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ELLEN'S KITCHEN
Cook Talk

Electric Roaster
Sheila
res830i7@verizon.net
04/20/05
Could you give me an idea of how many pounds of meatballs will fit in an Electric Roaster? Also I need to know how many pounds of Rigatoni will fit?
ellen

04/21/05
These are usually rated at 18 quarts, which is 4 1/2 gallons. If used for stuff in sauce, fill only 1/3 to 2/3 full, which is 1 1/2 to 3 gallons, snd you hasve to stir occasionally. For rigatoni cooked strsight in the pan like s slow cooker, and not in a separate pan where the roaster works as an oven, you will have trouble with the edges drying out and the middle not hot enought unless you keep the depth of stuff at 4 inches or less.

Both these issues occur because the heat source runs alone the middle of the bottom, not around the sides like a regular slow cooker.

I am sorry I don't know how to translate quarts or gallons to pounds of meatballs in sauce, but if you take a pound of meatballs and measure (don't pack them, allow for sauce), you will get a good estimate. Then you can write and tell us!

D. Hutson
mdhutson@insightbb.com
10/04/05
I am making Italian Beef for 165 people in Electric Roasters. I normally use Crock Pots. I have purchased 75 pounds of beef that will be in 5-10 pound net bags. At what temperature and how long will it take to cook when divided into 3 separate roasters?
ellen

10/05/05
As long as the lid is on the crock pot, the low setting is equal to 200 degrees, the high setting is equal to 300 degrees. You have to add about two-three hours for the heating up period because of the larger volume, but once it reaches cooking heat the length of time is about the same. The biggest difference is that the heat is from the bottom coil instead of from coils around the side, so there is a very slight chance of sticking or scorching on the bottom, which requires a bit of stirring, and since the lid comes off adds a bit to the cooking time.

Thge beef will cook more evenly if it has been at room temp for 1-2 hours before youu start cooking.

You could do all my readers a BIG kindness, if you would write down the exact experience as you did it, steps, timing, ingredients, etc., send it in an let me post it- cooking a large amount of roast is one of the things people ask most about. I will post it as the Hutson Italian roast, or whatever name you like on it. Thanks.

E. C. King

12/30/05
I need to know how to brown meats in my roaster and some recipes would be nice too. I cook for a large family daily.
ellen

12/31/05
The roaster is not very good for browning, it is a moist heat source. I usually brown on top of the stove or in the regular oven and then transfer to the raoster to finish cooking.

Check the Nesco site above for recipes. Also most of my 25 person recipes are great in the roaster.

Jackie
03/31/06
I'm looking for a cheesy potato recipe to make in a large electric roaster for my daughters graduation.
Jackie
03/31/06
I'm looking for a cheesy potato recipe to make in a large electric roaster for my daughter's graduation open house - about 100 people.
Ruth Falk
04/02/06
I want to make a elec. roaster full of small red potatoes.PLEASE TELL ME WHAT TO DO. I WILL BE NEEDING THIS FOR APRIL 6TH.
ellen
04/03/06
It takes about 2 1/2 hours to roast a roaster of new potatoes. They cook much slower than baking potatoes- more water, I guess.

I would use one of the hash brown and cheese recipes with soup that are available on the web. Use the tips on the GE roaster thread.

Carol
05/07/06
Hi. I want to make chicken parmesan for a crowd. I plan to bread and fry the cutlets in a frying pan but would like to do the final baking (with the cheese and sauce) in a large roaster. Is this acceptable? Or, should I bake in a baking pan/oven and then transfer the meal to the roaster to keep warm? Also..is there another accompaniment besides pasta which would go well with this? I ask because I'll have standard (non0cutlet) chicken for those not fond of the sauce, etc. Thanks!
ellen
05/07/06
Either method can work. The crispiness will hold better if done in the oven in a pan, and transferred. A risotto or rice pilf is an alternative, but you could also do the pasta plus one of my crockpot grains, such as the barley pilaf in the recipe box section.
Carol
05/09/06
Ellen..many thanks!
Mary Ann
05/09/06
Would like to bake 24 one pound potatoes in an electric roaster for a baked potato bar. Any idea how long it will take to bake them?
Ginger
05/21/06
12/31/05 message says to check out Nesco site above. I don't see it above. I am looking at this on May 21, 2006.

I just purchased an 18 at nesco roaster oven at a yard sale. It was $25.00 and was used once. I have six children and would like to cook in this and have enough for leftovers the next day.

Will look for the 25 person recipes mentioned.
Thank you!

ellen
05/21/06
Sorry, I wasn't very clear, the Nesco site is a link. I think you will find this utensil terrific for your family- you can make two meals worth and freeze half. Don't think of it as leftovers- just cooking ahead. The freezing thing helps it not appear right away, which helps acceptance.

Here is the link- it got lost when we split this thread:
www.nesco.com/products/?category=700

ashley
07/06/06
I am preparing all of the food for my upcoming wedding and need to know at what temp. and how long I would need to cook a 25Lb beefroast and also a 25Lb ham in a roaster
ellen
07/07/06
Ashley, you need to write and tell me if these are going to be prepared ahead and sliced to serve cold, or if you are trying to serve hot. Also, what cut of beef and how many pieces, and what is the size of the largest piece? Also whether the meats are rolled boneless or whole bone in.

It would help to know the size of the crowd. You DO need to get some help, volunteer or paid, or you will remember it as the day you exhausted yourself over dinner instead of your wedding day. Not fair to yourself or the groom.

ashley
07/07/06
We are preparing the food the day before the wedding to serve warm in slices. The largest roast is 27 Lb, chuck roast,it is boneless, and I am feeding about 300 people.

I am getting help luckily I have a very large family and many friends ready and willing to help.

ellen
07/07/06
OK. If you have 2 giant beef roasts, cook them in two ovens. Rub all over with your seasonings. You want to cook it for 1 hour at 350 to clean off the outside bacteria, then turn to 200 degrees, don't keep opening the oven, cook about 3/4 hour per pound. Use a meat thermometer, the kind that can stay in the roast, check through the door glass. Cook to the desired temp, I would suggest 135, take it out and let stand 1 solid hour before slicing. It will go to about 140 or a bit higher, before slicing.

This method gives minimum shrinkage while tenderizing this sometimes chewy piece.

You will have tender, medium rare slices that can be reheated without overcooking. Read the how to safely reheat turkey page in the holiday section at the top of the Big Pots index, adapt to beef.

With 300 people, to serve a full dinner buffet style (where more gets eaten) you need raw meats in amounts indicated in the plan for 100 lists. You can reduce amounts taken if someone serves the meat.

Barb
07/17/06
I would like to make a roaster full of baked potatoes for my wedding reception. Would I wrap them in foil or bake just in the skins? We are expecting between 50 to 100 people. Also, I am planning to bake chicken ahead of time and freeze it and them put it in a roaster to heat. Any suggestions as to the time for each of these to cook or just suggestions. Thanks
ellen
07/17/06
See the directions in Baked potato bar, it includes info on why not wrap in foil.

Reheating chicken dishes which have been thawed for 48 hours or longer in the refrigerator stay moister than that cooked from frozen. Dark meat reheats easier and stays more moist and chicken-y.

MADDY
07/31/06
I am needing to reheat 25 pounds of sloppy joe mix in an electric roaster. Please tell me at what temperature and how long it will take to heat it up.
ellen
07/31/06
This should be about 50-60 cups or up to 15 quarts, which is a very full roaster. The safest method- thaw 48 hours in the refrigerator, thoroughly coat the roaster pan with Pam or other non-stick- then fill, cover, set at 250 (No higher than 300 at most) and reheat 4 hours or longer, stirring occasionally and adding water as needed.
Nila
08/17/06
To bake potatoes in electric roaster do you use foil and do you need water in roaster or can they be baked dry?
ellen
08/17/06
See the potato bar page. No foil, no water.
Mike
10/03/06
I'm needing to cook three 3.5 pound briskets at once in the same roaster. Do I figure the cooking time at 3.5 average weight, or on the total of 10.5 lbs?
ellen
10/03/06
Add about a pound's worth of time to the time for 1 roast and use a meat thermometer- place in the smallest, when it is ready, move to the next, then the largest.
maressa
10/23/06
I am doing a school luncheon and have to make around 300 hot dogs in roasters (I have up to three roasters to use). I've never used a roaster before. Ours have deep insert pans. Where do I put the water (inside the insert with the dogs)? And, how long will it take to cook approximately 100 hot dogs per roaster. Much thanks.
ellen
10/24/06
There are two types of insert pans, There is the single large one which actually makes up the wall of the roaster and then there is a buffet serving insert that fits inside the first pan and turns the roaster into a giant chafing dish or double boiler for serving.

You have two tasks: 1) cooking the dogs and 2)keeping them warm. I would probably use several roasters, one to cook and the others to keep warm. You can cook by boiling, roasting/baking or steaming, all of which can be done in the roasters. To boil, you fill the large liner 1/2 full with water, cover and bring to a boil by setting high, add dogs, cover and bring bsck to a boil, simmering until the internal temp of a dog is 170 on an instant read thermometer. If you don't have this type thermometer, get one; this is a food safety issue.

If you have never boiled water like this an you want to use this method, check out how long your roaster takes by doing the water heating part ahead at home as a test.

To steam, you use water under a rack. Can't do as many at once, but I like the taste better.

You can also roast or broil in a regular oven then keep warm as below.

Once hot, can be kept safely warm; put in a roaster with a rack in the bottom, 1 cup water under the rack, preheated to 250.

Condiments are on the sandwich event page. You might include a few packs of veggie dogs or tofu pups for the non-meat eaters. You might also consider using polish sausages or kielbasa instead of regular dogs- taste better and not much more expensive if purchased at Sams or Costco or through bulk restaurant supply.

maressa cochran
10/24/06
Thank you for your rapid response. I have tested my roaster and came up with 50 minutes to bring 1/2 a roaster full of water to a rolling boil. I now have to guestimate how long to cook and how many hot dogs it will hold. Something in a previous question made me think only to fill 1/2 so that would be around 45 dogs. Then I'm estimating 1 1/2 to 2 hours to bring all those dogs to 170 degrees. Do you agree with all of this? Can I cook more dogs per roaster? Do you think the cooking time estimate is correct? I have to present this to a committee. Thank you in advance for your help.
ellen
10/25/06
You can fill to 2/3 with safe results. You may want to boil in 2 and keep warm in the third, that will cut your time in half.
Deanna
10/27/06
How do I use my Nesco roaster to bake pototoes for a potatoe bar? Thank you.
Thelma
11/21/06
If I roast a turkey the day before Thanksgiving, can I re-heat the carved meat in my electric roaster - How? and what temp? Thanks
ellen
11/21/06
Thelma, there is already an article on reheating turkey in the holiday cooking session of Big Pots.
MARY
11/22/06
want to know if i can cook a texas brisket in a slow roasting pan
ellen
11/22/06
You bet. It is DEE-LISCIOUS. I allow about 8-10 hours trim fat somewhat and roast fat side up.
betty
11/27/06
I want to cook a chicken vegetable stew in electric roasters to serve 300. I plan to serve this in bread bowls. I need method advice and a good recipe.
bonny jennings
11/27/06
What is the best buy for ham and turkey for 150 people? Also how long do I cook the turkey in a roaster oven?
Also do you have a recipe for cheesey potatoes in a roaster? I havea recipe and not sure how much to make for a roaster oven. Need enough for 150 people
Thanks
ellen
11/27/06
Betty, the 18 quart roaster holds about 15 quarts when used as a giant slow cooker. You need to make one of your bread bowls and check the volume, they can hold from barely one cup, (=60 bowls per roaster) to 1 1/2 cups (40 servings per roaster), BIG difference.
Assuming you want boneless chicken, consider boneless thighs- cost less than breast, more chicken flavor, and moister. You will want about 85 pounds raw boneless. The recipe will be much more flavorful if you will brown the chicken first and use chicken broth instead of water in the gravy.
As to recipes, this depends a lot on local taste. Some places, the insides of a chicken pot pie are relished; others want curry or cacciatore.
ellen
11/27/06
Bonny, please see my holiday cooking section in Big Pots for the quantity recommendations for this type holiday meal and the meat cooking and gravy making directions. A roaster oven is not nearly big enough to cook all the turkey you need. One roaster will SAFELY reheat enough turkey in gravy for about 50 servings.
For the potatoes, you would need 15 9x13 pans, or about 3 roasters full if you use the roasters as giant crockpots. So, one roaster makes 4-5 9x13 pans worth, or about 15 quarts. If you are using fresh potatoes, partially precook or parboil the potatoes before assembling the casseroles, or they may take 4-5 hours to cook.
If you send the specific recipe, I can give better advice.
elaine
01/05/07
Is there a liner made for the large electric roasters? I'm looking everywhere and all I can find are the ones for crockpots. Help!
ellen
01/06/07
If you mean like a cooking bag, my only suggestion is the really big turkey size cooking bags. I have neither seen nor heard of ones fopr the roasters (Hey Reynolds, are you listening?
Sue
01/18/07
I need to cook rice for 100-120 people and would like to use a electric roaster. How many 20 qt roasters would I need. What would be the procedure and quantities to cook Uncle Ben's Converted Parboiled Long Grain Rice. When would I need to start to have it ready to serve at a noon luncheon. Need quick response. Thanks.
rose bross
01/18/07
I am making saurkraut and pork with kilbassi and hot dogs I also want to put dumplings on op how long do I cook the pork and kraut the pork is already cooked not raw and at what temp do I do the dumplings Thank You Rose
ellen
01/18/07
Sue, 8-9 pounds, 1 or 2 roasters, see any of the baked rice recipes.

Rose, Are you trying to heat up a roaster full of sauerkraut and sausage? Then put drop dumplings on top to cook? I would reheat the kraut and dumpling for 1 1/2 hours at 325, cook the dumplings separately.

Mindy
01/21/07
I would like to make/warm a large quantity garlic bread in electric roasters. It will be bought already sliced and buttered with garlic. Has anybody done bread before in roasters and what's the best way to do it? Thanks so much!
ellen
01/22/07
You can do 4-6 pounds in one roaster, depending on the shape of the loaves. For this purpose, just follow the package directions for reheating.
J
01/29/07
I'd like to make a no-bake lasagna recipe (recipe that I like to use is on the back of a name-brand box) for 100 people in electric roaster(s). Have you ever done this? Do you have a recipe or what changes might I need to the recipe that I like? Cooking temp/time - How long if it normally in an oven is 350 for 1 hour and 15 minutes? Any suggestions to help me out?
ellen
01/29/07
Do read my lasagna instructions on the lotsa pasta page and do soak the no boil noodles in hot water for 5 minute before layering.

1 roaster makes 4 9x13 pans' worth. That means you need 3 roasters for 100 plus people.

you can layer the lasagna right in the roaster itself, like a giant slow cooker. You spary the pan thoroughly with non stick sparay. Keep the layer under 4 inches thick, or the edges will dry out badly before the center cooks. Then set at 250 to no more than 300 and use the cooking times for the crockpot freezer lasagna in my Big Pots section- about twice as long as for a regular heat regular oven. Keep the lid on tight so the top does not dry out, too.

The crockpot lasagna recipe I use would be a good choice. You will make about 4 times the amount you can fit in a standard 9x13 pan.

Here are some notes about assembling: you can assemble in generally the same way, with several cautions:

The usual pan of ziti is 2-3 inches deep. The 4 inch or deeper roaster pan will NOT CHILL nearly as quickly, which leaves the middle at the danger zone (40-140) for too long. Make the pasta and cool/chill it, then also cool the sauces before assembling the casserole, then put the assembled dish straight into the refrigerator.

Don't let it sit out for more than 1/2 hour before heating. If you do not preheat, put it straight from the fridge to the roaster. If you do preheat, the half hour out is OK.

Allow 3 hours for cooking time. You probably won't need that long, but you do not want to turn it up and scorch it, and you can always turn to 180 and hold for an hour or more if it gets ahead of you (and will it smell great).

HOW TO TELL IT IS DONE:

Use a meat thermometer or an instant read thermometer to check the temp in the middle of the dish. It is done and safe to eat at 160 degrees. If your sauce has eggs, be SURE to get it to 160.

If this works great for you how about sharing your recipe- everyone loves tried and true pasta recipes for the roaster!

Nancy
02/19/07
I want to make baked zito noodles w/ spaghetti sauce and cheese in one roaster and breaded chicken patties in spaghetti sauce and cheese in another. How long would it take to heat these up?
ellen
02/20/07
Use the heating directions you would use for a crockpot or slow cooker for slow, even, heating. Keep covered to prevent the top drying out.
Reisie
02/26/07
I have an 18 quart G E Electric Roaster. I would like to cook dried beans (red beans) for a LARGE crowd. How many beans and water can I put in each 18 quart cooker?
ellen
02/28/07
1 pound beans makes almost 2 quarts cooked. You don't want to fill more than 3/4 full. Allowing for additions, no more than 5 pounds dry per roaster.
nancy
03/08/07
recipe for cheesy poatoes for 100 people
we need a recipe for hash brown cheesy potatoes that can serve approx. 100 people.
also do you have a formula for increasing amounts of product for recipe servings.
thank you
nancy
yessenia
03/08/07
I am going to have a party for my friend with 50 guests. How much lbs. of chicken and meat (beef fajitas)do you suggest I buy
ellen
03/08/07
Nancy, any crockpot type recipe can be done in th roaster- set at 250, keep layer to NO MORE than 4 inches, keep covered, allow 4 hours for frozen potatoes. I have discussed multiplying recipes several places, basically you don't do well with baking recipes, but the simplest way to gat a large recipe is to find a tested recipe hat is similar and use it as a guideline.

Yessunia for a party type serving you want 6 ounces cooked ready to eact meat per person, which is about 2 people per pound raw. For fajitas you can reduce the amount of meat by about 1/4 if you serve beans and rice and plenty of griled bell peppers with the meat.

nicole
03/09/07
i have a 5.90 lbs chicken, how many ppl will it feed ??
ellen
03/10/07
5 to 6 generously roasted, 8 if cut up into 1- pieces in a stew or such.
bill
03/23/07
I usually cook 8 lbs of pinto beans in roaster..how many would this serve?
ellen
03/23/07
This usually makes about 50 cups of beans, more with additions, 100 1/2 cup servings (side servings for about 80-85 people) or 65 3/4 cup servings to go with sausage etc.
Leslie
03/29/07
Hi Ellen, I am going to be cooking rice in an electric roaster for almost 200. How many roasters, how much rice, water, temp and time will it take. We use regular meduim grain rice we never rinse or pre cook. We eat rice almost everyday, live in rice county and work at a rice dryer but can't find instructions for cooking in large batches.
Thank you
Leslie
ellen
03/30/07
See the instructions for baking rice on this site. Start at 300, add rice, bring back to boil as indicates, turn down to200 and cover. You need 2 roaters, you can only fill 2/3 fill (12 quarts).
Jana
04/01/07
Is there any way to cook some kind of egg-bake in an electric roaster? I want to have a brunch for my daughter's confirmation reception and need to keep it going while at church and for a few hours after.
Thanks
ellen
04/03/07
Yes, any of the breakfast casseroles with eggs, cheese and potatoes or bread work- you can even use any successful crockpot recipe in the roaster. 300 degrees is high, 200 is equivalent to low. You want to keep the total depth less than 4 inches- 3 is even better. I dust the walls with butter and Parmesan cheese and fine dry bread crumbs so it will come out easily.
ellen
04/03/07
To figure out how many servings you are making, fill the roaster to the depth it will be filled, using water, measure the water, allow about 1 cup per person.
Sam
04/04/07
I am going to be making a ham and turkey for Easter. Since I won't be able to cook both simultaneously, I would like to cook them earlier in the day, put in a chafing pan and keep warm. How can I keep the meat moist and warm before we eat? Do I need to add some kind of liquid to the pan that the meat is in?
ellen
04/06/07
There is an article on reheating turkey already posted in the holiday cooking section of big pots. You can use the same guideline for ham.
Daryl
04/06/07
If it takes 10 hours to cook a 10 pound brisket how long does it take for 2 five pound briskets in the same pan?
ellen
04/07/07
abou 5 hours- they are smaller and adding the second one adds just a bit of cooking time
Shar
05/05/07
I'd like to make barBQ wings for 70 people for a graduation open house. Should I brown them first on the stove or do the entire cooking process in the roaster? Is this something that's OK to do ahead and freeze for a week in zip lock baggies? If I brown them on top of the stove should I cook them thoroughly at that time then reheat in the roaster with BarBq sauce?
ellen
05/06/07
The last method works well. Take out of the freezer to the refrigerator the day before.
Janice
05/07/07
I am cooking chicken breast in my roaster for 50 people and would like to cook it slow while away at communion cerimony. What temp should I cook them at and how long?
ellen
05/07/07
Use a crock pot recipe and set the roaster for 250 degrees. Make sure nothing is frozen. Allow at least 3-4 hours.
Beth
05/09/07
I am going to reheat BBQ pork and actually bake cheesy potatoes in electric roasters for a graduation party. Is there any reason I can't line the roaster pan with heavy duty foil before cooking, to help ease the burned-on, baked-on clean up mess later?
ellen
05/10/07
You can use the foil. but also spray with non-stick- the foil gets holes poked in it and then leaks.
shar
05/13/07
I'm doing barbeque wings for a graduation party. I will cook them on top of the stove thoroughly then freeze them until the day before. At that time I will put them in a roaster with the sauce. Is it better to put the sauce on before freezing them? Without the sauce will they stick together and not look nice after they are cooked and frozen? Also how many do I need for 70 people and can they all fit in one roaster pan? I've not done this before. Thank you so much. Shar
sharon
05/13/07
How long can you safely hold food in an electric roaster for an open house lasting 3 hours?
kathy kimble
05/14/07
i am cooking rigatoni for a graduation how much rigatoni can i put in a roaster
ellen
05/14/07
Shar, Freeze the cooked wing pieces flat on cookie sheets, THEN bag them and they will not clump. Heat the sauce and then put in the wings which you thawed overnight in the fridge. One roaster will be enough if there are other interesting things to eat. See appetizer page for quantity info. You can hold the entire three hours as long as the sauce stays above 140- check with a thermometer- cover between waves of eaters.

