Electric Roaster Questions (thinking about getting a Nesco)

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

  1. cc1075

    cc1075 cc

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    I have used my Nesco cooker for years - - Turkey, of course - learned that from my Mom and Grandmother! But the best news - having a large crowd over - - do your chili in there it is wonderful! When I found out they also make a 6 quart and 8 quart I just had to have one. I use my 6 quart all of the time, especially in the summer - so much better than turning on the over - and if it is really hot - just cook on the deck or put it in the garage. I use my six quart for everything. Roast a chicken - slow cook my ribs, etc. etc. Everything is so much better in the roaster oven. I want to get really brave and try a cake. Another thing - - Chex Mix - snack for the holidays - you can make a double batch in the six quart - again so much easier than the oven and think of all the electricity we are saving.!!!!

    Thank big - think beyond the turkey! You will be so happy!!
     
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  3. iankh

    iankh It's never done till it's overdone

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    Thanks for the feedback. My roaster has had the initial burn in and is now ready for the big day. One question, how do you brown your turkey?
     
  4. Chris2597

    Chris2597 DIS Veteran

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    Why do you brine a turkey? What is that?
     
  5. iankh

    iankh It's never done till it's overdone

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    It improves the flavor and helps it retain moisture so it does not dry out during the cooking process. The soaking in water and salt changes the cell structure so that as the protein breaks down through the process of heat (cooking) the moisture in the cells are retained rather than evaporating off. This is why kosher poultry is more tender, because the process of koshering entails salting and soaking.

    The following is an explanation I found online:

    "Salt changes the structure of the muscle tissues in the meat, allowing it to swell and absorb water and flavorings. It also breaks down the proteins, resulting in a tender-seeming turkey. This means that--despite the moisture loss during roasting and the long cooking time--the end result is a juicier bird."
     
  6. iankh

    iankh It's never done till it's overdone

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    This was the first year I used the electric roaster, and I have to say that I will never go back to using the regular oven!

    I originally bought a Nesco Roaster, but decided to test the temperature calibration the weekend before Thanksgiving. I found that it was 100 degrees off!

    I had ordered over the Internet, but took it back to a local branch of the department store. I ended up buying a Hamilton Beach at Costco for $39. Testing the calibration temperature of this one was also off a bit, but I knew how to adjust it..

    The dining room which is next to the kitchen was emptied, because the dining table was moved to the front room. I had the roaster on a folding table in there. The turkey itself was browned for about 40 minutes in a hot oven to sear it and then plopped in the roaster.

    There was a fair bit of experimenting, considering that this was the first year for brining and the first year for the electric roaster. It was also the first year I've every roasted a turkey unstuffed.

    I think I can safely say that everyone LOVED the turkey. There have been friends who have been coming for years and thought that this was the tenderest, moistest and most flavorful.

    I have to admit myself that this was the best one I've ever done. The brining added tenderness and flavor, but I think the roaster also contributed a lot, because the cooking space is small there is more vapor and steam in the cooking process.

    As I said, browning is a challenge, but between searing it for the first 40 minutes and a browning concoction I painted it with, it came out looking very greeting card-esque.

    To top it all off, I didn't have to baste the turkey.

    Because the oven was freed up, it made everything else much easier as I had the oven free for other uses.

    I am very pleased with the electric roaster. As I said, I won't be going back to doing on in the regular oven.
     
  7. disneyhand

    disneyhand DIS Veteran

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  8. aboveH20

    aboveH20 DIS Veteran

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    Time to think Turkey '10. I remember reading all of these posts LAST year so was happy I was able to find them again.

    Looks like I will buy a roaster this year, but don't think I'll bother with the brining.

    Any last minute tips?

    Have any of you used the roaster throughout the year or just for turkey?

    (I can almost smell them roasting.)

    Thanks :)
     
  9. aboveH20

    aboveH20 DIS Veteran

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    PS Which interior do you recommend? I know there was discussion about stainless steel vs non-stick. Which one???
     
  10. iankh

    iankh It's never done till it's overdone

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    Nothing I would do differently from last year. I would use a thermometer to measure the temperature of the bird. Also make sure that the temperature of your roaster is calibrated correctly.

    If you see my posting from last year, the first roaster I bought (a Nesco) was off in temperature and I returned it and ended up with the Hamilton Beach, which was very reasonably priced at $39.

