Last Updated on November 24, 2023 by Boniface Muriuki
In the United States, the quintessential Thanksgiving dinner often revolves around a perfectly roasted turkey, making a roaster oven a staple in many households. This kitchen appliance is a hero during the holiday season.
However, most of us are unaware of other uses of Roaster Oven. Is it only useful for cooking Turkey and other large roasts? Or can you use it to cook other mouthwatering delicacies?
While we largely associate it solely with cooking large roasts, it turns out that its capabilities extend far beyond that.
In this article, I explore the untapped potential of this kitchen appliance, sharing my surprising culinary adventures. Join me as I unveil the unexpected and delightful dishes that you can cook using this often underestimated appliance!
What is a Roaster Oven?
A roaster oven is a compact, standalone oven that excels at roasting and baking, with a design optimized for even heat distribution. What distinguishes it from conventional ovens is its unique shape – typically oval or rectangular, featuring a lid that traps heat efficiently.
This design is especially advantageous when cooking large cuts of meat, like the iconic Thanksgiving turkey, as it allows for consistent and thorough cooking. Besides, it has a highly responsive temperature control, often ranging from low to high (up to 450 degrees) settings, making it incredibly adaptable for various cooking techniques.
Beyond roasting, it can effortlessly handle baking, slow cooking, and even serving as a buffet warmer. This multifunctionality makes it an indispensable appliance for both seasoned cooks and kitchen novices alike.
Equipped with a removable cooking pan, the roaster oven simplifies cleanup, and its portable nature ensures versatility in placement within the kitchen.
Whether you’re hosting a festive feast, experimenting with new recipes, or simply seeking a reliable tool for everyday cooking, a roaster oven proves to be an invaluable asset, promising delicious results and a seamless culinary experience. In essence, it’s not merely an appliance; it’s a culinary companion that unlocks a world of cooking possibilities.
What Can You Cook in a Roaster Oven? 9 Best Foods
1. Turkey or Roast
What can you cook in a roaster oven? Well, a majority of people will provide turkey as the straightforward answer to the question. It’s a popular delicacy that’s ideally prepared using a roaster oven.
When roasting a Turkey, remove the rack from the roaster oven then pour about ½ cup of water inside the baking pan. The water creates some form of condensation that keeps your meat moist during the cooking process.
Replace the rack then place the cover on the roaster. Having done that, plug-in the oven then preheat it for about 20-25 minutes to ready it for baking the process. 15-lb Turkey or beef roast requires a baking temperature of 325 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Serve your meal while still hot.
Begin by powering on the roaster oven. Put on a lid then preheat the machine up to the recommended temperature. After you are done with preheating, remove the lid then cover the rack using a foil.
After preheating, remove the lid and line the rack with foil. Replace the lid then continue baking your cookies for the recommended time. Move your cookies to a separate plate immediately after baking.
3. Baking Bread
When baking bread in a roaster oven, use a loaf pan. Pour the dough on a loaf pan then place it on the rack after you preheat the oven. Replace the lid then bake using the recommended time.
Place the baked bread on a stovetop or a rivet after you are through with baking.
4. Delicious Ham
When preparing meat like Easter ham, it’s vital to use an oven rack that accompanies the roaster. The rack is stainless steel and helps in keeping off the ham away from the bottom side of the portable roaster oven.
Switch on the electric roaster oven up to 325°F then add some liquid such as broth or water on the lower side of the roaster oven. After that, put the ham on the rack. And with that done, season the ham using your best seasonings such as garlic powder, pepper, and onion powder.
5. Seaming Vegetables
Do you want large quantities of perfectly steamed broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower? If yes, then a roaster oven does the task perfectly.
Just add some boiling water on the roaster pan to prevent scorching, then place your veggies inside a colander or cooking well. Ensure you spread them out in an even layer on the rack then let them steam for some time until they achieve the desired doneness.
6. Harvest Apple cake
An apple cake is a famous dessert baked with apples being the chief ingredient. It’s made through slicing apple fruit to add taste to the plain cake base. It’s nice for autumn and the dessert stays moist and nice when cooked using a roaster oven.
Preheat your roaster oven up to 350°F. Add all the ingredients needed to make a harvest apple cake then mix. Stir in apples and pecans then add into the prepared pan.
Add the contents on a roaster oven then bake for 70 minutes
7. Seasoned Rice
You cook fluffy or large batches of rice even though you lack a rice cooker. Just place it in the roaster oven using a broth, water, and butter. Take away the insert pan and the rack from the roaster oven as they are not needed while cooking seasoned rice.
With that, replace the cover on your roaster then heat it to 375°F. Add your ingredients then stir to mix then bake your rice for 1 1/2 hours.
8. Party Meatballs
Amazingly simple to make using a roaster oven. This great party appetizer can serve a great crowd. Heat your roaster oven to 250°F.
Allow the meatballs thaw in a refrigerator overnight then after that, add them inside an insert pan. Using a mixing bowl, beat all the sauces and jellies together then add the meatballs. Cover and bake them until heated through.
9. Oven Roasted Beef
Roasted beef is the epitome of easy, delicious, and quick cooking. Heat your roaster oven to 250°F then add the ingredients. Using a medium bowl, whisk water and soup together and a seasoning packet. Add the vegetables and beef.
Cover the mixture then roast for 3 hours until the meat is tender.
Features of a Roaster Oven
What can you cook in a roaster oven? Well, for a roaster oven to cook a range of dishes in your kitchen, it must have the following features:
- Self-basting lid. This is an essential feature as it helps in boosting the juiciness of the roasted meat, thus guaranteeing scrumptiousness.
- Removable rack. It keeps away the meat from drippings and grease at the bottom. Many models have handles on the sides to easily lift the meat immediately when it’s ready.
- Quality Heating Component. Most roaster ovens come with a unique heating system element ¨Circle of Heat¨ that covers the oven thus improving the food quality.
- Cold handles. During the cooking process, you can easily burn your hands as the roaster oven surfaces get hot. However, a cold handle will always remain cold during the entire cooking process and you can easily hold the lid.
- Removable pan. Some roaster ovens have enamel-coated removable pans. This helps you add your food on the pan before placing it on the roaster oven for cooking. Most of them also have porcelain pans that contribute to healthy cooking.
- Transparent lid. Clear window allows you to monitor the cooking process of your meat without necessarily opening the lid.
What Can You Cook in a Roster Oven – Final Words
You can make use of the electric roaster oven the same way you use the old oven. A roaster oven is a versatile kitchen appliance. Bake, roast, slow-cook, and steam with less hassle. Plus, it’s just perfect for cooking large batches of foods for crowded gatherings or social events.
Adding a pan liner on the inside part of the roaster oven makes it a large crockpot that can be used to cook soup, stew, and many other dishes.
Chef Boniface is a graduate in Culinary Arts from the Institute of Culinary Education, New York. He has worked in several restaurants and is currently the Head Chef at Cavali Restaurant.
He has excelled in developing unique recipes and influencing the menu at the restaurant. He prides himself in sharing his knowledge at thekitchenpot.com where he writes about the best cookware for various recipes.