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Free up the oven for side dishes and make your roast turkey in a roaster oven! We give tips for the juiciest turkey recipe with fresh herb butter…and how to get that golden brown skin on your turkey. You may also love our slow cooker turkey breast.
Who is ready for Thanksgiving dinner? I’ve been married 20 years but can probably count on one hand the number of turkeys I’ve had to prepare on Thanksgiving day (Thank you moms!). I’ve cooked plenty of turkeys on normal every days, though. The thing with Thanksgiving is that if you are preparing the meal, you usually have A LOT of food to put through the oven. Make your life easier (and your turkey taste better) with this roast turkey recipe made in a roaster oven. Let’s talk about how to do it?
In order to make a turkey in a roaster oven, you have to have a roaster oven (obviously!). So which electric roaster is the best? We love our Oster 22 quart roaster oven. It boasts a “self-basting” lid and has a “warm” setting to keep your turkey perfectly warm. You can find it by clicking here.
Yes, you can just throw a turkey in the roaster and have it come out fork tender, but for the best flavor, rub it down with herbed butter. Take a stick of butter and add in freshly snipped poultry herbs. We buy a package of fresh herbs called “poultry seasoning” in the produce section of our grocery store. It is a mix of sage, rosemary and thyme. You can buy all 3 herbs separately if you need to. Mix these fresh herbs with butter. Do the day before serving or at least 2 hours in advance so the flavors have time to develop.
*Note….we use salted butter. If you don’t have salted butter, add a touch of salt to the butter mixture.*
Now the turkey is ready to roast!
While you are preparing the turkey, set the roaster to the highest temperature it will go. Our roaster goes up to 450 degrees F, but you can set yours for higher if it goes higher. You’ll roast the turkey for 30 minutes at the high temperature, then lower the temperature to 325 degrees F for the remaining time.
The exact time it takes to cook a turkey depends on how big the turkey is, and whether the turkey is stuffed or unstuffed. You’ll want to plan about 8-10 minutes per pound for an unstuffed bird at 325º Fahrenheit. You should always read your instruction manual because each roaster may be different.
Also, the roaster has a “warm” setting that you can use in case the turkey is done a little more quickly. And it is always good to let meat rest for at least 20 minutes before carving to seal in the juices.
One of the questions we get asked most often is how to get that golden brown look in the toaster. The truth is, a roaster turkey will not be as golden brown as an oven roasted turkey. However, here are a few tricks:
We’ve found that it isn’t 100% necessary to baste a turkey. And especially with this roaster. The steam rises from the turkey, hits the lid and falls back on the turkey, soaking the skin with all that turkey steak and juice. If we’re oven roasting, I often baste the turkey, but I don’t worry about it with this method.
The temperature in the thickest part of the turkey thigh should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Often times people are used to turkey that is cooked just a little more than this. We cook ours to about 170 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s a matter of preference!
**We LOVE our Thermoworks ThermaPen to quickly test meat temperatures. This probe thermometer is AMAZING. Get it here.**
No. You should not use oven bags in electric roasters. The bag could easily touch the sides, bottom or top of the roaster which could cause it to melt.
Read our article here if you want to cook turkey in a bag.
Have leftover turkey? Try this turkey pasta bake!