Buying an Electric Roaster
I recommend the 18-Quart Oster Roaster Oven with Self-Basting Lid, which can cook a turkey up to 18 pounds. This is an updated version of the roaster I own. If you want to cook a bigger turkey, I would recommend the Oster 20-Quart Roaster Oven.
- Frees up oven space for other delicious dishes
- Turkey generally cooks faster than in a traditional oven
- Low maintenance – set it and forget it (with a thermometer), no basting
- It’s harder to brown the turkey and get that classic, roast turkey color and crispy skin. You can use browning sauce for color or put the turkey in your regular oven for the last half hour of cooking for crispness. I personally don’t care too much about color because I always cut up my turkey up before serving, and no one in my house eats the skin.
- It’s pretty big and can take up kitchen space – I keep mine in the original cardboard box in the garage when I’m not using it.
Buying & Thawing the Turkey
- Make sure you don’t buy a turkey that’s too big for your roaster. I once got ambitious and bought a huge turkey from Costco, prepared it, and as soon as I put it in my roaster I realized it to was too large for the lid to close!
- Not sure what size turkey you need for your party? Buy 1 pound of uncooked turkey per guest.
- Not sure of the best way to thaw a turkey? The folks at Butterball are pros and they have a comprehensive guide for safely thawing a turkey.
- I run my fridge cold. When I made this 16 pound turkey, I found some ice crystals in the cavity even though it had been in my fridge for 5 days. If your turkey still has ice crystals when you’re ready to cook it, don’t worry. As long as the meat feels thawed and the turkey is pliable it’s still ready to cook, it just might take slightly longer.
Preparing and Cooking The Turkey