Electric Roaster Questions (thinking about getting a Nesco)

Discussion in 'Cooking' started by iankh, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. iankh

    iankh It's never done till it's overdone

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    I've never posted on these threads, but I'm hoping some of you good people can help me out.

    I'm seriously considering getting an electric roaster for doing my turkey this year. My challenge is oven space and I was thinking that a roaster might help me out, but I don't know much about them.

    I always do an organic free-range turkey, usually about 16 lbs in my oven, which is a convection oven, so I don't know much about electric roasters.

    First of all does the turkey brown in the roaster, or do I have to put it in the oven first on a high heat for a while to brown and then finish it in the roaster.

    Second question, I've been thinking about an 18 quart Nesco (because that's the only one I'm familiar with) and have heard that there's a curing or burn in process for them? You can't just use them out of the box?

    Any help would be most appreciated.
     
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  3. disneyhand

    disneyhand DIS Veteran

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    Sorry no one had any advice for you.

    I just always use the oven for my turkey, but agree that space can be so challenging when you're trying to do a large feast and keep everything warm.

    I don't have experience with the modern electric roasters, but I remember my mom used one way back in my youth and the turkey was always delicious and golden brown, if that helps at all.

    Good luck!
     
  4. iankh

    iankh It's never done till it's overdone

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    Thanks for the reply.

    When I didn't get any advice here, I posted on some other forums I found regarding cooking and received quite a bit of feedback, all very positive about using a countertop roaster to do the turkey.

    People have said that their turkeys come out even moister, though you have to do a few things differently if crispy browning is important to that "ta-da" moment before it's taken back from the table for carving.

    What I've decided to do is give it a try this year, just so I can reduce the stress and panic of yanking the turkey out of the oven, then in the 30 minutes while it's resting, trying to cram everything in the oven to reheat and get the gravy made.

    The approach I'll be taking is putting my turkey in my regular oven at a hot 400 setting for the first 30 to 40 minutes to get some additional browning, during this time having the roaster preheated to 350, and then transferring it to the roaster.

    What I also found out was the the insert pan from the roaster can go directly into my regular oven (it even comes with a rack and built in lift handles for the bird) so moving the roasting pan from the oven to the roaster will be really simple.

    The other piece of advice I had gotten is that all brands of roasters have an initial "burn in" where they recommend you run it on a high setting (in a well ventilated area) for a few hours to burn off the electrical smell. Very simple to do, but I was glad that I got that advice, because being a person who might not read all the instructions I might have not know this.

    So, tonight in fact I will be going roaster shopping at Target. Will decide if I buy at Target or order via Amazon.
     
  5. MazdaUK

    MazdaUK <font color=green>Curse this time difference!<br><

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    My sister always does Christmas for 12-16 people and she cooks the turkey on Christmas Eve, slices it and then puts i in the fridge. Because there are so many, she puts everything out like a buffet - by the time you pour the hot gravy on you have no idea the meat was cold earlier! (This was a tip from a celebrity chef. If you want the turkey to be hot you can put it onto baking trays with a couple of T of water, cover with foil and put in the oven for a little - the water turns to steam and heats the turkey).
     
  6. iankh

    iankh It's never done till it's overdone

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    Well I did it, I bought a Nesco Roaster and did it on line.
     
  7. disneyhand

    disneyhand DIS Veteran

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    Good for you and thanks for all the info!

    If you wouldn't mind coming back to update us after your Thanksgiving, I'd love to hear how it works out for you.

    I guess after all your pricing research, purchasing online was the best deal? Do you mind sharing details? I'm thinking maybe I need one of these too!

    Do you know the maximum size turkey you can roast in one of these? I usually do a giant one. However with the great tip above about precooking then slicing the turkey, refrigerating it, then warming it in the oven, maybe I could do two smaller turkeys... decisions decisions.

    Thanks all!
     
  8. iankh

    iankh It's never done till it's overdone

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    You can do up to a 22 lbs turkey in an 18 quart roaster.

    The deals are sort of relative. I was kind of set on a stainless steel exterior and found a Nesco on Amazon for $79. It had a porcelain coated cookwell (the roasting pan). I decided I didn't want non-stick because non-stick to me always seems to scratch.

    I then found a one-day online sale at Carson's with an additional 10% off on a model one step up with a completely stainless steel cookwell. I sort of liked that idea, because I plan to do some browning for the first 40 minutes in my oven and then transfer it to the roaster. It came out to about $10 more than the one I had planned to buy.

    It sort of dilemma, buy a cheap model, find out I really like it and then be stuck with a model I didn't want.

    I was talking about it at work and by chance a colleague told me that she has done her turkey for years in one and it comes out better and moister than the regular oven. She said she treats it just like a regular oven, opening it to baste etc. She also said her turkey browns, but I think that that might be because she's opening it so much and so letting out the steam and moisture. That would slow down cooking, but hey, if the regular oven is freed up, the extra time wouldn't make that big a difference.

