As you all know I have an array of modern kitchen appliances; some of you maybe even think that I have them all, but, believe it or not, I haven’t owned a roaster oven until recently!
I thought that having a big, conventional oven can satisfy all my needs when it comes to baking until I went to help out my friend prepare a birthday party for her little girl.
She was expecting around twenty highly-energized, hungry, little monsters (i.e., children) and therefore decided to bake mini pizzas. After all, all kids adore pizza! We all know that pizzas are best eaten warm, but she could not possibly fit all twenty of them in the oven at the same time.
Therefore, she came up with a brilliant idea – she borrowed two roaster ovens and placed them on the kitchen counter. When the party was about to start, she turned them on together with her oven, and all pizzas were ready at the same time.
As a result, no child was punished with the cold pizza! It was a small victory for a housewife but meant a lot to the children! I was inspired and started thinking about all the possibilities of this small, portable oven.
Read on, and you will find out what brilliant ideas I came up with, but also learn all about my quest to find the best roaster oven on the market.
Click to jump straight to each topic
The Benefits Of Owning The Best Roaster Oven
The greatest asset of the roaster oven is its size. Namely, due to being rather small (at least for the oven) this oven is also very portable. For this reason, you can take this oven with you wherever you go. It is not tiny by any means, but can be very helpful and is thus worth the effort.
The vacation homes usually have a small stovetop, but it is very rare to find one equipped with an oven. Therefore, you can pack your own roaster oven and take it with you. It will take minutes to unpack it and place it on a kitchen countertop. From there on you just need to plug it into an electrical socket to operate.
You can take it wherever you please, but you can also store it with no problems at all. I have a small footprint and can fit even into a kitchen cabinet.
The advantage is that, regardless of the size, the roaster oven is more than capable to cook and bake almost everything your conventional oven can. You can use it for vegetables and meat too as it is great for roasting, baking, and steam cooking alike. Furthermore, in most cases, it is even speedier in comparison to the conventional oven.
If you live in a tiny home (which is very modern nowadays), you will certainly appreciate this household appliance as well. It occupies very little space and saves energy. It is quite inexpensive too.
As my friend already discovered, roaster ovens are a great addition to every kitchen when you are entertaining a lot of people or getting ready for the big party. In such a scenario, you can use it as an additional cooking appliance and save time, but also be able to serve all people at the same time when the food is meant to be eaten warm.
In short, the main benefits of owning a roaster oven are:
- It is portable
- It is easy to store
- It is multifunctional
- it saves time, energy and money
- it is a great supplement to the conventional oven
It is indeed an admirable kitchen appliance, and you can use it without compromising on the quality of your cooking.
How To Choose The Best Roaster Oven?
When it comes to the technical specification of roaster ovens, most of them work on electrical element heating technologies meaning that they convert electrical energy into the heat energy.
There is no ambiguity there. But there are other features worth paying attention to such as:
- The size is a thing of individual preference (this sounds a bit dirty), but you are limited to choose from a few average standard sizes that range from 18 to 22 quarts. If you plan to use your roaster oven to cook big meat chunks or a whole Turkey, you must make sure that the size you choose can meet your personal cooking requirements as well.
- If you go too big, you will not be able to take advantage of the roaster oven portability, but too much space will also allow for more dirt to accumulate and be harder to clean.
- All roaster ovens are made from some kind of metal. However, not all metals act the same when exposed to heat. I, therefore, prefer stainless steel. It is easy to clean and does not react with any ingredients used for cooking. Aluminum, on the other hand, tends to warp in high temperatures and reacts with acidic ingredients.
3. Type Of Thermal-Control
- The roaster ovens can have variable manual thermal control or automatic thermal control. If you choose a roaster oven with variable thermal control knob make sure that the temperature is clearly marked on the panel next to the regulator. The temperature should be segmented from 150° to 450° F.
- In case of the automatic control system, you should look for LED indicators that will guide you through the settings. It is also desirable to have a timer setting that will allow the oven to automatically shut down once the set time passes.