Kathy, about 50 servings worth (12-14 quarts).

cindy
05/19/07
Im going to buy 150 pieces of chicken already cooked from the deli will that fit in a 18 qt roaster and do you know if it will work well to keep it warm with out drying out or getting soggy.what temp would I put it on.The party is for 3 hours.Thanks
ellen
05/20/07
If it is bbq it will go fine, if it is fried it is very hard to keep hot and not soggy.
Patty
05/20/07
For a graduation party am planning on serving Tyson honey BBQ wings (frozen). Last party I baked the chicken on a cookie sheet before placing in roaster. Do I need to do that, or can I place the thawed chicken in the roaster and just heat through the day of the party? Thanks!
becky
05/22/07
How long does it take to boil water in an 18qt roaster oven? How long & what temp would it take to cook 10 pounds pinto beans in a roaster oven? HELP!
becky
05/22/07
Oh yeah how many pounds of chuck roast will fit in an 18 qt roaster & how long should I cook that for?
Chris
05/23/07
We're having a graduation party for about 100.
I want to make baked beans in a roaster, I have only used a crock pot. How many lbs of beans would I use and how long should I cook them? I usually par boil first until the skins peel. I plan on using my crock pot recipe and multipling it.
Laura
05/23/07
Hi, I am making tacos for a graduation party. I will be re-heating about 100 pounds of cooked beef crumbles. About how many roasters should I use, and how long should I allow to heat the meat?

Thanks for your help!

ellen
05/24/07
Becky, allow 20 minutes per gallon water to boil. 10 pounds beans makes 80 cups=20 quarts, which is too much for one oven, you need two. The chuck, how are you cooking? You can do 4-5 chuck roasts at one time, using slow cooker type recipes.

Chris, please see the recipes here:
www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/beans100.html

Laura, this is 200 cups of meat which is 50 quarts, you need 4 roasters. Allow at least 1 hour if not frozen.

carol
06/02/07
I am looking for an electric roaster recipe to make cheesy hashbrowns to serve 100 or more

Thanks

ellen
06/03/07
You're too easy! This is the traditional recipe- but 1 roaster only serves 50 people:
ROASTER POTATO CASSEROLE

18 lbs. frozen hash browns
1 lb. butter
1 sm. jar onion flakes
9 tsp. salt and pepper
9 cans cream of chicken soup
9 c. milk
4 (16 oz.) cartons sour cream
2 lbs. Velveeta cheese, grated or cheddar cheese

Recipe will fill electric roaster but will cook down to 3/4 full. Do not put cheese on top, it will stick to lid. When potatoes are partially thawed, alternate ingredients in roaster. Bake at 325 degrees for 3 hours, stirring a few times. Turn down to 150 degrees to keep warm.

I use diced real onions, sauteed in butter. I usually make my own thick white sauce instead of the cream of chicken soup, using 1/2 milk and 1/2 chicken broth, 1 gallon total and omit the extra milk, then melt the cheese in that, and I use 2 pounds sharp cheddar and 1-2 cups grated Parmesan. I often chop up a bunch of parsley into the onions, or a couple pounds of bell pepper.

Carol
06/04/07
thank you so much!!! you are awesome!
big help!
Lori Chavez
06/20/07
I acn't find the recipe for making rice for 200 on the website. could you please help me out? Need response ASAP.
Thanks
ellen
06/21/07
Lori there are several different pages, most have several different recipes:

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/bbentree4.html
www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/pro/rice100.html
www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/bbentree2.html
www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/texmex100.html

All these serve 100, so you want double.

Sharon
06/25/07
Nesco Electric Roaster
How long does it take to bake baked potatoes in
Nesco roaster, what is the preparation, oiled,
wrapped in foil on rack, do I add water below
rack?? help I will need to do about 50 potatoes my party is June 30 Help Sharon, Novi, MI
ellen
06/26/07
Sharon, there are extensive potato baking directions on the baked potato bar button at the top of the cook talk main page. You treat the Nesco like a regular oven for this purpose, put the rack in, no water, no foil, don't keep lifting the lid, and allow two hours- you can always turn to warm if they get done sooner.
Stacey
06/26/07
How long would I have to cook 350 hot dogs in one roaster? Is that too many hot dogs in one roaster? I have 4 hours to put them in and cook them tomorrow. Please help asap.
Thanks
Stacey
ellen
06/27/07
Stacy, that is way too many for 1 roaster, you need 3 roasters to do this. You can steam them- put the rack in the bottom, water up to the bottom of the rack, stand the dogs vertical but loose, not packed tight, 350 degrees until done. That is probably the fastest, about 1-1 1/2 hours. If you have an oven there, do pans full in the oven as well.
Marcia
07/04/07
I need to warm up and keep warm some barbeque beef for sandwiches. When should I put it in my roaster oven, and at what temp
Marcia
07/04/07
I need to warm up and keep warm some barbeque beef for sandwiches. When should I put it in my roaster oven, and at what temp I don't have a dividing pan but my cooking pan comes out
marie
07/05/07
I would like to cook ten pounds of raw but thawed italian sausage cut into four pieces each with peppers and onions and add 350 already cooked but refrigerated meatballs and a little bit of sauce. Should I cook sausage in the oven then transfer to the roaster and add refridgerated meatballs? Or can I cook all of this in a roaster. Please give cooking time for roaster method. For a graduation party on 7/7/07
ellen
07/05/07
Marcia, it depends on how much sauce. A very good way to do this is to warm the sauce to bubbling on the stovetop, then tranfer to the roaster at 250 and heat the beef in the hot sauce. This gets it out of the unsafe 40-140 rang quickly. When it is hot, turn down to 180 and do keep it covered the whole time except when serving. If it is already mixed sauce and beef, make sure there is enough sauce to keep quite wet and heat with vigorous stirring on the stove or cover the pan with foil and heat in a 350 oven about 1 1/2 hours (depends on amount). You can reheat it direct in the roaster, but it tends to dry out or scorch unless you watch it very carefully.

Marie, cook the suasage in the oven, put all the meatballs in, too, to get hot the last 20 minutes. Heat the sauce on top of the stove or in the roaster, then add the hot meats to the roaster and hold at 180-200 degrees covered. They will stay juicier and more delicious if you have enough sauce to keep them all covered.

Bothy ladies, the problem with trying to do the first heating in the roaster is, if you turn the roaster up hot enough to do the large amount of meats in the safe time frame (maximum 2 hours total between 40 and 140), the wires cause hot spots and scorch your food. Stirring means you have to take the cover off, which lowers the temp and slows the cooking. The only way I know to get around this is to use more than 1 roaster, keeping your meat-and-sauce layer less than 4 inches deep, and stir.

Bridgett
07/07/07
You may have already answered this question somewhere but I didn't see it.. so... I'm hoping you can help. I have 12 pounds of pre-cooked frozen meatballs to thaw/cook in a roaster with marinara sauce. At 225 degrees, about how long will it take? Also, am I suppose to be adding water somewhere? Between the outer shell of the roaster and the roasting pan? Or is that just within the roaster pan itself if you want to do custards and stuff?
ellen
07/07/07
NEVER ADD WATER except inside the pan- there are elctric wires in the shell!
12 pounds of meatballs is about 24-28 cups, 6-7 quarts, just right for one roaster, but you want enough sauce to submerge them in order to heat and hold safely.
I do NOT recommend cooking the meatballs from frozen, it really is not safe, especially at low temps, and at higher temps the sauce scorches. Thaw them overnight in the refrigerator, or if you will not be near a refrigerator overnight, put the frozen meatballs in the ice chest the night before, keep the lid on, and let them thaw in the cooler. Bring the sauce to a high simmer covered (bubbles around the edges) in the roaster, turn heat to 250-300, add the thawed meatballs, stir well, heat at least 1 hour covered, watching the bottom and edges for sticking. If you keep taking the cover off, the cooking time increases, just like a slow cooker. An instant read thermometer inserted in a central meatball should read 160 before serving. Hold at 160-180 covered.
ellen
07/07/07
By the way, allow an hour for the sauce to heat up first- it may not take that long, but it does, sometimes.
Shainaaz
07/09/07
Bulk creamy chicken soup recipe
Hi, I need a recipe for creamy chicken soup to serve 150 people. Could you assist.
ellen
07/11/07
My college roomates daughter has the same name as you- lovely.

Here is a recipe for creamy turkey soup 24 servings. I would use turkey, it is easier to handle in large amounts and cheaper on sale. Use 6 to 7 times the amount for your group.

Creamy Turkey Soup

Serves: 24

1 lb celery, diced
1-1/2 cups margarine
1 cup onions, finely chopped
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp thyme, ground
1 Tbsp salt or chicken or turkey bouillon powder
1/2 tsp white pepper, ground
6 qts turkey broth, heated
1-1/2 lbs cooked turkey, light and dark meat, cubed (That is 3 cups- it takes 3 pounds raw whole chicken or turkey to make 1 1/2 pounds meat) )I usually increase the meat
1 qt whole milk, heated
OPTIONAL, 1 cup golden sherry
OPTIONAL, 2 cups chopped mushroom stems and pieces
1-1/2 cups pimiento, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Garlic croutons or whole berry cranberry sauce, as needed

Cut celery into dice (1/4-inch). Melt margarine and saute celery and onions 5 minutes until vegetables are tender.

Stir flour and seasonings into vegetable mixture. Cook 5 to 6 minutes at medium heat.

Gradually whisk turkey broth into vegetable mixture. Cook at medium heat, stirring constantly, until sauce is slightly thickened and bubbly.

Fold turkey into sauce and continue cooking 15 minutes.

Stir in milk, pimiento, and parsley, and optional ingredients. Continue cooking until a temperature of 160 degrees F is reached.

Serve each portion with garlic croutons or a spoonful of whole berry cranberry sauce for garnish, if desired.

(Adapted from a recipe by the National turkey federation)

ellen
07/11/07
By the way, you will need 3 roasters.
gale
07/12/07
I need a good BBQ recipe that I can fix in a large roaster pan, along with instructions. Do you have any kind of BBQ recipe that I can fix for about 75 people? I would prefer pork, but if beef would be easier, that's fine.
ellen
07/13/07
You probably want pulled pork. for pulled pork sandwiches, you need 1 pound raw boneless for each 5 sandwiches (3 people). You want to allow 1.2 to 1.4 sandwiches per person, depending on sides and whether it is a mixed crowds, such as mostly teens, or all guys, which uses the larger amount. Sliced and roasted, pork requires 2 pounds raw boneless for 5 persons.

Picnic shoulder is the same as chuck on a cow. It is a moist, rather fatty meat, much less dry than ham or loin and my favorite piece of pork for sandwiches. To roast, use a meat thermometer, cook it to 160 internal using a low and slow roast for slicing. Go to 200 for pulled pork.

You can use any flavoring or marinade recipe for pork loin for this piece. Here is the recipe I posted last week:

As for pulled pork, here is a recipe for 8 pounds from a Carolina cook that is about as good as you can find. Note that this amount of sauce is only for 8 pounds meat, you will need 4 times as much for your 32 pounds.

2 pork butts, 3 to 4 pounds each, untrimmed (can sub shoulders)

Sauce:
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup molasses
1 head garlic, broken into unpeeled cloves
2 Tb. whole cumin seeds
3 Tb. whole coriander seeds
1 Tb. whole black peppercorns
8 small dried red chiles
2 bay leaves
3 Tb. tomato paste
3 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes, with juice
1 quart distilled white vinegar
4 cups water
1/4 cup salt

Combine the honey, molasses, garlic, cumin, coriander, peppercorns, chiles and bay leaves in a large stockpot, over medium-low heat. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The garlic will darken, and the mixture will be very thick and fragrant. Add the tomato paste and tomatoes; cook for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the vinegar, water and salt. The sauce should be thin. Simmer, uncovered, for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Set aside half the sauce for marinating the pork. Let the remaining sauce cool and fish out any large pieces of garlic peel. Puree the remaining sauce in a blender (some spices will remain whole). The sauce should be rather watery and look like a brothy tomato soup.

One or two days before cooking (much preferably two), put the pork in a container just large enough to hold it and deep enough for the reserved sauce to cover it- I use the largest ziplock plastic bags. Cover the container and refrigerate, turning the pork half-way through the marinating period.

At this point, you're finally ready to cook the pork. I have tried this in a number of methods and variations, but have settled on a two-step process that works great. I cook half-way in the oven (before basting is necessary and saving propane) and half-way on a grill using indirect heat (making it easier to baste and adding the barbecue flavor you need). The formula is 2 hours per pound (or cooked to an internal temperature between 150 to 160 degrees).

Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees. Put the pork, fat side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Leave in oven three hours (for six pounds) or four hours (for eight pounds). Remove to pre-heated grill, but with low, indirect heat (should be about the same 200 degrees as your oven). Baste with the pureed sauce every 30 minutes, until done, turning once (this second half of cooking will take as long as the first, if your grill is correctly regulated). Let the pork cool.

Chop and shred the pork. You can either slice it or pull it apart with your fingers (thus the name, "pulled pork"). For slicing, cut the pork across the grain, in half-inch slices. For pulling, start pulling at the meat with a fork, then attack with your fingers. Discard any unrendered fat.

With a large knife, roughly chop the pork coarse. Put the chopped pork in a large bowl with some more of the pureed sauce; the amount is up to you (I'd go a little at a time, and test along the way). Serve the pork warm (no problem with a microwave; it's plenty juicy -- if you cooked it right) with a little more sauce on the side, for your bolder eaters.

It's a lot of work and that's why I usually go 8 pounds, so I can freeze half and eat it a few months from now. I figure if I'm going to this much trouble, I might as well make as much as the sauce can handle (8 pounds being the top end). Enjoy and tell any friends in Asheville or Memphis that you've got 'em beat.

**MID-SOUTH CAROLINA MUSTARD SAUCE***
1 cup cider vinegar
6 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons salt
ground black pepper

And...Here's a great spicy chili rub to use before cooking...

***SPICY CHILLI RUB***
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground oregano
4 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon white pepper

Enjoy....

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/slawtips.html

ellen
07/13/07
If you serve pulled pork, serve the Lexington slaw with it , traditionally put right on the sandwich- that is the link above.
Eileen
07/26/07
I want to cook a 6 lb. whole turkey breast in my 6qt nesco. Do you have a recipe?
ellen
07/26/07
Here is a classic slow cooker recipe from Butterball. You can use you 6 pound breast with no changes, or increase the veggies:

Slow Cooked Turkey Roast with Vegetables

Yield: 6

Non-stick cooking spray
1 Cup chopped onion
3 Cups diced red potato
1 Pound fresh baby carrots
1 10-3/4 Ounce Can condensed cream of celery soup (or use 1 1/2 cups thick white sauce)
1/2 Cup cold water
1 Teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 Teaspoon salt
3 Pounds BONELESS TURKEY BREAST ROAST, thawed if frozen
1 Tablespoon no-salt seasoning blend
1/4 Cup instant mashed potato flakes
Fresh parsley leaves, chopped fine

1. Coat a 5-quart slow cooker with no-stick cooking spray.
2. Place onion, potato and carrots in slow cooker turned onto LOW setting. Stir together soup, water, poultry seasoning and salt. Pour over vegetables.
3. Pat turkey breast roast dry with clean paper towels. Lift string netting and shift position on roast for easier removal after cooking. Sprinkle seasoning blend over roast and place roast on vegetables.
4. Cover; cook on LOW setting for 6 to 8 hours or until the internal temperature registers 170 degrees F.
5. Remove roast from slow cooker. Let stand 10 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, stir potato flakes and parsley into vegetables. Let stand 5 minutes.
7. Remove string netting and cut roast into slices. Serve turkey with vegetables.

Recipe Source: Butterball

vickie
07/26/07
how many pounds of hamburger can fit into a 18 quart roaster?having a party serving tacos
ellen
07/27/07
16-20 pounds. )Ole'.
Sue
08/06/07
Do you know any easy way to cook potatoes for approximately 100 people in an electric roaster? I thought about cutting potatoes in quarters and cooking them. Do you have any suggestions?
ellen
08/07/07
First of all, you need 2 roasters to do potatoes for 100.
Second of all, the fastest/easiest way to do potatoes in the roaster is to use one of the cheesy hash brown casseroles based on frozen hash browns. Several recipes are posted on the threads.
Peggy
08/13/07
We are having a party for approx. 50 people. We are going to be serving pork and chicken as the meat selections. My husband will be grilling marinated center cut pork chops and I would like to use a baked chicken recipe. There are a few parts to my question. The chicken recipe calls for the chicken to be marinated for no less than 4 hr. to as much as over-night and baked with the skin on, bone-in. Can you achieve the same results with bone-less, skinless chicken breasts? Also, I would like to cook this earlier in the day. How much earlier can it be cooked and then kept in a roaster to keep warm without drying out? What do you suggest for the setting of the roaster? There will be about 35-40 peices of chicken in the roaster. Now, as far as pre-cooking the chicken in the oven, the recipe is for 6 peices of chicken to be cooked at 350 for 45-60 minutes. How much would I need to increase my cooking time if I were able to cook all the chicken at once or would it be better to to cook it in 2 seperate batches?

The party is Wednesday and I will be doing all my shopping tonight. So, depending on how involved this process is I may switch to barbeque chicken. With the quantity of meat involved, I really just want my husband to concentrate on the chops. To many meats with varying cooking times on the grill may prove to be fatal to one or the other meats, particularly as guests arrive and he gets busy socializing. So, the more I can get done ahead of time the better.

Thank you so much! This is the first time I have corresponded, but I have gotten many recipes and helpful hints from your site.

ellen
08/13/07
One roaster should be enough. If I were doing ahead, I would use bone-in, skin-on chicken; it stays juicier and holds its flavor better. I would suggest a classic coq au vin, or a similar recipe with a generous sauce. You make it the day before, chill overnight, and reheat covered in the wine sauce in the roaster for about 2 1/2 hours at 300 degrees. There is a recipe on the site.

Chicken really does NOT hold well for long periods, especially baked or grilled without a sauce.

Darlene
08/15/07
I think I have read before to cook large Quantities of hamburg in water (to cut down in grease) Is this something I read on this sire and could I do it in a large roaster?
ellen
08/15/07
Yes, this method of reducing fat and cholestrol in hamburger is discussed in the OAMC (once a month cooking ) section. The only problem with the roaster is, you need to lift and drain the pot. If you have a cookwell, the one that lifts out, you could do this, but a regular pot is easier.

You can also chill the resulting broth, remove fat, and boil down the broth and use as a base for soups and gravies.

Anita
08/20/07
Pork Loin for 75
How many pounds of pork loin would I need to feed 75 people?

We're having a surprise birthday party for my mom, and we have opted to have pulled pork barbecue.

Any cooking tips, other than slow roasting in a roaster with maple syrup?

ellen
08/21/07
See the pulled pork and brisket thread for my favorite recipe for pulled pork. It has a rub, a sauce and specific cooking directions. You want a pound of raw, boneless pork for each three good sandwiches.
Margaret
08/24/07
I have just bought an 18 qt. Rival Electric Roaster at a yard sale. No recipe book. Can you give me an address or link where I may order a book. Anxious to start using my roaster.

Thanks

ellen
08/24/07
See the addresses at the top of this thread. Also check out EBay- I have purchased several manuals there.
Julie
09/02/07
I'd like to make boneless baked chicken breast and baked ham (sliced at store before baking) at my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary. There will be about 160 people. Can I cook the them up ahead of time (possibly freeze--should I) and reheat them in a roaster? Buffet service will be at 3:00 that day, so I do have some time in the morning. Thanks!!!!!
Julie
09/02/07
Sorry...they will be in separate roasters, not done together.
ellen
09/02/07
The wedding chicken -big pots, has a citrusy sauce- or your favorite similar recipe would be a fine pre-freeze choice. The ham can be heated the same day. One roaster wioll hold about 50 chicken servings.
Julie
09/06/07
Any ideas for something to keep the chicken moist besides a citrusy sauce...relatives not thrilled with that idea though I thought it sounded very good. My sister in law is making meatballs and we are going to have just one of the meats now with that. What would be easiest...the ham or chicken? and how would you prepare it? Thank you very much for your help...I'm feeling pretty nervous/desperate. Wishing my husband would have agreed to a caterer.
ellen
09/07/07
The ham is definitely easier. Use roasting bags to reheat. The honey-baked ham people have good reheating directions.
You could make a dish of the chicken and serve at a small dinner...
Sally
09/20/07
Cheese Hashbrown potatoes in the oven
I am fixing hashbrown cheese potatoes for 70-75 people in two alum pans in the oven. How many pounds of potatoes would I need and how long would I need to bake them.
ellen
09/20/07
About 25 pounds raw unpeeled to start. Baking time depends on whether they are cold and how deep in the pan.