    Rival also makes roasters and I saw that Sam's Club (I have a Costco membership) has 22 quart for $49. I think it also holds a 22 lbs turkey, though the shapes of the Nesco and Rival are a little different.

    I bought the Nesco because that's what most people around here in the midwest seem to prefer.

    The really cool thing about the Nesco is that you can also get a buffet insert that has 3 compartments for warming up side dishes, though I won't be doing that this year.


    I'll come back and post after the holiday. I'm going to have to go through the whole thing from the "burn in" process that you have to do before cooking in it the first time, to the turkey itself.
     
  9. Tweevil

    Tweevil Twin Evils....

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    I have 3 roasters and love them all. Turkey in the big one, ham in the middle one, and I put sides in loaf pans in the smaller one with a wee bit of water (maybe like a bain marie?) to keep those going with my oven is nuts with desserts and the like.

    I agree with the burn off - sometimes they smell like plastic buring and my newest one smelled like fish?!?! for some reason. You don't want that on Thanksgiving eve it takes a bit for it to dissipate.

    I highly recommend the roaster - oh and brining your bird too! It imparts lovely flavor and a crispness on the skin that is to die for!
     
  10. iankh

    iankh It's never done till it's overdone

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    I'm also brining my turkey this year too!
     
  11. disneyhand

    disneyhand DIS Veteran

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    Thank you!

    I saw a cool Rival (?) 3 warming tray unit at Costco last week, about $75 (?) clearly not paying much attention to it at the time. Now I'm home thinking that was pretty cool, maybe I need it....

    Normally we entertain small, one or two other couples at a time, but for all the holiday's with my huge family, that's another story. Anything to help keep everything warm and or cooked earlier would really be great and help so much with timing. I don't like any chaos in my kitchen ;)
     
  12. iankh

    iankh It's never done till it's overdone

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    And the chaos in my kitchen is helped by EVERYONE feeling a need to be hanging out in the kitchen, when there's an entire house for them to lounge in!
     
  13. disneyhand

    disneyhand DIS Veteran

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    So true! And I always need something from the cabinet or drawer that they are leaning on, no matter how well I plan.
    That's part of why I'm such an organization freak (about some things, party planning included!) and I now plan the table lay out in advance with post it's. Everything; platters, bowl's, serving utensils, eating dishes and utensils, butter, salt and pepper, you name it.
    I even attempt to direct the serving flow for the least congestion... I just can't stop! My Mom and Sister's always make fun of me, but hey it works!
    Have a great Thanksgiving!
     
  14. iankh

    iankh It's never done till it's overdone

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    Don't laugh, but I have project plan for Thanksgiving. It lays out everything that I need to do, day by day leading up the holiday with assigned tasks for everyone in the house!
     
  15. iankh

    iankh It's never done till it's overdone

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    By the way, I was at a local Target today and they only had the smaller Rival roaster, not the one that's big enough for a turkey.

    I'm glad that I ordered the Nesco which should arrive by about November 10th at the latest. Plenty of time for me to do the "burn-in."
     
  16. disneyhand

    disneyhand DIS Veteran

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    I love that!
     
  17. disneyhand

    disneyhand DIS Veteran

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    Good to know, thanks. I would buy the big one that you purchased. Found it online thru Walmart for $104, no tax, free shipping. But I'm still thinking it thru.....
     
  18. iankh

    iankh It's never done till it's overdone

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    I've found it cheaper than that. They still have it at Carson's www.carsons.com which is Carson, Pirie, Scott in Chicago, the Boston Store in other cities, and other names in other places.

    They still have a discount coupon code on their main page and free shipping.

    The 18 quart Nesco's are ranging there from $39 (white porcelain coated body, porcelain coated cookwell), $69 (stainless steel body, porcelain coated cookewell) and $99 (stainless body and stainless steel cookwell).

    They also have a coupon code on their home page. I may have to phone later and see if I can change my order, because I think the current discount code is better than the one I used this past Friday. Also free shipping on orders over $75.
     
  19. disneyhand

    disneyhand DIS Veteran

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    Thanks!!!
     
  20. disneyhand

    disneyhand DIS Veteran

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    Well I ordered one! Thanks for all the info. I ordered it from the link you provided for Carson and used the discount code on the home page. It came to $89 and included free shipping and no sales tax. The coupon code was for up to 25%, but small home electronics were a maximum 10%. That saved me $15 from the Walmart link!
    We'll have to compare notes after Thanksgiving! Thanks again!
     
  21. iankh

    iankh It's never done till it's overdone

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    That was the lowest price I could find on that model. I like the idea of the stainless steel pan!

    Definitely we'll have to compare notes! Like I said, I'll be brining the turkey and then I think putting it in a hot oven for the first 30 to 40 minutes before transferring it to the roaster to do some browning. An oven that's free for other stuff on Thanksgiving, what a novel idea!

    I'm not even so sure why I am so concerned about the browning because nobody seems to eat the skin these days. I suppose it's all about the "ta-da" moment before the carving.

    Don't forget about the burn in before you use it. Some people on some cooking forums I asked about it told me to do it a few times before the first use.
     

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