There are few things Americans like more than a roast turkey with all the trimmings. Whether its the main course on Thanksgiving, or the centerpiece for a family get-together, you just can’t beat a turkey! Right?
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Here’s my all-time favorite roasting rack for turkey at Amazon. Check it out!
It doesn’t matter if this the 1st or 100th turkey of year—there is always room for improvement in your turkey-roasting style.
So, choosing the best roasting rack for the job means you’re sure to get a beautiful, juicy and tender bird that’ll make your grandma proud!
Preparing the Turkey
If you’re working with a frozen bird, it’s best to allow it to thaw slowly in the refrigerator for two to three days. Please practice safe meat handling and don’t just leave it on the counter!
Once the turkey is thawed, the next step is to brine. Brine is a simple solution of two cups of good-quality salt and a cup of dark brown sugar dissolved in two gallons of water.
The solution will impart a subtle flavor and help tenderize the meat. Put the turkey and the brine into a large plastic bag and place it in a cooler with a little ice for at least twenty-four hours.
Ready to cook!
After preparing the bird, stuff the turkey with apples, onions, and celery to keep the inside moisture, impart extra flavor, and maintain the classic plump turkey look.
Injecting it with a melted butter and herb mix is not a bad idea if you’re aiming for a super moist meat. But, it’s not essential. So don’t worry about it if you don’t have an injector on hand. See our article on the best way to smoke turkey for more details.
Pan or Rack?
Of course, whether you use a rack or not, you’re still going to need a pan to roast your turkey in. So in my humble home cook opinion, I say go for a pan AND a rack. Below are mostly just racks, but I included a few pan and rack combination products as well for your convenience.
Sure, you can roast a turkey perfectly well in a pan alone. But elevating the bird by an inch or so stops it from “stewing in its own juices.” And you get to use those lovely juices for the gravy later on! Who doesn’t love a good, juicy, thick turkey gravy? Especially around the holidays.
How to Pick the Best Roasting Rack
You’re going to prepare something really special for your next turkey roast meal. So taking the time to choose the right roasting rack for your needs could mean the difference between a ‘nice’ meal and one that folks talk about until the following year.
Which roasting rack is best for you depends on a few of 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.
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Real Simple Expandable Roasting RackSee the Real Simple Expandable Roasting Rack at Amazon
The Real Simple Expandable Roasting Rack is just that. But don’t let the word ‘simple’ fool you! It’s still a great all-rounder when it comes to a roasting racks for turkeys.
The first feature I really like is that fact that it’s expandable. This means you can use it with just about any sized roasting tray, pan or oven.
The rack is adjustable from ten to thirteen inches. So, whether you’re entertaining a crowd or cooking for 2, this rack has you covered.
The height of the rack is 8 inches deep and 6 inches high, which should suit you no matter what size bird your preparing.
If you’ve ever tried to move a roasting rack from the pan to a cutting board, you’ve probably had a few blisters! Especially when that delicious turkey has just come out of your hot oven.
Think about lifting a 20 lb turkey. It’s not easy if you’re trying to juggle piping hot handles.
So the next feature you’ll like are the heat-resistant silicon coated handles. These handles make it super easy to lift and move the rack without touching hot stainless steel.
It also has a silicon fitting that covers the stainless steel feet of the rack. In my opinion, this is a great safety feature. I mean the last thing you want is that hot turkey slipping off your counter top!
And yes, the heat resistant silicon covered handles go into the oven with the rack. From my research, the handles are rated to handle up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
I really like this basic stainless steel roasting rack. It expands, giving you options when it comes to size. And those neat silicon covered handles and feet are a nice touch.
Although, one customer mentioned she still needed mitts to lift the rack out of the oven. But seriously, who sticks their hands into a hot oven without mitts?
Also, the expandable middle doesn’t lock. So there is a chance of the rack opening up when it shouldn’t. This is the only drawback I can see and I still recommend using the same caution you would with any hot object.
Prepara Silicone Meat RackSee the Prepara Flexible Roasting Rack at Amazon
The Prepara Silicone Meat Rack is a really interesting twist on a roasting rack. It’s made from heat resistant silicon. And it looks like something Julius Caesar would wear!
What makes this rack so awesome is its flexibility. It’ll fit any roasting tray, pan, dish, or oven you have.
And you can cook much more than just a bird on it! It’s good for roasting veggies, fish and even that delish beef roast. You can also use it in your microwave, pressure cooker and slow cooker.
Thinking of adding roasted squash? I found the best butternut squash peelers.
If you’ve checked out the picture above and you’re wondering…
“How do you use this thing?”
It’s easy-as-pie to use…
Pick your roasting pan, place the Prepara meat rack into the pan and pop your bird on top. Because this roasting rack is so flexible, it molds into the most effective shape for your pan.
Whatever the shape, round, square, rectangular, this rack will fit snugly.