If you are starting with frozen hash browns, I posted a recipe on a potato thread this summer.

ellen
09/20/07
Electric Roaster Hash Brown Potato Casserole
One roaster (serves 60)

This recipe has quite a few variations. Most folks agree that without the sour cream it is pretty dry, or they double up the canned soup. I often use home made thick white sauce, made with 1/2 beef or chicken broth and 1/2 milk, in place of the soup- or at least I use the low fat, low sodium family size cream of mushroom in plce of regular.

It really matters how cold the mix is to start. If you mixed and refrigerated the night before, it takes about 3 1/2 hours to cook. If the soup/sauce etc is room temp, at least 2 hours.

* 5 (2 pound) packages frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed overnight in the refrigerator
* 1-1/2 cups melted butter
* 5 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom, celery or chicken soup
* 5 (8 ounce) containers sour cream
* 2-1/2 cups chopped onions, sauteed in butter until tender but not brown
OPTIONAL, chopped celery or bell pepper cooked with the onions
* 2 1/2 pounds (10 cups) shredded Cheddar cheese, Colby cheese or blends (see note above)
* 1 tablespoon salt
* 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
OPTIONAL, 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
OPTIONAL, crushed garlic or garlic powder to taste
OPTIONAL, 5 small cans green chilies
* 5 cups French fried onion bits for topping

1. Spray the inside of the roaster with a heavy coating of non-stick spray. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl, combine hash browns, 1/2 cup melted butter. Make sure hash browns are thawed as per recipe instructions. Pour melted butter/margarine over the potatoes and mix. Then add the cheese and mix. Lastly add the rest of the ingredients.
3. Pour into the roaster, holding back the topping till later.
4. Bake in the electric roaster covered for at least 1 hour, 40 minutes, up to 3 hours if the mix was cold/refrigerated to start with. Sprinkle on the onions,cover, bake 20 minutes longer.

Here are more Variations:
Add some chopped or minced green pepper, or some cooked and crumbled bacon.
About halfway through baking, place more cheese on top and finish baking until the cheese is nicely browned.

***White Sauce***
1 gallon whole milk, warmed but not boiling (or use 1/2 beef stock)
10 ounces flour, may need a little more
1 pound unsalted butter or margarine
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 1/2 tablespoon salt
White pepper (optional)*

Topping with the French fried onion bits is my preference, as the electric roaster does not give a crisp finish to the top. But you MUST wait till about 20 minutes before serving, or they will get limp.

Cracker Barrel uses Colby cheese. My current favorite blend is the Kraft Mexican blend and Italian blend, 1/2 and 1/2. No spices in this, just many creamy, flavorful cheeses.

Sharon Christensen
09/25/07
I have never used an electric roaster before. This Sunday I am feeding 60 people BBQ ribs and chicken. I thought I would cook the meat the day before on a grill and then refrigerate over night.
Sunday morning, I planned on warming each meat in separate roasters for about two hours at 250 degrees. I won't be home while the meat is warming. (1) Is the meat in danger of scorching, (2)is that adequate time for warming, and (3) do I need to add additional BBQ sauce to roaster?
ellen
09/25/07
These should be good for this job, yes you need plenty of sauce, two hours should be plenty if you warm the sauce on the srove first, be sure the chicken reaches 160 degrees internally when cooked and is chilled very quickly in single layers, for food safety. You can put a cookie riack or roster rack right in the cook well to keep the meat off the bottom- Nescos have side heating elements like crock pots, others have bottom heating elements.
DIANNE
10/09/07
i have an 18 qt. roster. i would like to make a large amount of chicken and dressing in this roaster. i was wondering if i got it all mixed up and then poured it all in the roaster pan and turn it on. can it cook this way? this would be for a large crowd.
thanks for your help.
ellen
10/10/07
The only concern here is that the roaster does best when filled solid with a casserole, if the depth is kept to 4 inches. That might not hold your whole recipe- you can check by filling the ccoking pan to 4 inches with water and measuring the amount (different roasters vary somewhat on what that volume is.

If you decide to do it this way and it is a very large crowd, you might want to use two roasters.

To do it in the roaster, you want to grease the pan very well or spray heavily with non stick spray. Keep the temp at 300 or 325 or you may scorch the bottom before it is cooked through. Alow sufficient cooking time - about 2 1/2 if the mix is made and poured directly in the pan, about 3 to 3 1/2 if it is refrigerated before cooking. Use an instant read thermometer to check that the temp in the very middle of the dressing reaches 160 before it is served. When it reaches this temp, you can turn it down to 165-180 to keep warm for serving.

I have a good southern dressing recipe posted in big pots. If you make one you like, come back and tell us how it went!

Kara Townsend
10/11/07
I'm serving 30 adults tomorrow evening
and tonight I made baked ziti (about 4" thick)in the pan that goes in 18 qt. electric roaster, then placed in fridge. (I made a quadrupile batch of a regular 9x13 recipe)
So, since I'm serving this for a rehearsal dinner, I want to time it just right that it's done and just in the beginning stages of keeping hot. If dinner is to be served at 7, what time should I turn the roaster on and at what temperature? And, what temp do I turn it down to once it's done to keep it warm without scorching? Also, do I put water (how much)under the pan or not? Thank you!!!
ellen
10/11/07
You have the right amount for 30. Put the refrigerated pan into the roaster at about 3 PM, set it to 300. Leave the lid on- every time you check it, it cools off- until around 6:30. No water. Check middle temp with thermometer, when it reaches 160-170, turn roaster to 180 to keep warm.

The Nesco heater coils are on the side and are less likely to scorch than other brands. If you have another brand, it would be OK to stir at about 2 hours to check the bottom.

sharon
10/17/07
boneless pork loin
how much boneless pork loin will i need to fee 150 people at a wedding reception. and when would be the best time to cook it being served with mashed potatos and gravy
elen
10/17/07
Get you boneless pork loins all about he same size and see my article on roasting beef in the holiday cooking section of big [ots. Roast at least 30 pounds raw for each 100 people. Have a server to do the portions, or add another 10% for self serve. Make gravy ( use chicken broth, not water) or a raisin or citrus sauce. Cook to 160 internal- no higher- it tends to overcook and dry out.
sara
10/21/07
I have cooked about 70 lbs of italian beef in an electric roaster and have frozen it. I want to thaw it out and reheat it. What is the best method to do this and can I reheat it in the electric roaster?
ellen
10/21/07
In the refrigerator for about 3 days depending on the thickness of the package(s). Yes, the roaster will reheat- keep below 300, check center for temp of 165 before serving. Allow 3-4 hours. For that much meat I would reheat in two roasters or half in roaster, half in oven.
sandra
10/22/07
i am making vegetable beef soup for around 75-80 people. i need to know the amount of roast to buy---usually buy roast and not stew meat,potatoes,carrotts,onions,celery and cabbage---and amount of addl beef broth--this is all i put in my vegetable beef soup but am nervous in the amounts----will this all fit in one electric roaster? thank you
ellen
10/22/07
You are totally in luck. See my beefy tomato vegetable soup, it is a great roaster recipe, there are even variations.

I would use 2 roasters to make soup for this many- I only put 3 1/2 gallons in one roaster- that serves about 50.

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/beefsoup.html

Robin Tedrick
10/23/07
I have to make 100 baked potatoes for a football team dinner. I wanted to use a roaster and plan on putting the potatoes in individually wrapped foil. How long should I plan on cooking the potatoes of this magnatude? Also, how often do you suggest that I move the potatoes around so the ones on the bottom do not get too over done?
ellen
10/23/07
See the "baked potato bar for 100" for instructions, don't wrap in foil, don't try to do more than 50 potatoes per roaster, set on their ends and you don't have to worry about moving them around. Allow 3-4 hours, check after 2 1/2, turn down to 165-180 to keep warm. Nescos have a circle of heatinf element in the sides, others on the bottom.
ola bland
10/24/07
I would like to make chicken spaghetti for 50 in a roaster. please help.
Janet
10/24/07
Ellen,
I want to make Chicken & Dumplings for 60+
I have 2 gallon size ziplock bags of chicken left over from picnic frozen(already de-boned and in bite size pieces).
Can you help?
Thanks bunches!!!
Janet
ellen
10/24/07
Ola, I would use a 1/2 recipe of my baked spaghetti, in big pots in the basic budget entree section,omit the cheese if you don't want cheese. Add about 30 (up to 40) pounds of chicken pieces, seasoned browned and simmered in the tomato sauce.

Janet, 2 cups ready to eat meat is 1 pound, and you can count on 4 people to the pound with chicken ad dumplings. So the easiest thing is ti weigh it (if you don't have a kitchen scale, get on the scale with and without the bag and subtract). You want at least 15 pounds.

Janet
10/24/07
Thanks...what is the best way to do dumpling in a roaster?
ellen
10/24/07
I use the southern style strip dumplings prepared from my angel biscuit recipe. The problem with drop dumplings is you have to have the cover off the roaster for too long.

I add lots of real chicken broth so the dumplings really float. I make sure it is boiling before adding the dumplings. As they cook they thicken the sauce. I keep them covered.

I also make extra dumplings in broth on the stovetop and add as needed.

Janet
10/24/07
Thanks Bunches
Beckie Butcher
10/25/07
How long would you roast two five pound unstuffed chickens in an 18 qt Nesco roaster oven?I need to know by Saturday.
Thanks much!
Beckie Butcher
ellen
10/26/07
Plan on the same time you would take in the oven, but start checking about 20 minutes before they might be done. You do not need to add time for the extra chicken. Do preheat the oven.
debbie
10/29/07
i am making two chuck roasts with carrots, celery and potatoes in my 10qt nesco roaster. At what temp., and for how long should I cook it.
Thanks
debbie
ellen
10/29/07
How much do they weigh, approximately? At 200 degrees (slow cooker low), you want 1 hour per pound. At 325-350, about 3-4 hours for really tender, cut with the fork, roast.
Dorothy Smith
11/01/07
We have been using plastic liners for our large electric roasters at our church. But now we find that the plastic has burned onto the roaster sides and those burned areas are almost impossible to remove. The recommendations are that the roaster not be used over 400 degrees and we have followed that direction. Do you have any ideas how to safely remove that plastic?
Thank you,
Dorothy
ellen
11/01/07
The roaster bags are not recommended for electric roasters, the sides are too close, not enough air circulation and just what happened, happens (even under 400). If you heat the ovens and work with heavy (leather or fabric or silicon, NOT rubber) gloves, you will have a chance. However, the removeable cookwells are replaceable, and that is your best choice- hope you haven't been cooking in the heatwells themselves?
Kathy Gewirtz
11/06/07
I am looking into cooking 100 lbs of roast beef for our holiday luncheon here at work. The meat will come in 20-20 lb bundles. I will need to use electric roasters. My question is how long will on bundle take to cook in a electric roaster, and how can I make sure it stays moist and juicy?

Thank you.

ellen
11/06/07
You will need one roaster per chunk, I expect it is either boneless chuck or top round. See the article on roasting beef in the holiday section and if that doesn'e answer all your questions, email me :

cookupdt-at-texas.net, replacing the -at- with the regular@

Eileen Erway
11/14/07
I lost the cookbook to my Rival 8 qt roaster. Do you think I could cook a 12 lb frozen turkey in it? I don't remember how big a turkey the book said I could cook and I can't remember if I could roast it from frozen.

Thanks!

Sharlene Gambel
11/14/07
16 qt. Electric Roaster
I have a 16 qt. Rival Roaster and no divided dish came with it. I am wondering if or where I can obtain one. The number on the bottom is R001757.
Pam
11/17/07
I just bought an 18 Rival and need to keep cabbage rolls warm during church for 80 people to eat afterwards. Should I heat them before I put into roaster? They'll have to stay warm about 3 hours. Should roaster temp be about 140? They won't burn, will they? Thanks!
ellen
11/17/07
Sharlene, go to rival's site and use their "contact us" email.

Pam, rewarmed for 3 hours, they will WAY overcook, a waste of wonderful cabbage rolls. If you really must cook three hours, then why not cook them fresh in the roaster cookwell removeable pan with the usual tomato juice, etc? I do mine in the oven and that is about how long they take for a big roaster pan full. Same recipe as for the regular oven- same temp- turn to 160 NOT 140 when done. Keep covered, or you will need to add more liquid.

Jenine
11/17/07
I just bought an GE Electric Roaster and plan roast my turkey in it for Thanksgiving. My question is making the gravy. Can I use the pan the turkey was in to make the gravy? If so, can you give me some pointers?

Thanks for your help. I enjoyed reading all the previous questions and your very helpful answers.

Jenine,
Rome GA

ellen
11/18/07
Because the roaster cooks so moist, Nesco recommends removing (with a bulb or baster) all the drippings at the end of the first hour and using these for your gravy. I make mine in a big cast iron skillet-
Dominic
11/19/07
Hi Ellen! I don't want to tie up my old GE oven this year with just my turkey. Am I able to begin cooking my 14 lb. turkey in the oven, then move it to an electric roaster part of the way through cook time???

I am using a homemade turkey brine this year for Thanksgiving. My recipe for roasting the 14 lb. turkey suggests flash cooking the turkey in the oven at 500 degrees for the first 30 minutes (in order to sear and cook the breast), then reducing the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees, and covering the breast with foil throughout remainder of cook time (2 to 2 1/2 hours or 161 degrees). Instead of reducing heat in oven, would I be able to move the turkey from the oven to 350 degree electric roaster?

I would use the same roasting rack from electric roaster in both oven and roaster so there would be no need to transfer turkey in the middle. Just a quick swap from one cooking unit to another. Thanks for you help.

Dom
Omaha, NE

ellen
11/19/07
Should be fine as long as you remember to preheat the raoster to 350 for at least 20 minutes before the swap. Let us know.
edayna
11/21/07
how do i rost the turkey in the GE roster oven? do i use water between the pans??im new at t his i need help please/ id dont have a instructions book.
Thank you Edwyna
ellen
11/22/07
DO NOT PUT WATER BETWEEN THE pans. iN FACT, i DON'T ADD ANY WATER, AND THE MANUFACTURER SUGGESTS REMOVING THE DRIPPINGS WITH A TURKEY BASTER AFTER THE FIRST HOUR.

Figure out how long to cook by the weight. Preheat the roaster for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Cook 1 hour at 400, remove the drippings, baste, cover again and turn down to 350. Cook at 350 til the last hour, then turn back up to 400.

Go to this manual and page down to page 5 for instructions on turkey raoasting and for times.

http://www.nesco.com/customer_support/owners_manual_download/english/

Barb
11/24/07
I want to roast 3 turkey breasts in the same
roaster. They each weigh 7 lbs.
How long do I roast them & at what temp.?
Thanks. Barb
ellen
11/24/07
Roast the same as for one breast, allow 1/2 hour extra in case they don't all cook at the same rate. Check the temp in the smallest one, pull out no doner than 150, mlet the larger ones go a bit longer- see eatturkey.com for time guide, just use my temp.
Sue
11/29/07
I plan to cook an 8 pound boneless pork tenderloin in my large roasting pan. Should I cut it in half and what kind of timing should I plan on?
Linda
12/04/07
I remember seeing hotdogs with buns made in the roaster wrapped singularly...did I dream this? can't find anything in the booklet that came with the roaster
ellen
12/04/07
Sue, I answered this question at your other post.

Linda, I can't imagine getting them done through this way. Maybe they were cooked, assembled, wrapped, and kept warm?

yvonne
12/18/07
HELP! Can I roast potatoes and carrots/oinions in the roaster??? I can't find any mention of it anywhere and was planning to do so for a group of 20 at work tomorrow (potluck)
ellen
12/19/07
Yes, absolutely, but they will not get that roasty brown look of a regfular oven.
Michelle
12/20/07
Hi Ellen!

For Christmas, I will be cooking 3 pork tenderloins that are about 2 1/2 pounds each in a roaster. I've never used a roaster before. How long should I cook them and at what temperature? Also, should I cook it in any type of liquid or use a rub on it?

Thanks,
Michelle

ellen
12/20/07
Use your favorite rub, roasters cook moist. Use your typical recipe and temp- just as a regular oven. Put the thermometer in the smallest one, remove it and transfer to the medium, then the large, as they get done. Preheat the roaster at least 20 minutes. Allow 20 minutes resting time before carving. You will appreciate the moister texture of the roaster for this meat.
Brian
12/21/07
I am hoping to cook sausage, sauerkraut and potatoes together in a roaster oven. Wondering how much of each to use (feeding 6 adults, 2 kids), how long to cook, what else I may need to add, and what temperature. Thank you.
ellen
12/22/07
Hi, Brian,

This is actually a small enough group that you will want to cook your dish in a roasting pan inside the oven, not in the cookwell itself. When I do sausages in the oven, I brown them first on top of stove, layer them in the pan with the other fixings, and bake at 325-350 covered for about 1/2 hour then uncovered for about 1/2 hour.

Your potatoes will probably make the kids happier if you will cook them separately- the penetrating flavor of the sauerkraut juice is usually not a kid favorite. I would boil for 1/2 hour, then put the adult potatoes in the sauerkraut when you uncovered it, and finish simmering the kid potatoes on the stove. I allow two sausages per adult and teen, and one per smaller kid, when I cut them up, and usually have a little left over. 3 1/2 to 4 pounds potatoes, 2-3 pounds sauerkraut.

An apple or raisin dessert would be great with this menu.

Eloise
12/23/07
How can I convert my Oven Stew recipe for the electric roaster? The original recipe calls for cooking, covered, in a 300 degree oven for 3 hrs. and uses 1 lb. stew meat.
ellen
12/23/07
Do just the same in the roaster, in the same size dish, preheated roaster, covered, if you are making the same amount. If you are talking about doing it as a large recipe in the cookwell, you could use up to 18 pounds, again in a 300 oven covered. It would still only take about 5 hours.
Kimberly
12/26/07
Hi,
Maybe you can help with a question on how to properly use a roster oven. My father and brother tell me that you must first put water directly into the heatwell and then place the instert pan on top of the water to use; like a double boiler. I say that water should not be placed into the heatwll, just the insert and food in it. What's the right way to use the oven?
ellen
12/26/07
NO NO NO water in the heatwell, I don't know where this keeps coming from, but it is wrong. You can put water in the COOKWELL to steam something, but never in the heatwell. Tell the boys WIDRTD (when in doubt, read the directions).
Jeanette
12/27/07
Where would I purchase a removeable cookwell for a Hamilton Beach 18 quart roaster? I used a electric roaster liner--not good!!
ellen
12/27/07
Did you go to the Hamilton Beach site? Many parts can be special ordered there. You can also check Sears, they do a lot of parts, and of course EBay.
Sue
01/08/08
I am cooking beans for approximately 80 adults. How many pounds should I get and can I use an electric 18 qt. roaster?
ellen
01/09/08
A roaster is a great way to cook beans. Be sure to soak overnight before cooking and don't turn the roaster above 300. Keep the lid on. Add liquid as it is absorbed/ cooks off.

1 pound of dry beans makes about 6 1/2 cups, a serving is from 1/2 to 1 1/4 cup depending on whether it is a side dish or a bean entree. Your roaster will easily cook 12-14 quarts, so that is 8 pounds dry beans max. I make 8 pounds "with fixings" for 100 as a side dish, so you should have plenty for 80.

kathie
01/09/08
at what temp and for how long should I cook a 3 lb tri tip?
ellen
01/09/08
A simple way to do a 2 pounder is:

Preheat the oven to 425 for at least 15 minutes. Roast in shallow pan 25 minutes. Brush with marinade, baste or oil of choice.. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees; roast an additional 5 to 8 minutes to desired doneness (145 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer for medium-rare, 160 degrees for medium). Allow to stand 10 minutes. Carve cross-grain in 1/2 inch slices.

For a 3 pounder, I would leave the temp and time alone for the first section, increase to 10-15 for the second phase, and DEFINITELY use a thermometer to judge doneness.

Tritip is a delicious but not meltingly tender cut. Do cut thin, cross-grain pieces, never chunks.

Rhonda
01/20/08
In the past, I have always cooked my roast/potatoes/carrots in a crockpot with water in the bottom. As my kids grow and their appetites grow, I need more cooking space. If I convert over into an 18 qt roaster, do all the same rules apply. I have a 4 pd combo roast....half pork , half beef, and I will add potatoes and carrots. Do I add water to the roaster to help cook the vegies and how much...suggested time and temp???Thanks
ellen
01/20/08
Yes, you can use basically the same recipe, you may need to add some extra liquid as the roaster does not conserve liquid quite as well as the crock pot.

Low in a crock pot is 190-200, high is around 300; you can use these heats and keep the cooking time about the same as your crockpot (BUT do be home the first few times you cook the recipe); or you can increase the temp to 350 and cook in about 1/3 the time you used on high.

Ted
01/31/08
I am making Italian beef for about 50 people. I have about 13 lbs of fairly lean boneless arm roasts. Is this enough? I am also making wings and there will be other food brought by the guests. How long does it need to cook and at what temp? I want to start it the night before. Is this possible in an electric roaster? I would use the crockpot but I don't have one big enough.
ellen
01/31/08
13 pounds lean boneless will cook down to only about 9-10 pounds cooked, which is no more than 40 sandwiches. If you think everyone will have one, you need 18-22 pounds.

Yes you can use the roaster. If you have a crockpot recipe you like, set to 180-200 as the equivalent to low and use about the same amount of time as a low crockpot. The arm roasts having some fat/ marbling, they cook a bit slower than very very lean meat when slow cooked.

If you are not using a crockpot recipe, post the recipe and I will do the best I can to advise.