    Whichever roaster you buy, remember that it will need a "burn in." You find this in the instruction manual. Basically, you plug it in and switch it to the highest setting and let is go for about an hour. The element gives off a smell, so you may want to do this outdoors. I set up up a table on my porch and did it there.

    I went with the regular, porcelain interior. In both the Nesco and Hamilton Beach the roasting pan lifts out. The porcelain cleaned up very easily. I shied away from non-stick because I was a afraid that the roasting rack/lifter might scratch it.

    My Hamilton Beach came with a rack/lifter. I can't remember if the Nesco did/does.
     
  11. aboveH20

    aboveH20 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for the quick reply. It certainly seems like the way to go. I just wish there weren't so many models and brands to choose from. I know higher price doesn't always mean higher quality.
     
  12. disneyhand

    disneyhand DIS Veteran

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    Bumping! It's that time of year again and so much good info in this thread. I'm so glad I bought mine!
     
  13. MazdaUK

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

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    I did a turkey crown in the crockpot on Sunday and everyone loved it - and DH is not usually keen on turkey. My DSis always roasts the turkey the day before, then while she's finishing the side dishes puts slices in oven trays with a very little water, covers with foil and pops in the hot oven. The water evaporates and warms/moistens the meat - this is a catering trick, aparently. After all, the turkey is often cold by the time you've finished carving so it makes sense to do it this way! (And I am just soooooo glad she likes to do Christmas:goodvibes)

    Having said that, while my oven was out for nearly two weeks I was seriously thinking of one of these.....
     
  14. disneyhand

    disneyhand DIS Veteran

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    Hi everyone!

    I'm feeding a crowd on Saturday and serving tri tip sandwiches.

    I have a 16 lb roast and just started thinking about throwing that in the roaster instead of the oven.

    I can't find a recipe (really just cooking time and temp)for that much meat and thought some of you may have experience with this. Any advice?

    Thanks!
     
  15. dreamin_disney

    dreamin_disney DIS Veteran

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    I have a 22 qrt electric roaster oven. I need recipes for parties for large group 40-75 people .

    I's pretty new to using it. I've used it once. Plus i have a few question like can i use the cooking bags in it? Foil?

    Recipes i want are .....Please share your recipes that you've actually tried in an Electric roaster oven or any tips

    I dont need any turkey recipes , i think theres already a thread on turkeys.thanks

    1.Pork carnitas- I have a recipe that calls for it to be put in a cooking bag and placed in oven. Its a good recipe but can i use that cooking bag in the roaster??? If so this would be awsome as I need to make 40lbs worth-lol!

    2. BBQ chicken. I found an awesome recipe for the oven on a rack but I need a recipe for bbq chicken enough for 50 people. Whats the best way

    3.beef roast with potatos and carrots

    4. bbq ribs for 4th of july

    I have recipes for the listed items but those are for your regular oven so i get confused with the roast.

    for what items should the rack be used?

    example the bbq chicken. recipe reads to fry the fat ont he chicken, then place on cookie sheet with rack, brush bbq sauce then place in oven, now if i have 40-50 pieces of chicken there no way i can lay each piece on the rack in the roaster, it would have to be stacked and might not have the same effect. If i fry the chicken then put it in the roaster minus the rack will the bbq stick to the roaster and burn or bbq sauce come off because it will stick to other pieces of chciken??

    carnitas. - Will the cooking bag melt or melt onto the roaster? If bags can be used do i just stick it in the roaster or do i need to put a pan in ?


    sorry I'm sure some of these question might be dumb to some but i dont want to mess up my roaster or mess up the food for such a large crowd. Thanks everyone
     
  16. tiggspring

    tiggspring DIS Veteran: When I stop talking you'll know I'm d

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    I'm so glad I found this thread. I've been thinking about getting one ever since they came out on the isles at Walmart. Would love to get a Nesco but don't think thats in the cards. Thanks to all who posted in previous years. Since this thread seems to pop up anually thought I would pop it up the board this year :)

    Happy Thanksgiving!
     
  17. dreamin_disney

    dreamin_disney DIS Veteran

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    So the "burn in" is just turning on the empty oven?
     
  18. disneyhand

    disneyhand DIS Veteran

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    Yes, that is correct.
     

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