3 inches tall.
Heat resistant up to 450 degrees, the pan is made of aluminized steel for superior conduction and even heating, and at this size, it’s perfect for holding up to 25 pounds of your favorite meats, and the handles on the side of the rack make for easy lifting when it’s done.
If you are looking for a rack and a matched pan in a set, then this Chicago Metallic checks all the right boxes!
We like that it’s a non-stick matched set and the lift handles on the rack sure do come in handy. It’s a great little set that can cook a good-sized bird.
While it can hold 25 pounds of meat, Turkey is awkwardly shaped, and more realistically you’ll be able to roast a 15 pound bird with this. While that’s the average size purchased by families on Thanksgiving, if you want a bigger bird, then you’re going to need a bigger rack.
4. Nifty Turkey Lifter for up to 30 pounds – 13.5 inch with Easy-Grip Handles
This rack is called the ‘Nifty Turkey Lifter’ and we’d have to say it’s a pretty apt description. Measuring in at 13.25 x 9.25 inches, this rack features easy-lift handles and is capable of supporting a 30-pound turkey, roast, or whatever else you feel like cooking.
The rack itself is made of alloyed steel, so it’s definitely up to the task. Keep in mind, like most racks you’ll need to use it with a pan, but when the time comes to get your turkey out, you’ll really appreciate this durable and handy rack choice.
It’s a great design and if your least favorite part of cooking a turkey is trying to move it safely to a platter without damaging the bird, then the Nifty Turkey Lifter has got you covered.
Unlike most racks, this doesn’t have an underframe or way to otherwise elevate the bird, so it will be basically sitting in the host pan and not everyone will be keen on this.
5. Cuisipro 746780 Roasting Rack, 14.75 inches
The Cuisipro 746780 roasting rack is a heavy-duty non-stick coated roasting rack that’s designed to fit a 16 x 13 roasting pan. Measuring in at 14.75 x 12.25 x 7 inches, this hand-wash rack has handles built into the side for easy transport of your meat to the oven and then out to your platter.
Rather than folding, a removable pin allows you to quickly disassemble this rack for easy cleanup and storage, and it’s strong enough to lug around a 25-pound bird!
Finally, Cuisipro backs up this product with a 25-year warranty, and that’s not something that you see every day. All in all, it’s a hardy roasting rack that you’ll rack up years of good use with.
This is a durable rack and the quick disassemble option is a nice touch. The non-stick coating also makes cleanup a breeze and that’s always a bonus.
You’ll need to purchase a roasting pan separately with this but if that’s not a deal breaker, it’s a fine roasting rack to have in the kitchen.
6. TeamFar Roasting Pan, 15 Inch Large Turkey Roaster Lasagna Pan with V Rack & Cooling Rack Set
This stainless steel rack and pan set is the TeamFar Roasting pan and it’s perfect for a large turkey, roast, pork shoulder, or even a lasagna if you like!
This 3 piece set comes with a roaster pan measuring 15.25 inches long at the top (14 inches long at the bottom) x 9.5 inches wide (widening to 11.5 at the top), and 4 inches tall, a roasting rack that measures 14.4 x 10 inches, and 5.5 inches high, and a flat cooling rack that measures 13.5 inches by 8.75 inches.
All of the pieces are dishwasher safe and the roasting pan has handles riveted in the side to ensure easy handling whenever you need it. If you’re looking for a good capacity set that’s also durable and well-designed, the TeamFar is definitely worth a closer look!
Super-durable, we like the side handles, as they have a solid feel to them like they won’t be failing you anytime soon. The brushed stainless steel finish also looks great and the pan is nice and deep, so you won’t have to skimp on the gravy!
If you are short on space at home, then a 3 piece set might be a bit of a task to accommodate, otherwise it’s a great little set.
7. Mydracas 15.5 inch BBQ Rib Rack for Smoking and Grilling Roast Rack 100% Stainless Steel Roast and Dual-Purpose Turkey Rack
Looking for a rack that’s thick and super-supportive – this Mydracas BB Rib Rack and Dual-Purpose Turkey rack has got you covered. With a U-shaped design wrought of 304 thick stainless steel wires, this rack measures 10.75″D x 15.5″W x 4.37″H so that you’ll have plenty of space to work with.