Matt
02/01/08
Pinto Beans
Im serving about 120 - 160 bbq plates and i was wondering how many lbs of pinto beans i would need to make?
ellen
02/03/08
1 pound makes about 6 1/2 cups. A small serving is 1/2 cup; but beans are cheap and people like them, I often make extra fo a 3/4 cup serving. So at least 8 and up to 10-11 pounds dry per 100.
ellen
03/07/08
Linda, a chafing dish is a solid pan over a water bath so it does not provide any steam, unless you put water in the solid pan and then add a rack or steamer insert over that water. You might rent a bun steamer, or you might simply use a roaster or chafing dish as a warmer.
Tina
03/09/08
5.5 lb beef brisket. I'd like to cook a brisket in my electric roaster. Can I soak wood chips and place in bottom of roaster and then place brisket on a rack?
How long would I need to cook the brisket and at what temp? Any special tips? Rub recipes?
Thanks!
Leslle
03/10/08
I'm looking for a recipe for a breakfast casserole made in the roaster oven to seve approximately 75 people. Hope you can help. Thanks
ellen
03/10/08
Leslie, for best results you will need two roasters, as these casseroles are egg based, and should not be cooked over about 4 inches thick.
Please look for the thread "Do It Yourself Brunch for a Crowd", which is currently in the August postings, for wonderful recipes.

Tina, you can do this but you will not get the nice smokey taste I think you are looking for. A smoky marinade is more likely to do what you want. Also, see the links at the top of my BBQ and brisket page for lots more, and more experienced, advice on brisket smoking.

Corinne
03/24/08
I am wondering how to make a good "stewed" potatoe in the electric roaster. I have served a community dinner of approximately 325 for the past few years and the potatoes always get so mushy. We saute onions and celery, mix with chunked potatoes, fill the roaster and put approximately 1/4 roasterful of water. I don't have any measurements whatsoever, always a guessing game. Do you have any pointers for me?
bjw
03/25/08
How long does it take to safely heat to serving a large roaster full of chili with the meat already browned and using canned beans.
ellen
03/25/08
Corinne and BJW Before you start, PREHEAT YOUR empty ROASTER for 20 minutes to the desired cooking temperature.

Corinne, first, to reduce mush, use red potatoes. Second, have the water HOT when you add it. Third, when the potatoes are done enough, _drain_ them and keep them warm covered at 170. For 325 people, I would use 125 pounds of potatoes, about 1 pound each celery and onions for each 8-10 pounds of potatoes.

BJW, you have to bring the center of the pan to 160 and keep it there, in less than 2 hours. If you have just freshly cooked the meat and it is hot, the best way to do this is to warm the beans in a pot on the stove and add them hot to the preheated roaster with the hot meat. If the meat is precooked and cold, keep it cold until the ropaster is preheated, put it in the roaster and bring it to heat, then stir in the hot beans.

You can run your roaster as hot as 375 for this task. If it is a Nesco, the heating elements are in the sidewalls, all others they are on the bottom so they tend to scorch a bit more easily. Stir, and the put the cover back on.

linda
03/27/08
i was wondering how much potato salad will fit in a roaster pan. also how many cans of baked beans in a roaster pan
ellen
03/27/08
Linda, do you mean the cook pan for the electric roaster? Full to the top, they hold 18 quarts, but the correct amount for filling to cook or heat is 1/2 to 3/4 of the total, or 9 to 13 quarts- 2 1/4 to 3 allons.
Maggie
04/01/08
I am cooking 7 pounds of beans for a lunch how long do I cook these and what degrees
ellen
04/01/08
See the beans for 100 page.
Nikki
05/07/08
chafing dishes
I was wondering how many pounds of macaroni, if I am making baked macaroni will fit into a chafing dish. Also if I was making baked ziti how many pounds will fit into a chafing dish?
ellen
05/07/08
Measure the volume of your chafing dish by filling with water to the level you plan, then measuring the water.

1 pound of macaroni or ziti makes about 3 1/2 to 4 cups raw, and it approximately doubles when you cook it, so 7 to 8 cups.

Nikki
05/07/08
Chafing dish
Hi Ellen,

Sorry to bother you again but If I am making both baked macaroni and baked ziti for a party of 80 how many boxes of each would I need?

ellen
05/08/08
Count 1 pound for 6-7 people, and make enough so the total is good for 90 people- 13-15 pounds. You have to decide how to divide- this depends on how you are preparing it.
MAC
05/10/08
were entered in a cook off at our salvation army mens camp.we can only use our emergency mobil kitchens.i would like to fix burritos with rice and beans.i have a small grill,2 burners and 2 turkey roasters.can i prepare the rice in the roasters and if so can you help with measurements and directions.the cook off is next friday the 16th.any help would be appreciated. god bless and thanks mac
ellen
05/12/08
If the turkey roasters are the electric 18 quart type with the cookwell that lifts out, you absolutely can. Preheat the roasters, bring the water to a boil (warning: this can take a half hour!!!), stir in the rice, turn down to simmer (around 300) and cover, keep the lid on, cook about an hour. You can use my Spanish rice recipe with the tomato juice and veggies, or yellow rice is very pretty with burritos.

See the thread labeled "Rice for 165 people using a Nesco Roaster" for additional tips, including guidance on how much rice can be made in one roaster.

Valerie
05/20/08
Hi Ellen,

I am cooking 70 chicken leg quarters and 80 coconut tilapia filets for a 40th anniversary party. How long would it take to reheat these if they were frozen?

Thanks

ellen
05/20/08
I would not cook, freeze and reheat these, especially the fish. It will cook to shreds.
Teri
05/27/08
How big of a roaster will I need to reheat 20 lbs of sloppy joes?
Thanks!
chris
05/27/08
i need to make lasagna for 30 people in one or two 18 quart roasters. Would you happen to know a recipe for that many people???Please help
ellen
05/27/08
Teri, put it in the refrigerator at least 48 hours ahead to thaw. If thawed and the total weight is 20 pounds, one roaster will handle this amount.

Chris, Look on the spaghetti/lotsa pasta page for help. One roaster will do for 30 people- you need the equivalent of 4 9x13 pans.

Amanda
05/29/08
We are grilling hot dogs for 100 people.

I was wondering if you can cook the hot dogs and then keep them warm in a roaster oven?

What setting would you use and would use pam?

ellen
05/29/08
Yes. Use PAM, 200 degrees, and PREHEAT for 20 minutes before loading. Don't serve from the roaster. Every time you take the lid off, the temp drops out of the safety zone. Take out a bunch, serve from a plate or tray, then refill it.
JAY
06/12/08
Another hot dog question????
I have about 80-100 hot dogs (skin-less). And I have two roaster pans. I was thinking about steaming them in one roaster then putting them into a bun, wrapping in foil and placing into the second roaster to keep warm.

How long will it take to steam the dogs in the first roaster?
Any suggestions? Do I place a little bit of water in the second roaster? Or will the buns get sogged out?

Thanks,
Jay

ellen
06/12/08
That is less than 12 pounds of dogs, you should be able to do them all at once.

If you put a big rack in the bottom of the cookwell (the removable pan), the water goes under. If you are trying to do all at once, you have to stand them on end; lay the cookwell on the side, place the rack, fill the dogs, turn upright, then preheat the roaster to about 350, put in the cookwell, pour in boiling water to just under the rack, steam.

Allow at least 1/2 hour. When hot, turn to 200.

Why not just keep all the dogs in one and the buns in the other and put together as served? Heat the buns just as you would in an oven- spritz on a tiny bit of water-

For guidance on condiments, saurkraut, etc, check the table on the sandwich event page.

Gail
06/17/08
wedding 185 people
Dear Ellen, I am in a bind here, with no time or expertise. WE are doing a wedding for 185 people its a cold plate with ham, roast beef, potato salad, coleslaw, macaroni, salad, ceasar salad, cheese platter, fruit platter, veggie platter. Would you help me out with proportions, this was just dumped on me and I don't even know what the hall has to keep this stuff cold. Any suggestions..there is only 3 cooks for this. I don't have a way to get out of this so any help is appreciated. The dinner is at 6 pm in July...
ellen
06/17/08
Gail, please email me using the contact below and tell me the approximate budget, also if it is self serve or you will have servers. The time of the reception means they will not have eaten dinner and will be very hungry. This makes a big difference in how much and what food is needed. Macaroni salad or mac and cheese?
Three cooks is OK for this many, but you need a dozen servers/setuop/cleanup folks.
gail
06/21/08
wedding 185
I would say about 800 - 1000.00 as budget and its Macaroni Salad...and it is self serve.. Thank you Ellen.
ellen
06/21/08
Gail, this is less than $6 per person, you can't get a big mac combo for that. I don't see how you can do a cold meat plate?

Anyway, you want about 7 pounds dry macaroni per 100 people-s worth of mac salad. Like all the oter items, this is covered in the plan for 100 lists, the fruit tray list, the veggie tray article, and the sandwich event list (for the cold cuts).

When you serve the big three; potato salad, pasta salad and slaw- you want 10 gallons total per 100. 4 gallons potato salad made from 35 pounds fresh potatoes, 3 gallons pasta salad made from 6-7 pounds dry pasta, and 2 1/2 to 3 gallons slaw made from 20 poinds cabbage and veggies.

Brenda
06/26/08
where can I get a plastic disposable liner for my nesco, like the one I have for my slow cooker. I tend to cook lots of foods that stick to the sides very easy.
ellen
06/26/08
The roaster bags tend to melt onto the sides of the roasters, they are hotter than slow cookers. I have had pretty good results with the new PAM or other nonstick for grilling, which tolerated the high temps better than regular PAM.
Amber
06/28/08
Ellen,
we need some big help here.
we are a sports club and just got elect in our little park shelter house area.

We have been taking visiting teams downtown to pay for their after game meal, but want to save money.

Can you use a roster for cooking Rice?
If so, do we put the water on the bottom of the pan and the RICE PAN floats? or put the rice actaully in the water?

How long do we cook it?
Someone told us #1. it takes 50 min to boil water in a roaster. and 1 cup of dry rice makes a slightly above average service of hot food.
(this will be the only thing to eat) we are ploping rice on a paper plate with some type of chile or something on top.
Thanks,
Were not the smartest here
Amber.

ellen
06/29/08
You can absolutely use the cookwell (the removable pan of the roaster) to cook rice directly, in fact, I gave directions for this in the baked rice recipe in the recipe box. And yes, it does take about an hour to bring a roaster full of water to a boil- about 20 minutes per gallon.

7 pounds (14-15 cups dry) of raw rice makes about the right amount for 100 adult people, but it takes TWO roasters to make this much rice. You can do about 4 pounds max in one roaster.

For teens, you increase amounts about 1/2 more.

You should put only 1 roaster per circuit for cooking, but two per cuircuit is OK for keeping warm.

Amber
06/29/08
With the time of cooking,
do we add the rice, AFTER BOILING? and then how long,
or do we adde the rice right from the begining?
if so, then how long

this would be for your max. 4pound load per roaster or just a tad under.
Thanks !!!!

ellen
06/30/08
If it is brown rice, put it in with the water, bring it to a boil, cover and boil 8 minutes, stir and turn to simmer (about 200), cook covered about 40 minutes.

If white bring to a boil, stir in the rice, turn to simmer and cook covered about 40 minutes.

As soon as it is tender enough, turn to 165-180 to hold. Place a layer of clean, folded cloth dish towel on top of the rice if you are holding it to prevent excessive wetness/ condensation on the top of the rice.

Julie
07/16/08
Beans in electric Roaster
I need to know if I can make my baked bean recipe in an electric roaster-enough for 100. I use pork and beans, large butter beans, kidney beans-mixed with hamburger etc. (Cowboy beans) Can I fill the roaster with my recipe? Only fill it part-way? Do I need to use two roasters? About how long will it take to cook and what temp do you recommend?
ellen
07/16/08
You can make a recipe with up to 8 pounds of dried beans in one roaster. You will have to experiment a little to see what temp will keep the amount of beans you cook at a simmer, depends on the amount; start with 325 and work up or down. Takes about the same time as stove top, I always allow an extra 1/2 hour, beans, being variable; you can turn down to 180 to keep warm.

Nescos have the heating element around the side like a giant crock pot. The rest are under the bottom and need more stirring.

Lisa
07/17/08
I am making spanish rice for my son's graduation. I seen your rice comments above, and I'm worried. I have an 18 qt. roaster, I know rice can be done, my concern is the quanity. I have a 10 lb. bag of rice, will I need 2 roasters for it? Recipe calls for 12 qts. of liquid. At this point my roaster is just over 1/2 full. I feel like I'll be ok, but now I don't know. HELP me please.... my party is Saturday 7-19-08
ellen
07/18/08
A 10 pound bag of rice is 20-22 cups dry, which is up to 50 cups or about 14 quarts cooked. This is the MAX recommended for a completely filled cooker (used as a slow cooker for example) for any type food. If you try to make this much rice in one, you will need to allow extra cooking time- it takes 20 minutes just to bring a gallon of water to the boil- and if you are adding veggies, two roasters would be better. I was pretty conservative above, they don't want to spend an hour waiting for water to boil.
Lisa
07/18/08
Do you think that rice can be fried in an 18qt. Turkey Roaster. It goes up to 450 degrees. I would think that would be hot enough to fry the rice first. That's the first step in making Spanish Rice (which you prolly know).
MARLENE
07/31/08
I am preparing 15 lbs of frozen whole green beans for a pig roast and would like to know how to do it in an electric roaster to save time.
ellen
08/01/08
Lisa, I would not fry in the roaster, the element is too small/light for this.

Marlene, treat ift like a big crock pot. 200 is low, 300 is high.

Jean
08/02/08
I want to use frozen skinless chicken breast in my 10 quart roaster. I am cooking for 20 and want just chicken--no sauces. Special seasonings?, how long?
Dianne
08/10/08
Hi Ellen,
Having a wedding next month with 150 people and doing food ourselves. Daughters fiancee's family is doing a pig and need to know how many pounds to order?
We are having head & hoofs off and split down the breast bone. They want me to order pork butts as well. They will be shredding this up altogether and putting their sauce in it. When it is all mixed up ,how many 18qt roasters do I need to keep this warm before the wedding?
I need to know how much to make of the and also how many chafing pans I will need to use for the following?
Baked macaroni and cheese
broccoli with bacon dressing
hush puppies
Thank you for your help.
Dianne
08/10/08
Hi Ellen,
Our daughter is getting married next month and we are having a pig roast and need to know how much pig and pork butts to order for 150 people?
We will order without head and hoofs and will be split down the breastbone to cook.
This will be shredded up with their special sauce.
I need to know how many 18qt. roasters I will need to keep this warm?
Also we are having baked macaroni and cheese
broccoli with bacon dressing and hush puppies.
I need know how much I need of each of the above and how many chafing pans I need to hold the macaroni and cheese and broccoli?
I got warming stones to keep the hush puppies hot.
Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
Joanna
08/10/08
Ellen,

We're hosting a swim meet at which we will need to serve approx. 500 people per day for three days (breakfast, lunch and dinner). The facility does not have a kitchen, so we are relying on electric roasters for much of the cooking. Unfortunately, we are limited to either the bathroom (gross) or the janitor's closet (not much better) for cleaning. Is there a liner (plastic or aluminum) that can be used in an electric roaster to minimize the need for cleaning.

ellen
08/10/08
Joanna- red alert
Joanna,

No there is not and you could be shut down completely by your local department of health if you try to go with this arrangement. You CANNOT legally use either the bathroom or the janitor's closet for a water source for food prep or cleanup.

Options would include
1) rental of one or several RV's, food wagons (traveling kitchens, used for taco and sandwich stands in our area) or other vehicles with kitchen facilities.

2) Locate a commercial licensed kitchen such as a church or cafeteria, cook/clean there and tote.

3) Serve a cold breakfast and lunch and have the hot food catered in for dinner. EG pizzas one night, BBQ or chicken and fish one night.

Or some combo of the above.

IT IS SIMPLY UNSAFE TO DO WHAT YOU ARE CONSIDERING. I am sure the parents would be flabbergasted at this arrangement, and your group would be legally liable (and basically defenseless) if anyone were sick or injured as a result.

ellen
08/10/08
Jean, your chicken breasts have an 85% chance of ending up dry and overcooked. If I were going to try this, I would definitely brine the thawed chicken breast for 4-6 hours, make sure I got all the same size so they would cook evenly, and watch them like a hawk for doneness. Actually, if it was my party, I would use the dijon citrus wedding chicken recipe in the Big Pots section; it is terrific, can be made ahead, and reheats without mishap.

Diane, if it is all going to be shredded and sauced, there is no reason to do a whole pig; they are hard to cook and NOTORIOUS for failing to cook through on time, someone would have to miss the wedding to stay with the pig, they are very messy to cut up and serve, and you need almost 4 pounds whole pig to serve 3 people. You could do prime rib for what it will cost you.

All pork butts or shoulder is a MUCH smarter and cheaper way to go. You want 50 pounds boneless or about 70 pounds bone in for 100 people. The pulled pork recipe above in this thread is a great recipe. You will need 3 roasters to keep the meat warm for this many people.

As to the rest, a 9x13 pan holds 2 1/2 quarts, chafing dishes vary. See the mac and cheese for 100 recipe. You need 22-24 pounds broccoli tops/florets per 100.

Frying the hush puppies is a terrible task for this large a group. Sheet pans of really good cornbread would be more popular- put out your real butter, jam, and honey- and much easier on the cook, also great for making a pulled pork "shortcake" on the plate. There is a good plain old cornbread recipe on the chili page.

ellen
08/10/08
Joanna- re swim event
Joanna, the other thing that would work is a genuine army style field kitchen, and you might be able to find a National Guard or Reserve unit that could assist with this.
Joanna
08/11/08
Ellen,

I guess the point I was trying to make was that we DON'T have the luxury of cleaning the pans until we bring them home at night. If there is a liner of some sort, we'd be able to reuse the roasters throughout the day AND minimize the need for cleaning at night.

ellen
08/11/08
Please for food safety sake, consider having breakfast and lunch cold/ boxed/ catered.
Lori
08/22/08
I am making cheesy hash brown potatoes in an electric roaster for about 30 people. Has anyone come up with a plastic or alum. liner for the roaster so you don't have to soak and scrub? I read above that you recommend the Pam for Grilling and I will try that, but a liner would sure be a great invention! Thanks.
ellen
08/22/08
No liners so far...
Tish
09/10/08
I have an 8 quart rival roaster over and would like to bake my cornbread dressing in the oven and transfer it to my roaster oven to keep it warm without either scorching or drying out.
Are there any suggestions?
ellen
09/10/08
Any reason not to bake it right in the roaster oven? Less chance of drying out that way, and they have a nice, moist heat. When it is 180 degrees in the middle, turn down to 180-200 and it will hold until served.
linda
09/11/08
I want to roast 50bs of pork shouder in a eectric roaster and than pull the meat of the bone. I will add the bbq sauce when I reheat the pork. Can this be done without drying out the meat and if so how long shoud it cook.
Robin
09/11/08
I need to cook boneless pork chops for about 80 and have two large roaster ovens. Do you have any suggestions for ending up with super tender chops? Temp to cook at? How long? Can I cook them all in one? I'm thinking maybe something saucy/soupy over rice or pasta.
ellen
09/11/08
Linda, you need to do this in two batches or two ovens. Cook at 300 until the meat reaches 160 internal, then turn to 225 and cook until it is a shreddy as you like. Cooking too fast/hot for too long is what dries the pork out. You will be happier with the flavor and texture if you will add at least some of the sauce before freezing- the meat absorbs it and gets more flavorful and moist.

Robin as mentioned just above, slow heat. Yes simmering in a gravy or sauce is a good choice, as the chops are very lean and thus tend toward dry, and you will need two ovens for this much. Many people prefer to have the chops browned before they are simmered, if you have time this is a good choice. You can use your favorite recipe; just allow about twice the cooking time. Or use a crock pot type recipe; 200 is the equivalent of low, 300 of high. If the sauce is cold, it adds at least 1/2 hour to regular cooking time or 1 hour to slow cooking time.

Linda
09/12/08
I'm planning a light dinner for approx. 100. I'd like to have electric roaster potato casserole. I see you have 2 recipes listed above, 6/3/07 (serves 60)and 9/20/07(serves 50). These are similar recipes, but there is quite a difference in the quantities of ingredients. (Examples: one uses 10# hash browns and one uses 18#; one uses 9 cups milk and other uses no milk; etc.) Please review these 2 recipes and advise. Thanks very much.
ellen
09/12/08
These are sometimes used for breakfast potatoes, sometimes for a side dish and sometimes for a main dish, which is the main reason for the variations. For a light dinner for 100, I would use double the 9/20 recipe.
Linda
09/13/08
Thanks -- It would probably be better to use 2 18-quart roasters rather than doubling recipe in one roaster, right?
Linda
09/13/08
Thanks -- It would probably be better to use 2 18-quart roasters rather than doubling recipe in one roaster, right?
ellen
09/13/08
Yes! Two roasters.
Karin Sparks
09/23/08
scalloped potatoes
I need to figure out how long it will take to make scalloped potatoes and ham using the 36 oz size of dried scalloped potatoes with sauce. We want to use the 18 qt roaster and the ham will be our meat that we will cook with the potatoes. We will be serving about 100 people so figure we need three boxes of potatoes and three roasters. I was told to substitute 1/2 liquid with whole milk or cream. Thought we could add some onions to above. Would we need to precook a bit? Thank you.
ellen
09/24/08
Karin, I don't know this mix, so I can't make a recommendation. I cannot imagine that 6 pounds of dried potatoes (3 packages) will make nearly enough for 100- you are going to need 25-30 pounds of ham...
Annette
09/25/08
I will be cooking red potatoes in a elec roaster. How many lbs fit in the roaster. I will probably quarter them or halve them depending on size and am planning to make a broth of butter, water, salt, pepper, dill & parsley. Serving approx 300 people

Thanks

ellen
09/25/08
You will need way more than one roaster; you are looking at 100 pounds of potatoes. You might do in three, four would cook faster and probably more evenly. I would probably do them in the oven in two batches and keep them warm in the roaster(s).
Robin
10/09/08
Hi Ellen - we are having a PTA movie night and need some advise on hot dog warming. Because we have limited time and many people to serve, we were going to boil the dogs, place them in the buns then wrap them in foil to serve quickly. My question is: how can we utilize the roaster to keep them warm? If we put a rack and water on the bottom, will the buns get soggy? Should we just use a rack and set the roaster on warm (which would be what temperature?)and not the water? We figure they will have to stay warm for about 2-3 hours at the most. Any suggestions (this is for tomorrow night)?
Thanks!
ellen
10/09/08
Not safe to keep dogs warm for more than two hours...

