We spent 55 hours researching and testing more than 10 roaster ovens and found that easy-to-use controls, size, and efficiency were the most important factors for consumers who were shopping for roaster ovens. Oster Roaster Oven with Buffet Server scored high marks in all categories and is our overall top pick. This quality Oster roaster oven allows users to cook two different dishes at once if needed, each with their own baking temperatures. The front located control knobs and electronic controls are easy to use and easy to reach as well. The removable roasting and buffet trays provide plenty of flexibility for serving and cooking while providing the user with easy cleanup.
Roaster Oven Buying Guide
There are several differences between a roaster oven and a regular oven. Knowing the differences between the two will help you decide which model is the best for your specific needs.
- Temperature Range – The temp ranges for a traditional oven run from about 160 degrees to 500 degrees. In a roaster you can expect to find ranges that run from 250 degrees to 450 degrees.
- Moisture – Roaster ovens are a lot better than traditional ovens when it comes to moisture. When using a roaster the moisture is kept close to the meat and turned into steam that doesn’t escape. You will notice that meat cooked in a roaster tends to be much juicier than meat cooked in a traditional oven.
- Energy Usage – If you want to find a more energy efficient means of cooking, the roaster is your best bet. It does not have as much wattage so it uses less power and heats up faster because it is a more contained, smaller space.
- Cooking Mechanism – The most notable difference between a roaster and a regular oven is how the mechanisms work. A regular oven creates heat that surrounds the food in a box like shape to cook it. In a roaster oven the enclosed heating element used in a roaster is the responsible means of distributing the heat evenly around the food so it cooks evenly and doesn’t have burned spots on one side and regular or even under-cooked food on the other side.
There are several things you want to look for before you purchase a roaster oven. We have listed these important considerations below so you will be prepared when sorting through all the different choices on the market.
- Lid – A removable lid is a must have with a roaster. It is the lid that is responsible for keeping the steam inside the roaster so the meat stays moist and juicy. You want the lid to create a tight seal that will not allow the steam to escape. In addition to the lid, look for roasters that have an internal coating on the inside of the roaster that provides good efficiency for heat.
- Materials – The materials a roaster is made from determine how the roaster performs and how durable it is as well. Many roasters are made from stainless steel which is a long lasting, durable material that distributes heat evenly and provides consistent cooking throughout the food.
- Style – Most people want to purchase a kitchen appliance that works well and also that looks good and matches the décor and color of the other appliances in the kitchen. With all of the great choices on the market you can definitely find one that looks as good as it works. Don’t make looks the deciding factor but you can include it in the features you look for overall.
- Size – Choose the size of your roaster based on how large your family is and the type of food you regularly cook. If you have a small family you do not need to get a huge roaster. If your family eats a lot of larger meals you can benefit from a large capacity roaster.
- Temperature Controls – Look for roasters that offer a range of temperatures. The maximum tends to be around 450 degrees. There are knobs or digital controls on the front of the roaster in most styles where you can control the cooking temperature easily even during the cooking process.
- Versatility – Just because this appliance is called a toaster oven doesn’t mean it can’t do other things. Roasters can be used for roasting, baking, steaming, slow-cooking, and more. It is a very versatile piece of equipment that offers a lot of options. Many roasters have inserts that allow you to convert it easily to a serving oven.
- Warranty – A warranty is an important way to ensure a company stands by its products. Look for warranties that are good and generous if you can. Most of the well-known brands have good warranties on their products to reassure their customers that they are purchasing a good product.
- Energy Savings – The majority of people want to save money any way they can and this includes the power bills. The oven is one of the highest energy drawing appliances in the home. Using a roaster will lower the power usage and will save you money and time as well.
- Removable Racks – Roasters that have removable trays is a great roaster to choose because of this dual purpose the roaster offers. These serving trays and inserts allow you to cook a meal and then keep it hot and ready to eat. These inserts are perfect for buffets and parties where you want to serve hot food without having to involve the oven or stovetop.
How to make your roaster last
Even the best roaster can break or wear out if it is not taken care of properly or it is used improperly. Below we have added some tips that you can use to ensure your roaster lasts as long as possible.
- When you clean the inside of the roaster use a mild soap and a rag to remove the food and oils used in cooking. Do not submerge the roaster in water since this can damage the electrical components.
- Your roaster should be cleaned after every use. There are oven cooking bags and other means that you can use to lower the amount of baked on food that gets stuck to the inside. Avoiding cooking the food too fast can also reduce the amount of baked on food that gets on the sides. Washing the roaster after every use prevents bacteria from building up and keeps the interior of the roaster in better condition.
- Soak the racks and pans in warm, mild soapy water. They need to be cleaned as well each time they are used which will keep them in great working order. Don’t use heavy chemicals and strong abrasives to clean your roaster so it does not take on the chemical taste and transfer it to the food.
Roasters are a great way to cook delicious food in a more energy efficient, simpler way right on top of your counter. Roasters are much easier to deal with than full-sized ovens which offer apartment or dorm residents the chance to cook great food that is much better than having microwave food all the time. Another great benefit to roasters is that they are not excessively expensive so you can get a good, brand name model for a great price.
They come in all colors and sizes which give a lot of options when you start looking for one that will work well for your family. The three top-rated roasters on the market that we have featured above are all excellent, brand name products that have a lot of great features that will help you cook a great meal.
The information that you have gotten from the buying guide will help you search for the right features that will ensure you choose a quality roaster that can do everything you need it to do. Taking your time to understand the tips and features that you will be looking for can mean the difference between purchasing a roaster that is not big enough for your needs or that does not have the features you are looking for. The purpose of this guide and the reviews of the three top-rated roaster ovens featured are to make the process of shopping and paying for the roaster less confusing and not stressful at all.