Best roasting rack for turkey

Impress your grandma with a perfect turkey
Impress your grandma with a perfect turkey

Golden brown, crispy and delicious roast turkey is always a special meal. Whether it is thanksgiving or any other day of the year, getting a perfectly cooked roast turkey is a wonderful 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.

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!

Roasting turkey is a breeze with the right rack
Roasting turkey is a breeze with the right rack

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.

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 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!

Calphalon Contemporary Hard Anodized Nonstick 16-Inch Roasting Pan with Rack 5 pc. Set

Calphalon Contemporary Hard Anodized Nonstick 16-Inch Roasting Pan with Rack 5 pc. Set, Black 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 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 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!

Norpro Red Nonstick Silicone Roasting Roast Turkey Chicken Pork Fish Rack Trivet

Norpro, Red Rectangle Silicone Roasting Rack, 1 EA 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 roast 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.

Best roasting rack for turkey

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. Draining off excess fat is a bonus, and using a rack will help you make the perfect roast turkey for any occasion. Please always ensure you cook your bird to a safe temperature by using a reliable probe thermometer.

There are a few types available in a range of sizes, and racks can vary a lot in price. Due to its low price and versatility, flexibility and superb non-stick material, we recommend the Norpro nonstick roasting rack as the best option for your turkey. Go on, make your grandmother proud!

Additional Resources


Image credit via Flickr Creative Commons: Kimberly V and Tuchodi 


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By Hayley

I'm Hayley. I'm the bubbly chef because food is always a celebration! I love wine, holidays and tasty food. It's so much fun to get together with friends over good food & drink. Whether it be at home or out on the town, you'll find me taking notes in the kitchen!