I would consider keeping the BUNS warm- 200-225 in a roaster and microwaving the dogs, or leaving them simmering in crockpots or a second roaster. They need to stay above 160 degrees.

Tish
10/12/08
Ellen, could I make rice pilaf and dirty rice in my 18 quart electric roaster. Both recipes are needed to feed a crowd at church gatherings. Give me the directions for cooking and recipes if possible.
Tish
10/14/08
Ellen, I had posted questions on 10/12 about cooking rice pilaf and dirty rice in my 18 quart electric roaster. Help!! Need ASAP for the weekend. Will appreciate any suggestions for these dishes to feed between 75-100 people.
Thanks
ellen
10/15/08
Tish, info about baked rice pilaf has been up for years, see the recipe box. You do exactly the same in the roaster as with the stove/oven method, you just do the boiling as indicated with the heat up, then turn down to the oven temp.

You need a total of about 8 pounds of raw rice for 100 people, counting both recipes. You don't say what goes with the pilaf, what the other dishes are, what kind of dirty rice with how much meat and what vegetables (mirliton?, eggplaNT?, etc, so I can't even begin to guess how to divide the rice.

But basically if it is two rice and ground meat mixed dishes, you are looking at 10 pounds of rice and 30 pounds of ground meats- you have to do more than 50-50 to allow choice and because people eat more when they self-serve 2 entrees. If part is other meat, decide what proportion; for example if you plan 60 servings of broiled chicken, you need about 5 pounds of rice in pilaf (the other 5 are in the dirty rice), and 6/10 the amount of chicken you would use for 100.

You can't cook both at the same time in one roaster.

Blondie
10/15/08
I have to make homemade chicken noodles for approx 50 people. Can I make in the electric roaster? Also I want to make mashed potatoes. Can I put in roaster oven after mashed?
ellen
10/15/08
Yes to both. One roaster is just right for the chicken.For the potatoes, you can put in a tightly covered pan in the roaster, or if a very large amount, into the well buttered tightly covered cookwell. Keep warm for ALREADY HOT food is 180-200.
falina
10/15/08
how long should I cook a 20 pound turkey and what temp in a propain oven?
ellen
10/16/08
Hi, Falina,

There is a whole section on cooking turkeys in the holiday cooking section at the top of big pots. There is another good recipe called "honorable turkey" in the recipe box that has a honey /soy sauce glaze. If you have not purchased the turkey yet, 16 pounds and under have a little better texture and juiciness. One pound raw makes a generous serving for a person with seconds and some left over.

Jo
10/20/08
Cooking bread pudding in 18 qt Nesco, approx 50 servings. Oven baking for 8 servings is 30-40 minutes, can you tell me how long in the electric roaster? Thanks!
ellen
10/20/08
Look at the thickness of the item- it will probably be twice as thick. You need to turn down the heat 25 degrees and use a thermometer to get to 165 in the middle- up to double the time.
Melanie
10/24/08
I want to cook Mostaccioli in a roaster. I've never used a roaster before. I am cooking for 60 people. I plan on preparing the meal the night before and would like to re-heat from refridgerator tempatature. What tempature should I keep this at? and how long will it take to heat up?

I plan on having foil pans keeping warm in the oven so I can refill the roaster as necessary.

My party is a week away. Please reply soon!

Thank you

Audrey
10/24/08
Pesto
I am making a pasta dish, probably penne, for 50 people for a church choir party. I want to make a basil pesto. How much pesto would I need for this dinner?
ellen
10/25/08
Melanie, do you mean what temp to reheat at, after it comes out of the fridge? Tightly covered at 325, allowing about 1/2 hour per inch of depth in the pan. The roaster cookwell will easily hold enough for 40-50, even for 60 if it is a side dish.

Audrey, it depends on whether it is a side dish or main dish, but allow 1/4 to 1/3 cup pesto per person. Use fresh basil, not dried.

Tammy
10/29/08
Chicken Leg Quarters
I have 20 lbs of leg quarters i want to cook in my roaster oven. what is the best way to cook this timing and everything. I have never cooked in one of these. Can you help me. Thanks to anyone who can help
ellen
10/29/08
Any crockpot recipe for chicken, or you can put them in the PAM-sprayed cookwell, add BBQ or spaghetti sauce and just simmer. High on the crockpot is 300 degrees. If you increase the temp to 375, it cuts the cooking time in half, approximately.
Tammy
10/29/08
How long at what temp do I cook the leg quarters in an 18 qt roaster oven hamilton beach
ellen
10/29/08
Tammy, what type recipe did you decide to use? If it is a crockpot recipe, use about the same time as high if at 300, (preheat), or about 1/2 that time at 375.
Tammy
10/30/08
Thats just it I have no recipe i have 20 lbs of leg quarters and need to know how long and at what temp to cook it at. In an 18 qt hamilton beach roaster oven
ellen
10/30/08
Tammy, there are two ways to use the roaster for this chicken.

You can use it just like a regular oven. Do preheat the oven. Use any chicken recipe you like, Use the same temps you would for a regular oven. Start checking about 10 minutes before you would start checking in the regular oven, as it may cook a bit faster. The differences are that it will not get the crispy brown skin and it will be a little more moist that a regular oven. See the recipe in big pots called roast chicken mellee for additional help on cooking large amounts of chicken.

You can use it like a giant stew pot or crockpot. For a crockpot recipe, you use a temp of 300 to get the same equivalent as high, and the time is about the same. To use as a giant stewpot, use 375, and allow an hour longer than the regular recipe- it may finish a bit sooner, but with this much chicken you have to allow extra time.

You can tell it is done safely when a middle piece read 165 on a quick read thermometer.

There are lots of chicken recipes on line. Since you do not tell me the number of people, type of meal, etc, I am not going to geuss at a recipe for you.

Ruth
11/04/08
We will be warming up 6 or 7 #10 cans of sausage gravey for a brunch at church. How long and at what temp should we plan on before serving. We will also be rewarming about 100 servings of glazed cocktail sausages (5 per serving). How much time and what temp for them? If we do not have a third roaster available we may have to use several 6 qt. cockpots for them. Any advice you can offer will be greatly appreciated! Thanks.
ellen
11/05/08
Yes, two roasters is about right for the gravy. If there is someone there to stir, use 350, allow an hour and a half, stirring, and turn to 180 as soon as the temp in the middle reaches 180. If no stirrer, use 300, allow 3 hours, but again, turn down when it reaches 180.

The crockpots are actually better for the sausages as they are too small to be easy to get from the roaster. Use high. Allow 3 hours, they will be cold. If frozen, thaw in refrigerator overnight before trying to heat.

Ruth
11/05/08
I am wondering while warming the sausage gravy in the electric roasters, we need to be concerned with condensation - thus thinning the gravy too much. If this is a potential problem, what is the solution? We will have someone available to stir the gravy as necessaary and check the internal temp.

Again, thanks so very much for all and any additional advice.

ellen
11/05/08
A simple solution is to place a clean terry dish towel on top of the sauce- you can use a layer of foil underneath that goes up the sides so you can remove the towel for stirring- and it catches the drips.
Jari
11/24/08
Scallop Potatoes
How many 9X13 pans of scallop potatoes would I need to feed 150 people at our Christmas party?
ellen
11/25/08
See the plan for 100 list.
Gary Stevens
11/26/08
How long to cook a 25 lb turkey and at what temp use a large roaster our oven is broke
ellen
11/27/08
A 25 pound turkey probably won't fit in a roaster unless you cut it into quarters. The timing is just the same as the regular oven, it sometimes finishes a half hour faster, use a thermometer in the thigh. See the cutting up and roasting many turkeys aricle at the top of big pots.
Bobbie
12/03/08
Baked potatoes for 200 plus for church dinner. Planning to bake in conventional oven. Need to keep them warm in roaster oven. I have wrapped them in foil already should I unwrap. These are large potatoes. Will this change the texture of the potato.
ellen
12/04/08
Use the directions on the baked potato bar page. I do not wrap in foil, it discusses why. Keep warm for 1 hour or less. Holding a long time does change the flavor.
deb
12/13/08
I am making a beef tenrloin and several sides dishes includsing eggplant lasagna for Christmas dinner. Shoould I brown the beff tenderloin roasty and then finish cooking it in my roaster or woulld it be better to cook the side dishes in the roaster and use my ovwen for the beef?
ellen
12/13/08
Definitely use the roaster for the side dishes. The tenderloin cooks so fast, though, that you can probably do some dishes in the big oven and pull them out before starting the tenderloin. For example, the lasagna could easily sit 20 minutes once done while the meat was finishing.
Laura
01/31/09
I am making pulled pork for the superbowl party. I have an 18 qt roaster. Can I stack the pork on top of another if it all doesn't fit on bottom?
ellen
02/01/09
You only want to do about 20 pounds of meat max at a time in a roaster. You can do more in the regular oven in large pans...
Amanda
02/02/09
I am a caterer and looking for hot meat sandwiches recipes for 100 for graduations. One of them I am looking for is a Turkey Dressing Sandwich Recipe for 100. I can't find it anywhere. Can you help?
ellen
02/02/09
This is just a sort of turkey mush for sandwiches, here are the approximate proportions for 100:

TURKEY DRESSING SANDWICHES

20 pounds turkey, cooked (save juices), dice into bite size chunks
5 pounds dried mix, onion & sage dressing with croutons (I prefer 1/2 cornbread)

In large kettle, cook until tender:

6 cups celery, chopped
3 1/2 cupss onion, chopped
1 cup butter
Add and bring to a boil:
7 quarts good quality chicken or turkey broth

Add turkey, cooking juices and dressing, stir together. Transfer to large roaster, cover tightly, place in oven at 300 degrees for 4 hours. Serve by scooping onto buns, have mayo and cranberry jelly available for garnish.

Patty
02/11/09
Hi, I'm cooking for a Valentine Dinner this Sat. There will be about 60 attending. I will have two meats. I have purchased about 18lbs. of each meat.I was planning on making roast pork loin and stuffed chicken breast. I only have two ovens at the church so I was hoping to make the Pork Loin the day before.One roast is 6lbs. and one is is about 12lbs. Someone told me to bake at 350degrees till the meat is 150 degrees. Cool and ref. overnight, then slice and put in a chaffing pan to reheat. Can I put the cold meat in the chafing pan to reheat? I read online that chafing pans are only for keeping hot food warm. I don't want to be serving undercooked meat. I can get my hands on two electric roasters and cook everything that day. I'm just not sure what meat I should choose to do in the ovens and what to do in the roasters. Also how long to cook and what temp. would be helpful. I was also wondering if I should cut the breast down to smaller portions before rolling in the stuffing or cut after baking in slices. How long can veggies and meat be in chafing pans before they start to overcook food?
ellen
02/11/09
Patty, pork, especially loin, reheats very poorly and gets dry and tough, so you need to roast day of. However, you can't do the 6 and 12 pound at the same time in the same oven and have them come out together, and if you just cut the big one in halves it may still not be close enough in size and shape to cook evenly. I cook pork at a lower heat, 325, the internal temp is OK. It has to stand a half hour after it comes out of the oven, before slicing.

As for the chicken, I suggest you look at the dijon wedding chicken recipe on my big pots page, which CAN be made 1-2 days in advance and refrigerated. There is discussion how to do a large amount and about reheating. If you are stuffing the chicken breasts yourself, it is a fiddly, time consuming job. If the weight is for already stuffed breasts, it is not enough chicken.

You are quite right that the food has to be brought to temp (160) before being placed in chafers. It can then be held above 145 for two hours before you start to risk food poisoning.

ellen
02/11/09
Roasters are great for pork loin as they cook moister than ovens, and it is a dry meat. Chicken broth is a good gravy base.
patty
02/11/09
Ellen, thanks for the speedy reply. Your recipe for wedding chicken looks great but I'm stuck with this menu unfortunately (maybe next year... that is if I ever want to try such a task again) I was looking at my roasters and they are about 15 inches long so my roast won't fit. I do have a fifteen pounder pork loin in the freezer so I could cut off a third off the end of it and a third off the end of the 12 pounder and still have 18 lbs of meat. I was thinking of putting a rub seasoning on them. should I still use 325 on roaster. how long will they need to cook? AS for this stuffed chicken breast I would like small portions since there are two meats. Would you slice the breasts thin before stuffing? Would this also save on baking time. I was thinking it would take about a half hour to bake if the meat was thin.at 350. How many portions could i get out of one breast? There is 18 lbs. Fresh chicken. I was thinking about a third cup of chicken for each potion maybe. Probably I should have some gravy in the pan and cover it with foil too. Am I right on this, or should I just retire from this job before I mess everything totally up. :)
ellen
02/11/09
I would cut the 18 pounder down to 10-12 and cook 2 similar roasts and take home what is left. YOU NEED TWO THE SAME WEIGHT! They could go in one roaster, probably- check size- and a rub would be fine. See the beef roasting page for help on roasting info- these large pork roasts cook similarly for time, etc.

I have no idea what size the breasts are. I guess I would would split into two thin-wise, and pound to even thickness between two wax papers before filling and rolling. Yes, you need gravy and a tight cover. You can brown on the stovetop, place in the pan, add sauc, cover and bake.

suzy
03/17/09
corned beef, red potatoes, and cabbage in a nesco roaster. how should i time it and can i cook it all together (knowing i'd need to start the meat first and do the cabbage last). thanks so much
ellen
03/17/09
Read the st pats food thread.
Barbara Elwyn
03/21/09
Hi Ellen, I am doing pulled pork butts 175 lbs. of meat all about same weight with maple & BBQ and need to cook it very slow it is for 400 hunderd people for a Maple festival.I would like to start it the night before.What temp would you do it on and and how many Electic Roaster will I need. So I will pull it that morning.And will it be ok with the health dept?And do you have a good recipe.Thanks for your HELP...
ellen
03/22/09
The only way to find out the regs is to check with the local health department on their food regs for one day events.

The pulled pork recipe I like best starts two-three days ahead- see the pulled pork thread. Consider doing yours that way. It also lets you get the extra grease off.

You can do 20 pounds max per roaster.

Barbara Elwyn
03/22/09
Thanks for your Help.
Barb Elwyn
03/22/09
I am having a hard time finding your pulled pork recipe.Pulled pork thread.I am only doing it the night before because of the health dept.What temp.do you think I need to use.I will put it on at 11:OO PM-8:00 AM.
Eileen
03/30/09
I just purchased a Rival 18 quart roaster oven for work. We are planning on having a baseball opener lunch at work. I need to make about 80-90 kosher beef hot dogs in the roaster pan and keep them warm during the lunch hours - from about 12 noon - 2 pm. How do you recommend I cook and keep the hot dogs warm?

Thanks

ellen
03/30/09
Here are notes from a commercial hot dog seller:

steaming tips and cooking tips I received. here ya go.

For the buns: 6" deep full size pan with 4" deep perforated pan inside. (water between them of course) Place a steam tray on the 4" pan then hinged lid to cover. It creates less steam so the buns do not get soggy but enough to steam them good without having to watch them every minute. The buns sit on top of the steam tray insert and not too close to the water. I was having trouble keeping alot of buns in the cloth bags I created so I will go to this method for now.

For the meat: 6" deep full size pan with 2-1/2" perforated insert. I will use this to simmer the hot dogs underneath in the 3 1/2" of water between them for a few minutes. Then I will bring them up on the steam tray to steam and stay hot. I won't always use this method. Only for when I have a big croud and need the meat too cook fast. My third pan will be a 4" deep full size steam pan with a regular steam tray on top. This will be a holding pan or an extra pan for steaming if I have alot of business.

Wendy
05/07/09
Ellen,
We are hosting a fundraiser this weekend. The guests will be served a buffet meal which includes chicken wings. We have 60 lbs. of chicken wings to cook. I have 3 - 18 qt. electric roasters (Hamilton Beach) to use just for the chicken. I'm wondering if 20 lbs will fit in each roaster... how long to cook it for and at what temperature? Can I leave them on warm once they are done - at what temperature?Would it be better to cook them in the oven before putting into the roaster? If so, should I pre-heat the roaster? Also, we were thinking of using a sauce on the chicken so they won't dry out. Please help!
Thanks so much,
Wendy
ellen
05/07/09
Yes, 20 pounds per roaster should be OK and it will be better to do them in the regular oven and transfer to the preheated roasters at 180 to hold. The dry heat of the oven gives the texture most people want in wings. You can put a clean cotton dish towel over the holding wings to keep the top layer from getting too moist. There are lots of good baked wing recipes on line, you don't have to deep fry. Serve the sauces as dipping sauces.
Angie
05/24/09
I am having a Graduation Open House Brunch for appox. 100 people. I plan on serving egg strata. I have seen that I can use electric roasters, 4 times the origional recipe per roaster. How long and at what temp. do I need to bake this and how do I keep them warm? Also, do I put the casserole directly into the roaster pan, or can I use disposable aluminuim pans and place them into the roaster?
ellen
05/24/09
To make 4 times, you have to make it right in the cookwell. You preheat the roaster for 20 minutes while the cookwell sits out of the fridge; 350; allow an hour, but use a thermometer to check in the center; turn down to 180 to hold.
Crystal
06/05/09
Help, I need to cook 18 pounds of cheesey hashbrown casserole for my Dad's retirement party. I am doing it in 2 nescos so 9 pounds in each. How long and at what temp should it cook for! I have never made a batch this large. Thanks!
ellen
06/06/09
See the roaster directions in my cheesy hash brown recipe at the very bottom of the festive family brunch for 100 page.
Sharon
06/23/09
I am planning to serve hot shredded chicken sandwiches (Sweet Sue canned chicken mixed with cream of chicken soup & potato chips) for around 100 people. How long will it take to heat up in an electric roaster and will it be safe to serve during a 3 hour open house?
ellen
06/23/09
This will make 2 roasters to feed 100. Allow 2 hours to heat to 185 in the middle of the dish, then turn the roaster to 180 to hold and serve, it will be fine, You can heat the second pan in the oven and transfer it to the roaster when the firt one is empty- don't mix the pans.
Dianne
08/05/09
I want to make ratatouille for 200. Any suggestions or warnings? I use Julia Child's recipe.
ellen
08/06/09
Cooking of the vegetables needs to be done in the correct sequence to not miss out the art and the flavor of the dish. The recipe can legitimately vary according to tastes, but the variations should be based on experience. Rice or couscous are excellent side dishes.

"Too much" doesn't apply to ratatouille. Cook it the first time, and eat it hot as the main course; then have it again later as a cold hors-d'oeuvre. In the summer time, it's great as a cold main-course dish. It keeps for several days in the refrigerator.

One gallon serves about 10 people for a main dish serving, about 16-20 as a vegetable side dish, about 50 as an appetizer dip. If you don't have good garden tomatoes with flavor, add a small can of tomato paste to each gallon.

Roasting Julia-Child style does cut down on the number of pots... If you use roasters, only put 3 1/2 gallons in each, if you fill them too ful you can't stir well.

ellen
08/06/09
About the rata: Ratatouille really benefits from being made the day before you wish to serve it.
ellen
08/06/09
By the way, a few seasonings are delightful. Here are the amounts per large eggoplant; crushed fennel seeds, less than 1 teaspoon per large eggplant, a couple tablespoons fresh basil, a tablespoon fresh thyme.
Kelly
08/11/09
Electric Roaster Liners
Where do I find liners for the electric roasters. What I am able to find only comes in quanity of 100? Help, thanks.
ellen
08/11/09
I have never seen these at retail, and slow cooker or standard roaster bags do not work safely in these appliances.
Diane
09/13/09
Can I steam corn on the cob in my nesco?
Shawn
09/13/09
I am using this recipe to make mashed potatoes for about 60 people. The recipe says to reheat them in the oven. Do you think they will turn out o.k. if I reheat them in my Nescoe roaster? If so, would I heat them at them same temperature and for the same amount of time? Would they fit in 1 roaster or would I need to use 2?

