Pick the Best Electric Roaster Oven | Quick Buying Guide

Please don’t blame the turkey; it is your standard oven that can’t cook a real holiday meal. Maybe you should not blame that one too. In the end, an electric roaster oven is explicitly designed for cooking full-sized meats evenly. However, you should not underestimate its powers since it can do a lot more than just roasting, which I will discuss below.

Get any big-sized meat from the store, whether it is whole turkey, chicken, brisket, ham, or prime ribs, and throw it into the roaster oven. It will bake you the most tender, juicy, and aromatic meal. You can now forget about waiting in front of the big old oven for hours to cook a turkey that is as tough as a brick. A roaster oven is the best solution for cooking pro-quality roast without any hassle. Nevertheless, there are a few features that you must pay close attention to when shopping for one. Today, I will help you pick the best electric roaster oven by sharing my experiences.

How to choose the best electric roaster oven?

Selecting a roaster oven is not very complicated, but you still have to make comparisons according to your individual needs. The good news is that most of them are affordable, unless you are after one of those all-in-one combo cookers like the Ninja Foodi, which can bake, roast, grill, air-fry, and dehydrate. I am not a big fan of multitasker cookers and instead concentrate on specialty items that do what it is built for in the first place.

Size of the roasting pan

At first, you should decide on the size of the roaster oven. That is the easiest part. If you have a large family, bigger roasters in the range of 22 Quart will better serve you as you would probably cook larger birds. In addition, you might be expecting many guests during the holidays. In that case, a larger roaster would still be the right choice for you. However, I go on a different route. Although I need to cook for a large crowd, I still prefer a smaller size roaster, but I use two of them side-by-side. I do this on purpose because smaller turkeys taste much tender and flavorful. It is OK if you don’t want to spend money on two units. Then, all you need is to aim for the size that can serve your family well. A 16 to 18 Quart roaster can handle a family four easily.

Tip Alert

Smaller turkeys come out more tender and juicier when baked in electric roaster ovens. The larger the bird, the tougher the cooked meat.

Heating element and the dome lid

Two simple systems accomplish the perfect cooking environment in an electric roaster oven. The electric heating element surrounds the inner pan to cover all sides, resulting in a well-cooked food with a homogenized color on the whole surface. On a side note, the smaller cooking space compared to a conventional oven makes it easier to control the temperature. The second important aspect is the lid on top with ridges underneath. It collects steam to drop it back on to the food later. The aromatic rain on the meat make sure that it turns out juicy and savory at the same time. That’s how dreamy roasts are made!

What to look for in an electric roaster oven?

Check out the following four features before you make a final decision:

  • What is the temperature range?
    The wider temperature range would allow you to use the roaster oven as a slow cooker when needed. Plus, if you want to use it as a warmer, then it should have the 100° F setting. And for the highest available temperature, 450° F would satisfy most recipes.
  • Does it come with a removable rack that has lifting handles?
    Removable racks are important since you place big sized meat such as turkey on them when roasting. That way, the meat does not sit in its liquid during cooking. It is a convenient fat-free roasting. Besides, the lifting handles make it easy to remove heavy food effortlessly. Check to see if the rack is made from steel or it is enamel coated. Keep in mind that you can prepare quick gravy from the drippings below the rack.
  • Is the inner pan dishwasher safe?
    Although the roasting pans are quite big to fit in a dishwasher, this feature is still vital for easy cleaning. You can always wash the pan with warm water and mild detergent by hand, but being able to wash in the dishwasher is a life-saver when you don’t have enough time or energy.
  • Does the lid contain ridges underneath for self-basting?
    The special lid design is one of my favorite features in a roaster oven. If the lid does not contain ridges underneath, then it cannot create the droplets from the steam, which rain on the food naturally. They are necessary to make the meat juicy. Self-basting lid means being able to recirculate the moisture inside the oven.

Tip Alert

When deciding on the size of the roaster oven, you can use the following estimation: Assume 1 pound of cooked turkey equals to each quart, and each quart to one person. If you intend to roast turkey for 18 people, you would need at least 18 Quart roaster oven. In other words, 18 pounds of turkey can serve 18 people.

Best Electric Roaster Oven on Budget – Oster Roaster 18 Quart

Oster Roaster Oven with Self-Basting Lid, 18 Quart, Black (CKSTRS18-BSB-W)
  • 18-quart roaster oven roasts, bakes, and slow cooks and fits up to a 22-pound turkey
  • Self-basting lid recirculates moisture for tender and delicious roasts
  • Saves 30% time and uses 36% less energy than a traditional oven
  • Removable enamel-on-steel roasting pan for fast, even heat distribution and easy cleaning
  • Variable temperature control dial to set cooking temperature from 150 to 450 degrees F

According to my experience with them, most electric roaster ovens are brilliant cookers. But some are simply better. Here is a mid-range version from Oster Roaster. I think it is a perfect size. Take note that the 18 Qt model can fit turkeys up to 22 pounds. However, if you are in need of a bigger capacity, then I recommend the 22 Quart version.