Not only that…because it’s adjustable, it’ll evenly cook any size turkey.
The silicon is BPA-free, so don’t worry about any toxins seeping into your food. It’s also rated to handle 500 degrees F.
Because it’s all silicon, nothing will stick to it. This is great if you hand wash your dishes. There are no more grubby pieces for you to scrub off after you’re left to clean up the dirty dishes.
And if you’re the dishwasher kind of cook, you’ll like the fact that this rack is safe to pop in your dishwasher too.
You can probably tell, I’m super impressed with this rack. And it’s hard for me to find fault with it. But, nothing in life is perfect.
So it’s worth mentioning that the area of the turkey touching the silicon will brown slower than the rest of the bird.
But, it won’t be raw. And it’s on the underside of the bird. so no one is going to see it. So this isn’t a deal breaker for me.
Stan Boutique Nonstick Silicone Roasting Rack
If you’re a fan of the silicone approach outlined above, there’s another roasting rack you might love on the market. Stan Boutique’s silicone roasting rack is a great option if you’re looking for ease of use.
This flat rectangular rack will fit into most baking pans, and ensure all fat drips off the meat into the baking tray, while keeping the meat itself moist and perfectly browned.
It’s silicone material is arguably much easier to cook with as opposed to its metal alternatives, if for nothing more than the cleanup. Instead of wrestling with stuck on food, just throw this roasting rack into the dishwasher and relax. After putting so much effort into the dish, why waste extra energy on the cleanup?
This pick is also a great option because of its versatility. It can be used as a trivet as well, or even a cooling rack or serving apparatus.
You also get a free silicone basting brush with your purchase, so this product truly ensures that you get the most bang for your buck.
Nordic Ware Fold Up Roasting RackSee the Nordic Ware Fold Up Roasting Rack at Amazon
You can always trust the Scandinavians to approach something from a different angle. And I like what they’ve done with their version of a roasting rack.
The best way to describe the Nordic Ware Fold Up Roaster Rack is a cradle for your turkey.
This is the first feature I like about this roasting rack. It’s solid! And you’ll have no problem lifting a 20 to 25 lb turkey like a pro chef!
Because the entire rack – even the feet – is made from solid aluminium steel, the heat is more evenly distributed, which is a good thing if you’re roasting a large bird.
You’ll also be happy to know that the entire rack is covered in a non-stick coating. Of course, this makes washing up much easier, and you’re less likely to attack the rack with a kitchen scourer to get rid of stubborn pieces of food.
A good turkey roasting rack always has a set of handy, dependable handles. But having fixed handles can be a nuisance because it’ll be more difficult to fit into some pans.
But the handles on this Nordic Ware Roaster Rack are neat because they retract and fold. This is what you want.
If you’re cooking, the handles retract and slide down the side of your roasting pan. And because there is so much room for maneuvering, the rack will fit into just about any roasting pan.
The dimensions of the rack are 10.5 inches by 7 inches.
Another great design feature is that the handles are on the sides of the rack. This makes it much easier to remove the roasting rack from the pan. And once you’re done cooking and need to store your roasting rack, the handles fold away neatly.
The next thing I think is a great feature is the perforated base with grooves. These draw the natural fats and juices away from the bird and into the roasting pan.
I love this for 2 reasons…
First, there’s nothing more delicious than gravy made from those juices caught in the roasting pan.
And second, they keep your turkey from boiling in its own juices. This leaves you with a tender turkey and not a soggy one.
The one gripe I have with the rack is that it’s not dishwasher safe. If you’ve ever hand washed a rack, you know how tedious it can be.
But you’ll have to hand wash this one if you want to keep it looking good and working properly.
This isn’t a deal breaker for me since it’s a well designed and thought out rack. So I’ll put up with the hand washing. And all Nordic Ware products have a 10 year warranty, which is a nice touch.
One thing that crept up over and over is that customers were receiving their racks with deep scratches in the coating.
Although they were quickly sent replacements, this can be annoying.
But the last complaint of this kind I could find was late in 2016.
All-Clad Hard Anodized Roaster with Rack
All-Clad makes outstanding kitchenware. And if you are looking for looking for a heavy duty roaster and rack combo, this one is for you.
Seriously! This two-piece rack and pan is not messing around. And that’s the first feature I like. It’s big! If you regularly cook for a large family or like entertaining, no turkey is too big – it’ll handle the biggest bird you’ve got.
The pan is just over 3 inches deep. And the dimensions of the pan are 20.8 inches x 13.3 inches. But it’s worth noting that these dimensions include the handles of the pan.
Without the handles, the pan is 16 inches x 13 inches. Which is something to keep in mind when figuring if it’ll fit on your oven or not.
The dimensions of the roasting rack are 14 inches x 11 inches x 3 inches.
Both the pan and the rack are covered in a non-toxic, non-stick coating. Which makes cleaning up easy. Of course using something abrasive like a kitchen scourer is a no no.