Thanks,
Shawn

.INGREDIENTS (Nutrition)
9 potatoes, peeled and cubed
6 ounces cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter

..DIRECTIONS
1.Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop in potatoes, and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes.
2.Transfer potatoes to a large bowl, and mash until smooth. Mix in the cream cheese, sour cream, onion powder, salt, pepper and butter. Cover, and refrigerate 8 hours, or overnight.
3.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a medium baking dish.
4.Spread potato mixture into the prepared baking dish, and bake in the preheated oven about 30 minutes.

ellen
09/14/09
If they are in dishes which are being placed in the roaster, it is the same as any other oven. That would take two roasters. If you plan to fill the cookwell after coating it with grease or PAM, it will fit in one, but you want to keep the oven at 300 and allow at least 1 hour to heat, as it is a much thicker layer and at the higher temp the edges will dry out before the center is hot. It needs to get to 180 in the middle, then you turn it down to 180 and hold.

If the top is getting too moist because of condensation, lay a clean cotton dish towel over the top of the potatoes.

Shawn
09/14/09
Thank you. I think I will fill the cookwell and use the 300 degree temperature that you recommended.
Sharon
09/21/09
I am going to make boxed Augratin Potatoes in an 18 Qt. Electric Roaster. I will put 2 1/2 boxes (36 oz. ea.) in each roaster. Per box it says to Bake 45 min. at 400 degree preheated oven. How long and what temperature should I bake these in an Electric Roaster?
ellen
09/21/09
Preheat the roaster with the cook pan out to the recommended oven temp for 20-30 minutes. Add 30 minutes to the cooking time but get a thermometer and when the temp reaches 180 in the middle of the pan and the potatoes are tender turn the oven down to 180.
Use the cookwell as your baking pan, grease or Pam it and coat with grated Parmesan cheese, put in the potatoes, cook as directed. Start checking temp in the middle of the pan about 10 minutes before they might be done, turn down when done and they will hold nicely for up to 2 hours.
Monique
10/22/09
Mash Pototoes
I want to peel 50 pounds of pototoes the night before my event, how do I keep them from turning black over night?
ellen
10/23/09
Immerse them in water or parboil them, is the only way I know.
Becky
11/02/09
Cowboy Stew
Our Company will be serving Cowboy Stew for one of our Customer's monthy meetings. There will be 150 people (all men with big appetites) there. How many roasters will we need to have plenty of stew and keep the cornbread warm as well? We have have to travel 2 hours to this location, so we are planning on cooking it all the day before and keeping it in the refrig(s)over night. The next question is how long will it take to heat up to be ready to serve by noon the next day? Thank you for your help!
ellen
11/02/09
You are up against a MAJOR food safety issue. When you cook it, it has to be cooled below 40% within an hour, and a standard refrigerator can only cool about a gallon in a shallow pan this fast. You need about 12 gallons. Do you have twelve refrigerators? If no, the safe way to do it is to get a bunch of big ice chests and lots of ice. Bag the stew into freezer bags, then place each in a second bag. Pat a layer of ice into the cooler, stand the bags in the cooler, pack ice all around each. The bags should not be touching each other. You can put about 3 to 4 bags in a large chest.
The ice melts as it cools, but in about an hour they can go into the refrigerators. You may need to add more ice.

You will need fresh ice in the chests to transport.

An 18 quart roaster will hold 3 gallons of stew safely. Allow 3 hours at 300 degrees, covered, stirring occasionally.

Becky
11/02/09
Thank you!!!!
Susan
11/12/09
Ellen,

I want to make a Nesco full of Stove Top stuffing. Do you have any idea how many boxes this would take to fill the Nesco? Or do you have an easy good stuffing recipe made from scratch that would fill a Nesco?

ellen
11/12/09
A Nesco can safely make 12 quarts of stuffing; more than that and the layer gets so thick that the outside scorches before the middle reaches 180 safe temp. A 9x13 pan holds about 2 quarts, so you can use your favorite recipe to make the 12 quarts. Make it a bit drier than you would for the regular oven, the nesco retains more moisture.
Pam
11/13/09
Ellen,

My oven is out; and my husband is at sea for another week. I'm a big baker and have an electric roaster oven that I've not used. I need to bake an "Earthquake Cake" and a pecan pie for our Thanksgiving Meal at work on Thursday. Will my roaster bake a cake and pie at the same temperature and time called for in a regular oven?

Looking forward to your advice...

Pam

ellen
11/13/09
Yes, but not together. It may be a bit faster. You need to preheat a full 20 minutes, and keep the lid on as it cooks.
Joanne
11/18/09
Ellen,

I am deperate for a stuffing receipe that everyone will enjoy. Most stuffing that I have tried perpared by restaurants are not very good. Do you have a favorite that does not add a bunch of weird stuff like nuts, grapes, etc? I need this for Thanksgiving and want to fill a 18-quart roaster with it. I have checked your website and did not find a normal receipe - so to speak without all the odd things listed. I just want one made with like bread crumbs, gizzards, turkey juice, sage, rosemary, thyme; etc. Thank you very much for your help.

ellen
11/18/09
Hi, Joanne,

Go to this site. Read the whole article. Make the dressing with double the celery (celery is important) and no bell pepper. I make mine a little lighter/ drier than she does, but it is close. The cornbread and white bread mixture is just about essential for a great dressing, IMO.

www.texascooking.com/recipes/dressinggiblets.htm

ellen
11/18/09
That recipe uses about 2 quarts of broth/ turkey juice and serves 12. You can make 3 to at most 4 times that amount per roaster.
Joanne
11/18/09
Thanks Ellen it sounds perfect. Just a couple questions if you know the answers. As I am making this recipe x4 (four pans of corn bread) can I make the corn bread a couple days a head of time and let it sit - is the use of bacon grease essential in this recipe (otherwise I intend to use lard or spray the roaster with Pam)? If it calls for 12 cups of chicken stock - how much would you suggest I cut back using a Nesco(perhaps 1-1/2 cups)? I am not making the Turkey so I will make homemade chicken broth. In addition I will purchase giblets (and or heart & liver if able)and grind them in a blender to add to the stuffing for flavor.

What do you think? Thanks so very much for your assistance. I truly appreciate it. While I am a very seasoned cook - stuffing has never been something I've had to make - my mother usually did it or we used a box stuffing.

ellen
11/18/09
Don't add turkey liver! It has a very strong flavor that even liver lovers like me sometimes find overwhelming. You would do better to get some turkey necks or backs or wings and roast them and use the drippings to flavor with your good chicken broth, then throw the rest into your stock pot with the chickens.

Yes, you can skip the bacon grease and use some extra butter. Yes,it is actually very helpful to make the cornbread a day ahead of the dressing, just keep it bagged or tightly covered in foil.

I would add the broth as needed- it probably WILL be a bit less, but if your breads are drier, it may take the full amount, for example. Just do the eggs first, then the drippings, then the broth as needed.

Debbie
11/18/09
Ellen,

What kind of liquid should I use when reheating baked honey ham and at what temp should I set my nesco?

Debbie
11/18/09
Ellen,

What kind of liquid should I use when reheating baked honey ham and at what temp should I set my nesco?

ellen
11/19/09
325. Tightly wrapped in foil with a bit of pineapple or orange juice or chicken broth.
Jennice VonEper
11/19/09
Ellen,

Hi I am using a electric roaster to cook a turkey for the first time. I bought a 18 quart Rival roaster and i have a 10.72 pound turkey. I am in need of major help on how to cook this turkey? Also do i stuff it ot not stuff it? And what kind of seasoning will make this a very yummy turkey for my in-laws? PLEASE HELP. And Thank you very much

Brenda
11/19/09
Kenmore Electric Roaster
I have an 18 quart Kenmore roaster with a wire rack in the bottom. I do not have a manual any longer. I want to roast a turkey to free up my oven for other things.

My parents always used this roaster and their turkey was always fabulous, unfortunately, they have both passed and I didn't pay attention to how they fixed it.

The turkey is approx. 20 lbs. I need to know how long to cook it, do I add water in the bottom of the tray, do I put the turkey on the wire rack?

Any instructions you can provide me would be more than appreciated.

ellen
11/19/09
Hi, Jennice,
Have you cooked a turkey in a regular oven before? It is basically the same in the roaster.

It is safer, and you get moister turkey, if you cook it unstuffed, because you don't have to heat it as high. See the first few paragraphs on this page for further discussion:
www.ellenskitchen.com/turkey/whack.html

This turkey is perfect size for this roaster and does NOT need to be cut up.

Roasters cook moister and usually a little faster than regular ovens at the same temperature.The only disadvantage to the roaster, is, it does not brown the turkey. So if you want superb cuteness, you will cook it for the last 25 minutes in a preheated 425 degree oven.

WARNING: the first time you heat a roaster, it STINKS as it burns off the factory solvents, etc. Do this now, and preferably on the porch or in the garage. If you try to roast a turkey in a roaster that has not been preheated like this, it will ruin the turkey.

Now, general notes about roaster turkeys.
1)Like all turkeys, they are the very best and juiciest if brined. Alton Brown at the "Good Eats" website explains this in detail. Yours is small enough to be brined in the refrigerator in the giant jumbo ziplock bag. If you can, do do this.
www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/good-eats-roast-turkey-recipe/index.html
2)Preheat the roaster, no hotter than 325, for at least 20 minutes. before adding the turkey.
3) calculate the cooking time using anybody's table, but USE AN INSTANT READ THERMOMETER INSERTED IN THE THIGH TO CHECK THE TEMP. USE MY TEMPS IN THE ARTICLE I REFERRED TO ABOVE. Start checking at about 3/4 the time you expect to finish. Depending on the shape of the turkey (deep versus wide) it can finish in as little as 3/4 the calculated time.
3) It needs to stand at least 20 minutes out of the roaster before you carve it, up to 3/4 of an hour. This is the fudge factor that let's you get it done but not overdone.

As to yumminess, consider the soy sauce and hony glaze on my "Honorable Turkey" in the recipe box section. Alton Brown's seasonings are also excellent.

Jennice VonEper
11/19/09
Ellen,

Yes i ahve cooked a Turkey in the oven before. Thank you very much for your help I will try this and hope for the best. :)

Jennifer Headley
12/04/09
How long do you cook 20 pounds of scalloped potatoes in a 18 quart roaster?
ellen
12/04/09
This depends on several things, preheating, temperature, whether previously refrigerated, whether the sauce/milk was hot and/or the potatoes partially cooked when you when you mixed it.

At 325 preheated for 20 minutes, hot milk/sauce, very thin sliced potatoes, allow 2 1/2 hours; it may be done in 2. Cold from the fridge or made with thick sliced potatoes and cold milk; well, I once had it take 6 1/2 hours (not kidding...)

Terry
12/19/09
Are you suppose to add water to the heatwell of an electric roaster before placing the cookwell inside?
Thank you
Terry
12/19/09
Sorry, I read your post of 12/26/07 where not to add water to the heatwell. Thank you!
deb
12/28/09
help! asap! can i cook cabbage rolls in my electric roaster oven? need to know now! please!!
ellen
12/29/09
Yes. Treat it like a roasting pan in a regular oven, but do be SURE to use the rack and if you have a Nesco or a Kenmore with the heat in the side instead of on the bottom,, you may want to make bumpers from old pie tins, etc, around the walls as the ones right on the edge tend to get overcooked. Also PREHEAT the roaster for at least 20-30 minutes before inserting the cookwell, this cuts down on the heating element overdrying the edges.
Barbara Kaufmann
12/29/09
I am going to cook sausage and serve with marinara and pasta. How long and at what temp should I cook the sausage for in my Rival Roster. It is about 25-30 large links.
nancy
12/30/09
I want to cook two pork loins (4.5 lbs. each) in a roaster oven. How long and at what temp? I always get a dry pork roast. What am I doing wrong?
ellen
12/30/09
Barbara, just the same as you would in the regular oven. You can check by a quick read thermometer, it will do 170-180 in the middle of the middle sausages.

Nancy, loins tend to get dry anyway and are often over-cooked. They do great if brined like a turkey or chicken. You also need a thermometer, don't take it above 160.

Martie
01/01/10
I have a Nesco roaster that I have used for years, love the way it cooks. Problem is I used it yesterday when I cooked a ham and the pineapple juice/brown sugar mixture burnt on the bottom of it and I can't get it all off. I have reheated a couple of times,once with soda in it and it still doesn't come off. Any suggestions?
Thanks and have a Happy New Year!
ellen
01/01/10
You can order a new cookwell from nesco, and sometimes get one on EBay. After all the boiling, I have sometimes just sat with a big stainless steel spoon and scraped and scraped. That burnt sugar mix is about as tough as it gets. Also, once it happens, the pan is more likely to stick again.
Judy
01/08/10
I am making fettuccine alfredo for about 40 people. I want to keep it warm in my roaster oven. Do I put water in the oven body like you do in a chaffing pan so the noodles won't get too dried out?
ellen
01/08/10
No, no, no. It won't help and is dangerous. Just make it moist and stir in a little real cream if it gets dry.
Sue
01/09/10
I have a 18 Quart Roaster Oven. I am cooking 2 6lbs. each Pork Loins. At 325 degrees how many hours will it take to cook. Also do I add liquid to the roaster?
ellen
01/09/10
Cook to the weight of the lower. These stay tastier and moister if brined first. 20 to 25 minutes per pound. No liquid needed, apple juice or beer is a good liquid.
melonie
01/11/10
I will be making chicken fajitas for a wedding reception. We're cooking 150 # of preseasoned (not cooked) boneless chicken thighs. How much will fit in each roaster and how long should it take to cook?
ellen
01/11/10
I am not quite sure how you plan to cook these, as fajita meat is usually grilled or broiled, not stewed or braised. How are you planning to cook this? By the way, volume-wise the amount is about 20 pounds per roaster.
Liz
01/18/10
If I prepared beef stroganoff with noodles the day before I wanted to serve it, would it heat up well in a Nescoe roaster or would the noodles get too soft? I would be making enough for 40-50 people.
Tammy H
01/18/10
I need to bake garlic bread for 150 people with no kitchen, can I use my 18 qt roaster?
How long do need to bake it for?
ellen
01/18/10
Liz, it won't be stroganoff, it will be a nice beef mushroom casserole, but you can do it that way. Just make sure that the noodles are barely cooked when you mix it, do preheat the roaster for 20 minutes before putting in the cookwell, and stir often expecting to add some cream.

Tammy, this is 12 to 18 loaves, only about three to four fit in a roaster. Yes you can do it but you need more roasters!

Mihcele
02/03/10
I am making chicken for 190 a baked chicken. I wanted to cook 1/2 one day and rest the next and had planned on reheating in a chafing pan and serving it with a lemon sauce. I do not want it soggy??? help!!!
ellen
02/03/10
You CANNOT reheat safely in a chafing dish, it is not hot enough. You must reheat to 180 or higher in an oven or roaster and then transfer to the chafer with the hot water already hot in the bottom pan.

I recommend the orange dijon wedding chicken recipe on this site, which can be made ahead and frozen.

janet nelson
02/11/10
How long would it take to heat up 400 meatballs in an electric roaster and at what setting?
ellen
02/11/10
400 1 ounce meatballs is 25 pounds. That is 2 roasters worth, at least. If these are precooked, refrigerated, I would bring the sauce to a high simmer with the roaster at 350, stirring, covered, which could take an hour; stir in no more than 12-13 pounds of meatballs. turn down to 300, allow another hour, check temp on some in the middle, should be 180 degrees; turn down to 180 to hold. Keep covered except when stirring.
Susan
02/26/10
I need to make mashed potatoes for 150 people. How many nesco roasters will it take to keep them warm, and how long can I keep them warming, at what temp? Thanks
Diana
02/27/10
I am planning a graduation open house for approx 125 people.I would like to serve wings and parsley potatoes. Would a roaster oven work for keeping these 2 items warm?
ellen
02/27/10
Susan, a quart serves about 4 people and you should not fill more than 12 to at MOST 14 quarts per roaster if serving directly from the roaster. 2 to 3 roaster pans full for this amount; you can heat the pans in the regular oven (covered) and transfer to the roaster to keep warm. About 2 hours at 170 to 180, tightly covered.

Diana, yes. It should be fine, but you will need 2 roasters (at least) for each dish. They only hold about 12-14 quarts, really.

schllac
03/06/10
Hi Ellen
I often see the question as to wheather or not to put water between the oven roaste inser and the well and the answer is always NO. The directions clearly state this. My question is why and what are the ramifications if you do. Can you shed some light on this.
Thank you
Schllac
ellen
03/07/10
It actually interferes with the transfer of heat from the coils to the cook well. It also upsets the thermostat, causing astonishing variations in the temp in the oven. Finally, you have to empty out water from this unprotected electrical appliance, which people don't remember to unplug first. BzzT! fried cook...
Tonya
03/17/10
My daughter wants macaroni and cheese for her graduation party and I wanted to know if I can make it in an electric roaster without it getting mushy
ellen
03/17/10
Yes, just like a crockpot mac and cheese. You do boil the mac ahead, but be very careful not to overcook it before adding the sauce. It will not crisp up or brown in the roaster, I use the little French fried onions used for green bean casserole as an alternative topping.
lina
03/28/10
I have a 7lb pork shoulder blade boston whole. It is currently in a forzen state. I have put other roast into a crockpot frozen and all has turned out well. Can put this roast into a Nesco frozen? If yes then at what temp would I set the Nesco at.
ellen
03/29/10
Pork cooks MUCH better thawed than frozen, compared to beef. Also, the Nesco would have to be much fuller to cook like a crockpot. So be kind to this roast and thaw it first.
debbie
04/05/10
light and fluffy cheese cake
I have the traditional recipe for new york cheese cake. It calls for cream cheese, sugar, flour, vanilla, eggs and sour cream. Baking is done for 1 hour. It usually is very dense. Is there any way to make a cheese cake light and fluffy? Am I doing anything wrong? I think it is too heavy
Thanks
Debbie
ellen
04/05/10
You need a different recipe. The Jello-style cheesecake you are looking for can't be made with a New York style recipe. Try the good lady at baking911.com, my favorite baking site.
Jaclyn
04/16/10
Ellen,im making glazed baby carrots for my wedding reception in an electric roaster.. how long would they have to cook and at what temp? I dont want them to get mushy...the reception starts at 4pm..what time should i put them on. *There will be close to 120(+/-) guests. Thank you!
Natalie
04/20/10
I am making 70-5 ounce boneless chicken breasts; How many can I put in an 18 qt. roaster and how long do I cook them for? They will be served sliced cold over salad.
ellen
04/21/10
Jaclyn, you posted twice, see the other one. They only take about 4 minutes to steam.

Natalie, do this in 2 batches. Simmer in chicken broth with some carrots, parsley, celery and onions chopped into it; bring to a simmer and turn down to 210, then simmer about 35 minutes, until tender. Tastiest if you chill in broth.

Noel Sharratt
04/26/10
Hello Ellen,
I so appreciate all your info on cooking rice in the Nesco! I am wondering about the ratio of rice to water when cooking in the roaster. Do I follow the classic 1 pt. rice to 2 pts. water recipe? I will be cooking about 5-7 lbs. of rice per roaster. I will be cooking white long grain and rinsing it first. I will also be cooking brown and I believe that brown rice requires a little more water and time than white. True? I would love to hear your advice on this.
Thank you,
Noel
ellen
04/27/10
You only need about 1 3/4 water for white, Nescos cook moist. The brown, you need to boil hard for 8 minutes before you clamp the lid on and turn down to cook like the white. It takes just a bit longer plus this boil.
Kim
05/03/10
We are smoking 150 pork chops for my daughter's graduation. We are planning on keeping them warm in a roaster. How do we keep the chops from drying out?
KIM
ellen
05/03/10
Smoked, no gravy or sauce? Keep the roasters at 160, but expect that they will dry out; unsauced pork is too lean to hold well.
Kim
05/09/10
I have a Rival 18qt Roaster Oven that I want to use for an 8lb pork butt for pulled pork sandwiches. Is it safe to cook at 200 degrees and for how long? Does it cook the same as a slow cooker, eg 12 hours?
ellen
05/10/10
Yes, it is similar to a slow cooker at that temp. I have just posted tips and a recipe for pulled pork on the BBQ page. An internal temp of 180 is one of the secrets.
Kim
05/10/10
Thanks Ellen for your response re cooking an 8lb pork butt and your info on the BBQ page. I have one question re the cooking directions in the Carolina Pulled Pork recipe regarding the 2 stage process (oven & grill). The recipe suggests 2 hours per pound which I calculate as 16 cooking hours for an 8 lb pork butt. The recipe then goes on to say to cook the 8lb pork in the oven for 4 hours and then transfer to the grill at the half-way point, which I interpet to mean another 4 hours. Should it not be 8 hours in the oven and 8 hours on the grill for an 8lb pork butt for a total of 2 hours per pound(16 hours). I am still going to use a meat thermoeter but I just want tomake sure I give myself time to cook at the get together. Thanks for your help.
ellen
05/10/10
Uhoh, I better re-read that. The TOTAL on a 4 pound roast (they had 2 4 pounders) is 4 hours or 1 hour per pound. Go by the size of the largest roast, NOT by the total weight.
Paula
05/18/10
I'm cooking for a branding crowd of about 50. We will be in the pasture and have a generator big enough ( my husband assures me). What would a good meal that can mostly be cooked in the one beg roaster be.
ellen
05/18/10
Chili or stew? You need to cook it ahead and reheat on site, though; this is really a 2 roaster meal for cooking, due to the volume.
Edie
05/21/10
I am having a graduation party with 100 people approximately. I plan on having sloppy joes and rigatoni w/ meat sauce. I am using an 18-qt roaster for each one.

1) How much meat should I use for the sloppy joes?

Edie
05/21/10
I am having a graduation party with 100 people approximately. I plan on serving sloppy joes plus rigatoni w/ meat sauce. I am using an 18-qt roaster for each dish.

