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Roasting rack for skillet

  • m

Does anyone know of a roasting rack that will fit inside a 12" skillet? I would like to try using a 12" cast iron skillet with a roasting rack for cooking small roasts/chickens rather than using my big roasting pan. It would make cleanup much easier and I could use the same pan on the stovetop for my pan sauce. Unfortunately I haven't been able to locate a rack small enough to fit. If anyone knows of one please let me know!

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  1. Oddly enough, I just bought something yesterday which should work for you. I needed a new rack for my boiling water canner as the one that came with it is garbage. Benardin is a Canadian company that I believe is tied to Ball in the US. They make canning mason jars and other things. Likely Ball will have this rack also.
    It comes with two racks, about 8" and 11 1/2". Has little footies to keep it off the bottom and hangers to hang from the side of the pot which you won't need. I will try to find a site that show a pic.

    Found one at Amazon. This is a single 12" They also have the double one. Ships from Canada so maybe Ball does not make it. Anyway, you have a starting point.


      1. The highest quality roasting rack I have is not really a roasting rack. It is a stainless steel trivet from Ikea. It's heavy duty enough that it could work as a bbq rack. It's also a lot easier to clean than most baking racks. Does a good job in a high oven in putting sear lines on meat.


          1. This is a really interesting thread. I use my big cast iron skillet to roast chickens, and I have to place a thin metal grid over the whole thing so it takes up a lot of height on the oven rack -- the depth of the skillet plus the chicken sitting on top of the grid. But it does give me tons of room to slice up onions and zucchini, carrot and bell pepper with the garlic to absorb the fat and drippings below.

            Of the three links so far, the first appears the most useful. It would take the chicken or other meat off of the hot floor of the skillet, allow the fat to drain away, and prevent burning. But no room for veggies. The second is a complex, expensive roasting rack. And the third looks to big to fit within the skillet, so it probably rests on top, and I worry about those rubber legs -- they will melt or at the best get really messy.

            2 Replies
            1. re: nosh

              Thanks for the suggestions everyone!

              nosh I think I agree with your comments. The first one is closest to what I was thinking of. I would like something that sits securely within the pan so that theres no chance the roast could slide or fall off when I'm moving it.

              One thing that I was thinking about is how high the sides of the pan need to be. In other words, how deep the meat sits inside the pan. It seems that most roasting pans have pretty high walls, which I'm guessing helps to keep the dripping fat inside the pan and off the walls of the oven. I would like a rack that sits maybe 1/2"-1" off the bottom of the pan so that hopefully most of the fat will be contained within.

              I wonder what temperature the rack that billieboy suggested would be safe to. Would it be ok to 500 degrees?

              1. re: nosh

                I'd forgotten about the rubber feet. They just pull off - actually they fall of when you are putting it away.

              2. I have been using a nine inch stainless steel cake round/cooling rack for this purpose for years. It is a circular rack that sits about the botton only about half an inch, but that is enough for a small roast.

                2 Replies
                1. re: RGC1982

                  I use the same thing when I think that I really need a rack.
                  Most of the time, I don't bother with a rack. It's just another thing to clean.
                  I put a chicken right on the cast iron. Yeah, the bottom doesn't get crispy but that's only a little skin that I lose.
                  Or I make a "rack" out of vegetables which taste wonderful when the meat is cooked. Fat slices of potatoes or onions, half carrots, stalks of celery.

                  1. re: RGC1982

                    I occasionally use one of those cheap veg steamers. Make sure they are stainless steel so they can go in the dishwasher, otherwise they can take a while to clean.


                    Incidentally, when I am cooking chicken on my cast iron 'plate' I tend to spatchcock it and like MakingSense roast it directly on the rack. The grooved surface does a better job that the other side, which is smooth like a skillet. - Oh, where's my camera...

                  2. these are great suggestions ... but maybe you already have a steamer basket (that fans open like a flower blossom's petals.) http://www.texmex.net/Graphics/steame...

                    1. The one thing that everyone has missed is that you don't actually need a rack to fit completely inside of the cooking vessel. If there are 3 or 4 inches hanging off of either side, it doesn't matter as long as the rack is secure and the food stays over the pan. The fat from, say a chicken, won't magically migrate horizontally and create a mess.

                      1. I picked up a suitable circular rack at an Asian grocery store for less than $5.00 They had them in a variety of sizes and a variety of heights as well. I've used them for roasting and steaming and they work great.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: The Professor

                          Thanks for the tip. I go to the asian grocery store weekly and it never occurred to me to look for one there. I'll check it out.

                        2. I pull off a long strip of aluminum foil, "scrunch" is up lengthwise and form a donut shape. You can make it any size for any pot or pan. At the end, there's no clean up cause you throw it away. I've used this for years and it works also great as a heat defuser on the stove top.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: c oliver

                            "no clean up"

                            Well what about the pan? Don't you have to clean that up?

                          2. I just put it on a bed of onions, though have also used rolled up aluminum foil as someone else noted

                            1. I prefer never using a rack even for a turkey. I have, but don't like to. I use thick 1" slices of onions or carrots cut lengthwise in half of celery. I use all this and it is so much better flavor, texture and easy and cheap. I have even used just thick slices of potatoes too. The chicken, turkey or anything sits flat and gets great flavor while still cooks great. I have a rack and probably haven't used it in a long time. Why one more gadget when it isn't needed. I just did 2 cornish hens in my skillet on top of 4 onion slices. A little broth and seasoning and butter and then were golden, tender, juicy and perfect, no rack. I also did a turkey breast in my cast iron too, same way ... on carrots and celery that time. A little broth and herbs with a bunch of potatoes on the side. Perfect again.

                              1. Update:

                                Went to the local asian supermarket over the weekend (99 Ranch for those of you in CA) and found a nice 10" circular wire "steaming rack" for less than $3 which is exactly what I was looking for. Should work fine for roasting as well. I'm going to try it out later this week.

                                7 Replies
                                1. re: mliew


                                  congratulations on your new steaming/roasting rack. thanks for reporting back.

                                  1. re: mliew

                                    Nice find. I use two large cookie cutters or just carrots and onions. All works. Glad you found something. Sounds like a great deal and will work perfectly for you.

                                    1. re: kchurchill5

                                      I've used the rack a couple of times now and so far it's worked out pretty well. Can't beat the price that's for sure.

                                      Only complaint that I have is that the rack seems to be discoloring and/or rusting slightly (can't really tell). I put it in the dishwasher and afterwards I notice that the bars are a slight brown color. It seems to come off though if I wash it with a sponge. Not sure what's going on here if this is due to cheap contruction of the rack or maybe because of a reaction with the dishwasher detergent.

                                      1. re: mliew

                                        Odd, maybe the metal. Try just a quick hand wash. I love the dishwasher too but maybe this requires the hand method.

                                        Nice to know it works.

                                        1. re: mliew

                                          It's rust. You can't really expect quality SS at $3. If something wants to rust then the dishwasher is the best way to speed it up. Handwash, dry and pop it back in the oven to ensure it really is dry..

                                          1. re: Paulustrious

                                            Yeah, looks like I'll have to hand wash it from now on. I would gladly pay more money for the exact same thing in 18/10 stainless if I could find one. For now I guess I'll just have to settle for this one.

                                            1. re: mliew

                                              i've had "stainless steel" from china that rusted -- stovetop drip pans. rusted before even seeing water. i learned my lesson, and don't buy "stainless steel" from china.

                                    2. Formerly I simply used thick onion slices but have come to discover really fat carrots make the best natural rack. Remove one thin strip so the carrot does not roll. Three do a great job of elevating a butterflied roast chicken and air circulates. well.