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The 8 Best Substitutes for a Roasting Rack

Have you ever wondered why your roasts are always coming out dry and tough? The answer is likely rooted in the fact that you’re not using a roasting rack.

Roasting racks are essential for ensuring that your roast cooks evenly, allowing air to circulate around the meat and keeping it from sitting in its own juices.

But if you don’t have one on hand or can’t get your hands on one, there are eight great substitutes for roasting racks that will still give you delicious results.

These include using aluminum foil, an oven-safe cooling rack, a cake pan with vegetables, a wire mesh basket, and even dried beans or rice. Each of these options can be used to ensure that your roast turns out perfectly cooked every time.

What is a Roasting Rack?

Roasting Rack

A roasting rack is a metal contraption generally used to help prevent food from sticking to the bottom of the roasting pan while also allowing air to circulate around it.

This helps create an even temperature throughout the entire roast and prevents it from becoming soggy due to too much liquid at the bottom of the pan.

In addition to this, some racks also come with additional features such as handles for easy removal from the oven or handles at each end for lifting up larger items.

Roasting racks come in various sizes and materials including stainless steel, aluminum, and wire mesh among others to suit different types of recipes.

The 5 Best Substitutes for a Roasting Rack

If you don’t have access to a roasting rack or just don’t want to use one—not to worry! Here are five great substitutes that will do just as good a job:

1 – Aluminum Foil

Aluminum Foil

Aluminum foil is perhaps one of the most versatile kitchen items available today—and it’s perfect for when you’re in need of an emergency substitute for a roasting rack.

By carefully creating “feet” using pieces of aluminum foil, you can elevate your roast above any juices which may accumulate in your baking dish while still allowing heat to circulate around your food evenly.

To achieve this effect simply crumple up several pieces of aluminum foil into balls then use them as supports beneath whatever dish you’re cooking so that none of its contents touch the bottom surface directly.

2 – Cooling Rack

Cooling Rack

Oven-safe cooling racks are another great option for when you need something sturdy enough to support heavier dishes such as pork or beef roasts without fear of breaking or warping under high temperatures.

Cooling racks have feet which provide added stability when placed on top of baking dishes and keep food elevated above any liquids which may accumulate during cooking time.

Oven-safe cooling racks fit well into most standard size baking pans and come equipped with reinforced edges which help distribute weight more evenly across its surface area preventing any potential warping during use within an oven environment

3 – Cake Pan With Vegetables

Cake Pan

If all else fails and you can’t find anything suitable lying around at home, then consider using a cake pan filled with vegetables as an effective substitute for a roasting rack.

To do this simply line your baking dish with chopped carrots, potatoes, onions or any other vegetables that won’t break down easily during cooking time then place your roast on top – this will lift your meat up off any excess liquids while simultaneously providing flavor enhancement once those vegetables cook down into those delectable juices!

4 – Wire Mesh Basket

Wire mesh baskets are designed specifically with grilling in mind but they make wonderful substitutes for roasting racks too!

The open design allows air to flow freely through them while also elevating whatever item is placed inside above any liquid accumulation at the bottom – making them perfect candidates for outdoor BBQs or indoor oven use!

Plus since they’re made from stainless steel they’re incredibly durable so should last longer than most traditional alternatives.

5 – Dried Beans/Rice

Dried Beans

And then we arrive at dried beans or rice – both fantastic options for those looking for an economical way to achieve optimal heat circulation when cooking their favorite meal! Simply fill up an ovenproof container halfway with either beans or rice (ensure no water remains!) then place whatever item needs cooking on top before placing into preheated oven – this will allow steam created by boiling water contained within those grains/beans escape more easily while ensuring foods stay away from direct contact with juices at bottom of pot/pan

6 – Balled Up Foil

Similar to the first substitute using aluminum foil, you can crumple up aluminum foil into small balls and place them in your roasting pan, then rest your roast on top of the balls. This will elevate the meat and allow air to circulate around it, ensuring even cooking and preventing it from sitting in its own juices.

7 – Sliced Vegetables

Another option for elevating your roast is to slice up vegetables, such as onions or potatoes, and place them on the bottom of your roasting pan. The roast can then be placed on top of the vegetables, allowing air to circulate and keeping it from sitting in any accumulated juices. Plus, the vegetables will add extra flavor to your dish.

8 – Mason Jar Rings

If you have any extra mason jar rings lying around, they can make a great substitute for a roasting rack. Simply place the rings in the bottom of your roasting pan and rest your roast on top of them. The rings will elevate the meat and allow air to circulate, ensuring even cooking and preventing it from sitting in its own juices. Plus, mason jar rings are heat-resistant and durable, making them a great option for oven use.


In conclusion, there are plenty of excellent alternatives available if you don’t happen to have access to a traditional roasting rack–from aluminum foil makeshift “feet” crafted from crumpled paper through specialized wire meshes designed specifically with grilling in mind all the way up until oddball items such as dried beans/rice being repurposed as temporary solutions instead!

All these possibilities offer viable solutions when dealing with stick-prone foods like poultry dishes where moisture can easily become trapped beneath without proper ventilation present – so now next time someone asks what could be used instead–you’ll know exactly how tackle that problem head-on!

The 5 Best Substitutes for a Roasting Rack

The 8 Best Substitutes for a Roasting Rack

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 people


  • Aluminum Foil
  • Cooling Rack
  • Cake Pan With Vegetables
  • Wire Mesh Basket
  • Dried Beans/Rice
  • Balled Up Foil
  • Sliced Vegetables
  • Mason Jar Rings


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
jenny happy muncher
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Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.