1) How much meat do I need for the sloppy joes?
2) how much meat should I use for the meat sauce for the rigatoni?
3) how much dry pasta should I use for the rigatoni?
Thank you.

ellen
05/21/10
About 18 pounds for each- brown and drain before adding to the roasters. About 8 pounds of pasta. I might do the rigatoni in 2 roasters to make sure the middles get done without crispy or burnt edges.
Edie
05/24/10
I was thinking I would make the sloppy joes and rigatoni the day before the party and then just put in the roasters to reheat and keep warm the day of the party. Do you think this would be okay? How long will it take for each to reheat? I've never used a 18-qt roaster before but if I read the directions, I hope they are simple.
ellen
05/25/10
It will be OK. Preheat the roasters. Allow at least 2 hours at 325-350 for the sloppy joes, turn down to 180 when it gets to 180 in the middle of the batch, stirring center to sides and top to bottom every half hour or so. The rigatoni would reheat better in the oven, transferring to the roaster at 180 when it reached 180.
Shawna
05/25/10
I am having a taco bar/taco salad/nachos graduation party for my son. We expect 100-120 people. I was going to cook 20# of shredded chicken and 30# of seasoned ground beef 2 days ahead and refrigerate. I was also going to make your recipe for the Barracho Beans and Baked Rice the day before and refrigerate. How many roasters do I need to reheat my items, what temperature and for how long? Thank you.
ellen
05/25/10
You can reheat on the stove (beans- just stir and don't use high heat) and in the regular oven, then transfer to the roasters for serving. One each for beef, chicken, beans and rice, refill the last two once.
I always allow 2 hours at 325-350 for reheating, turn down to 180 when it reaches 180. Keep tightly covered while reheating.
Nancy
06/16/10
I have GFS frozen chile lime chicken wings.Can I heat them in an electric roaster so they stay moist.
ellen
06/16/10
Yes, you do them just as you would in the regular oven, with these cautions:
PREHEAT the roaster at least 20 minutes covered to minimize hot spots on the sides and bottom
Don't do more than 10 pounds at a time!
They will heat more evenly if fully thawed in the refrigerator before cooking.
Laura
06/23/10
I am making baked mac and cheese in a roaster and I am making chantilli potatoes. Can you give me some suggestions on how to make this stuff if it can be made in a roaster.
Elisabeth Robertson
06/25/10
Do you have your recipes in a book? Espically
for electric roasters, and large crowds. Your
tips on how to cook and the time was great.
ellen
06/25/10
Laura, how much mac and potatoes?

Elisabeth, thanks, I can barely keep up with the website. I would like to find a brilliant programmer that I could get to help me make a calculating CD that would do what I do for the readers...

Barb
07/16/10
Are you able to make homemade baked beans using soaked navy beans in an electric roaster?
ellen
07/16/10
Absolutely. Look on my beans for 100 page.
Jeanette
07/21/10
Planning to make roast potatoes in and electric roaster for 160 people. How much red potatoes do I need and any tips for cooking in the electric roasters. I hope to make mustard roasted potatoes.
Sarah
07/21/10
I am braising brisket for 60 people in a couple of ovens the day before a wedding reception. Can I use an electric roaster to reheat the brisket on the day of the wedding?
ellen
07/22/10
Yes Best to reheat sliced in the braising liquid or a sauce
Dave
07/26/10
I am wanting to cook about 10 lbs of pork loin roast in our electric roaster to make shreaded BBQ pork. What suggestions do you have to cook it in to make it fall appart easily, and how long will it take to cook?
ellen
07/26/10
The very juiciest, best way to achieve this result is to cook it at 275 until the internal temp is just 180. It takes an hour per pound or a bit more, if this is 1 piece. They tend to hit a temp plateau at 165 and hang there, sometimes for an hour or more. If you cook to this internal temp at a higher heat, the pork dries out too much.
Dave
07/27/10
Thank You!!! - since I have 2, 5 lbs pieces, will it take less, and do I need to cook it completley covered in water or do you suggest something else? I have been told COKE, among other ideas.
ellen
07/27/10
You can do a simmer, or a roast See the pulled pork recipe on the BBQ page.
Patty
08/11/10
I have a 22qt Hamilton roaster. Can I cook 21
3/4# potatoes at one time. How long? and can
I keep them warm, for how long? Can they touch
the sides of roaster without damage?
Thank You,
ellen
08/11/10
It would be best to bake in the oven where they can be spread out, then hold in the preheated roaster up to 2 hours at 200. The roaster will just hold this size order. Bake at 350 for 1 to 1 1/2 hour; they feel soft and ten the baked potato bar page for more information.der in the glove on your hand when done. See
Becky
08/12/10
I have to make a roaster of hot dogs and kraut for an auction. i have an 18qt roaster. can you tell me how many hotdogs and kraut i would need to fill it and how soon before the sale i should start them and what temp? thanks
ellen
08/13/10
You only want to put in about 12 quarts, to allow adequate heating. It takes 1/4-1/3 cup sauerkraut for a 2 hot dog serving, so you get about 60 servings in the roaster, which is 120 dogs and about a gallon and a half of kraut.

350 degrees, 2 hours before. PREHEAT THE ROASTER 20 MINUTES, layer kraut first, dogs, kraut, dogs, kraut etc, ending with kraut. Keep the lid on. Stir occasionally, gently, adding water or kraut juice to prevent sticking. Don't forget mustard, at least 2 quarts.

Linda
08/29/10
Can I use the roaster as an oven--setting my eggbake in the 9x13 pan inside the roaster to bake?
ellen
08/29/10
You can, it works great, just be sure to preheat 20 minutes.
Margaret
09/06/10
I was planning on putting 4 seven pound cans of refried beans in an 18 quart roaster. I have 6 roasters available. 28 cans of beans. What temp shall I set them for to heat and for how long? I have been reading your posts for two days now and am at a loss as to how exactly I might heat this many already cooked beans. I will be serving 600 tostadas using prepared tortilla shells with these beans.
ellen
09/06/10
I definitely would NOT put more than 3 cans in one roaster, maybe even 2 1/2; this is a very dense food and hard to reheat evenly outside a real oven. The likelihood of scorching the outside before the middle was hot enough to be safe, would be too high.

Do preheat the roaster to 325 before filling. Do keep covered except when stirring and do stir often. Allow about 1 1/2 hours per can Check the temp in the middle with a quick read thermometer and turn oven temp down to 180 to hold for serving when the bean temp reaches 165-180 in the middle.

Karen
09/11/10
I am making scalloped potatos with ham in 18 qt electric roaster for 200 people. how many lbs potato ( Real potaoes, not dehydrated ) do I need. How many roasters will I need, how many lbs ham needed. How long to cook and what temp. ?
ellen
09/11/10
You need 4 to 5 roasters (cooks faster with a thinner layer).
70-80 pounds potatoes
45-50 pounds ham pieces
325, preheated 20 minutes. PAM the pans before filling. Allow 2-3 hours, add another 1/2 hour if cold to start. Stir gently occasionally the first hour or so. Check middle for 165 degrees, turn down to 180 to hold.
Chris
09/12/10
Cooking for 75 high school football players after Friday night game. We have two roasters and three crock pots. This past game, we did ham and scalloped potatoes in two roasters (cooked in oven) with seasoned green beans in crock pots. It went very well. I am looking for a beef stew, not too spicey, recipe. I would like to use a high quality cut of beef. Please advise. Thank you!
ellen
09/12/10
For the beef, chuck- top flavor for stew and a very good mix of marbling/fat for juiciness and lean.

High school? With staff? You will need about 40 pounds beef, 30-35 potatoes- I would do 3 roasters if I could scrounge up another.

Michelle
09/20/10
I want to make apple butter in a roaster, I will have approximately 12 quarts of apple pulp and 7 lbs of sugar along with some spices. When I cook it on a stove top I keep it a gentle boil while it cooks down. What temp do you recommend me starting at to bring it to boil (the mixture will still be hot from steaming the apples), and what temp do you recommend turning it down to maintain a gentle boil to simulate a stovetop? Thanks!
notabay
09/25/10
I have use of a Nesco 18Qt roaster and will be making a pulled pork recipe for about 50 people. Will I be able to roast 4 pork shoulder roasts in the single roaster?
ellen
09/25/10
Michelle, I would preheat the roaster covered at 350 for at least 20 minutes, then tun down to 300 as soon as I added the apples and sugar. You will have to leave the cover off to get the dehydration you need, so you will have to play with the temp to get it where it is just bubbling along the sides. If you are using a Rival or Hamilton Beach, be aware the heating element for these two is along the bottom, not around the sides like a Nesco, and you will have to watch for sticking.

Notabay, yes, and the roaster will hold the pulled, sauced meat for 50 as well.

Ann
10/02/10
I need to make a very large bag of frozen broc,col & carrots. The bag directions only mention cooking small amounts at a time or in a steamer oven. Can I steam them in an electric roaster. What would you suggest.
ellen
10/02/10
Yes, use a rack in the bottom, bring to steaming before adding the vegetables, spread them in a layer across the rack. It won't take much longer than a regular pan with a smaller amount.
Catherine
10/04/10
We're making hotdogs for a church function. Can I steam them in the Nesco roaster? How do I do it? We're cooking for approx. 250. Thanks.
ellen
10/04/10
Yes, steam just as you would in a regular oven- on a rack with water under, tightly covered. 350 degrees to 450 (they tend to burst at 450).
They take up to an hour at the lower temp.
carrie
10/06/10
can ican cook 8lbs.of dry pinto beans in a22 quart electric roaster
ellen
10/06/10
Yes, they cook better if soaked overnight first. It will be very full. Stir occasionally.
Christie
10/07/10
I am cooking veg.beef soup for 25-30 people. I have a six quart roaster and a 4 quart crockpot. Is this enough soup?
ellen
10/08/10
I would do 2 6 quart roasters if it is the only entree. It is enough if it is a soup course before a main meal.
Linda
10/18/10
We want to do chicken, either grilled or baked and serve with pasta and sauce, for 150 people. I tried this for a very large family function and I cooked the pasta and transferred it to a chafing dish. Needless to say, it was mush by serving time. Is there a way to cook pasta (like small seashell pasta or bowtie pasta) ahead and then re-heat in chafing dishes? I kept the sauce separate as I had two different ones. Is it better to add the pasta to the sauce and then re-heat both together?
ellen
10/18/10
Linda, you experienced all the hazards of large amounts of pasta!
First, read the spaghetti page in detail.
Then, consider using a baked pasta recipe. The sausage mozzarella bake on that page can be done with boneless chicken. The baked spaghetti in basic budget entrees on the Big Pots page, can also be done with chicken.
If you really want to do a boiled pasta, rotini holds the best- there are instructions for reheating on the spaghetti page. It has to be slightly underdone to reheat successfully.
You CANNOT safely reheat in the chafing dish, it doesn't get hot enough. Reheat in oven, or roaster, or on stove top, and transfer.
Brenda
10/20/10
How would I cook Garlic Bread for 50 people in an electric roaster. I am having a luncheon in my classroom where there is no oven.
ellen
10/20/10
You need 2 roasters, due to the sheer volume of the bread. Do the foil wrap style and use the same heat and time as the regular oven, being sure to preheat the ovens. Lucky students.
janice
10/21/10
How much kielbasa and sauerkraut will I need for 20 people? I would like to use an electric roaster. Any sugestions?
ellen
10/21/10
If this is the only meat, you want at least 7 pounds and with 10 you have some, but not too much, left over.

About 1/3 cup sauerkraut per person, you won't have any left; or a little more if it is self serve or they are really enthusiastic sauerkraut eaters.

Don't forget the rye rolls/bread and mustard.

kay
11/12/10
I am making a turkey dinner for 120 people. I need to figure out how to make the turkeys the day before and reheat them in a roaster without them drying out. Any suggestions? Thank you so much.
ellen
11/13/10
How to reheat turkey so it is safe and tasty has a whole article in the holiday section at the top of big pots.
BJ
12/08/10
I am cooking cowboy beans for about 300 people and want to use a few roasters. If I cook the meat and bacon ahead of time at what temp and how long should all the ingredients take to heat up and cook in the roaster?
ellen
12/08/10
I would allow 5-6 roasters, as this is a very dense food and you want it to heat fairly quickly without scorching. If they are coming out of the fridge, allow 2 hours at a preheated 325.
John
12/09/10
I am interested in cooking 6 cornish hens in my Rival 18 Roaster. How long and at what temp should I cook them? Can I add wild rice?
ellen
12/10/10
Treat just as in a regular oven, just be sure to preheat. I would precook the wild rice, as for a stuffing.
Dan
12/14/10
I need to make 25-30 baked potatos. I tried your link from the potato bar, but it no longer works. I'm guessing 400 degrees for an hour, unwrapped and no water?
ellen
12/14/10
Dan, go to the top of the main Cook Talk forum page, hit the taco/potato bar button and it will go right there. What link did you try?
troy harden
12/21/10
yes im not sure how not make scalloped potatoes in a roaster (electric) and how much milk butter etc do i need to use
ellen
12/21/10
Are you making a roaster full?

If it is just a regular casserole pan in the roaster, treat as any oven, be sure you preheat the roaster.

If making a roaster full in the cookwell, preheat the roaster beforte addinmg the cookwell..

Heavily grease or spray the cookwell, coat with Parmesan cheese. Layer in the potatoes by your favorite recipe. No more than 4 inches deep. Cook at 325-350, allow about 1 hour per inch of layer, keep layersd at 4 inches or less. When done (tender and center is 165 or above) place folded clean cotton dish towel on top to catch condensation, turn to 180 to hold until served.

troy
12/22/10
yes im maken a roaster full im feeding about 20 or less people and how much mile potatoes and butter will i need
troy
12/22/10
and i am usen real potatoes and how much milk
ellen
12/22/10
For 20 people, I do 7-8 pounds of potatoes.

You would do 4 times this good off-site recipe:

southernfood.about.com/od/scallopedpotatoes/r/bl30129v.htm

Rachel Ellis
01/18/11
Help! I am cooking 8lbs of pinto beans for my church dinner. I borrowed a 22qt roaster oven from the church to cook the beans in. What I need to know is how long do I cook the beans and on what setting? The roaster oven is a Oster 22qt Roaster Oven, that temp ranges from 150d to 450d.

I work during the day and thought that I would cook them overnight before the meal and then turn the beans on very low or even off during the day of the meal. And when I get off work, turn the beans on to heat.
Please give me some direction. Thank you. Rachel

ellen
01/18/11
Soak the beans at least 6 hours or overnight before cooking. Cook at 200 to approximate LOW on a slow cooker. You will have mush if you then cook all day. They MUST be refrigerated, cannot be left out at room temp for the work day.
Joy M. Mosley
01/19/11
How can I bar-b-que trimmed chicken leg quarters in an electric roaster? Will I need to precook the chicken? How much sauce and how long to cook 45 quarters?
ellen
01/21/11
This is over 30 pounds of chicken, you need 2 roasters.
You can do these by any slow cooker recipe if you want the simmered in sauce type, or you can season with a dry rub, bake and then sauce like a jerked rib. Basically you do it like in the oven. Do preheat the roaster befor putting in the meats in the cook well/ insert.
Dawn
01/21/11
I have to make mashed potatoes for 100 for a wedding at a large home.No commercial kitchen to serve from! I will be doing something very similar to the freezable potato recipe you have here making a day before and refrigerating. My concern is in heating them as I will also be heating boneless chicken breasts or tenderloins or possibly with boneless thighs (adding sauteed onions and apples and apple juice to keep moist), green bean casserole, stuffing and gravy. I think I have the last 3 figured out how to heat with limited oven space, but the potatoes have me concerned with how long it would take to heat. I will probably need to heat directly in 18 qt roasters, 2? Will a couple of hours be enough time to heat from refrigerated temp? Should I stir every 15 minutes or so to distribute the heat better? Or should I preheat and transport in cambro? But would 5 hours be too long to keep hot without ruining flavor or health issues? Could the potatoes be reheated on stove top with a lot of stirring and then added to roaster?
Do you think I could reheat the green bean casserole on stove burner in large pot and then put in roaster?
With the chicken I don't want to over cook so gets dry. But the reception is an hour away and starts at 1:00 so I won't have too much time to reheat with limited oven space. I thought if I prebrowned chicken breast in frypan in oil ,boneless skinless, and precooked only say 75% the night before with sauce & veggies, refrigerated and then finished in the roasters at 300 for a hour or so watching temperature of meat it might work. I'm hoping the onions and apples and sauce layered between will keep moist. How many breast or tenderloin pieces plus veggies and sauce would fit in the 18qt roasters probably 2? Do you think it would take longer than an hour at 300 to finish cooking?
Menu was bride's choice, not mine. There also are homemade rolls and salad with the meal. Will have separate dessert bar- small wedding cake, cream puffs and chocolate fountain. Main meal will all be served from roasters and chafing dishes, 2 serving lines. Wedding not til end of February so time to adapt. Thanks so much for your help!
ellen
01/21/11
Most important first; it is unsafe to partially cook chicken. See the dijon wedding chicken for an example of how to do and reheat a large chicken dish. You need 3 roasters for this much chicken.

Yes, you need two roasters each for the potatoes and green beans, the roaster only holds about 50 side dish servings.

You keep taking the lid off the roaster and you will increase the reheat time about 50%. Keep the lid on. Place clean folded cotton duish towels across the top to catch condensation drips from the lid.

Trying to reheat the potatoes or green beans in large pots on a home stove is a recipe for scorch. I would not choose that method.

You need to plug in the roasters one to an outlet/circuit If you use an extension, it should be one like used on computers that will shut off if overloaded- and if you do 2 in the same cord, it WILL overload.

Joanne
01/25/11
We're having a Fat Tuesday celebration at my church and will be making red beans and rice for about 500 people. The rice will be cooked separately in rice cookers and pressure cookers. We have 4 roaster ovens: 2 16-qt, 1 18-qt, 1 20-qt. We plan to use small red beans and smoked sausage. Any help in determining the quanity per roaster and how to prep/cook would be very helpful. Thanks!
Dawn
01/25/11
Thank you so much for the info! I was able to persuade the bride's mother (an old friend) that it wasn't possible to heat that much food up in the home without blowing circuits. She has now come up with a much more workable menu with more cold items: Caesar Chicken Salad, Cheesy Potatoes, Jello with fruit and homemade rolls. Plus a veggie tray, spinach dip for appetizers. She is able to get a lot of veggies very cheaply so will be able to keep costs down. Thanks again for your help!
ellen
01/26/11
Dawn, congratulations.

Joanne, each roaster only holds enough redbeans for about 60 people and you need to cook the rice separately. See my favorite cajun site for a really good red beans recipe:

www.gumbopages.com/food/red-beans.html

That's as good as it gets.

Margaret Simon
01/28/11
How long does it take, and what temperature do I use to heat up macaroni and cheese that was made, refrigerated and put in a roaster overnight?
ellen
01/29/11
It depends on the amount of casserole- is it in a 9x13, or you have a whole roaster pan full? You should also see the other question about this I just answered today.
Rach
02/01/11
I am helping with a wedding. We need to prepare frozen green beans for 130 people. The reception hall does not have a stove, so we are using lots of roasters! Does anyone know how to prepare the green beans so they will not get mushy?
Melanie
02/21/11
I am planning to make teriyaki chicken for 50 people using chicken tenderloins and teriyaki sauce cooked together in a roaster. What temp and for how long would you cook this? Do you have a recipe you can recommend?
Nancy
02/22/11
I am making 27 gallons of cream gravy that will be served over pasta and ham. Each roaster will contain 3 gallons of cream, with about 1 qt ham juice and cornstarch thickening. How hot does the cream need to be before I can add the thickening. You say 20 min to boil a gallon of water, how about cream. I know I need to be careful of scorching. What temp should this be kept at for serving?
Mary Jo
03/05/11
pinto beans in a roaster over
We are having a mission trip fundraiser at our church next weekend and will be serving pinto beans and cornbread. I know that the roaster we have will hold 8 lbs of beans. My questions are: How long should I soak the beans, What temp should I cook them and for how long. We will be putting ham meat in the beans too. Thanks for such a wonderful informative web site! I will use it often...I love to to cook for lots of people!!
ellen
03/06/11
Nancy, for some reason, the response I made for you did not post; so sorry for the delay. Cream has to be scalded, never boiled, at a lower temperature than water. When it reaches 160 degrees, stir in the cornstarch mixed in the warmed ham juice. Keep temp at or below 180, or you will crack the sauce as it thickens.

Mary Jo, best soak is overnight- in fridge if the weather is hot. Then drain this water and cook with fresh. Saute the seasoning veggies (onion, celery, bell peppers, etc) separately and sweat them before you stir them into the beans. There are lots of bean hints and recipes on this site- help with timing, etc. Check them out.

1 pound beans makes almost 2 quarts cooked. You don't want to fill a roaster more than 3/4 full, to promote even, safe cooking. Allowing for additions, I usually cook no more than 5 pounds dry per roaster. I allow 20 minutes per gallon for the water to boil.

R
04/07/11
Hamburger Stew for 300
I am cooking hamburger soup for 300. How many pounds of hb do I need? Also, potatoes, carrots, gallons of green beans, brown beans and corn? I will be using a mixture of tomato juice and beef broth for liquid. I am figuring about 2 cups of soup per person. Thanks.
ellen
04/07/11
I suggest you use the beefy tomato vegetable soup recipe as a quantity guide. It makes about 3 1/2 gallons (1 roaster), enough for about 50 people with this size portion.

