Easy Food Prep With The Best Roaster Ovens (2016)

By Cynthia B. Johnson | Blog

May 16

Electric roaster ovens simply cook large cuts of meat better, and more easily. Want juicier Thanksgiving turkeys or Easter hams? You might want to think about buying one of these cheap roaster ovens for your kitchen countertop. If you typically have problems with your meat coming out too dry, then you should know that roaster ovens are made to be foolproof. They have additional capabilities besides roasting, too, like baking, steaming, slow cooking (doubles as a crock pot,) and acting as a food warmer to serve out of at a buffet-style meal. With its versatility, one of these little ovens can essentially be a second oven for the home, making entertaining a lot less stressful: your roaster can be used for your main meal, and your regular oven can be used for sides or desserts, for example. Plus, these roaster ovens are portable, which makes them super easy to take to cookouts, holiday gatherings, dinner parties, and other get togethers.

Top 10 Best Roaster Ovens For The Money

PRODUCTOUR RATING
Oster CKSTRS23-SB 22-Quart with Self-Basting Lid
Oster CKSTRS23-SB 22-Quart Roaster Oven with Self-Basting Lid
(4.6 / 5)
Rival RO180 18-Quart
Rival RO180 18-Quart Roaster Oven
(4.6 / 5)
Nesco 4818-25PR 18-Quart Professional
Nesco 4818-25PR 18-Quart Professional Roaster Oven
(4.5 / 5)
Hamilton Beach 32229 22-Quart
Hamilton Beach 32229 22-Quart Roaster Oven
(4.7 / 5)
Proctor Silex 32230A Stainless Steel
Proctor Silex 32230A Stainless Steel Roaster Oven
(4.5 / 5)
Nesco 4816-14 6-Quart with Porcelain Cookwell
Nesco 4816-14 6-Quart Roaster Oven with Porcelain Cookwell
(4.5 / 5)
Oster CKSTRS18-BSB 18-Quart with Self-Basting Lid
Oster CKSTRS18-BSB 18-Quart Roaster Oven with Self-Basting Lid
(4.7 / 5)
Rival RO230-B 22-Quart
Rival RO230-B 22-Quart Roaster Oven
(4.6 / 5)
Oster CKSTROSMK18 Smoker
Oster CKSTROSMK18 Smoker Roaster Oven
(4.7 / 5)
Nesco 4842-47 Professional Roast Air Roaster with Convection
Nesco 4842-47 Professional Roast Air Roaster Oven with Convection
(4.3 / 5)

Different Types and Common Features

Electric roaster ovens cook food in a confined space, making cooking more efficient: it takes less time, less energy, and makes the meat more tender. The roaster ovens heating element is in its interior wall, and wraps around the interior of the oven. Lids and cooking inserts/dishes can be made of aluminum and porcelain enamel. Models may come with removable insert pans for easy cleaning, and wire racks for lifting roaster contents out more easily. Some roasters have buffet-style lids that look nice and increase capacity.

What to Consider Before Buying

You’ll want to consider what size of electric roaster oven you want. This will be decided by what you plan to cook with it! When it comes to cooking large turkeys, most roaster ovens will list maximum turkey sizes in their product descriptions. Hams can usually be accommodated by an 18 quart size model. However, if you think you might use your roaster ovens for cooking larger dishes later on, really think carefully when choosing your roaster’s size.

Top Picks: Our Roaster Oven Reviews

To help you make a decision on which of these great models is the perfect addition to your kitchen, we have compared all the top models and selected our top five favorites. Below you will find mini reviews on each of these five and we think that any of these will be a great choice for your kitchen.

Oster CKSTRS23-SB 22-Quart Roaster Oven with Self-Basting Lid Review

Set it and forget it with the Oster 22-Quart portable countertop model with a self-basting lid and beautiful stainless steel finish. One of the biggest pros of this product is that you can use it to bake anything you would normally bake in a regular kitchen oven – from cupcakes to stew to a 26-lb turkey. It frees up oven space for the holidays and slow cooks to perfection. One of the cons of this product is that the enamel tends to chip after regular use over the years.

