Three Things to Consider When Purchasing a Roaster Oven

Roaster ovens are perfect for cooking larger pieces of meat, baking, and keeping covered dishes warm. Here’s how to choose the best models.

festive turkey dinner
A roaster oven lets you cook your turkey while keeping your stove's oven free for side dishes.Photo by Christopher Ryan on Unsplash

Come the holidays, cooks become the ultimate multi-taskers by having to prepare multiple dishes all at once for family and friends. Depending on the size of your crowd of hungry guests, you might need to have a turkey going at the same time you want to bake pies. If you don’t have a double oven, this can be a real challenge. This is when a roaster oven can be a huge help. These bad boys are big enough to roast a whole turkey, freeing up space in your regular oven for other tasks. They’re simple to use, easy to clean up, and they’re ultra-portable. If your cabin doesn’t have an oven, a roaster oven can be perfect. Toss it in the car, then all you need is an outlet and you can cook, roast, or bake nearly anything. These also work great for keeping covered dishes or leftovers warm for serving later. Here are three simple things to consider that will make choosing the right roaster oven a lot easier.]

Size Matters

Oster Roaster Oven with Self-Basting Lid
This roaster will accommodate a turkey up to 26 pounds and the roasting pan and rack come right out for easy clean-ups.Oster

While most of us tend to go big, you may not need to. Think of what you will use your roaster oven for the most and the number of folks you’ll want to feed. If you always roast a huge turkey or you like to throw big parties, buy the biggest model you can find. Just remember, the bigger the appliance, the more counter (and storage) space it will require and the more surface area you’ll have to clean when you’re finished cooking.

Go Stainless

Rival Roaster Oven
You can roast, bake, warm, and cook with this versatile roaster oven, and it will accommodate a turkey up to 22 pounds.Rival

You can find roaster ovens made of aluminum or stainless steel. Going stainless is a good option as it holds up better under higher heats (no potential for warping) and it won’t react with any acidic ingredients the way aluminum will. One feature you should look for is a removable inner baking dish that’s dishwasher safe for easy clean-ups.

Check The Controls

Oster Smoker Roaster Oven
In addition to roasting, this 16-quart model also doubles as a smoker with removable pockets that hold wood chips.Oster

While roaster ovens won’t bake quite as high as a conventional oven, most models go up to 450 F., which is adequate to cook just about anything. Make sure the control knob designations are laid out in easy-to-read increments so you can get the temperature dialed in properly. Having a timer that automatically shuts the cooking cycle down when your dish is finished is a good option to look for.