Which serving platters are best?
Thanksgiving is almost here, and with it comes the labor of love that is cooking the Thanksgiving dinner. After you’ve spent hours putting together all the sides and main dishes, it isn’t unreasonable to want to see some admiration in the eyes of the people you’re feeding. An easy way to up the odds of seeing those twinkles in their eyes is to use a serving platter. Even if you do nothing else presentation-wise than place your food or Thanksgiving desserts on a serving platter, you’re still making a bigger impression than if you use a regular old plate.
Serving platters are, at minimum, 12 to 14 inches in diameter, which is slightly larger than the average dinner plate. They can reach or exceed 21 inches in diameter. For a whole Thanksgiving turkey, aim for a platter with a minimum diameter of 16 inches.
Serving platter shapes fall into three categories:
- Round: This category consists of perfect circles and ovals. Because turkeys are usually oval-shaped, platters in this category are perfect for complementing them.
- Square: This category consists of squares and rectangles. These are nontraditional for serving a turkey, but that aspect, plus the clashing edges of round and straight, can be more exciting.
- Other: This category covers everything else, though it mainly consists of platters in the shapes of other objects. Christmas trees, for example, or animals. You could even find a turkey-shaped platter to serve your turkey on.
Some serving platters come in sets, though there are usually no more than two or three. These serving sets commonly include platters of varying sizes so you have more options for your money. Serving dish sets that are all the same size are typically meant for disposal after your meal.
Serving platters can be made of many materials and each has its pros and cons:
- Metal is the classic material, especially if those metals are precious such as gold and silver. It’s strong, usually light and often beautiful. However, some metals require careful upkeep and can be expensive.
- Plastic is the most budget-conscious material. It’s also light and easy to clean. It usually makes the least impactful presentation, though, barring a fun shape. If, however, you only use it once or twice a year then it’s hard to beat.
- Glass and ceramic, depending on the design, can be among the most beautiful platters. Most are light and reasonably priced, too.
- Wood and stone have the most “all-natural” appeal. Wood is light but can be hard to maintain while stone is heavy but easy to maintain.
Serving platters have other, smaller features that aren’t deal-breakers but might swing your decision:
- Well: This feature essentially means the bottom is higher than the top. This lets the serving platter collect liquids without risk of spills. This is a boon when serving a whole turkey, but is unnecessary if serving already sliced turkey.
- Compartments: Some serving platters divide their space into smaller compartments. These are usually best for charcuterie nights. Come Turkey Day, they can hold all the sides instead.
- Temperature-proof: This feature can mean a platter is freezer- and/or oven-safe, not to mention microwave- and dishwasher-safe. If you want to cook your turkey on the serving platter to save on dishes or want to move your leftovers directly into the refrigerator, double-check that your chosen platter can accommodate you.
- Stackability: If you buy multiple platters or a platter set, make sure they’re all stackable so you can store them while using the least amount of space.
Basic serving platters typically cost $10 to $30, with better serving platters costing up to $100. The best platters can cost hundreds of dollars.
Best serving platters
This adorable Thanksgiving-themed turkey serving platter features original artwork. The ceramic serving platter measures 20.5 inches in diameter.
This serving platter set includes two octagonal wooden platters, one each that are 12 and 10 inches in diameter. The stains on the wood are a lovely dark color that closely resembles a perfectly cooked turkey.
This serving dish set includes three oval ceramic platters, one each of 16, 14 and 12 inches in diameter. They are microwaveable and oven-, freezer- and dishwasher-safe. The lips are large enough to easily hold juices.
This set includes three rectangle porcelain platters, all of which are either 12 or 14 inches in diameter. It also includes a tiered holding tray to spice up your table presentation.
This set includes eight rectangular plastic platters, all of which are 10 inches by 15 inches and disposable. They come in four colors, including glitter gold and solid white.
This set includes two rectangle porcelain platters, both of which are 16 inches by 9.28 inches. They have large handles on the sides for easier transportation from the kitchen to the table.
This set includes either four, eight or 12 rectangular plastic platters, all of which are 9 inches by 13 inches and disposable. They come in clear, white and black.
This set includes three rectangular porcelain platters which are 15.5 inches by 7.5 inches, 13.8 inches by 5.7 inches and 11.7 inches by 4.7 inches. They have large lips to hold liquids such as turkey juices or cranberry sauce.
This set includes three rectangular plastic platters which are either 15 inches by 5 inches or 15 inches by 10 inches. They have large lips that go straight up, which makes them perfect for holding still-oozing turkeys.
This set includes three rectangular porcelain platters which are all 12.5 inches by 9.5 inches. Also included is a tiered stand to hold all three for an elevated presentation.
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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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