Click here to view on Amazon

Rival RO180 18-Quart Roaster Oven Review

The Rival 18-Quart portable countertop model fills the need for extra roasting power during heavy baking times around the holidays,etc. The Rival roaster holds up to an 18 lb. turkey. It comes in white and measures 23 x 17 x 9 inches. It can bake at temperatures from 140 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit with handles that stay cool throughout. This Rival model comes with both a roasting rack and a roasting pan that can be removed for cleaning. It has a one year warranty. Use the roaster as a way to bake large roasts, turkeys, chili, stews, etc. without having to rely on a full sized oven. It can be used to warm food gently without drying it out.

Click here to view on Amazon

Nesco 4818-25PR 18-Quart Professional Roaster Oven Review

The Nesco 18-quart Professional portable countertop model does everything but broil so it’s a perfect addition to any kitchen and since it’s portable, it’s the best roaster for taking meals on the go during the holidays or other occasion. This 18-quart roasters boasts a “circle of heat” element that evenly cooks its contents without drying it out. Features stay cool handles and ease of use with lift out handles. The exterior is stainless steel with a porcelain cooking finish. However, one of the biggest drawbacks of this roaster is that the outside gets as hot as the inside.

Click here to view on Amazon

Hamilton Beach 32229 22-Quart Roaster Oven Review

This Hamilton Beach 22-quart portable countertop model is for the big stuff. Think stews and large roasts for the holidays, a big family, or for freezing handy leftovers. Comes with a removable pan for easy transport as well as a lift-out rack for an even easier transfer to cutting board or platter. It’s easy to use and the stainless steel finish is easy to clean. However, Avoid using a turkey bag when roasting a large turkey in the Hamilton Beach Roaster because it tends to touch the sides, resulting in melted plastic and a ruined dinner.

Click here to view on Amazon

Proctor Silex 32230A Stainless Steel Roaster Oven Review

The Proctor Silex Stainless Steel portable countertop model is practically an extra oven in your kitchen. With a 22 quart capacity, it is large enough to cook an 18 lb turkey in less than 3 hours. It has temperature controls ranging from 150 to 450 degrees F, an easy lift out rack, a removable pan, and optional buffet pan insert. Many of its other benefits are that it can also be used to bake, steam vegetables, simmer sauces, make soup, and serve as a warmer. And at the end of the day, it is extremely easy to clean.

Click here to view on Amazon

Use and Care Tips

Using one of these compact roaster ovens is very simple, even for the novice user. There is a dial to set the temperature; that’s most of it. For special settings on your roaster oven, the manual is always helpful. An added benefit of a roaster oven is the ability to use your own baking pans inside it, for baking cakes, cookies, casseroles, you name it. But just like a crock pot, a roaster oven can essentially be set to the desired temperature, and forgotten about, as long as you’ve got a timer set, too!

To use a roaster as an energy-efficient buffet-style server and warmer, you can just set it to the “warm” setting, or to 200-250 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use a buffet insert if you have more than one course you want to keep warm. The “warm” or low setting can also be used to thaw/defrost frozen foods.

To bake with a roaster ovens, you can simply put your dough or batter in a baking pan, and place the pan in the roaster. Set it to the “baking” setting, or to the temperature the dish calls for in a regular oven (often around 350 degrees Fahrenheit.)

Some tips: Don’t ever lift the lid to check on your food, like you would with a conventional oven. All the heat will escape, and quickly, which will interfere with your meal’s cooking process. The outside of a roaster oven gets HOT, like a crock pot, so be careful and use mitts when touching the outside. Also, the roaster oven won’t brown your turkey like a conventional oven will. To brown a turkey, put it in a conventional oven for twenty minutes at the end of its cooking process … then put it back in your roaster to “warm” it!

How To Cook A Turkey In A Roaster Oven

Want to make a holiday turkey for your family in one of these? I think you will find that it is a very easy process. Check out the video below for tips on how to cook the perfect Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey in one of these little ovens.

How To Cook A Ham In A Roaster Oven

Need a quick way to make an Easter ham or Christmas ham for the family? Take a look at the video below to get tips on cooking the perfect juicy holiday ham in this portable compact countertop oven.