And if you like to pop your kitchenware in your dish washer, you’ll be happy to know this one is 100% safe to do so.
The rack itself is v-shaped with sturdy sides and solid fixed handles, and the handles are on the sides, making it easy to handle, which is important if you’re moving a piping hot, 25 lbs turkey from the pan to the cutting board.
The v-shape allows all the natural juices to drip into the roasting pan. This keeps the turkey from boiling in it’s own juices. And you get to use those lovely juices to make a kick-ass gravy for later.
It fits snugly into the pan and I haven’t seen any complaints of the rack scuffing the inside of the roasting pan. Which tells me the non-stick coating on the roasing pan is high quality.
From my research, the rack does a great job of evenly browning turkeys, chickens, pork and beef roasts.
Something that popped up over and over with other customers is the poor coating of the rack itself. There were many complaints that the coating on the rack started to peel after only a few uses. But from my research, the last of these complaints were a few years ago.
Overall I think the All-Clad Roaster with Rack isn’t a bad option. Of course you’ll need to make sure your oven can handle such a big pan.
But if you often do roasts for large family gatherings or entertaining friends, it’s definitely an option to consider.
Cuisipro Roasting Rack
If you want an affordable alternative to the metal racks mentioned above, give this Cuisipro roasting rack a try. It’s recommended by top cooking outlets, and with its awesome low price point, this is a great buy.
This is a relatively large roasting rack. It fits in a 16 by 13 inch roasting pan and can easily hold a 25 pound turkey. But what really sets this one apart from the crowd is its shape and its convenience features.
It has a basket, or “U” shape, which perfectly cradles your turkey. It’s also made out of very wide set wires and sits on four little legs to raise the turkey above the pan. All of these characteristics allow the fat for the gravy to easily fall into the roasting pan.
One of the most unique features of this rack is the ability to disassemble the rack with the easy removable pin at the bottom. Once this is pulled, the rack easily separates to gently drop the turkey right on the carving or serving platter. It is also nonstick, so no need to worry about the turkey ripping or sticking to it either. This is the epitome of convenience.
Cuisipro’s roasting rack also has ergonomic handles for easy transportation, and folds up neatly for storage when you’re not cooking. The manufacturer recommends that you hand wash the rack, and gives you a guaranteed 25 year warranty. What a great purchase!
Farberware Nonstick Bakeware Roaster with Flat Rack
I don’t know about you, but I like to get the most for my money. So two-in-one products happen to be some of my favorites. Like the All-Clad above, this is a dual set from Farberware, including a roaster and rack for all your turkey needs.
What makes this an awesome option is its price point (it’s very affordable), and its nonstick properties. The pan and the rack are nonstick on both sides, inside and out, making clean-up an absolute breeze. This also ensures an easy transfer of your turkey with no hassle or issues while in transport. With chrome plated handles, you can be sure that this is one of the most ergonomic and easy to use racks on the market.
This roasting rack is also make of heavy gauge, high quality carbon steel, which means it will last for years without warping or becoming damaged. Also, since it’s a flat rack, it’s easy to keep your bird elevated above the fat in the rack, leaving it perfectly and evenly browned.
This rack is also huge, like our last pick. It’s 11 by 15 inches – great to accommodate a large crowd for turkey day. It’s also oven safe up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
This is an awesome, affordable alternative to All-Clad’s two in one roaster and rack.
So Which is the Best Roasting Rack for Turkey?
All of these roasting racks have their pros and cons. And they are also not all created equal.
If you regularly entertain large groups of people, my recommendation would be to go with the All-Clad roasting pan and rack. It’s a large and sturdy combo, so it can handle whatever sized bird flies at it!
If you’re just after a roasting rack and not a pan, then my recommendation is to go with the Nordic Ware Fold Up Roasting Rack. I love how the perforated base and grooves lead the natural juices and fats into the roasting pan. And it’s big enough to handle some serious bird!
I must admit, I think the Prepera Silicon Meat Rack is also a winner. I love how it looks and how functional it is. It can fit into any pan, dish, or tray and you can cook, grill, and roast just about anything on it.
There’s nothing wrong with the Real Simple Expandable Roasting Rack, although I think it’s a little flimsy for a bird the size of a turkey – even a small turkey.
But I think it’s great for cooking a delicious chicken, roast beef or pork. It’s just definitely not the one you want to use when you’re entertaining a table for 12!
Happy Turkey Day!
Let’s face it, having the right tool for the job helps home cooks like you and me create exquisite dishes in our kitchens, especially during the holidays.
So now you know what’s available out there and you know what to look for. There are options for almost any kitchen out there, and hopefully you can find the one that works best for your kitchen on this list. Finding the best roasting rack for turkey should be easy as pie.
If you are thinking about smoking your turkey, consider checking out our reviews of the best electric smokers!