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Roasting Equipment

You only need a few simple pieces of equipment to roast the perfect turkey. But the best part? You can use the equipment throughout the year for all your roasting recipes!

Roasting Pans

The best roasting pans are made of heavy-duty aluminum with two- to three-inch-tall sides. Lower sides allow the hot oven air to circulate freely. Good roasters should also have easy-to-grasp riveted handles. Turkeys are heavy so you want the strength that a good riveted handle can deliver.

A second choice for roasters are large disposable foil pans, which are great for roasting a chicken. They’re inexpensive enough to double up, but be sure to place them on a raised-edged baking sheet big and strong enough to comfortably support the roasting pan and turkey.

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Roasting Racks

A roasting rack does two things: stabilizes and elevates. A rack keeps your turkey stable when you move the roasting pan. You don’t want that big bird sliding around—it packs a lot of momentum once it gets going! A rack also keeps the turkey elevated so air circulates underneath it rather than stewing in its own juices.

Many roasters come with a rack that fits into the pan. The best are sturdy V-shaped nonstick racks (see photo) which keep the turkey very stable. If these aren’t available, though, inexpensive adjustable racks (see photo) work too, but avoid flat racks—they aren’t very stable, nor does air circulate around them well.

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There are several different thermometers you can buy without breaking the bank:

Instant-Read Dial, Instant Read Digital
Inexpensive, easy to read and pretty accurate. Digital are a little more expensive, but more accurate


Dial Oven
Unless you go high-end, these tend to lack accuracy


Timer Thermometer
Easy to use: set the desired temperature, stick the probe into the meat and it’ll beep when ready