As far as the dual functionality, all you need to do is flip it over for cooking ribs, or U-side-up for your turkey – easy-peasey! Designed for the grill or for use inside a larger pan in your oven, if you want a really robust rack, then the Mydracas comes highly recommended!
Rather than a lot of thin wires, you get thicker wires in a durable and useful design. It supports the meat nicely and when it’s time to clean, a quick soak is all you need to make short work of the cleanup.
If you are looking for a rack and pan set, sadly you’ll need to check another listing, but otherwise this is a fantastic roasting rack and great for grilling ribs as well!
8. Cuisinart Chef’s Choice 16-Inch Roasting rack and 20 inch rectangular pan
This beautiful pan and rack combo comes from Cuisinart and it’s always nice to see beautiful kitchenware from a brand we all know and trust. Measuring 6.25 x 20.75 x 13.25 inches, the pan is made from triple ply stainless steel, and the set weighs about 7 pounds so it’s definitely built to last.
That triple ply stainless also comes with excellent heat conductivity, so that even heating is not going to be a problem.
As an added bonus, it’s also dishwasher safe and comes with a lifetime warranty. Needless to say, there are definitely perks when you go with Cuisinart for your kitchen equipment!
This is a solid, well-built set, and it’s deep enough that you can add lots of extras in the bottom to cook with whatever you are roasting. The handles are also strong and secure and you can tell by the heft of it that this pan is going to LAST.
It costs a little more than some of the other pans we’ve reviewed today so it may not be a fit for everyone’s budget, but if you DO go with this pan set you’ll get a lot of mileage out of it.
9. Circulon Nonstick Roasting Pan / Roaster with Rack – 17 Inch
This handsome roasting pan and rack combo comes from Circulon and features double-riveted handles for secure and easy transport of your turkey, chicken, pork, or beef. Measuring at 17.3 x 13.4 x 6 inches, this pan is large and also deep enough for delicious gravies and other fixings, if you like, and it’s safe for up to 450 degrees in your oven.
The Circulon also features a non-stick coating, so that cleanup won’t be so much of a chore, and the fitted rack is a U-style design, so it will keep the meat well above the pan for a perfect, crisp cook.
Add in that Circulon throws in a lifetime hassle-free warranty, and this might just be your new favorite roasting pan and rack!
The large pan and rack are a perfect pair, the handles are VERY secure, and it’s also fairly lightweight, but durable. The non-stick coating is pretty fantastic, as well, which you’ll appreciate when it’s time to clean it up and store it away.
Lightweight pans can be great, but if you don’t trust anything that doesn’t have a bit of heft to it, then another set might be a better fit.
10. Dallden 17.3 inch Turkey Roasting Rack for Smoker and Grill
If you’re looking for a large and versatile rack that’s great for larger roasts, the Dallden 17.3 inch Turkey Roasting Rack could be the best option for you. This rack’s stainless steel construction not only ensures durability but also provides excellent heat distribution, a must-have for cooking large cuts of meat like a 20-pound turkey to golden brown perfection
With its U-shaped design, you can cook a medium-sized turkey or you can flip it over and cook 6 slabs of ribs!
Convenient handles on the side make it easy to move your meat and since there’s no non-stick coating on it, you won’t have to worry about eventually flaking on your food.
It’s big, sturdy, and it’s kind of neat that you can flip it and also cook ribs on your grill.
Without that non-stick coating, cleanup can be a little time-consuming if you don’t coat it with a bit of cooking oil first. Also, we would have preferred a set with a pan, but if you already have a big pan at home then that shouldn’t be a dealbreaker.
It’s almost time to wrap things up and call it a day, but before we do, we’ve collected some frequently asked questions about rack-roasted turkeys to help fill in any gaps that might have been missed along the way. Let’s take a look and then we’ll get to our final verdict on our top 3 favorite roasting racks for turkey!
Should turkeys always be roasted on a rack?
While you don’t HAVE to use a rack, if you just place it directly into the pan then the bottom part of the turkey will be soggy from the meat juices, veggies, or gravy that you’ve put in the pan.
Elevated on a rack, however, you get the benefit of air circulation on all sides of the meat, and this will cook it more evenly and you’ll have a consistent texture for the crisped skin all around.
