Electric roaster ovens are amazing appliances that allow you to free up the oven for other dishes or even move cooking outdoors when the weather is hot. With little more than a table and an electric outlet, you can avoid heating up the kitchen while cooking chicken pieces in a roaster oven. These energy-saving appliances also help reduce your power bill, since the air conditioning isn't kicking in to accommodate a hot oven.
Set Up the Roaster Oven
Before cooking in the electric roaster oven, wash all its removable parts in hot soapy water. Once clean and dry, put the inner pan back into the roaster oven. Put the lid on and heat to the recommended temperature. In general, heat the roaster oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for a roasted chicken or chicken parts.
Prepare the Chicken
Follow the Rival roaster oven recipes for chicken or your favorite recipe. Pat the chicken dry and remove excess skin. Dredge the chicken in flour or spices, or both. You also can brush a sauce over the chicken parts or marinate them in your favorite marinade. Once the chicken has finished marinating, dispose of the marinade and thoroughly wash all the utensils, containers and cutting boards that have come in contact with the raw juices of the chicken.
Cooking Chicken Pieces in a Roaster Oven
Arrange the chicken parts so they are not touching on the removable rack. Remove the lid to the roaster oven and carefully lower the rack into the inner roasting pan. Replace the lid and roast for 30 minutes to an hour, depending on your recipe.
Boneless chicken breasts may only require 30 minutes, while bone-in chicken breasts require 10 minutes longer. The dense dark meat of chicken quarters will also take longer. Allow at least 7 to 10 minutes per pound of meat. Cook until the chicken parts reach a minimum of 165 degrees Fahrenheit when checked with a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat.
Depending on your recipe, such as an oven-frying recipe, you may prefer to arrange the chicken in a pan for baking. Place the pan on the cooking rack and lower it into the roaster oven. Halfway through the cooking process, carefully open the roaster oven. Tip the lid away from you, and keep your hands and face away from the steam that will billow out. Use tongs to turn the chicken parts over; then put the lid back on the roaster oven to finish cooking the chicken.
Brown the Chicken
Chicken parts cooked in a roaster oven generally don't acquire the crunchy brown skin that you may prefer. You can finish the chicken parts in the oven. Heat the oven to 350 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the nearly finished chicken from the roaster oven with tongs and arrange them skin-side up on a shallow baking pan. Put in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes to finish browning the chicken. Keep a close eye on the chicken; your oven temperature may not be completely accurate.
Clean the Roaster Oven
After unplugging the roaster oven and allowing it to cool, wash all removable pieces in hot soapy water with a cloth or sponge. Rinse and air-dry. Do not immerse the roaster oven base. Instead, wipe it inside and out with a damp cloth.
Other Uses for an Electric Roaster Oven
In addition to cooking chicken, turkey, ham and other meats, your roaster oven can be used for slow cooking. Set the temperature for 250 degrees Fahrenheit for slow cooker recipes. If using a traditional oven recipe to slow-cook meats, cook for 1 1/2 hours for every 30 minutes in the recipe.
You can also use your roaster oven to bake brownies, cakes, pies and pizzas. Use metal baking pans and set them on the rack. Do not put the baking pans directly on the bottom of the roaster insert pan. Check the roaster oven manual for specific temperatures and baking times.