Cooking a turkey in an electric roaster oven
November 21, 2009 11:49 AM   Subscribe

Have you ever used an electric roaster oven to cook a large turkey?

So I am looking at the directions from a Rival 22 qt roaster oven and a Hamilton Beach 22 qt roaster over. The Rival directions suggest 13-15 minutes per pound at 325 degrees (over 5 hours for a 22 pound unstuffed turkey). The Hamilton Beach directions say turkey cooks faster in an electric roaster oven than in a conventional oven, and that it should take 2 to 3 hours for the same size bird at the same temperature. Who is right? (I can't imagine the roasters are that different from each other, 325 degrees is 325 degrees, right?). Also in the Hamilton Beach instructions, it states if you want the turkey to brown, paint it with a mixture of Kitchen Bouquet and butter. I've never used Kitchen Bouquet and don't know how this will effect the taste (I'm salting the turkey per the "salt don't brine" recipe in last year's Bon Appetit magazine, which tasted GREAT when cooked in a conventional oven.
posted by Lylo to Food & Drink (2 answers total)
325 degrees is 325 degrees, right?

Not really. 325 degrees is the temperature at which the heating element shuts off, and below which it stays on, but just because you point the little arrow at 325 doesn't mean that's the temperature inside the roaster. It's possible the Rival model draws less current and can't maintain 325F with 22 pounds of cold meat inside it. Check the amperage ratings for the two roaster brands.

That said, I haven't done what you hope to do.
posted by jon1270 at 1:10 PM on November 21, 2009

Get a meat thermometer ($10 bucks? $5 bucks?) and google directions for checking the temp of poultry.

Then - go low and slow on the roaster. Check during the last 2/3rds of the cooking process to get it right.

2 schools of thought on this... go high to crisp, then low to cook --or-- go slow to cook and then high for the last 20 min to 30 min to crisp the skin.

I think it might depend on my stuffing (inside bird) but I would go low to high. This means 275 to 300 degrees for a loooong time, and 375 to 450 degrees for the crisp. The variation depends on your roaster and the bird's distance from the heat source.

Good Luck.
posted by jbenben at 4:24 PM on November 21, 2009

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