- Although square roaster ovens are also common, I personally prefer round or oval shaped ones for cleaning purposes. Namely, the oven that has no sharp interior corners will be much easier to clean. Choose the right shape from square, round or oval shape. However, do consider how a certain shape will fit into your kitchen.
5. Style And Color
- Style and color are definitely directly dependent on a personal point of view. After all, the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You should match the color to the interior of your kitchen, but, at the same time make sure that the coating is scratch and heat resistant.
6. The Handle And The Rack
- Choose the roaster oven that has heat resistant handle for safety purpose. The handle should be easy to grip, cold to the touch and offer enough space for safe handling.
- The roaster oven should have a rack too as it can prevent the meat you are cooking becoming too wet on the underside. The rack will allow for the air to circulate so that all sides will be equally done. The drippings will accumulate at the bottom and can be used for making a tasty sauce.
7. The Roaster Oven Lid
- The oven lid needs to be resistant and tight-fitting so that all the heat and steam can remain inside the oven chamber. If the oven radiates heat and the oven lid become too hot, you, or your family members, could get seriously hurt.
- Self-basting lids are the best as they help by continuously recirculating the moisture inside the oven so that you do not have to hand baste. The food is tastier this way too as it retains the moisture and flavors better.
8. Price And Warranty Period
- The price you are able to afford is the price you will end up paying – it is as simple as that. But, as with most things in life, the higher the price, the better the quality.
- The manufactures warranty or guarantee is also an indicator of the quality of the product and how long it will last.
9. The Right Info
- Before you buy a roaster oven of a certain brand, get well informed by reading online forums and reviews. Make sure to differentiate the false reports from the honest opinions. Also, read about the manufacturer in general and try to find out all you can about the customer service commitment.
The Best Roaster Oven On The Market – Reviews 2018
Oster 22-Quart Roaster Oven with Self-Basting Lid has a large capacity of 26 lbs. and oval shape. It is made from stainless steel and is thus easy to maintain. The self-basting lid fits very well and serves its purpose to perfection – this means that you do not have to open the lid and baste meat while baking it. In this way, the heat stays trapped inside, and the meat is done more quickly with less energy spent.
This Oster roaster oven comes with an enamel-on-steel roasting pan that can be removed when needed. The pan allows for even heat distribution and easy cleaning. It has two handles for easy handling as well. The steel roasting rack permits you to bake almost everything you can bake in your conventional oven – from mini pizzas for your kid’s birthday to the actual birthday cake!
The temperature you can choose varies from 150 to 450°F and is regulated by a variable dial. On the downside, insulation is not the strong point of this roasting oven. In translation, be careful when handling the elements such as lid the, as they can become quite hot as well.
- Large baking/cooking capacity of up to 26 lbs.
- Lightweight and portable
- Attractive stainless steel design
- Smart self-basting lid
- One-year limited warranty
- The outside can become very hot due to poor insulation.
- The cover handle gets hot too.
Nesco 481825PR Professional Stainless Steel Roaster Oven has a bit smaller capacity than the previously reviewed unit, but can still cook a meal for a family of four or five people – which is the average! The capacity is up to 22 pounds, and I really did test it by roasting a whole turkey of that size, and it came out perfectly done.
The outside of the unit I have chosen is stainless steel, for the reasons I have already mentioned, but you can choose between six different colors and designs to best compliment your kitchen décor. The steel cookwell coated with porcelain is removable and easy to clean. You receive a rack with the unit too so that you can make a tasty sauce from drippings to compliment your turkey.
The control dial thermostat allows you to set temperature from 200 up to 450 degrees F. On the downside; there is no timer that would turn off the oven automatically. Be careful when cleaning the area around the dialer as the temperature markings come off easily.
The unit is very versatile: it bakes, cooks, steams and poaches. As a matter of fact, I have prepared many delicious hot dishes while testing it. Unfortunately, the porcelain surface is not very easy to clean as it is quite prone to water stains.
