It's easy to prepare chicken in a roaster for a crowd depending on the size of your appliance. In addition, you can use a roaster to cook soups, stews and even desserts.
To cook a whole chicken in a roaster, combine seasonings with butter and lemon juice, and then apply that to the meat. Roast until all parts reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Whole Chicken in Electric Roaster
Kristina LaRue, R.D., of Love & Zest, provides a this simple recipe to slow-roast chicken. It uses an electric roaster:
Savory Lemon Whole Roast Chicken
- 1 whole broiler chicken (2.5–4.5 pounds)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper
- ground paprika
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 4 to 6 springs fresh rosemary
- Preheat your roaster to 350 degrees.
- Remove any offal from the cavity of the bird.
- Mix garlic, ginger and butter in a bowl.
- Spread butter on top of, and underneath, the skin.
- Season the skin liberally with the salt, pepper, paprika and Italian seasoning.
- Put lemon and rosemary springs into the cavity, and place lemon slices on chicken legs.
- Put the chicken on the rack in the roaster, and cover it with the lid.
- Roast for 1 1/4 hours.
- Allow the bird to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
When roasting a whole chicken, Oster recommends cooking it until the temperature of the breast reaches 170 degrees and the temperature of the thigh reaches 180 degrees, as tested with a meat thermometer.
Read more: Nutrition in Half of a Roasted Chicken
Nesco offers an array of recipes for cooking chicken pieces in a roaster oven. Examples of things you can make include chicken and vegetables stew, chicken with rice, chicken stroganoff, chicken curry, chicken soup and chicken with noodles.
Cooking Time for Roasted Chicken
In an interview with LIVESTRONG.com, Lisa Richards, CNC, nutritionist and creator of the Candida Diet, discusses how to use an electric roaster. She also answered some frequently asked questions.
When cooking in an electric roaster it's important to know how long to fully cook an item to avoid the growth of pathogens, says Richards. "When preparing poultry, chicken specifically, you'll want to cook the chicken long enough for all parts to reach at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 seconds." Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken.
This amount of cooking time varies with the weight of the chicken. "For example, a 3-pound chicken will need to be roasted at 375 degrees for approximately 75 minutes, while a 5-pound bird might need up to 2 hours," she notes.
A chicken breast needs much less time to cook than a whole chicken, as it's smaller and weighs less. "If cooking the chicken breast at 375 degrees, it should take approximately 25 minutes to cook it to the required temperature," Richard states.
Read more: Is Baked Chicken Breast Healthy?
You may roast two chickens at the same time, so long as your roaster is large enough. "Cook both to an internal temperature of 165 degrees, which will generally take around 20-25 minutes for each pound of chicken," she advises.
Other Roaster Questions
Many people want to know if a roaster oven is the same as a slow cooker. "The two appliances work in a similar manner, but the chef has more control over temperature when using a roaster. Roasters are more versatile, as they can bake, steam and slow-cook, in addition to roasting," Richards explains. This versatility allows you to prepare a broader variety of meals.
The construction of the appliances also make a difference in how you can use them. According to Richards, slow cookers usually come with a ceramic cooking liner, which distributes heat evenly, while a roaster oven has a thinner liner made mostly of metal, which is more prone to hot spots.
Another common question is, "Should I put water in the bottom of a roaster?" This depends on the food that you're cooking. "If you're preparing something like a turkey breast, which can get quite dry, it can be a good idea to add some water," Richards says. Oven roasters come with small racks that you can use to make sure your food isn't actually submerged in the water.