Fall has officially arrived — so whether you like it or not, the impending barrage of holiday meals and gatherings will be here before you know it. This means that now is the time to procure the ideal roaster for all your big, one-pan-meal culinary needs.
True, roasting pans are a necessity for cooking massive turkeys and meats on Christmas, Hanukkah, and Thanksgiving — but they are actually extremely versatile kitchen mainstays that are just as ideal for dinner party pasta bakes, slow-cooking sauces, and making a gigantic batch of weekday zucchini enchiladas with the goal of saving leftovers.
Roasting pans come in a variety of shapes and materials, but the one thing all legit roasters have in common is their ability to distribute even heat circulation; this ensures your dish perfectly cooks and browns throughout. With the rest of the details, finding the best roaster depends on your personal wishlist: The ease of oven-to-table or utterly high performance? Budget conscious or investment piece? V-shape, U-shape, or flat rack (or no rack)? Perfect for everyday use or sturdy enough for a 25-pound turkey?
This roundup of great roasters runs the gamut and will make hosting your in-laws for the holidays a breeze — at least in the kitchen.
Cuisinart 16-inch Multi-Clad Roasting Pan With Rack
Whether you’re roasting in the oven or searing on the stove top, this sturdy and versatile roasting pan delivers peak performance without breaking the bank. It boasts a V-rack with a non-stick coating, so cleanup and scrubbing without flaking is easy. If you want to sear meat to perfection or make sauce without the rack, it easily spreads across two burners and the roaster’s flat bottom is ideal for just that (and it works on induction stove tops). We’re also fans of the big riveted handles, which leave plenty of room for thick towels and oven mitts so you don’t burn yourself removing the turkey like last year. Buy it here.
Smithey Ironware Carbon Steel Oval Roaster
Feeling rustic? Hand-hammered by an artisan in Charleston, SC, this 18th-century-inspired kitchen powerhouse is made with carbon steel — a material with the amazing performance abilities of cast iron, but is lighter in weight so you don’t pull a muscle taking the Christmas roast out of the oven. So yes, this beautiful, oven-to-table vessel is ready to be put to work over the holidays, but it’s just as perfect for making a one-pan everyday meal of fish and veggies. Buy it here.
All-Clad Stainless Steel Non-Stick Roasting Pan With Rack
If you prefer crispy chicken skin and perfectly caramelized veggies and plan on enjoying those things weekly, this is your kitchen’s new best friend and worth the slight investment. This roaster is made entirely with clad and features flared sides, which delivers consistent heat from all corners for a golden brown finish every time.
While a V-rack is designed specifically for big hunks of poultry, this roaster becomes really multi-use with its flat rack — perfect for cooking fish and smaller cuts of meat. All that cooking power, and the whole thing weighs in at just six pounds. Other perks: It’s easy to clean, doesn’t discolor, and comes in two sizes. Buy it here.
Le Creuset Signature Cast Iron Rectangular Roaster
If you like fashion to meet function in your kitchen (and don’t mind spending a little more for an investment piece), then the iconic Le Creuset signature roaster it is. This cast iron semi-shallow design is a workhorse, with the ability to retain heat and evenly cook whatever your heart (and stomach) craves — from casseroles, to veggies, meats, and even desserts. The light-colored enamel inside makes it easy to check on your food while it’s cooking—and the brightly colored outside makes a statement coming out of the oven and doubling as a serving dish. Buy it here.
KitchenAid Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Roaster
This heavy-duty, stainless steel roaster offers lots of perks at a pretty reasonable price. Its removable non-stick rack has thick gauges and a U-shape, allowing for even crispy cooking at up to 500 degrees; it also sits at the perfect height inside the roaster so your food can properly cook without stewing in excess fat and juice runoff. We’re also big fans of the big, comfortable handles that make it easy to remove food from the oven, even heavy holiday turkeys. Plus, it’s completely dishwasher safe — and one less item you have to wash by hand is always a win in our book. Buy it here.
Cook N Home 12-Quart Aluminum Roasting Pan
OK, but can you opt for a no-frills roaster on the cheap and still get the holiday ham on the table for your whole extended family? You can! This non-stick-coated aluminum roaster is oven-safe for up to 450 degrees and holds up to 25 pounds — far more durable than those flimsy one-use foil pans. The V-shaped rack is easily removable, helping your food reach that perfect golden brown. Note that it doesn’t work on induction stove tops. Buy it here.