Using an electric turkey roaster frees up oven space when you are making a holiday dinner. In a roaster, the turkey cooks best when left alone, giving you more time to cook other dishes and spend time with family and friends. When used correctly, the turkey roaster produces a succulent turkey, with meat that is juicy and fragrant.
Preheat your roaster to 375 degrees. Buy a plastic roasting bag and pour 4 tablespoons of flour into the bag. Hold the bag closed and shake vigorously to distribute the flour and coat the bag. Using a roasting bag will help seal the juices and flavors into the meat. Clean and wash your previously-thawed turkey, then pat the skin and cavity dry with a paper towel. Dress your turkey with stuffing or aromatics and season underneath the skin with butter and herbs. Place the turkey in the roasting bag and cut several slits into the top of the bag. Set the bag with the turkey on the metal rack that fits inside the bottom of your roaster. Place the lid back on the roaster, and let the turkey cook.
Plan for the turkey to cook anywhere from 13 to 18 minutes per pound, adding 3 minutes per pound if your turkey is stuffed. This is a broad range, and while roasters tend to produce a juicier turkey, it is possible to dry the meat out. Be sure to use a meat thermometer, checking every 35 to 40 minutes during the last 2 hours of cooking. The breast meat should reach a temperature of 155 degrees and the thigh meat should read about 160 degrees.
When you are about 10 degrees or 30 minutes away from the turkey being done, transfer the turkey to a roasting pan. Cut away the roasting bag, being sure to capture all the juices from the turkey in the roasting pan. Baste the turkey with melted butter and place it, uncovered, in a conventional oven set at 350 degrees. This will make the skin crispy and brown.
When the Turkey is Ready
Carefully move the turkey from the roasting pan and onto a large platter. Loosely tent the turkey with some tin foil while you finish cooking the rest of the meal. Allowing the turkey to rest will redistributed the juices, resulting in a richer flavor. Drain the drippings from the roasting pan and the turkey roaster into a saucepan to make gravy. Carve your turkey and serve it with the rest of your Thanksgiving Day meal.