Unlike most meats, you can’t easily just flip a turkey, so the roast rack helps to avoid a partially-soggy turkey and instead will ideally give you a crispy outside, and a moist and delicious bird on the inside – just be careful of the cooking time, as too much time in your oven will get you a crisp, but dry turkey!
What happens if you don’t have a roasting rack?
If you don’t have a roasting rack, you can certainly improvise. One popular method is to use aluminum foil. You can do this in different ways, such as making 3 balls of foil to elevate the turkey or using a bunch of foil to make a figure- platform that you can then rest it on for the duration of the roasting.
Another method is to use a lot of large veggie chunks that you can set the turkey on as well, although a rack really is going to be best if you’ve got one – that way both your veggies and your turkey can be cooked perfectly without having to hustle and rearrange components in your pan as it cooks.
Should I use an aluminum or stainless steel pan with my roasting rack?
It really depends on the pan. Stainless steel can heat evenly if the pan is well-made, but if you had an aluminum and a stainless steel pan to choose from and you haven’t used either of those pans before, then going with aluminum is the safest bet.
Aluminum conducts heat much better than stainless steel, rewarding you with fast, even heating and substantially reducing your overall cooking time – so when in doubt, go with the aluminum. Just be sure to have your thermometer ready to check that turkey, as it’s going to cook faster than you might be expecting!
Before we get to our verdict, let’s consider why having the right roasting rack is crucial during the cooking process. The best turkey is one that’s cooked evenly with a crispy skin, and that’s where a nonstick rack comes into play. A rack with a nonstick coating will not only make the release of the turkey easier but also aid in the heat distribution, ensuring your bird is cooked through perfectly.
Whether you’re using an aluminum pan specifically designed for the task, or a high-quality stainless steel option that can double for other roasting needs, the rack is the unsung hero of the holiday meal. It lifts the turkey off the bottom of the pan, allowing hot air to circulate fully around the bird, which is essential for even cooking and a crispy skin.
Furthermore, the right roasting rack will make for a safer and more secure cooking process, as it will hold the turkey firmly in place, preventing it from slipping or sticking. This is especially important when cooking a large, heavy bird. And when dinner is over, a nonstick rack makes the cleanup process much smoother – a detail that any cook will appreciate after a long day in the kitchen.
In conclusion, while the pan itself is important, the roasting rack is a key component that should not be overlooked. It can make the difference between a good turkey and a great one. So, as you prepare for your holiday feast or any other roast-centered meal, keep these tips in mind to ensure you have the best tools for the job.
After considering all these factors, our verdict on the best roasting rack for turkey is…
Best personal rack and pan set – Chicago Metallic 16947 Professional Roast Pan with Non-Stick Rack, 13-Inch
Great for around 25 pounds of meat (or a small to medium-sized turkey, as they are shaped a little awkwardly), this Chicago metallic gives you both the pan and the rack, and the flat-style rack is elevated so that you can fit in some favorite fixing below and still have your turkey elevated.
The non-stick coat makes it easy to clean and the aluminized stainless steel gives you a faster, more even cook than regular old stainless steel. As a personal rack and pan set, this Chicago Metallic is definitely aces in our book!
While it looks a little gimmicky, this is one of those cases where someone has really stumbled on a fantastic design. The Nifty Turkey lifter can nestle in a large pan of your choice, and when the time has come to get your turkey out, you can easily lift up to a 30 pound bird.
While it looks awkward, it isn’t – those handles fold over in a tent formation over the bird until you need them, so if we had to sum it up simply – the Nifty Turkey looks weird when you first see it, but it really work well, so it’s the handiest design as far as we’re concerned and it’s well worth your while!
Best set overall – Circulon Nonstick Roasting Pan / Roaster with Rack – 17 Inch
Our Best set overall would have to be the Circulon Nonstick Roasting pan with a fitted rack. Capable of cooking a 24 pound turkey, the rack is thick and durable and the pan is also built to last.
Nonstick for easy cleanup afterwards, it’s oven safe for 450 degrees and even comes with a hassle-free lifetime warranty. It’s a fantastic roasting pan and rack set and you’re going to get a lot of mileage out of it if you go with this option.
We hope that you’ve enjoyed today’s showcase of the best roasting racks for turkey and if you have any comments that you’d like to share, please feel free to do so! We love your feedback and there’s always sure to be a gem in the comments that everyone can keep!
Thanks so much for coming to see us and we hope to see you again soon!