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How We Decided
  • 94 Models Considered
  • 47 Hours Spent
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 194 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Best Roaster Ovens

    Toaster ovens, slow cookers, and microwaves all have their place in the kitchen, but many people turn to a different appliance when they need additional oven space: the roaster oven. A roaster oven has the capacity to roast an entire Thanksgiving turkey or slow-cook a 10-pound beef brisket. When cooking space is limited, a quality roaster allows cooks to prepare side dishes in one oven while the main course is roasted to perfection on the counter top. We examined dozens of electric roaster ovens currently on the market; all of the top contenders on our shortlist would make your next big family meal much easier to pull off.

    Products we Considered

    • Oster
      22-Quart, Self-Basting Lid
    • Hamilton Beach
      22-Quart Capacity
    • Nesco
      Classic Roaster Oven
    • Rival
      18-Quart Roaster
    • Proctor Silex

    Currently Executive Chef at Bon Appétit Management Company, Steve began his tenure with Bon Apetit as Chef de Partie. He has over ten years of experience, including tenures at two- and three-Michelin star restaurants. Steve is passionate about all things cooking – products, supply chain, management, menu design, and budgeting.

    Steve  |  Executive Chef



    Roaster ovens should never be confused with slow cookers or toaster ovens, although they do perform some overlapping duties in the kitchen. A quality roaster oven should be seen as an additional hot box, capable of the same performance as a traditional oven. In this section, we examine the raw materials used to create each of our top contenders, as well as any design features that set one apart from the others. Stainless steel and enamel coatings are common manufacturing elements, but every roasting oven contender is different when it comes to design and construction.


    Some of our top roaster oven contenders have the capacity to cook a 26-pound turkey. Some can serve double duty as a slow cooker or buffet server. In this section, we consider temperature ranges, thermostatic controls, safety features, and overall kitchen footprint.

    Ease of Maintenence

    Many roaster oven owners praise these appliances for their convenience and versatility. However, the clean-up and maintenance of a roaster oven isn't always easy. Because roaster ovens are not as insulated as slow cookers, they can become extremely hot during operation, and food occasionally becomes stuck to the cooking surface. Long-term storage is also a consideration, since these appliances can be larger than average. In this part of our review, we discuss each top contender's strengths and weaknesses when it comes to set-up, clean-up, and storage.


    When it comes to roaster ovens, there are models at all points on the pricing spectrum that perform well. The various prices of our top five contenders reflect their capacity and controls more than their general performance. We believe consumers should consider their personal needs for a specialized cooking appliance like a roaster oven and shop accordingly.

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    If you decide to make a cake or other baked good in your roaster oven, preheat it first (just as you would a regular oven) and keep an eye on the time and temperature. The cook time will vary from the recipe depending on the relative size of your cake and roaster oven.

    Executive Chef


    Oster CKSTRS23-SB 22-Quart Roaster Oven with Self-Basting Lid

    Roaster ovens may look like over-sized slow cookers, but they are closer in spirit to the hot box of a standard oven. The stainless steel shell of the Oster CKSTRS23-SB 22-Quart Roaster Oven with Self-Basting Lid provides stability but not necessarily insulation. The internal heating elements do generate a significant amount of heat during operation; this is the norm for roaster ovens. A variable dial allows users to select temperatures from 150 - 450 degrees Fahrenheit. The appliance's self-basting lid seals in most of the food's natural juices, greatly reducing the need for basting by hand. Satisfied owners tell us they have successfully roasted turkeys of up to 26 pounds in this workhorse roaster oven.

    Hamilton Beach 32229 22-Quart Roaster Oven

    While porcelain-coated roaster ovens such as the Nesco and Rival may represent the nostalgic side of the appliance, the stainless steel Hamilton Beach 32229 22-Quart Roaster Oven represents the modern incarnation. The Hamilton Beach's spacious, 22-quart capacity can handle a 23-pound turkey with ease, but a few owners have concerns about the depth of the lid. We appreciate the appliance's stay-cool handles, especially since the oven's side walls are not well-insulated and can become very hot during operation. The unit's single dial can select temperatures up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. A wire roasting rack and removable cooking insert allow users to suspend meat above the heating elements and also create a double-boiler configuration.

    Nesco 4818-14 Classic Roaster Oven

    The Nesco 4818-14 Classic Roaster Oven, with its 18-quart capacity, is most likely the same roaster oven model that many consumers remember from childhood. It has been in production since 1932 and uses many design features not always found in modern versions. The extra-high domed lid traps moisture and steam, which makes it a "self-basting" appliance. With a temperature range between 200 - 450 degrees Fahrenheit, the Nesco can slow cook, bake, roast, steam, and more. We appreciate the Nesco's removable, non-porous cooking well (made of porcelain) and its steel roasting rack.

    Rival RO180 18-Quart Roaster Oven

    The Rival RO180 18-Quart Roaster Oven's temperature range of 150 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit is in line with industry standards, but some users tell us that the actual temperatures run on the "hot" side. This variation in temperature shouldn't affect most large-scale roasting projects, but it might affect slow cooking or food warming results. Fortunately, the oven's stay-cool handles protect users from extreme temperatures. The roasting rack is made of solid steel, and the removable insert is enamel on steel. The metal lid is not self-basting, but it has vents that control browning and steaming very well. While the 18-quart capacity may not be enough to accommodate a 26-pound turkey, it is definitely spacious enough for beef roasts, hams, and roaster chickens.

    Proctor Silex 32700 Portable Roaster Oven

    The most important word to remember with the Proctor Silex 32700 Portable Roaster Oven is "portable." While other contenders boast capacities of 18 or 22 quarts, the Proctor Silex 32700 has a capacity of only 6.5 quarts. Every other aspect of this roaster oven is comparable to other models on our list, from its temperature range (200 - 450 degrees Fahrenheit) to its multiple cooking options. Consumers with limited roasting needs may actually prefer the Proctor Silex 32700's lower profile to the 22-quart behemoths available on today's market. The unit includes a metal insert that fits much like the ceramic liner found in slow cookers. No wire roaster rack is included, but a rack could be purchased separately. (We recommend using a rack when steaming vegetables or roasting larger portions of beef, chicken, or pork.) One fairly significant drawback: there is no indicator light to let users know when the roaster has reached the desired temperature.

    Though on the smaller side, the Rival 18-Quart Roaster Oven is spacious enough for beef roasts, hams, and roaster chickens.


    Oster CKSTRS23-SB 22-Quart Roaster Oven with Self-Basting Lid

    Although the Oster CKSTRS23-SB 22-Quart Roaster's upper temperature setting is only 450 degrees Fahrenheit, it can still produce virtually the same results as a standard stove. Many people only use a roaster oven as a supplemental appliance during large holiday meals, but the Oster CKSTRS23-SB could also be used as a space saver in a small galley kitchen or as a food warmer during a buffet service. Other roaster ovens we examined had minimum temperature settings in the 200-250 degree range; the Oster's 150-degree setting adds to its versatility as a "hot box" during food preparation and service.

    The Hamilton Beach 32229 22-Quart Roaster Oven's sleek, stainless steel shell and relatively low profile make it ideal for kitchens with a modern design scheme. The removable cooking insert can sit suspended over steam during buffet service, and the entire cooking well can be used to serve large meals such as soups and stews. Unfortunately, several owners have concerns about the Hamilton Beach's suggested cooking temperatures. (This concern is not unique to the Hamilton Beach appliance. Roaster ovens – especially streamlined models like this one – have a tendency to run "hotter" than their stated temperature settings.) The Hamilton Beach roaster can handle virtually every assignment a traditional oven can except for broiling. We urge consumers to use their best judgement when it comes to temperature settings and cooking times in a roaster oven.

    Many people choose to use a roaster oven to cook a large turkey or ham so they can free up their traditional oven for side dishes. However, the Nesco 4818-14 Classic Roaster Oven has the versatility to complete either task well. Its generous, stick-resistant porcelain cooking well can accommodate several baking pans or casserole dishes at the same time. Interestingly, the "circle of heat" elements are located in the oven's walls rather than its base. This ensures even cooking and promotes energy efficiency. The Nesco 4818-14 Classic Roaster Oven's minimal temperature setting of 200 degrees Fahrenheit may be a little high for some cooking tasks, but we believe the steaming and roasting options on the higher end of the temperature spectrum make up for this limitation.

    Rival RO180 18-Quart Roaster Oven

    Many roaster ovens, including the Rival RO180, can also be used for slow cooking or food-warming purposes. With a minimal temperature setting of 150 degrees Fahrenheit, the Rival can produce the same results as a traditional slow cooker set on "high." (Note: the manufacturer does not recommend this appliance as a true slow cooker.) Just like a traditional oven, the Rival's interior cooking space can fit a Pyrex glass baking pan or even a metal cake pan. We especially like the Rival's ability to maintain heat during a buffet food service. However, we do have concerns about the actual capacity of the roaster. Some promotional copy claims that the Rival RO180 can handle a 22-pound turkey, but other product descriptions claim a more modest maximum of 18 pounds. We encourage users to use their best judgement when it comes to preparing meat entrees in any roaster oven.

    The addition of a roaster oven can increase the functionality and capacity of a kitchen, but some are more useful than others. In the case of the Proctor Silex 32700 Portable Roaster Oven, unfortunately, its relatively limited capacity may work against it in the marketplace. Many customers will instinctively reach for competitors with 18- or 22-quart capacities. However, we find that the Proctor Silex 32700 does not suffer much in the performance department. It will bake potatoes, roast a large chicken, and cook soup or stew just like its larger counterparts. Preheating a traditional oven to 450 degrees can take a long time, and plenty of electricity is required to maintain that temperature. A small roaster oven like the Proctor Silex 32700 can reach desired cooking temperatures much faster, and total cooking time is often reduced. While we can't recommend this roaster oven for cooking a 22-pound turkey on Thanksgiving, we do say that it is a versatile and economical alternative to heating up a traditional oven for small tasks.

    The Oster 22-Quart Roasters minimum temperature of 150 degrees Fahrenheit adds to its versatility as a "hot box" during food preparation and service.

    Ease of Maintenance

    Oster CKSTRS23-SB 22-Quart Roaster Oven with Self-Basting Lid

    One common concern about roaster ovens is the possibility of food sticking to the interior walls because of overheated elements. The Oster CKSTRS23-SB 22-Quart Roaster Oven with Self-Basting Lid addresses this issue by including a stick-resistant roasting rack to hold meats in place and an enameled steel insert for all other foods. This insert provides a buffer between food items and the roaster's heating elements (located in the walls). While the enamel coating is not completely nonstick, it does make clean-up much easier because of its smooth, hard surface.

    Hamilton Beach 32229 22-Quart Roaster Oven

    The Hamilton Beach 32229 22-Quart Roaster Oven's stainless steel housing makes external cleaning very easy. The unit's metal lid may require a little elbow grease to remove food residue along the rim, but it is completely dishwasher safe. (Because the wire rack and removable metal insert can become heavily soiled after roasting meat dishes, some additional scrubbing with a brush or steel wool pad may be necessary.) The Hamilton Beach 32229 is not a "portable" appliance, but the power cord is rather short. Because of this, owners may want to find a large space in their kitchen for long-term storage.

    Nesco 4818-14 Classic Roaster Oven

    Most roaster ovens do not employ chemical-based nonstick treatments to create a true "nonstick" coating. However, the Nesco 4818-14 Classic Roaster Oven's porcelain-covered cooking well and non-porous interior walls come very close to nonstick performance. The cooking well and roasting rack are both dishwasher safe, and the interior surface can be wiped clean with dish detergent and warm water. The lid is resistant to chipping and warping, and the exterior walls respond well to multi-purpose cleaning sprays and disposable wipes.

    Rival RO180 18-Quart Roaster Oven

    While a completely nonstick roaster oven may be a pipe dream, the Rival RO180 18-Quart Roaster Oven comes quite close to that ideal. The steel roasting rack most home cooks use to suspend meats in the hot box is dishwasher safe, as is the enameled steel insert. (Partially filling the roaster oven with warm water and dish detergent should help soften and loosen any burnt or dried food particles.) The dimensions of the Rival RO180 roaster oven are similar to those of a large toaster oven or slow cooker; potential buyers would need to find just a small amount of counter or storage space for this appliance. Particularly for those living in cramped quarters, the Rival's small footprint is a tempting option.

    Proctor Silex 32700 Portable Roaster Oven

    The Proctor Silex 32700 Portable Roaster Oven uses a non-porous metal insert that is quite similar to the ceramic or metal inserts found in many slow cookers. While these liners may not technically be "nonstick," they are generally very "stick-resistant." Because foods can cook at 450 degrees Fahrenheit in the Proctor Silex 32700, however, there could certainly be some burnt residue to deal with after a meal. (Most messes can be addressed with warm water and dish detergent, although low-abrasive scrub brushes or steel wool pads often prove useful in the removal of baked-on food.) The smaller size of the Proctor Silex roaster oven does mean easier long-term storage and a reduced counter top footprint. We recommend the purchase of a wire rack in order to reduce contact between hot food and the liner/heating elements.

    The Rival 18-Quart Roaster Oven is particularly suited for those who live in small apartments or other cramped quarters.


    Oster CKSTRS23-SB 22-Quart Roaster Oven with Self-Basting Lid

    Many consumers are reluctant to invest in a kitchen appliance that appears to have limited opportunities for use. However, the Oster CKSTRS23-SB 22-Quart Roaster Oven with Self-Basting Lid doesn't have to be relegated to the back of the kitchen between holidays. At a retail price of $49, it is a reasonable investment for home cooks who don't want to heat up a traditional oven just to bake a small batch of rolls or prepare a 10-pound sirloin roast. The Oster's proprietary self-basting lid is also a great selling point, since very few people want to spend their time reaching in and out of a hot stove to baste a turkey or ham. Purchasing a quality roaster oven like the Oster CKSTRS23-SB at an affordable price is much more economical than replacing an entire traditional oven.

    Hamilton Beach 32229 22-Quart Roaster Oven

    The Hamilton Beach 32229 22-Quart Roaster Oven has a retail price point of $80, which puts it squarely in the middle of our shortlist of top contenders. For the price, we appreciate the Hamilton Beach's stainless steel construction and modern appearance. Other roaster oven manufacturers often opt for a traditional or nostalgic design, but Hamilton Beach has created a roaster oven that will blend in perfectly with other modern stainless steel appliances. We also like its 22-quart capacity, since larger turkeys and hams are still the norm for many holiday dinners. It makes good economic sense to invest in an appliance that is built to handle "larger-than-life" meals such as these.

    Nesco 4818-14 Classic Roaster Oven

    At a retail price of $59, the Nesco 4818-14 Classic Roaster Oven sits solidly in the mid-range of our top roaster oven contenders. One advantage the Nesco wields over other models is the nostalgia factor. The Nesco 4818-14 Classic Roaster Oven looks a lot like the kind of roaster oven many peoples' grandparents used for family dinners. For an affordable retail price, consumers can invest in a familiar, reliable appliance that has proven its durability for decades. The manufacturer has made a few upgrades over the years, but the Nesco 4818-14 Classic Roaster Oven sold today is basically the same product that parents and grandparents sought out in their day.

    Rival RO180 18-Quart Roaster Oven

    The Rival RO180 18-Quart Roaster Oven's low price of $48 makes it easy to justify an investment that some might consider a "one-off" kitchen appliance. Traditional ovens do a great job roasting and baking foods, but cooking space can be limited during large holiday meal preparation. Furthermore, some starter homes and apartments are not furnished with full-size ovens. The Rival RO180 18-Quart Roaster Oven fills a cooking void that many people aren't aware of until they try to prepare a ham or turkey along with other side dishes, breads, and desserts. Pricier roaster ovens might have a higher total capacity (or extras such as self-basting lids), but the bargain-priced Rival RO180 18-Quart Roaster Oven delivers essentially the same performance for a much smaller investment.

    Proctor Silex 32700 Portable Roaster Oven

    At only $51, the Proctor Silex 32700 Portable Roaster Oven is definitely one of the more affordable models on our shortlist. However, we cannot help but consider its limited capacity (6.5 quarts) to be a potential problem for some. Those who seek a supplemental roaster oven for large holiday meals involving 23-pound turkeys or 15-pound hams are bound to be disappointed by the Proctor Silex 32700. However, there are those consumers who really want a portable alternative to their traditional ovens in order to prepare smaller dishes. Roaster ovens can save money and time when compared with the cost of heating and maintaining a large oven, especially when cooking for one or two people. For this reason, the well-made Proctor Silex 32700 has earned a place in smaller apartments and starter homes with limited counter space.

    For many consumers, purchasing the reasonably priced Oster 22-Quart Roaster Oven makes more economic sense than replacing an entire traditional oven.

    Best of the Best

    The roaster oven is sometimes under-appreciated by home cooks, mostly because it can become one of those specialty appliances that's only brought out once or twice a year for larger-than-life occasions. However, a quality roaster oven with a wide temperature range, generous 22-quart roasting capacity, and self-basting lid would prove itself to be very useful all of the time. Among the top five roaster ovens on our shortlist of contenders, the model that offers this level of versatility and easy maintenance is the Oster CKSTRS23-SB 22-Quart Roaster Oven with Self-Basting Lid. We wholeheartedly declare it to be the Best of the Best!

    Other roaster oven models can have a limited temperature range, which can seriously affect their versatility. The Oster CKSTRS23-SB starts out at 150 degrees Fahrenheit, which means it can be used as a food warmer or as part of a buffet service with steaming inserts. At all temperatures along the way, the Oster can be used to prepare the same foods you would prepare in a traditional oven, from breads to roasted vegetables to meats. For most home cooks, its maximum temperature of 450 degrees Fahrenheit is satisfactory both in terms of user safety and cooking results. Larger meats (turkey, ham, beef roast, and the like) will develop the same level of browning as they would in a traditional oven, often in less time.

    Home cooks appreciate kitchen appliances that are convenient and versatile. The Oster 22-Quart Roaster Oven is great for large holiday meals, but it's also terrific for year-round use. At a reasonable price of $49, you simply cannot go wrong with this excellent roaster oven.
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    With a wide temperature range, generous 22-quart roasting capacity, and self-basting lid, the Oster 22-Quart Roaster is both versatile and convenient.

    Best Bang for your Buck

    Many consumers are tempted to look at a roaster oven on a store shelf and compare it to a Crock-Pot or slow cooker. While roaster ovens and slow cookers do share a few common elements, the roaster should actually be viewed as an affordable companion to a traditional range oven. With its 18-quart capacity, stay-cool handles, ventilated lid, and enameled steel insert, the Rival RO180 18-Quart Roaster Oven delivers virtually the same performance as its more expensive contenders. This versatile and compact appliance does not need to be relegated to the back of a pantry between holidays. It can become a cook's best friend when preparing daily meals. At a price of only $48, the Rival RO180 18-Quart Roaster Oven is the Best Bang for Your Buck.

    Many people seek out versatility when shopping for smaller kitchen appliances. The Rival RO180 18-Quart Roaster Oven serves a number of purposes. With its 150-degree Fahrenheit minimum temperature and ventilated lid, it can function as a slow cooker. It can also function a food warmer or even a heated buffet server. Cooking times in a roaster oven can be up to 30 percent faster than traditional ovens, and the energy savings can amount to 77 percent. Investing in the affordable Rival RO180 18-Quart Roaster Oven makes perfect economic sense!
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    The Rival 18-Quart Roaster Oven is not just a roaster. It also functions as a slow cooker, a food warmer, and a buffet server.
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