The best roasting racks for turkeys are going to get you a nice golden brown, crispy and delicious roast turkey. Whether it is thanksgiving or any other day of the year, getting a perfectly cooked roast turkey is a wonderful and satisfying experience.
No matter how many turkeys you have cooked, there is always room for improvement. A good rack will elevate your bird, allowing more even, healthier, and faster cooking.
Choosing the right roasting rack for your culinary turkey adventures can be difficult though. With so many style options available in a huge range of prices, what are the actual differences?
Below we have some great information on the different types and features available, as well as our pick for the best roasting rack for cooking turkeys.
If you’re short on time, the chart below highlights our favorites.
Best Roasting Racks for Turkey Comparison
Considerations for purchasing a roasting rack for turkey
The obvious frustration when buying a rack is the question, “Will it be big enough for my turkey?” Nothing is worse than having a pan or rack too small for what you need it for. It’s important, therefore, to look for racks specifically designed to be suitable for turkey roasting.
The other size consideration is whether it will fit your existing pan, if a pan is not included with the rack. Most racks come in a fairly standard size, suitable to fit inside the most typical size of oven pans, but make sure you measure before buying!
Metal vs. silicone
There are a few types of roasting racks available, including those both with and those without an included pan. Traditional metal racks are the most common, and for good reason. Metal racks are usually stainless steel but heavy duty aluminum and coated steel options are also available. Metal is sturdy and strong, with great heat capabilities. However, be careful with aluminum cookware, unless it is heavy duty and constructed well with a good coating. Aluminum can leach into your food and be damaging to your health.
The other main type of roasting rack out there are the silicone models. While there are far less options to choose from for silicone racks, they tend to produce better results as they are completely nonstick (no tearing of that delicious, crispy skin) and they are ridiculously easy to clean.
The downside to silicone material is that some can leave a taste in with your food. Personally I tend to avoide these options, but they are there if you choose.
Why roast turkey on a roasting rack?
While you can roast a great turkey in a standard oven pan, a roasting rack offers a greater improvement on the end result. A rack will elevate the turkey and the hot air will circulate more freely around the entire bird, resulting in more even cooking. This elevation also stops the bottom of the turkey from stewing in its own juices, so the entire skin will turn out crispy and not just the top side.
Using a pan forces you to use more fat and having excessive fat in cooking isn’t desirable. You still always have the option of adding it later as needed.
A flat rack is also an option, but opting for the roasting rack is a little nicer since it will help to hold everyting together.
A roasting rack may not be essential for roasting a whole turkey, but having one will impress your loved ones. Using a rack will help you to create a fantastic roast turkey, one that you will be proud to serve for Christmas dinner!
1. Calphalon Contemporary Hard Anodized Nonstick 16-Inch Roasting Pan with Rack 5 pc. Set
This set includes a sixteen-inch roasting pan with the ideal size rack snug inside it. It also comes with stainless steel lifters and an injection baster for keeping your Thanksgiving turkey moist.
The pan is made from heavy-gauge aluminum and is hard-anodized for durability. The unique three-layer non-stick coating is dishwasher safe, and buyers say it is durable and perfect for roasting as well as making gravy.
The V-shaped wire rack is the best for roasting turkeys, and it will support up to a 25-pound bird! Be aware, however, that this special non-stick coating is not suitable for use with metal utensils.
You don’t want to scratch the non-stick surface because it really is a lifesaver in terms of easy cleanup and for perfectly cooking whatever else you have in the pan.
See the Calphalon Contemporary Hard Anodized Nonstick 16-Inch Roasting Pan with Rack 5 pc. Set at Amazon
The roasting pan included with the rack can also be used directly on the stovetop, so you won’t lose any of those delicious juices from the turkey.
If you’re looking for a classic roasting pan with a well-made non-stick rack, then this is a solid option to get you started on the perfect roast dinner!
2. Anolon Anodized Nonstick Roasting Pan Set Set (With Utensils)
The Anolon Roasting rack is also a 16 inch pan and is made of a heavy duty anodized aluminum built for optimal heat distribution. It also has a non stick coating to keep your turkey from sticking to the rack or pan.
It’s can be used in temperatures up to 400 degrees farenheit and has silicone grips on the handles to keep you from burning yourself after you’ve taken it out of the oven.
It’s a nice touch, but I would still use some oven mitts to keep my hands safe.
See the Anolon Anodized Nonstick Roasting Pan Set at Amazon
One last key think is that everything is dishwasher safe. It’s always nice having a quick cleanup after so much effort in making a tasty meal.
3. All-Clad Stainless Steel Roaster with Nonstick Rack
Sticking with the trend, the All-Clad pan is another one of the rectangular pans measuring in at 16 inches in length. This pan is made of stainless steel while the rack is coated with a non stick coating.
Stainless steel pans can be a little harder to clean at times, but the positive side of stainless cookware is that it lasts a long time and is more durable than aluminum.
See the Anolon Anodized Nonstick Roasting Pan Set at Amazon
The All-Clad pan and rack is also dishwasher safe and even has stainless steel handles.
4. Le Creuset Stainless Steel Roasting Pan with Nonstick Rack
The Le Creuset stainless pan comes in at a little smaller with a 14 inch lench.
Similar to the All-Clad rack set this one has a stainless pan and a non stick removable rack.
See the Le Creuset Stainless Steel Roasting Pan at Amazon
Le Creuset is dishwasher safe and uses non corrosive rivets to secure the handles to the pan.
5. Norpro Red Nonstick Silicone Turkey Roaster also for roasted chicken, prime rib, and more
Silicone is a fantastic material for just about any cooking equipment. Your roast will never stick if you’re using one of these wonderful inserts. This rack is also multipurpose, allowing for easy and even browning of roast vegetables, fish, or any other meat as well as your succulent roasted turkey meals.
See the Norpro Red Nonstick Silicone Roasting Roast Turkey Chicken Pork Fish Rack Trivet at Amazon
This rack does not include its own pan, but it is safe to use with just about any type of pan, and because it is flexible it will fit a wide range of shapes and sizes- even a crockpot! It can also double as a trivet, which is always a useful tool. For such an affordable price this is a very versatile tool. It’s perfect for roasting turkey, and is a fantastic piece of equipment to add to your kitchen.
Cleaning your turkey rack
All of the options in this guide are dishwasher safe. To make cleanup even easier you can line the pan with aluminum foil. It will catch all the fat and splattering from the baking in the oven, rather than sticking to the pan.
What is the best roasting rack for turkey
Wrapping up, roasting a turkey can be a big undertaking, and there is a lot that can go wrong. Using the right roasting rack will improve your roasted bird by allowing even cooking and preventing the bottom from stewing.
Our top pick is going to be the Calphalon roasting pan set. It includes the tools you will need, the rack comes out easy, and the pan is coated to make clean up a breeze.
Our next favorite pick is the All-Clad stainless roasting pan with a rack that is non stick. Stainless steel is just a little more durable, and while eventually the nonstick coating may wear off on the rack, the pan will be good for a lifetime.
The lowest on the list is the silicone rack. You will need to provide your own pan in this case, and the one downside to silicone materials is sometimes they can leave a chemical type taste in the food.
We added it to the list to highlight that there is an option even for the smallest budgets.
The racks are a key part of these pans since catching the drippings and excess fat is what is going to make your turkey breast the best one.
Sidenote: Please always ensure you cook your bird to a safe temperature by using a reliable probe thermometer.
All of these racks are great options, so picking one of them is going to help you in making your mother, grandmother, and everyone else in the family proud.
Image credit via Flickr Creative Commons: Kimberly V and Tuchodi