At first, I was highly critical of the electric roaster. It seems to me like a cheap way to cook or “roast” a turkey. Then, of course, my mom got one for Christmas last year and proceeded to roast a turkey in it. It was pretty tasty. Not as crispy as I prefer but moist and pretty decent. The advantage of a turkey roaster is obvious: more room in the oven for other things like sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing, buns, and everything else you eat at Thanksgiving or Christmas.
- 13-pound brined turkey
- Black pepper
- Stuffing (optional)
Roast Turkey Recipe: Turkey Brined in Salt and Sugar and Roasted in an Electric Roasting Oven with Aromatic Herbs
- Brine a turkey the night before you want to roast it. Brining a turkey has become a mainstream part of turkey preparation. Once the turkey is brined for 12–16 hours, you won’t have to season it or add anymore flavors, unless you really want to do that. Feel free to add some aromatics to the roasting pan. Read this recipe for Brined Turkey for more information.
- Prep the turkey for roasting. Pat the turkey dry with disposable paper towels. Make sure to dry out the cavity, too. We won’t be stuffing this bird until step four so the bird can get cooked all the way through. Fold the wing tips behind the back. Rub some vegetable oil all over the bird.
- Put the turkey in the preheated roaster. Plug the roaster in where you don’t have to worry about people touching it. Crank it up to maximum, and let it preheat for 30 minutes. Put the turkey in on the roasting rack. Add any aromatics around the sides now. Close the lid and don’t let anyone go near it for 30–45 minutes.
- Add the stuffing and finish roasting the turkey. Now, heat up your stuffing in the microwave until it’s at least 140 degrees F. Put it in the turkey’s cavity. This way we know the stuffing will be safe to eat. Turn the heat down to 325 degrees, and stick a thermometer into the thickest part of the breast to monitor the temperature of the turkey while it cooks. Once it’s up to 165 degrees, turn off the heat and let it rest for an hour before carving.
Tips & Tricks
- Begin thawing the turkey out 3 days before you need to cook it.
- Brine the turkey the day before to boost the flavor and juiciness of the finished product.
- Don’t stuff the turkey until it’s cooked for 45–60 minutes. Then, preheat the stuffing to 140 degrees before putting it in.
- Don’t add any liquid to the bottom of the pan while the turkey is roasting, otherwise you will just end up with a steamed bird.
- If your turkey isn’t browning or getting crispy, use a propane torch to finish the job. Seriously. I’ve done it before with excellent results.
- After the turkey is done cooking, let it rest, partially covered, on a surface that will collect any drippings.
- Add some chicken stock to the roasting pan while it’s still hot to deglaze it. Strain out the big chunks, and make some gravy with the sauce.
- I know most everyone out there will tell you that you should cook your turkey to 180 degrees. However, I have been cooking poultry to 165 degrees for like a million years and haven’t lost anyone yet.
Aromatics for Bottom of Roasting Pan
- Bay leaves