Oster Roaster Oven with Self-Basting Lid | 22 Qt, Stainless Steel
  • Electric roaster oven accommodates turkeys up to 26 pounds
  • Self basting lid continually recirculates moisture
  • Versatile electric roaster bakes, slow cooks, roasts, and serves
  • Dimensions: 23.3 L x 15.6 W x 11.8 H inches
  • Roasting pan and rack are removable for easy cleanup

It has all the features you would expect from a quality roaster, including the self-basting lid, which is crucial to make the meat juicy and tender. You can say goodbye to hand-basting. Close the lid, lock in the steam, and roast a perfect Thanksgiving turkey without any hassle.

With the Oster roaster 18 Qt, you can cook anything that you would cook in your old oven, but only faster and tastier. It can save you 30% on time. You will also be happy with the electric bill since it consumes 36% less energy than a traditional oven. The temperature range is perfect; 0° F to 450° F. Meaning, you can easily use it as a large size slow cooker. It comes with the ¨Keep Warm¨ and ¨Defrost¨ settings for your convenience. You can keep the cooked food inside till the guests arrive, or even serve from it.

Keep in mind that you will have plenty of extra space available when you use the 18 Qt Oster roaster. Easily prepare your side-dishes on the stovetop, or bake some sweets in your old oven. I prepare the gravy from the drippings accumulate at the bottom. So, I don’t have to use the stovetop for that.

The roasting pan is enamel coated and removable. Clean it easily with some mild detergent or use the dishwasher. The rack’s lifting handles are tremendously helpful when transferring the food from the roaster oven to serving platter or cutting board.


  • Self-basting lid
  • Material used: steel
  • Dishwasher safe inner pan
  • Keep Warm and Defrost settings
  • Removable steel rack
  • Accommodates up to 22-pound turkey
  • Temperature range; 450° F max

Other uses of roaster ovens

You can use your oven as a slow cooker only by adjusting its temperature settings to match the ones on a slow cooker. Most LOW and HI settings on slow cookers are actually 200° F and 250° F, respectively. Learn more about how to convert your roaster oven to a slow cooker from this article. It is a great way to prepare soup or stew for large gatherings.

Some roaster ovens come with a buffet server option. It is actually a smart accessory that enables you to prepare and serve three different side dishes simultaneously. The removable buffet trays create a cozy environment for you to entertain guests. Check out this article for more info on buffet servers and other electric roaster oven accessories.

Some electric roaster ovens can also be used as a smoker. They include removable pockets that hold wood chips. Obviously, you need to set up the roaster oven outdoors when you are smoking meat.  Check out the 16 Quart Oster Roaster designed explicitly for this purpose.

Oster Smoker Roaster Oven, 16-Quart, Red Smoke (CKSTROSMK18)
  • Electric roaster oven can be used as a smoker, roaster, or slow cooker
  • The 16-quart roaster holds up to a 20-pound turkey
  • Adjustable temperature control from 150 to 450 degrees F
  • Removable pockets hold wood chips for outdoor smoking
  • Enamel-coated steel roasting pan and rack are removable for easy cleaning

You can also bake delicious cheesecakes, cookies, muffins, and bread in your roaster oven. In short, the number of available cooking options is vast.

Advantages of roaster ovens against big standard ovens

  • Cooking evenly – smaller cooking space and unique heating element design
  • Steam circulation – domed lid with ridges
  • Less energy & faster cooking time
  • Easy to clean and maintain – dishwasher safe
  • Portable – comes with cold handles
  • Easy storing in the cabinet
  • It does not heat the whole kitchen
  • Versatile; roast, cook, bake, and warm

How do you use an Oster roaster?

Using an Oster roaster oven is relatively simple. Preheat the oven according to the temperature setting required in your recipe and fill in all the ingredients. Make sure you use the steel rack if you are roasting turkey or similar. Close the lid and take some rest; Oster roaster will take care of the rest.

What does roaster oven do?

The roaster oven cooks the food by the use of a unique heating element that surrounds the inner pan. Since the cooking environment is smaller than a conventional oven, you can attain even cooking effortlessly. The lid also has a special purpose that it recirculates the steam inside, making sure that the roast comes out juicy.

Do you have to put water in a roaster oven?

You do not need to add water into a roaster oven because it can retain moisture naturally. The only time you might have to add water is when you are using the roaster oven as a slow cooker. Meat stew and other similar food require you to add water.


  • When using a roaster oven, the best way to figure out if the turkey is cooked already is by checking the inner temperature from the breast area (away from the bones). Use a meat thermometer that is oven safe. When it reads 165° F, your turkey is ready to be consumed.
  • Use browning sauce or glaze maple syrup over the turkey when roasting in a roaster oven. Your bird will have the tastiest crunchy skin.


  • Do not touch the electric roaster oven directly when cooking, use the cold handles instead.

In Conclusion

In order to purchase the best electric roaster oven according to your needs, you must decide on the size and cooking options you require first. It is a versatile appliance. Keep in mind; a roaster oven can also be used as a slow cooker. But if you get a huge one, then it might not accommodate well unless you are planning big events regularly. Still, you must get at least a 22 Quart version if you plan to roast 20 pounds or bigger birds on the holidays. Just remember the essential features summarized above, and you can get yourself one of the best electric roaster ovens in the market.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *