If you are getting your supplies ready for Thanksgiving Turkey, or even Christmas Turkey, and have seen those nice shiny disposable foil roasting pans, and thought about it instead of having to clean your big old roasting pan... read on..

Thanksgiving Dinner My Story and The Horrible Foil Pan!

A few years ago, I decided to invite a lot of family members for Thanksgiving dinner. I had thought some might refuse and go to other in-law relatives, so as not to hurt any feelings, I had invited the whole crowd!

I was not expecting every one to come, but they all said they "would be happy to spend Thanksgiving dinner with us" Panic of course set in, as I did a mental tally on my cookware and my menu. I decided I was going to need a much bigger roasting pan for that Thanksgiving Turkey. Which of course was going to have to be HUGE.Thanksgiving Turkey(132359)Credit: morguefile.com

I went shopping and with the food budget already huge and blown out of proportion, I did not feel I could justify spending the extra money on a very large metal roasting pan, so I saw those foil ones at the grocery store, and figured that would be the ticket. They seemed heavy duty enough, and I could just pitch it after I was done.

Got Up Early to Start the Thanksgiving Turkey

I prepared for days, as anyone who organizes these dinners, know how much work is involved. No matter how much preparations you do ahead of time, it still gets stressful on the day, as many well meaning guests want to help in the kitchen and chat. I guess I put my mother-in-law's nose a bit out of joint, as she had wanted to do the dinner, but her place was not big enough, and we all thought she would enjoy being served. WRONG! She wanted to be involved, and she just couldn't stay out of my kitchen.

I got up bright and early on the day, to put in this turkey. My mother-in-law had wanted to get the turkey as her contribution, and I let her, not realizing that it was a very large "Butterball" Not that there is anything wrong with this type (injected with butter etc) but it creates a lot more juices and melted butter in the pan.

As it was cooking my mother-in-law, bless her heart, decided to give it a poke. We had warned her to stay out of the kitchen, as I cook alone! but she kept checking the turkey, I guess she couldn't help herself, but this time she opened the oven door, and slid the rack out a bit, and started poking at the turkey with a large fork. She had wanted to put potatoes in the juice of the turkey to roast them, and I think she was poking at them..

Tip: Don't Let Anyone Poke the Foil Pan!

What happened next is funny now, but downright dangerous at the time. What we feel happened, is that while she was poking at the Thanksgiving Turkey and the potatoes with this big fork (plus she was not wearing her glasses), she must have missed a few times and poked right through the foil pan bottom. My first indication was the smoke in the kitchen that began to form, it actually started billowing into the living room where I was checking on my guests and talking, and of course the smoke detectors went off.

I opened the oven to see that the bottom burner of my stove was almost submerged in juice and of course melted butter grease, and the foil roasting pan was dry and empty!.. The grease of course was smoking, and was also draining into the pan drawer under the stove.

I closed the oven door right away, and immediately turned off the oven, coughing and hacking, this was so close to being a fire!

Fire!Thanksgiving Dinner(132358)Credit: morguefile.com

My husband got everyone outside, just in case, this entailed, families with kids and pets and screaming smoke detectors. So you can imagine the noise and chaos. I am of course to the point of tears, I had wanted this to be the perfect Thanksgiving dinner. We got the turkey out, unplugged the stove, and let it cool. The smoke subsided, and then we took the bottom element out and cleaned it, and soaked up the bottom of the oven, and the drawer underneath. There was a lot of grease, it was a big turkey.

A few tempers were flaring, as we realized how close we were to a fire, my husband was trying to figure out what happened.. My mother-in-law swears, it was because she had not done the dinner this year, and that I had let the turkey overcook and that was the cause of the black smoke.. and all she did was check on it and poke a few potatoes.. but when we took the turkey out of the foil roasting pan, we could see all the prick marks from the fork she had been using in the bottom of the pan.

Big enough holes to let the pan drain. So, once this had all been done, (it took about two hours) we turned the oven back on, and after a little smoke it was back in business, and finished off the turkey, in .. yes you guessed it, a proper heavy duty metal roasting pan, I borrowed from the neighbor.

She ( my neighbor) saw everyone outside screaming and figured something had gone wrong with Thanksgiving dinner! and then saw smoke in the kitchen window and was about to call 911 until I yelled we had it under control! Thanksgiving dinner was a little late that year!

Sandwiches for Thanksgiving Dinner

Needless to say, I now own a large heavy duty roasting pan, that I get out once a year, for Thanksgiving, but in the end it was worth the investment. I had to realize how much worse this could have been. I was more worried about the ruined dinner at the time, but hThanksgiving Dinner(132360)Credit: morguefile.comad we all been outside, this could have burst into flames. Thanksgiving dinner worked out fine, the turkey was a little dry, but we had canned gravy, and the oven got the best cleaning it had had in a while!

We were a little chilled as we all ate with our coats on, with all the windows open to air out the smoke, but we laugh about it now, but the stress levels were high that day. My poor mother-in-law felt bad, and now stays out of the kitchen when someone else is cooking!

Stay Away From Flimsy Foil Roasting Pans

So, if I am asked what do I think about those foil roasting pans? I say, buy yourself a decent metal roasting pan, or borrow one, and keep EVERYONE out of the kitchen, especially anyone armed with a large fork!

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Don't use those flimsy foil pans unless you have a very light turkey. Invest in a good roasting pan and you will not have the accident I had.