Best Roasters of 2018
A roaster oven offers the functionality of a conventional oven and the convenience of a small appliance. Our shopping guide is here to help you find the best roaster.
Shopping Guide for the Best Roasters
If you're preparing a feast with many dishes that need to be cooked at different temperatures, a roaster will save you valuable time. For example, by cooking your Thanksgiving turkey in a roaster, you free up your conventional oven for caramelized Brussel sprouts, candied yams, and pecan pie.
But with so many roasters on the market, narrowing down the one that's right for your kitchen can feel overwhelming. Where do you begin?
Start here. At BestReviews, we make shopping easy. We combine in-depth research, product testing, and user feedback to create our handy shopping guides. You can trust that our recommendations are honest and unbiased because we never accept promotional products. If you'd like to learn more about the benefits and features of roasters, read on.
Benefits of Roasters
A roaster oven offers the functionality of a conventional oven and the convenience of a small appliance. A roaster is ideal for a busy household or a host cooking for a large dinner party. Roaster ovens can cook all day like slow cookers or cook food quickly in their moist, small spaces.
Cooking with a roaster takes far less electricity than using a conventional oven. You plug a roaster into a standard outlet, while a conventional oven uses an outlet with more voltage. Many roasters can cut your energy usage and cooking time by a third.
Adding a roaster to your kitchen is like instantly having a double oven. Use your roaster for main dishes like meats and your conventional oven for side dishes and desserts to prepare a holiday meal in half the time.
A roaster gives you the freedom to slow cook while you prepare other parts of your meal or go about your day.
Let's consider some key features to look for to find the best roaster for your kitchen.
Roasters typically range in capacity from 16 quarts to 22 quarts. However, you can find some small roasters that are 6.5 quarts.
- 6.5 Quarts: Too small for a turkey, ideal for side dishes
- 16 Quarts: Fits a turkey up to 20 pounds
- 18 Quarts: Fits a turkey up to 22 pounds
- 22 Quarts: Fits a turkey up to 26 pounds
One of the benefits of roasters over slow cookers is the control you have over the temperature. Roaster ovens offer temperature ranges from 150° to 450°F, so you can cook a wide range of recipes.
Removable Roasting Pan
Most roasters have roasting pans that are removable for easy cleaning. These roasting pans are generally made of enamel-coated metal, making them durable and easy to clean.
A roaster with a roasting rack makes it easier to lift large items, such as a turkey, out of the roaster after cooking.
Keep Warm Setting
Some roasters have a Keep Warm setting, which keeps your cooked food warm until you're ready to serve.
Roasters with self-basting lids baste your dishes for you by dripping moisture over the top of cooking meat automatically. This convenient feature is ideal for cooking a whole turkey.
Q. I know roasters are good for turkeys, but what else can I cook in a roaster oven?
A. You can cook nearly anything you cook in a regular oven in a roaster oven. Many people use roasters to cook turkeys, brisket, or other kinds of meat. But they are also ideal for large pots of chili or cooking up batches of apple butter. You can bake potatoes and roast vegetables in your roaster oven. Because of a roaster's smaller, more controlled environment, it holds in moisture better than a conventional oven to cook without drying out your food.
Q. How is a roaster different from a slow cooker?
A. A roaster and a slow cooker both give you the ability to slow cook your food. They are great time-savers because they allow you to safely cook even when you're not home. However, a roaster is more versatile than a slow cooker because you can set a precise cooking temperature. With a slow cooker, you can generally only set the temperature to low, medium, or high.
Q. How is a roaster different from a rotisserie oven?
A. A rotisserie oven has a spit that rotates to evenly cook the meat you've attached to it. Rotisseries are smaller than roasters and can only cook meat on a spit. Whereas with a roaster, you can cook anything you would cook in a conventional oven, from meat to casseroles.