Roaster ovens - useful or waste?
I saw a Hamiton Beach Roaster Oven in use at a recent party, and was wondering other's experiences with them. Basically, do they roast effectively? I haven't entered the McMansion set with double ovens, and was wondering if it could passably do jobs while the main oven was occupied - roasting root vegetables, or doing low-and-slow type of work. They talk about being able to roast a turkey, which I am skeptical of, but other non-core dishes perhaps?
I am also skeptical because the top lid is so thin - would have expected it to be of heavier stock, perhaps a bit insulated... and not sure if the oven heats evenly from the sides and the bottom..
They aren't really that expensive ($70-80ish), but if they are klugey, well, it still does need to justify the price..
IMHO they cannot be beat in making a flavorable turkey or large batches of chili. However, Mike is right in the browning department, but can be disquised a bit with some paprika and poultry seasoning greens.
The ~$70-$80 price is high, unless it includes the 3 (2.15qt) pan buffet insert. ~$40 is about the average for a roaster, but I have seen them as low as $25 on special.
My in-laws put theirs into heavy service around the holidays. Yes, it can roast a turkey. There is a tendency for the bird to steam: the meat is very moist and juicy, but you will be hard pressed to get crispy browned skin.
Thanksgiving in our family is huge -- we usually have multiple birds going. The one in the Nesco is the big one that we actually eat -- we'll do a small one in the oven for show.
I can't say that a turkey prepared that way is for everybody. My rec is to roast a chicken in a dutch oven -- the end product is very similar.
Leave the carcass in the roaster and make turkey soup the next day. It can also be used as a huge slow cooker or as a warmer for buffet trays. The thin uninsulated lid really is not as big of a deal as you would think.
They do have a bit of "trailer park" ambience, and the size isn't for everyone (a 5 or 6 qt crock pot suits most.).