How To Cook Turkey In An Electric Roaster - Recipe Idea Shop (2024)

Electric roaster ovens are a handy way to cook many different foods, however, the most popular use of an electric roaster is to make that holiday turkey when there simply is no space in the oven to do so. Today we'll look at how to roast a turkey in an electric roaster.

Cooking a turkey in an electric roaster is a great way to save time and energy. If you have the oven space, you can roast your turkey in regular ovens, but an electric roaster can help you, especially on Thanksgiving day. You can cook something else in your oven, with the turkey in the electric oven.

How To Cook Turkey In An Electric Roaster - Recipe Idea Shop (1)

Unfortunately, most people feel that their turkey ends up steamed rather than roasted, so it's important you learn how to do it correctly to avoid this. There are some tips and tricks that can help you do it well and once you learn them, you'll be roasting the perfect turkey every time.

If this is happening to you, then these tips on how to roast a turkey in an electric roaster oven may help you to get that roast turkey flavor that you are looking for.

How To Cook Turkey In An Electric Roaster

1. Preheat the roaster

Remove the insert pan from the electric roaster and turn the roaster on to its highest temperature. Most roasters can be set to 450 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Preheating the roaster will ensure that the roaster is evenly hot when you are ready to put your bird in. Oven temperature is an important part of getting the perfect roast in a conventional oven, as is your turkey prep.

It's best to thaw your turkey first, but you can cook a frozen turkey. Just be aware it will increase the roast time.

2. Prepare your insert

If you are planning on using some liquid in the bottom of the pan when cooking your turkey, add about a cup or cup and half of the turkey broth to the bottom of the insert.

For a more flavorful turkey, sprinkle some turkey brining spices into the broth; the seasonings will add extra flavor to the turkey while it is cooking.

3. Prep the turkey

While the roaster is heating, prep your turkey. First, you will need to remove the giblets from the turkey and rinse the bird inside and out. Next, you will need to pat the turkey dry with paper towels. Then, you will need to rub the skin of the turkey with vegetable oil.

Make sure that you pack the stuffing inside the cavity of the turkey loosely so the dressing and the turkey can cook properly.

Rub your turkey with olive oil (or butter if you prefer) and sprinkle with seasoning.

Place the rack into the insert with the handles raised (this makes it easier to remove the rack when the turkey is done) and then place the turkey onto the rack breast down.

Cooking your turkey breast down makes the breast moister.

Once you have done this, you will need to place the turkey in the roaster. Make sure that the breast side is up. Then, you will need to insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the breast. The thermometer should not touch bone.

4. Cooking your bird

Next, you will need to cover the roaster with its lid and cook the turkey according to the manufacturer's instructions. Keep in mind that it is important to cook the turkey until it reaches an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Begin roasting your turkey at the highest temperature for the first 30 minutes. And then turn the roaster down to 325 degrees Fahrenheit for the minimum amount of time your turkey is supposed to cook.

Once the turkey is cooked through, you will need to let it rest for 20 minutes before carving. This will give the juices a chance to redistribute throughout the meat.

Although it will be tempting, don't check on the turkey until the time is up, as lifting the lid will allow all the heat out of the roaster and slow the actual cooking of the turkey.

Here are the minimum cooking times for your turkey based on poundage and whether it is stuffed or unstuffed.

5. Turkey Cooking Time

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Are you wondering how long you should roast your turkey? It depends on the weight of the turkey as well as your cooking method, as this can also impact cook time.

  • 8 to 12-pound turkey - 2 ¾ to 3 hours unstuffed - 3 to 3 ½ hours stuffed
  • 12-14 pound turkey - 3 to 3 ½ hours unstuffed - 3 ½ to 4 hours stuffed
  • 14 to 18-pound turkey - 3 ¾ to 4 ¼ hours unstuffed or 4 to 4 ½ hours stuffed
  • 18 to 20 Pound turkey - 4 to 4 ½ hours unstuffed or 4 ½ to 4 ¾ hours stuffed
  • 20 to 24-pound turkey - 4 ½ to 5 hours unstuffed or 5 to 5 ¼ hours stuffed

Always make sure to check the turkey for the internal temperature at the lowest cooking time.

Stick a meat thermometer into a meaty part of the turkey (do not touch the thermometer to the bone) and make sure it reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

If the turkey is not done, then place the lid back on the roaster and cook for another 30 minutes.

Once the turkey is finally done remove it from the roaster, tent it with tin foil, and let rest 15 to 20 minutes prior to serving as this locks the juices into the meat.

6. Carving the turkey

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A great roasted turkey also needs to be carved correctly to keep the juices and flavor in.

When it’s time to carve your roast turkey, start by removing any string or twine that’s holding it together. Place the bird breasts side up on a cutting board and use a large knife to remove each entire breast half in one piece by slicing along each side of the breastbone, following its contour until you hit where the leg meets the body.

Then use your knife and fork (or your hands) to pull each leg away from the sockets until they pop free (you may have to slice through some connective tissue first), and carve as desired (traditional or otherwise).

If there are still people waiting for their slices of white meat when all dark meat has been served, go ahead and carve any remaining breasts into smaller pieces across the grain before bringing them back to the table. Plan on about ⅓ pound per person when carving. Dark meat lovers may want closer to ½ pound per person.

Turkey Roasting Tips

  • Always rub the inside of the turkey with salt and other seasonings for a more flavorful turkey.
  • If you are not going to stuff your turkey, quarter an onion and an apple, two carrots, and two stalks of celery and lay loosely into the turkey's cavity as this will add additional flavor to your bird.
  • You can also roast your stuffing right inside the bird, which not only saves on dirtying another dish but also means less work for you come holiday mealtime. Just spoon your stuffing into the cavity of a clean, dry bird (never stuff the hot bird or raw stuffing into the bird). Don't pack it too tightly, since the stuffing swells as it cooks.
  • Use the drippings from the bottom of the insert to make a great-tasting homemade gravy.

