Roaster Ovens--For More Than Just Thanksgiving Turkey
During the holiday season, if you’re preparing the traditional turkey or a roast for your guests, you can use all the help you can get. Even if you already have a built-in oven in your kitchen, there’s a definite advantage to using an electric roaster oven. You can use it as a backup when preparing a holiday meal, and you have to prepare a lot of food in a short amount of time. Also, roaster ovens are portable. You can take it with you when traveling and cook on the go. Alternatively, you can cook at home and take the roaster oven to serve the food somewhere else.
And the versatility is amazing. They’re not just for roasting a turkey or ham. They’re capable of baking cake, bread, or pie. And they can be used for slow cooking or preparing soups, vegetables, or fish! And best of all: the parts are readily disassembled for easy cleaning. A marked convenience over having to reach into your built-in oven to scrub it clean after roasting!
We’ve composed this buyer’s guide to help you look through the options when selecting a roaster oven. We’ll help you:
Choose the right type of roaster oven for your preferences,
See useful tips about that particular type of roaster oven,
Read reviews of different roaster ovens, and what customers are saying,
Select the right brand of roaster oven, and
Compare prices and find the best deals.
What reviewers say
Why Should You Buy a Roaster Oven?
Lid helps keep meat from drying out: Unlike a conventional oven, a roaster oven has a tight-fitting lid that concentrates and recirculates the moisture. This will keep your meat from drying out and bastes the meat automatically without you having to do so. Also, many are equipped with a pan underneath that catches the drippings, from which you can prepare gravy.
Cooks more quickly: Because the heat is concentrated inside a roaster oven, it can manage to cook in ⅔ of the time, and thus use ⅓ less energy, than when cooking in a conventional oven.
Browning feature: If you want your roast to have a brown appearance, it’s recommended to add 1 tablespoon of browning sauce to cooking oil and to brush it onto the meat before roasting. This is more successful with the smaller models of roaster ovens, such as the Nesco 6-quart roaster. Customers say that it doesn’t do a very good job of crisping the skin of the turkey, however.
What Should You Look for When Buying a Roaster Oven?
Versatility: Even though the name implies that it’s for roasting, most models are capable of much more. They usually have a temperature range of 150 to 450 ℉, which can allow you to do anything from just keep food warm, to searing meat at the higher temperatures. They can be used to steam vegetables, poach fish, or bake a cake or cookies.
The capacity of the roaster oven: Roaster ovens come in a range of sizes, from 18 quarts to 22 quarts. An 18-quart oven can handle a 22-pound turkey, while a 22-quart model can accommodate a 26-pound turkey. An example would be the Oster 22-Quart Roaster Oven.
Oster 22-Quart Roaster Oven
But if you’re not interested in roasting an entire turkey, you can get a lot of use even out of a smaller model. For example, the Nesco 4816-14 Porcelain Roaster Oven holds only 6 quarts, but it can still cook a meal for 6 people!
Nesco 4816-14 Porcelain Roaster Oven
Stay-cool handles: Many roaster ovens have stay-cool handles to let you move the entire oven to the dining table. Alternatively, some have a removable rack with handles so that you lift the food out. An example is the Hamilton Beach 22-quart Roasting Oven.
Hamilton Beach 28 lb 22-Quart Roaster Oven, illustrating removing the roast by the handles
Easy to clean: Most roaster ovens will have a porcelain enamel finish, or an enamel-on-steel roasting pan. This ensures that the heat distributes evenly, and is non-stick, so it will also be easy to clean. The inserts on the many models are also dishwasher-safe.
Keep-warm feature: The Hamilton Beach 22-Quart Roaster Oven has a keep-warm feature that is especially handy for baked goods, such as rolls, biscuits, quiche or casserole, and even pancakes. You preheat the oven to 250 degrees, fill a container ⅔ full of water, and put the baked goods inside. You can also take cold food out of the fridge and get it heated up in as little as two hours.
- Oster is a manufacturer of kitchen appliances, including blenders, juicers, countertop ovens, toasters, food processors, and more. They make a 16-quart roaster oven with a self-basting lid.
- Nesco specializes in slow cookers, pressure cookers, and roaster ovens, besides products for dehydrating and vacuum sealing foods.
- Proctor-Silex, founded in 1960, makes kitchen appliances, such as air fryers, blenders, cookers, electric hot plates, food processors, and more. Their roaster oven holds 18 quarts.
- Hamilton Beach was founded in 1910 by Frederick J. Osius, taking the brand name from the last names of two of his employees. They make dozens of categories of kitchen products and appliances. They make three sizes of roaster ovens, of 20, 22, and 28-quart capacities.
We looked at some of the features of a roaster oven, and noted that they can be used for a wide range of cooking needs. A portable roaster oven is quite an affordable addition to your kitchen, and it can help you reduce the time pressure of preparing a large holiday meal. You’ll also enjoy the fact that it can save time and energy!