An electric roaster is the perfect appliance for cooking a holiday turkey, but it can do much more. Electric roasters are great for everything from chili to cheesecake. You must first learn how to use the appliance and there is a bit of prep before the first dish can be prepared in a new roaster. Once you learn a few basics about electric roasters, you’ll be preparing dishes in no time.

Things You'll Need

Wash the electric roaster thoroughly before using for the first time. It’s important to give the electric roaster lid and insert a good wash in hot, soapy water.

Heat the electric roaster empty to allow the fumes to dissipate. Most instructions for electric roasters will instruct the user to plug the roaster in and allow it to heat before cooking any foods in the appliance. There will be fumes that come off the roaster the first time it is ever used.

Choose the proper temperature for the dish you want to cook. Most electric roasters have a temperature range similar to that of conventional ovens. This allows you to slow cook, bake and roast. Refer to your recipe and set the electric roaster to the proper temperature.

Use the roasting rack and a pan if necessary. When roasting meat, it’s best to use the roasting rack so that the meat doesn’t sit in its own fat. If you want to bake something, simply insert the pan. The roaster will work as an oven to bake the dish evenly.

Keep side dishes warm with the chafing dishes. If the electric roaster came with chafing dishes, you can fill the insert with water and then insert the chafing dishes to keep foods warm during dinner or at large parties. This is a wonderful feature for the holidays. After the turkey or ham is cooked, simply insert the chafing dishes and keep vegetables and casseroles piping hot.


  • Most manufacturers of electric roasters offer online instruction manuals on their websites.

  • Chafing dishes can also be purchased separately.