Turkey Day Help

Following these simple tips for cooking a turkey in an electric roaster should result in a tasty, moist turkey that your family will love.

How To Cook Turkey In An Electric Roaster - Recipe Idea Shop (8)

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Adriana grew up eating healthy, delicious food made from scratch in her home country, Romania. Recipe Idea Shop is where shares recipes for delicious comfort food that’s easy to cook.

How To Cook Turkey In An Electric Roaster - Recipe Idea Shop (2024)


Do you put liquid at the bottom of an electric roaster for turkey? ›

Put the rack into the insert pan and make sure the handles are up, not tucked below. Put the bird in the insert pan on top of the rack. Don't add water to the pan.

How long does it take to cook a 16 pound turkey in an electric roaster? ›

How long does a turkey take to cook in an electric roaster? It depends on how big the turkey is! Plan for about 10 minutes per pound of turkey, but always check with a thermometer so you don't overcook it. The internal temperature of the breast will reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit when it's done.

Is it better to cook turkey in a roaster oven or regular oven? ›

Roaster ovens takes 30 percent less time and uses 36 percent less energy based on average time and energy savings when using a roaster vs. a conventional oven. Many people are concerned that their roaster oven won't brown the turkey the same way that an oven does, however it still can.

Should I cover my turkey with foil in a roaster? ›

We've found that covering a turkey in foil yields much moister results than roasting it without foil, and we favor simply covering up the breast to even out cooking time. Some people swear that roasting a turkey breast-side down and flipping it halfway through achieves the same results as a foil covered breast.

What do you put in the bottom of a turkey roaster? ›

Place chopped onions, celery, and carrots in the bottom of the roasting pan. Pick a few herbs off the stalks and add to the vegetables. Set aside. Pat dry the turkey with paper towels.

Should I put butter or oil on my turkey? ›

Don't butter your bird

Placing butter under the skin won't make the meat juicier, though it might help the skin brown faster. However, butter is about 17 percent water, and it will make your bird splotchy, says López-Alt. Instead, rub the skin with vegetable oil before you roast.

Do I put water in the bottom of a roaster for turkey? ›

"Often, consumers will inquire about adding water to the bottom of their roasting pans. We do not recommend adding water to the bottom of the pan. Cooking a turkey with steam is a moist heat-cook method and is acceptable, sure, but is not the preferred method for cooking your turkey."

What is the best temperature to cook a 16 pound turkey? ›

Unstuffed Turkey Cooking Times

These times are based on cooking a room temperature turkey at 325 degrees F the entire time; plan on 10 to 12 minutes per pound.

How long does it take to cook a 16 to 20 lb turkey? ›

8-12 lb turkey: 1 1/2 to 2 hours; 12 to 16 lb turkey: 2 to 2 1/2 hours; 16-20 lb turkey: 2 1/2 to 3 hours; 20-24 lb turkey: 3 to 3 1/2 hours.

Is an electric turkey roaster worth it? ›

Much like a second oven, electric roasters are a great addition to any holiday meal plan and make cooking what can be the most time- and energy-consuming meal more seamless. If you're cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the first time this year, having a reliable way to cook the turkey is a great place to start.

Should the turkey be on a rack in the roaster? ›

Place the turkey on the roaster oven rack or other meat rack so the turkey is raised out of the juices that collect in the bottom of the oven liner. Leave the lid on throughout cooking, removing it as little as possible to avoid slowing the cooking process.

Do you preheat an electric roaster? ›

Preheat for 15 to 20 minutes. Light will turn OFF once the set temperature is reached. 6. Place ROASTING RACK into the REMOVABLE ROASTING PAN, put food on the RACK, and place the LID on the roaster oven.

What are 2 ways to keep turkey from drying out? ›

5 Ways to Prevent Your Turkey from Drying Out
  1. Cook Pieces Instead of a Whole Turkey. ...
  2. If Cooking a Whole Turkey, Buy Frozen. ...
  3. Ditch the Plastic Pop-Up Timer; Use an Instant-Read Thermometer Instead. ...
  4. Elevate the Legs. ...
  5. Let the Turkey Rest.
Nov 1, 2022

Is it better to cook a turkey at 325 or 350? ›

Oven-Roasted Turkey

We recommend starting the turkey in a 425 degree oven for 30-45 minutes before tenting the pan with foil and lowering the temperature to 350 degrees until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees when inserted into the thickest part of the bird.

Do I put water in the bottom of a roaster when cooking a turkey? ›

No, you do not need to add any water to the roaster oven when cooking a turkey. As long as the lid is on properly, it will self baste and create all of its own juices. What is the best temperature to cook a turkey? The best temperature to cook a turkey in a roaster oven is 325F.

Do you add liquid to roasting pan for turkey? ›

Add about 1/2 inch of liquid (water or stock) to the roasting pan. This will keep the oven moist and the turkey juicy. This aromatic liquid can be used to baste the turkey while it cooks (there is a debate about whether basting does anything, but it's part of the tradition).

Do you need to add liquid to roasting pan for turkey? ›

You can pour a little of water in the bottom of the roasting pan, but keep in mind the turkey will release drippings as well as it cooks. However, if you're making gravy, it's best to add about a cup of water to the roasting pan.

Do you put water in the base unit of a roaster? ›

If cooking large quantities of soups or stews, the Insert Pan may be used as the cooking pan in the Roaster base. It may also be used as a large roasting pan in the Roaster base. If the Insert Pan is used as the roasting pan for a large roast or turkey, pour 1 cup water into the Insert Pan – even if dry roasting.


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