- Reasonably priced
- High-quality stainless steel
- “Circle of Heat” secures even baking results
- It can slow-cook as well
- No timer
- The food comes out a bit dry
- Manufacturer’s warranty must be requested
Hamilton Beach 32229 22-Quart Roaster Oven features a traditional, square design. As I have already mentioned, I am not a fan of this form due to the hard to clean edges, but it certainly has its advantages as well. For example, it is easier to store. The capacity of this oven is also satisfactory- 22 quarts.
It comes with a large rack that can be taken out of the unit quite easily. The lid forms a tight fit, and the moisture stays trapped inside. The removable rack comes equipped with handy handles that allow you to take it out without burning the fingers.
On the downside, the exterior does not stay cool to the touch, so be extra careful, especially around children. The handles on the side thus come extra handy.
Although square, it was not too hard to clean, mostly due to the easy to maintain liner. The exterior is stainless steel – you can only wipe it out with a damp cloth after each use, and it will stay as good as new for a long time.
The dialer thermal control (up to 450 degrees F) is clearly labeled and quite precise.
- Detailed user manual with recipes included
- 1-year limited warranty
- Versatile: cooks, bakes, steams, slow-cooks and warms up the dishes without burning them
- The exterior gets really hot
- A bit pricey
Rival RO180 is an 18-quart roaster oven great for roasting meat chunks of up to 18 lbs., but suitable for baking and cooking your favorite meals as well. The white exterior and classic design make it appropriate for almost any kitchen style. It can be brought out to the table as well, so there is no need for serving plate.
The lid fits perfectly well trapping all the heat and moisture safely inside. For this reason your meat will be soft and preserve all of its natural juices. Furthermore, the outside stays relatively cool to the touch making this roaster quite safe for use (I still recommend using the hot mittens!).
The handles are completely cool to the touch. It comes with a dishwasher-safe removable steel roasting rack and a removable enamel-on-steel roasting pan.
The temperature is easy to set by using a clearly labeled thermal dialer control knob. The temperature ranges from 150 to 450 degrees Farenheight. The unit cooks food more quickly than my conventional oven, and reportedly uses 77 percent less energy!
My only complaints are: the white color that stains easily (although it is not too hard to clean) and short cord that limits your possibilities when it comes to positioning the roaster oven in your kitchen.
- Does all the things the convectional oven can do
- Fast and energy-efficient cooking
- Good insulation
- 1-year warranty
- You need to use the hot mittens when handling the unit
- Short electric cord limits you to positioning the unit near the power outlet
Proctor Silex 32191 Roaster Oven is a stainless steel, oval roaster oven with a capacity of 18 quarts. While testing it, I have prepared a whole 24 lb. turkey for my relatives in little more than three hours. The trick is in the lid. Namely, its slightly raised doom allows for roasting quite large meat chunks (or in my case quite a large turkey).
The roaster has a removable enamel-on-steel interior pan that is sometimes a bit hard to clean. However, soaking it for about half an hour helps a lot!
Like all the ovens I have chosen to test, this roaster oven is quite versatile and can bake, cook, roast and slow cook. It is great for warming up your meals too.
As all of the oven roasters reviewed here, this unit tends to get hot on the outside and needs to be handled with care. The enamalised aluminum lid could be a bit heavier as well; it seems flimsy and does not seal the unit properly. The oven is reasonably priced though and comes with a limited one year warranty.
- Doomed lid adds height to the unit
- Quick roasting
- Can be used for serving
- Comes with a limited one-year warranty
- The removable pan is not non-stick
- The lid seems a bit flimsy
- Unit gets hot on the outside
The Best Of The Best: The Best Roaster Oven On The Market
As I have already mentioned, roaster ovens are quite versatile and come in rather handy when you need an additional heat source for baking or cooking for large gatherings and parties.
Therefore, you should definitely have one in your kitchen.
In my opinion, the best choice you can make is buying the Oster 22-Quart Roaster Oven with Self-Basting Lid.
If you ignore the fact that the outside can be rather hot to the touch (which is generally an issue with oven roasters), it is a fault-free and budget-friendly unit.
I have really enjoyed everything that came out of this roaster oven, and I am sure you will too.