You may not use a roasting pan every day, but it's a valuable piece of kitchen equipment to have on hand for your holiday turkey. The proper pan ensures that your turkey cooks up moist and golden brown.
When buying a roasting pan, look for:
- Shallow depth
- Heavy weight
- Good heat-conducting qualities
- A rack or trivet to hold the bird out of the drippings and to allow the heat to reach the underside of the bird
- The right fit:
The pan should just hold the turkey with no part of the bird extending beyond the pan or the meat juices will drip into the oven. On the other hand, if the pan is too large for the turkey, the juices in the pan will burn.
- Handles -- especially helpful when pulling the hot pan from the oven
If you aren't looking to invest in a roasting pan, you can use your broiler pan. Place a wire rack in the bottom of the broiler pan to keep the turkey out of the drippings.
Lightweight, disposable aluminum roasting pans should not be used for cooking turkey; those pans are simply not heavy enough to support the weight of the bird. It could spill or break, causing serious burns, when you try to remove it from the oven.