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Cooking Essentials: 5 Best Substitutes for Roasting Racks

Ever find yourself ready to roast, only to realize you’re missing a rack?

Been there, done that. Lucky for us, kitchen creativity can save the day!

You might not believe it, but some of the best roasting setups don’t need a traditional rack at all.

We’re here to spill the beans on the top five stand-ins that have been hiding in plain sight in your kitchen.

From improvising with what you’ve got to making magic without spending extra, we’re all about making sure your roast comes out perfectly, rack or no rack.

Ready to get roasting with some clever hacks?

The 5 Best Substitutes for a Roasting Rack

If you don’t have a roasting rack handy, don’t worry – there are plenty of alternatives that will do the job just as well.

Here are five methods to use in place of a roasting rack:

1 – Casserole Dishes

Casserole dishes are a must-have item for any kitchen, with their versatile design and ability to bake a variety of meals.

A deep dish is great for creating comforting recipes such as macaroni and cheese, risotto, or shepherd’s pie.

It also comes in handy for baking larger items like cobbler, brownies, and pieces of meat such as chicken or beef.

What makes it even better is its flexibility – it can double as a roasting rack, allowing you to cook up giant roasts with glazes or add veggies around the edges for added flavor.

To use your casserole dish as a roasting rack, be sure to place the food at the bottom of the dish and fill it with broth, stock, or water to keep it moist throughout cooking.

2 – Broiler Pan

A broiler pan is an essential kitchen tool for making delicious roasts.

It consists of two parts, a shallow roasting tray and a wire rack that sits inside the tray.

The tray allows fat to drip away from the food, helping to crisp up skin or crusts, while the rack helps support delicate proteins to ensure even cooking.

Broiler pans are designed to take advantage of the heat coming from your oven’s top heating elements, creating an intense oven environment that locks in flavor and moisture.

If you don’t have a broiler pan handy, you can easily substitute it for a baking sheet and wire roasting rack.

Just place the wire roasting rack on top of the baking sheet and add your protein and seasonings before placing it in the oven.

3 – Cast Iron Pan

A cast-iron pan is a versatile kitchen tool that can be put to a variety of uses.

The high heat retention and heavy weight of the pan make it ideal for searing, frying, baking, and roasting.

What’s more, its non-stick nature means that it tends to require less oil when cooking – making meals healthier while being incredibly easy to clean up afterward.

An added bonus is that this type of pan can also double as a roasting rack; simply turn it upside down and use it to elevate the food above the gravy or liquid while it cooks.

With all these benefits, a cast-iron pan is an essential item in any kitchen arsenal.

4 – Braiser

Would you like to lift your cooking game up a notch? If so, then a braiser is the perfect tool for you.

A braiser is an essential piece of cookware that looks like a huge skillet but has deeper sides than a regular skillet.

It’s typically made from cast iron, and this type of material ensures even heat distribution throughout the vessel while you’re cooking.

Because it’s heavy and large, it’s less likely that food will burn on the bottom, which means food tastes better.

Although its main purpose is to stew, simmer, and brown food at low temperatures, it can also be used as a substitute for roasting racks because it allows air to circulate beneath the protein or vegetable, allowing it to cook evenly.

5 – Rimmed Baking Sheet

Using a rimmed baking sheet is an essential part of any baker’s kitchen.

This sheet pan has higher sides than the classic sheet pans and makes it perfect for use during cooking and baking tasks.

The rimmed baking sheet helps you to contain food while still providing the traditional even-baked heat distribution along with the non-stick surface that other cookie sheets provide.

Bakers will also be delighted with the easy clean-up, making their post-baking time that much easier.

Additionally, if you do not have a roasting rack, a clever way of substitute is to place your food directly onto the rimmed baking sheet and fill in the sides with small slices of vegetables or potatoes; this will create barriers around your roast thus able to hold in juices while still allowing heat to spread evenly.

With its convenience and ease of use, a rimmed baking sheet should be part of every baker’s kitchen set up.

The 5 Best Substitutes for a Roasting Rack

Don't have a roasting rack on hand but still want perfectly cooked meats and vegetables? We've got you covered with these five smart substitutes that will ensure even cooking and delicious results every time.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Casserole Dishes
  • Broiler Pan
  • Cast Iron Pan
  • Braiser
  • Rimmed Baking Sheet


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword Substitutes for a Roasting Rack
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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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