Large roasters are a must for Thanksgiving turkey, of course, but we also like to use them for big cuts like leg of lamb or prime rib, roasting two chickens or numerous game hens at once, and browning roasts or even large batches of stew meat on the stovetop. So for this review, we set the bar high by looking for roasting pans that could multi-task. (Read Picking a Roasting Pan for tips on how to pick the right roasting pan to use both on Thanksgiving and all year long.)
We limited our tests to large roasting pans (15 to 17 inches in length) under $275 with sides at least 3 inches high, fixed handles (welded or riveted), and stainless-steel finishes. In each pan we roasted a 12-pound turkey, made gravy from the turkey drippings, seared a London broil roast over two medium-high flames (roasters were heated empty for 40 seconds before adding the oil-coated roasts), and finally, browned a top-round roast for 20 minutes in a 500°F oven. Other roasters tested were made by All-Clad, Anolon, Calphalon, Cuisinart, and Matfer Bourgeat.
During gravy-making, the best pans browned the roux evenly and simmered the gravy gently without signs of hot spots—no frantic whisking or heat adjustments necessary. And during stove-top and high-heat oven searing, the best pans held steady and browned the roasts evenly, while the worst pans smoked and— thwap!—buckled.
Here’s the secret recipe to this terrific pan: three layers of hard-to-scratch, easy-to-clean, stainless steel; three layers of aluminum for first-rate heat conduction; and a magnetic stainless steel layer for induction cooking. Use it in the oven or on the stovetop, and you’ll get terrific results, be it a Thanksgiving turkey or an Easter leg of lamb.15-3/4 x 12 inches; $199.95 at Cooking.com.