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Best roasting pans for your holiday feast, according to our BestReviews expert

Every cook needs a roasting pan, especially during the holidays when it's time to prepare many beloved recipes. For tips on roasting pans and finding the best ones on the market, we sought the advice of Andrea Boudewijn, the BestReviews cooking and baking expert.

In addition to information about features and caring for a roasting pan, Boudewijn also included her favorite roasting pans, useful accessories and cookware alternatives.

In this article: Tramontina Porcelain Enamel Roasting Pan, Farberware Nonstick Steel Roaster and All-Clad Stainless Steel Roasting Pan.

The versatility of roasting pans

One of the main benefits of cooking with a roasting pan is its versatility. When asked what holiday dishes can be prepared in a roasting pan, Boudewijn said that the possibilities are almost limitless.

“You can roast meat in a roasting pan, of course, but you can also roast winter vegetables, toast kale chips, make stuffing, bake off a cake, you name it!” she said. “I even knew an adventurous chef who made a souffle in one! Ultimately it's a pan and can function as such no matter what you're cooking,” Boudewijn said.

Features to consider when shopping for a roasting pan

While any roasting pan will come in handy for making numerous delicious recipes, certain features are a must. The BestReviews cooking and baking expert weighed in on the features to look for in a quality pan.

“Mine need to have a handle on each side for easy lifting when it's heavy. I like it to be at least four inches deep to allow for tall servings of casseroles or lasagna and a cocoon-like environment for even roasting,” Boudewijn said.

When it comes to the interior of a pan, she advised that a nonstick surface isn't always necessary. “I also prefer my pans to have a natural interior rather than nonstick,” Boudewijn said. “The coatings of nonstick can peel and degrade after a single nick from a knife or roasting rack. It's easier to get those nice brown bits developed in the floor of a roasting pan when cooking meats.”

Boudewijn also advised considering the size of a roasting pan before you buy.

“Get the biggest one your budget and oven can manage. Even if you're only cooking for one, it's a great investment for making big batches and freezing ready-made food, as well as roasting big meats and saving off pieces of it for later use in soups, casseroles and salads,” she said.

Material is a factor too. “My favorite roasting pans are stainless steel or porcelain for their great heat-retaining properties,” she said.

How to clean a roasting pan

Unfortunately, cleaning your roasting pan is a part of your holiday meal. Fortunately, Boudewijn's pro tips will make cleanup a snap.

Soak it. Soak your pan for no more than an hour or two. Add a generous amount of dish liquid to your soak to help loosen baked-on bits and cut grease.

Scrub it.  Gently scrub it with a no-scratch pad or brush after your pan is finished soaking.

Heat it. You can also fill the pan with water and superheat (not boil) it on the stovetop. The oven's too cumbersome with a full pan of sloshing water and doesn't heat the water very fast. Hot water will loosen caramelized food more quickly than warm water. Boudewijn doesn't mind the caramel “stains” on the exterior of a roasting pan. “To me, it gives it character,” she said.

Be gentle. Avoid harsh scrubbers like steel wool. They scratch like crazy and can damage other items in the sink (even the sink itself). 

Are there alternatives to a roasting pan?

When you have a roasting pan in your kitchen cookware collection, chances are you'll reach for it repeatedly. However, Boudewijn said that other items can be used in similar ways.

“I love to use a sheet pan for roasting birds, as it allows better access for the hot air to get under and around the bird, crisping up the maximum amount of skin. It works great for baking fajitas and vegetables,” she said, adding that a large casserole dish or a cast iron pot also works well for cooking various foods.

Best roasting pans and accessories

Tramontina Porcelain Enamel Roasting Pan

Boudewijn said that this roasting pan features a gorgeous design that looks great on a holiday table. It's made of durable aluminum with an easy-to-clean ceramic finish.

Sold by Amazon and Kohl's

Farberware Nonstick Steel Roaster

Made of steel, this roaster has a classic, no-frills design and is available at an affordable price. A rack is included with your purchase.

Sold by Amazon 

Food Network Hard-anodized Nonstick Roaster

This roasting pan is a good pick for anyone who prefers nonstick cookware. It delivers heat quickly and distributes it evenly, thanks to the hard-anodized build. It includes a rack.

Sold by Kohl's 

Viking Three-ply Stainless Steel Oval Roaster

If you are looking for an oval roaster, this is the one to buy. It's made of sleek stainless steel with long-lasting three-ply construction. It includes both a lid and a rack.

Sold by Amazon

Dalstrong Carving Knife and Fork Set

Boudewijn said that a carving knife set pairs perfectly with a roasting pan when it's time to serve a delicious meal. This duo includes a knife and fork made of strong, high-carbon steel.

Sold by Amazon 

Nordic Ware Three-piece Baker's Delight Baking Sheet Pan Set

Boudewijn advised that a baking sheet allows hot air to circulate for excellent results. The Baker's Delight set includes three pans that are constructed of durable aluminum that will hold up well to years of use.

Sold by Amazon

HOMWE Extra Long Silicone Oven Mitt

Don't forget an oven mitt for handling a hot roasting pan. With a long design and silicone material that withstand temperatures up to 450 degrees, this mitt will become your go-to favorite.

Sold by Amazon 

All-Clad Stainless Steel Roasting Pan 

Made by a top brand in kitchenware, this roasting pan is crafted of gleaming stainless steel that handles heat well and looks great on any holiday table. It comes with a nonstick rack.

Sold by Amazon

Le Creuset Signature Roaster

This beautiful roaster features an enamel finish over cast iron that is built to last. It's easy to clean and comes in a choice of several stylish colors to match your kitchen.

Sold by Wayfair

Victoria Cast-iron Dutch Oven

Boudewijn also likes cast-iron Dutch ovens for roasting a wide range of foods. This durable model is available in a choice of sizes for preparing everything from sides to main dishes to desserts.

Sold by Amazon

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Jennifer Manfrin writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.