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A foolproof guide on cooking a turkey in a roaster oven. Discover the optimal temperature, cooking time, and preparation steps for a perfectly roasted turkey. Free up your oven for delicious sides this Thanksgiving with our electric turkey roaster tips.
Every Thanksgiving, kitchens bustle with pies baking, sides simmering, and turkeys roasting. But with the oven juggling multiple dishes, the age-old question arises: how can one efficiently cook a turkey without monopolizing the oven space?
An electric turkey roaster is your answer. Not only does it make the roasting process more streamlined, but cooking a turkey in a roaster oven also ensures that it’s evenly cooked, juicy, and delectably golden. It’s a game-changer for those who want to multitask in the kitchen during the holiday season.
For those wondering how to cook a turkey in a roaster, or are curious about how long to cook a turkey in a roaster oven, you’ve come to the right place. This comprehensive guide will walk you through each step.
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Michelle says, “Absolutely love this recipe. The electric method works great, as well as freeing up the oven for everything else. Thank you for sharing!”
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Amanda says, “Great recipe! I used 1 teaspoon of poultry seasoning in the softened butter instead of fresh herbs (it’s what I had on hand), and a sprinkle of poultry seasoning on the skin. I cooked my 20 lb bird as instructed here and it was done in 3 hours! Rave reviews from the family.”
There are 3 key reasons:
In order to make a turkey in a roaster oven, you have to have a roaster oven (obviously!). So which electric roaster oven is the best?
I have a 22 quart Oster roaster oven, but they no longer make it. I recommend the Oster 18-quart roaster oven which can hold a 22 pound turkey. It boasts a “self-basting” lid and has a “warm” setting to keep your turkey perfectly warm.
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. Here’s how to do it.
Take a stick of room temperature 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 this the day before serving or at least 2 hours in advance so the flavors have time to develop.
Use salted butter. If you don’t have salted butter, add ¼ teaspoon salt to the butter mixture.
Now the turkey is ready to roast.
While you are preparing the turkey, set the roaster to the highest setting it will go. Our roaster goes up to 450º 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 325º 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 oven may be different.
Also, the roaster has a “warm” setting that you can use in case the turkey is done a little sooner than you need. 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.
Use a meat thermometer to test the internal temperature. The thickest part of the turkey thigh should be 165ºF. Often times people are used to turkey that is cooked just a little more than this. We cook ours to about 170ºF. 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.
See our recipe on how to cook turkey in a bag.
Read all about how to cook a turkey in one of these recipe articles: