Does anyone use a Big Giant Roaster?

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Hospitality Queen
Sep 2, 2004
Southern California
My crockpot is ready for it's funeral pretty quick, so I went to WalMart to get another one...and I came home with a new toy instead.
It's a GE 18-Qt Roaster. It looks like a crockpot on steroids. Anyway, it has all the bells & whistles, and I also got the accompanying buffet server that pops into the top with 3 loaf-pan-sized resevoirs for serving different foods.
Anyhow...does anyone use one of these, and what do you like to cook in it?

Thanks all :)
Be glad you didn't go to the car dealership to buy a new wiper blade. No telling what you may have brought home... :roll:
I believe your roaster is like most table top roasters such as those made by Nesco. Is that right? It has a metal liner that comes out for cleaning?

I like this type of roaster, but the heat is too moist for my taste when it comes to roasting meats. If you want to make a pot roast, it's great. Crank the heat up and brown the roast. Turn the heat down and add just a little water. An hour or so later, add the veggies. Another hour later and you have a delicious pot roast.

You can roast chickens, but the skin doesn't get crisp. Again, it's because of the very moist heat. On the other hand, the chicken will be very moist.

I like these roasters for picnic potlucks. I leave it plugged in until we leave home. The food inside stays hot for about an hour, if it's full. I have a smaller oven and it makes excellent baked beans.

The best thing about these ovens is you can put them outside in the summer time. Keeps the inside of the house just that much cooler.
I agree with will find this roaster is best described as a giant "steamer"....don't take that as a negative, it is just you will not get a "crispy" have to like that type of finished product to like this appliance
Another forum discussing these as well...some ideas for use: 'baking' custard - water bath in the roaster; making stock- which sounds great to me - I would love to have a few quarts in the freezer all the time, of course soups, stews that require long cooking times. Hubby bought me one several years ago - kitchen space and my imagination kept me from utilizing it so it went at a garage sale [of course, he also learned that appliances not specifically requested are not good Christmas gifts!!] but I'm thinking one may make an appearance once we've moved our of this tiny apartment...
I have one also, I do not use it enough like I thought I would. I do make alot of stews and soups make a double batch and freeze half. I have made turkey in it before it was great, that is if you can get over not having the brown skin.
Stew, chili, or spaghetti for 75 people, 2 large turkeys, six chickens, a dozen or so game hens, 1/2 a pig. Those are huge, how many people in your family.
Bangbang said:
I want one of those giants myself.

Hey, they aren't expensive at all -
the roaster was something like $28 and the insert was $10.

Pretend it's your birthday & get yourself one :)
I made my first "big giant roaster" meal last night -
2 whole chickens, 1 lb baby carrots, 1 big vidalia in wedges, 8 small potatoes, in quarters & about 1-1½ c. high-potency chicken boullion w/garlic & my favorite mesquite spice.

It was really yummy, and I felt so healthy afterward (so of course we indulged in Boston Cream Cake)

After I'd taken out the remaining chicken, I used my stick blender to make a nice thick soup. WOW! Just had it for breakfast. The roaster is a hit!
I was gonna wait until I got my Panini grill (tueday I think) before I stopped by and gave everyone a report of my success and/or failures but I was browsing around the net, stopped in here, and saw this post... Looks like I can finally add something that *might* be of value.

You KNEW I couldn't stay away didn't you :)

I had the same experience with the Nesco type roasters... the smaller ones, 6qt for example, heat on the bottom (normally okay I guess) but they won't replace a crockpot 'cause their thermostat clicks on and off.. for example when you set it at say 250 degrees, it might heat to 275, then let the temp drop to maybe 225 before it kicks on again... I needed the slow even temperature of a crock pot, so I bought a crock pot and put my 6qt Nesco in the garage...

Then I noticed the same thing you all mention about "steaming" with the larger Nesco type ovens... btw they heat on the sides and NOT the bottom.. and they work great for making something tender but the water condenses on the lid and drops back on your food.. so it won't brown anything...

The solution (for me) was to get this 12qt Nesco .. QVC was the ONLY place I could find one with the "convection fan" thing... I think Nesco might have stopped making them, not sure.
IF 12 quarts is big enough for thankfully is for me... with the fan running it WILL brown a chicken or beef roast... not as brown and crisp as you'd get in a regular oven.. but it turns out brown and for me is the best of "both worlds".. I get the "steamed" tenderness of the roaster oven and browning for flavor.

The one I got is here:
Item #1762 at the bottom..
Update.. after I posted that above, I checked the Nesco site ( and found that they now DO again offer the "convection fan" on their 18 quart roaster... they didn't when I bought mine a few months ago.. which is why I got the 12 quart from QVC...

but then again, the fan thing is another $45.00 so I'd have to think that one through for awhile... fortunately 12 quarts is large enough for me so the QVC one works great.. I brined a whole chicken yester day 1/4th cup salt & 1/4th cup sugar... about 12 hours, then roasted it,, it turned out brown, VERY tender...

Anyway, I should have checked the Nesco site before but they do have the fan again.
Welcome back, lutzzz!

I wondered about that fan lid thing. I guess it works, huh?

I like to make party quantities of stew, chili, baked beans, soup, etc. in my roaster. I've also used it as a crock pot and I'm satisfied with the results. I turn the knob down to somewhere around 180 and 200 degrees. I figure that's about the range crock pots operate at.
Hi Lutzz!!!!!!!!!!
Good to see ya! Well, if I had more room here I would get one. Alas I live in an apartment. :?
Hi Lutzz!!!!!!!!!!
Good to see ya! Well, if I had more room here I would get one. Alas I live in an apartment. :?

Depending on how petite you are and how small your home is, you may be able to use the roaster as a bathtub when it's not being used to cook food! Alton Brown would be so proud that you're multi-tasking. :D
One of those roasters saved my butt last Easter when my oven died. I did the turkey in it. Thankfully, I had already prepped all the sides and the desserts so all they took was a little warm up before serving. I will ALWAYS have one of those babies now.
But where do you keep this beast when you're not using it? I have a lot of cabinet space, but I can't imagine where I'd be able to stash another thing, especially a sizable one.
I was thinking the same thing, Mudbug!

Actually, I have a tall cabinet area that I use to hold all my bottles of Balsamic, Dipping Oils and Coffee Syrups. (got way too many of all!) and I think I may put the roaster in there and give half of the bottles to foodie friends. Then the rest can hang out with all the wine bottles.

PS - Glad to see you are back, lutzzz!

DS - Just buy the thing! You can also bathe your cats in it ;) (when it's off of course!)
i just got a 16QT Rival Roaster yesterday for i gotta get some recipes so that i can use it
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