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/beefsoup.html

ed brown
04/10/11
could you tell me how to cook long grain rice in a elctric roaster
ellen
04/11/11
Hi Ed,

Assuming you want to cook a roaster full- if it is less, just cook it in a covered pan in the roaster as if the roaster were any other oven-
this works for up to 6-8 pounds of rice. Do NOT fill the roaster fuller, it will boil over:

Measure out the rice and water into bowls.
Put the water and desired salt and seasonings in the roaster, bring to a boil with the roaster at 350 or above. Allow up to 20 minutes per gallon for this- it can take a while.

Stir in the rice and 3-4 tablespoons of vegetable oil, bring it back to a boil, turn the heat to 300 and clap on the lid.

Cook covered about 40 minutes, stirring once about 10 minutes in. KEEP IT COVERED.

When the rice is done, put a clean cotton dish towel over the top to keep moisture off the top layer, turn down to 170-180 and keep it covered until you fluff and serve.

ellen
04/11/11
By the way, white rice should boil about 5 minutes before turning down, brown 8-10.
Stephanie plummer
04/13/11
I am purchasing 200 mild wings already cooked from buffalo wild wings for a party the same day. I have a roaster and was wondering if that would be the best way to keep them warm? If so, at what temperature and do I add water? Or is there a better way?
Jill Neeman
04/13/11
I need to reheat 70 frozen breakfast burritos (all ingredients are precooked) that are individually wrapped in foil. At what temperature and for how long should I heat these? One roaster or two?
ellen
04/13/11
Stephanie, I would wrap tightly in foil before holding in the preheated roaster at 200 degrees.

Jill, you posted twice, see the other one.

Kathy Smith
04/20/11
chicken and rice
Can i make chicken and rice in my large electric roaster?
Will it stick or burn?
ellen
04/20/11
Yes, for up to about 50 people. It can stick if you do not use PAM and have some oil/fat in the recipe, and is more likely to stick or burn if you fail to preheat before inserting the cooking pan, or use a very high heat.
Charlotte
04/22/11
Can I reheat bbq ribs and bbq chicken that will be cooked the day before in my roaster while I am at church the next day? I need the food heated before my company arrives and I won't have time to do it after I get home from church. I will put it on around 10:00 am and hopefully be home around 12:30. What temperature would be safe to use without further cooking the meat?
ellen
04/23/11
It will cook further, there is no avoiding that. 275 degrees is the minimum safe reheating temp.
Sue
05/16/11
I have a crock pot recipe for roast beef that calls for golden mushroom soup and a dry packet of french onion soup. My mother wants to make a couple of 4 pound roasts in her electric oven with this recipe. What temperature and how long would she cook it to get the same results.
ellen
05/16/11
Low is 190-200 degrees, high is 280-300. Make sure it is very tightly covered. I add several drained cans of mushrooms and 1/4 cup dry parsley to this recipe.
sharon
05/30/11
how long do i cook a 13x9 breakfast casserole that has been in the fridge overnight in my roaster?
ellen
05/30/11
Just the same as in the oven, and same temp- preheat the roaster 20 minutes before adding the casserole, and use a rack in the bottom of the roaster. This size, it takes about 10 minutes longer than one which has not been chilled.
Kelly
06/07/11
I am preparing the food for our sons grad party (feeding approx. 100.) We are serving barbeque beef sandwiches, hot dogs and chicken salad sandwiches as the main. Our sides are cheesy potatoes, corn on the cob, baked beans and watermelon.
I would like a recipe for the cheesy potatoes using real potatoes. I have a 22 qt roaster and will be thinly slicing the potatoes using a food processor for uniformity.
Also planning to cook the meat for the bbq sandwiches in the roasters till very tender and use prepared bbq sauce with some additional ingredients. Should I do this a day or so ahead? and if so how do I reheat using roaster? How much and how long to cook the meat? I'm thinking brisket. What do you recommend?
By the way, I have 4 roasters at my disposal and will not have use of an oven or stove on the party day, just the roasters.
PS Thank you for this site!
ellen
06/07/11
Funny, I was just working on this potato recipe.

The secret to success for the large amount in the roaster is to precook the sliced potatoes, see this recipe:

nll.ahf.nmci.navy.mil/publications/docs%5Crecipe/Q05100.pdf

For this group, I would use 1 1/2 times those amounts, in 2 roasters. Preheat roasters at least 20 minutes to 350, allow an hour at least; check temp in the middle with a quick read thermometer, at 160, turn roasters to 180.

The beef benefits from sitting in baggies in the sauce for a day or two in the fridge. I prefer chuck/shoulder to brisket for this dish, but both are good. Again, preheat the roasters before putting in the beef; time depends on how full the roasters are, but at least the same as the potatoes.

ellen
06/08/11
Each roaster will hold about 25 pounds of potatoes, and feed about 60. It really is critical to precook the potatoes at least 2/3 done.
kelly
06/08/11
Thank you for the info. but I am not able to open the link to the recipe.
ellen
06/08/11
Sorry! To get there the long way round, go to the Big Pots page, press the Army Quartermaster link about half way down the page, tell your browser it is OK when it tells you that the certificates don't match (to continue), and put potatoes in the search box. Then keep in mind that 100 servings feeds about 80 teens.
Emily
06/14/11
My husband and I are making sloppy joes for my grandma's 85th birthday party this saturday. My dad said we should prepare enough for 40 people, give or take. We have a recipe from a friend we love, but I don't know how to change it to make sure it feeds enough people. (Mainly because the amount it says it serves now is never enough). We also don't have anything large enough to prepare that much food or keep it hot. So, I called a local rental place and they have an 18 qt electric roaster that costs $15 for the day. Is that large enough and will it cook the joe's? If I give you the recipe we love, can you adjust it to ensure we can feed 40 people?
ellen
06/14/11
You can buy a roaster at Target or Sam's for around $40, maybe less-

Yes, one roaster is great for 40 people- good for up to 60, easily.

I use about 12-14 pounds regular hamburger for plenty for 40; when I make it in the roaster, I buy leaner, so I don't have to drain off grease- then it takes a pound or two less.

Yes, if you post the recipe I will help multiply it, but you can probably do it yourself; multiply to get the meat right, cut the salt in half, spices 1/4 to 1/3.

Happy birthday, grandmother.

Lynn Robinson
06/16/11
I'm having an anniversary party for my parents this weekend. I was wondering can I make mac & cheese in my 16 qt roaster? If so how long do you cook it. Should I grease the outside of the pan.

I have a pretty simple recipe that I use for my family of 4. We are looking to serve approx 40 people. Can you tell me how much macaroni I would need?

Thanks!!

ellen
06/16/11
The mac and cheese can be cooked right in the cooking pan of the roaster. 5 pounds of dry pasta. Cook, sauce and mix, pour into the pre-treated cooking pan. Thoroughly grease or PAM the pan, coat with grated Parmesan cheese (the inexpensive kind, like Kraft). Preheat the roaster at least 20 minutes covered before adding the filled cooking pan.

Have French-fried onions, as for green bean casserole, for topping, last 20 minutes; it will not get brown and crusty in the roaster.

Lynn Robinson
06/17/11
Thanks!! How long should I cook it?
ellen
06/18/11
Allow at least 1 1/2 hours if fresh-made, 2 if refrigerated. Check the middle of the casserole for temperature with a quick read thermometer. When it reaches 180, turn the roaster down to 180 to hold for serving.
Denise
07/03/11
How long and at what temperature could I set my electric roaster at to heat 400 precooked sauage patties. We are having a pancake feed for over 250 and will not have access to a microwave or stove.
ellen
07/03/11
First of all, you need at least 3 roasters to do this much sausage, and 4 would be better.

Preheat according to the oven directions for the particular brand (but not over 325), at least 20 minutes. Have a rack in the bottom of each roaster. Put in a layer, paper towels, another layer, etc, no more than 2-3 inches thick total, leaving an inch or so around each edge for heat circulation. Cover tightly.

Read the how to reheat turkey article, it is a lot like that.

Pat Morgan
07/11/11
Please can you tell me how many pounds of dried pinto beans, how much water & how long to cook in a roaster? I need to feed about 50 to 60 people. I have always used a crock pot for smaller gatherings & have never used a roaster.
ellen
07/11/11
Hi, you posted twice. see the other one.
kelly
07/16/11
this the first time using an roaster for hot dogs for a party of 40 people. I really have no ideal on how to do this. how long, how many hot dogs at one time and temperture ect. help
kelly
07/16/11
Electric Roaster-cooking hot dogs
I need help with answers if possible on temp. total amount of dogs for about 30 people how much water if I need water to do this hot dogs?
ellen
07/16/11
Hi, Kelly,
I just posted guidance on hot dogs under the chafing dish thread- check that out.
Linda
07/25/11
I am using my 18 qt Rival Roaster to make macaroni and cheese for a crowd. I usually make it in the oven and have never made it in the Roaster. I am not sure what temp or how long to cook it. I did not see any recipes for this in here and was wondering if you had any.
ellen
07/25/11
Making it in the roaster is very like making it in the oven.

Grease or butter the cook pan and dust it with the plain grated Parmesan cheese to reduce sticking, before adding the mixed casserole into the pan.

Preheat the roaster at least 20 minutes before inserting the cooking pan, usually 350.

Spread a clean, dry cotton dish towel over the top of the casserole to keep the moist condensation from dripping back into the food.

Cook until the middle of the casserole is 165-180, which takes about the same as oven cooking the same amount.

The biggest difference is the top stays moist, does not get crusty. Either run it under a hot broiler for a few minutes or top with crushed French fried onions (the same kind used on green bean casserole).

Lisa
07/26/11
Nesco
I would like to keep fresh corn on the cob for a crowd warm in my Nesco (2 to 2 1/2 dozen ears). I usually boil my corn on the cob 8 min in the stove, then serve it. Can I keep it warm until serving time in my Nesco?
ellen
07/27/11
Consider roasting in the preheated nesco without preboiling. Try this at home, seeif you like it. Boiling and holding is pretty hard on the corn flavor.
Karen
07/29/11
Hi Ellen, I have to make 12 lbs of teriyaki chicken for snack bar duty. I have an 18 quart roaster oven, 12 lbs of frozen boneless, skinless breasts and 63oz of Mr. Yoshidas marinating/baking sauce. Can I put defrosted chicken and bottle of sauce all together in roaster and cook? If so, at what temperature and for how long would I cook it for?
Thanks for your help.
ellen
07/29/11
First defrost the chicken and marinate overnight in the refrigerator in the sauce.

Then you have to decide; it will be simmered, not teriyaki if you just dump it in and cook it all together, tasty, but not the original plan.

Consider roasting in the regular oven then reheating in the roaster with some extra sauce brushed on.

karen
07/29/11
If roasting in reg oven, do I coat with sauce? And at what temp do I cook it for and for how long? I would like to do that the night before.

How long will it take to reheat in roaster oven before serving? I will start serving around 10:30 am. Thanks sooooo much!

ellen
07/30/11
About 20-30 minutes in a preheated 325 oven. Just done0- reheating will dry further- coat with sauce, turn once while cooking, bit more sauce.

Reheating, preheat the roaster, then coat again with fresh sauce (NOT THE previously used marinade!!!), layer in on a rack or pan. How long depends on if you do all at once and whether they just cam out of the fridge. As soon as they reach 165, turn down to 180 to hold.

Linda
08/02/11
Thank you so much Ellen. I will be putting your advice to work this weekend!
scalloped potatoes
08/03/11
I would like to make just scalloped potato in my 18qt. roaster. I want to use boxed scalloped potatoes. how many boxes to fill my roaster.

Thank You
Jean

ellen
08/03/11
You can make 12 to 14 quarts max in the one roaster. Figure out how much one box makes, using the nutrition panel on the box. For example, it will say something like serving size, 1/2 cup, number of servings 6, which means the box makes 3 cups. 4 cups in a quart, so that is 3/4 of a quart, and you would do 16-18 boxes.
anita
08/06/11
I need a recipe for scalloped potatoes in a roaster for 100 people. please give ammounts of indgredients also, thanks in advance
ellen
08/06/11
You need 2 roasters to make enough, plus 40-45 pounds of potatoes. Do you want the creamy kind with no cheese or the kind with cheese and onion?
anita
08/08/11
creamy kind with no cheese.
ellen
08/09/11
OK. I would use 2 roasters, preheated to 350.

35 pounds potatoes, peeled and sliced

Simmer 10 minutes until just tender. Drain. Spray the cooking pans heavily with non stick spray and divide the potatoes between the 2 pans.

3 gallons white sauce, made with 3 gallons whole milk, using 1 1/2 tablespoons flour and same of butter for each cup of milk. Salt, pepper and parsley to taste.

Divide the white sauce in half, pour over each pan, stir very gently.

Bake at 350 45 minutes. If you made the sauce and potatoes earlier, and they have been refrigerated, allow 1 1/2 hours.

When hot through, 180 in the middle, turn heat to 180 to hold.

Because the roaster does not brown or crisp the potatoes, I sprinkle on crushed French fried onions (the same kind used on green bean casserole) about 20 minutes before serving.

anita
08/09/11
thanks for scalloped pot info...how about home made macaroni and cheese? also using roaster
Cena
08/27/11
Fixing baked spaghetti for a youth meeting. Will be feeding appx 100-150. Have you ever fixed a baked spaghetti inside a 20 qt roaster? Can you please give me advise on how to do this along with temperature and how long to cook? Thanks for all your help.
ellen
08/27/11
Cena, you need 2 roasters.

Preheat the roasters to the desired temp for at least 20 minutes before adding the cook pan.

Expect it to stay moister- not so much water cooks out- you may want to use a slightly thicker sauce and a bit less than your regular oven recipe.

When hot through, 180 in the middle, turn heat to 180 to hold.

Because the roaster does not brown or crisp the top, you may want to sprinkle on Parmesan cheese about 20 minutes before serving.

ellen
08/27/11
Anita, the same comments as just above for the spaghetti casserole apply. If you want it to firm up more, beat a few eggs or a cupful of bread crumbs into the cheese sauce.
Laurie
09/01/11
I am making spanish rice in my roaster oven. What is the max number of cups of long, converted raw rice I can put in one roaster oven? I will then adjust my recipe accordingly.

Thanks!

Sandra
09/01/11
I would like to steam corn in my roaster for our Labor Day cookout. Can I leave them in their husks? Any good hints?
ellen
09/02/11
Laurie, about 12 cups/ 6 pounds per roaster.

Sandra, yes, it works better to leave them in the husks. My current favorite way to eat steamed corn on the cob is, husk it, roll in good olive oil, sprinkle on ground sumac (Middle Eastern, tangy and sweet) or paprika, sprinkle on grated Parmesan or cojita cheese, munch.

Ellie
09/02/11
I have a rival roaster, what is the best way to steam two dozen ears of corn for a labor day picnic?
ellen
09/03/11
Try to get ears that are all about the same size, short enough to stand or lean in the roaster;

Preheat the empty roaster to 350 while you prepare the cooking pan full of corn. Boil some water.

Leave the husks on, trim the stem so the end is flat.

Stand them up in the pan on the flat end, leaning them if they are too long.

Put the pan in the preheated roaster.

Pour in enough boiling water to come about 1/2 inch up on the corn.

Cover tightly. Keep the lid on!

It takes somewhere from 40 minutes to an hour at 350, depending on the size of the corn.

Open, husk, eat.

Karen
09/07/11
how long will it take to cook pinto beans in an electric roaster?
ellen
09/07/11
From scratch, if soaked overnight, about 4 hours at 350. Watch the liquid; some roasters dry out faster than others.
gabrielle
09/13/11
I'm planning on cooking chicken and rice in my roaster for 50 people using 3 whole chickens. Do you have a recipe for this. Do you know how long it might take it to cook?
ellen
09/13/11
Unless these are giant chickens, I would add a bag of leg quarters.

There are a lot of different ways to cook chicken and rice, ranging for jambalaya to paella to creamy. What do you have in mind?

Cooking time is the same as if you were cooking it in a regular oven.

jill
09/16/11
Tomorrow I am cooking 10 lbs of sausage in electric roaster and need to know what temp and how long. And when to put peppers and onions in.
ellen
09/16/11
Use just as you would the oven, same temp and time. preheat 20 minutes. I saute the onions and peppers after browning the sausage in the same pan,before adding adding the wine/sauce. Then simmer or bake for about a half hour..
gabrielle
09/22/11
sorry I'm just reading your reply now...I'm thinking of a recipe of rice pretty plain but with cream of mushroom or chicken. How much rice and many leg quarters do you think I'll need to serve 50 people?
ellen
09/22/11
Gabrielle, You need to allow at least 1/2 pound bone in chicken per person, and at least 5-6 pounds of rice. That is 2 roasters full.
josie
10/08/11
how maney cooked turkeys can i put in an electric roaster to keep warm?
ellen
10/08/11
Josie, see the article on safely reheating turkey in the holiday cooking section at the top of big pots.
Missy
10/19/11
How long will it take to cook rice for 100 in 2 roaster ovens? I plan on using about 8 lbs of rice. How much liquid? I was told it would take about 1 hour to boil the water, then add the rice and seasonings and cook for about 1 1/2 hours, then turn it down till serving time. Is this correct? Sounds easy enough
ellen
10/19/11
Parts of the information are OK. However, you will have mush if you cook for 1 1/2 hours before turning down.

Use Basmati, converted (Uncle Ben's) or brown rice for best success with roaster rice.

Cut water only 10% from what you would use for stove top cooking.

Put a clean cotton dishtowel over the cooked rice when you turn it down, to catch any drips from condensation.

Turn down to 180. It will hold about an hour.

sharon
10/21/11
i need to make a roaster pan of baked beans for grandson's wedding reception. can i cook directly in 22 lb rival roaster. i know i can only fill half to two-thirds full. will it burn on the sides even if i spray with pam? do i need to precook the onions and bacon? don't know the amounts of anything to use. do i need to refrigerate if i cook day before? how do i warm up? should i cook in oven or what? it is tomorrow at 4 pm.
Shirley
10/21/11
I want to purchase an electric roaster and am debating between the Nesco and Rival models. The Nesco is a bit more expensive but they are approximately the same size. Do you know if one is better or easier to use than the other, or are there features that I should look for? I just found your page and will certainly return to it for cooking info.
ellen
10/22/11
Sharon, Yes you can cook in the roaster. It burns because of being cooked too hot, and the Pam does not affect that. It is tastier if you brown the bacon and onions separately.

You MUST refrigerate, by transferring to shallow pans less than 2 inches deep, beans spoil faster than anything.

You can bake covered in the oven or the roaster.

Warm at 300-350, some stirring, preheat at least 20 minutes, allowing at least 1 hour. Turn down to 180 after temperature reaches 170 in the midle.

I do 8 pounds dry (2 roasters) for 100 people.

ellen
10/22/11
Shirley,
The Nesco heating coils are around the side, the Rival in the bottom. I like the Nesco design better.
Kimmer
10/29/11
Would you recommend making your Baked French Toast in an electric roaster. I am thinking of halfing it? How long and what temp would you recommend?
ellen
10/29/11
You can either use it for a 9x13 pan with a rack, or if you are talking about making it directly in the cookwell, you do 3 times the amount for one 9x13. The only difficulty is, no crispy bits. It stays very moist, so cut down the liquid a little.
kay
11/01/11
cooking Italian beef for a party. Cooking it on tuesday need it for Sat. do i have to freeze it?
Pam
11/02/11
Can you cook your cornbread dressing in with your turkey if you are using a electric roaster at the same time?
ellen
11/02/11
Kay, yes, 72 hours is the max safe hold in the fridge.

Pam, it is extremely likely you will either overcook the turkey or even more unsafe, undercook the dressing. Not recommended by the roaster people or the turkey people or the USDA.

Karen
11/04/11
can I cook the dressing only in a roaster over? Do I need another pan or glass dish?
ellen
11/04/11
Yes, it is fine to do dressing only in the roaster, and it can be done directly in the cook pan if it is a lot, or smaller if that works for your group.
Deirdre
11/14/11
I want to bake chicken pieces in my Rival Roaster Oven for a group of 26 - 30 people. I was planning on using olive oil, salt, pepper and maybe rosemary. I'll have three hours prior to serving and access to a frying pan but no other oven. How would you recommend I proceed? Or should I be using some kind of sauce?
ellen
11/14/11
I would use the frying pan to brown it while I preheated the roaster at least 20 minutes. Put a rack in the bottom so no pieces sit in the juices/fat. Pack it in and bake. It will be tasty, but not crispy.
lulu
11/15/11
Hi, normally I would cook 5 lbs of pork shoulder/butt in a slow cooker on low for 6 hours. I pour a little extra water into the crock pot as well. I need to cook up to 50/60 lbs of the same thing and Im not sure how. I couldnt find a large crock pot so I went for the electric roaster since Ive heard it does the same thing as a crock pot. Ive been reading your post and you say not to pour anything outside the pan the food is in and also not to exceed 4 inches in height. Ive bought 3 roasters. Will this be enough for my meat? All Im looking to get is the same juicy meat that is infused with the marinate it sits in like my crock pot does. I want the pork to be so tender I can pull it apart with a fork, BUT I want it to cook sitting in the marinate as well. Please let me know how I should go about this. Also, how many lbs of pork will each 18 QT roaster cook at a time?
lulu
11/15/11
Sorry I forgot to mention that I usually just place the meat in the crock pot and it never burns on the bottom. Because the heat source on the roaster is different, does this also mean I can't place my food directly in the roaster like I would with a crock pot? Do I treat the roaster more like an actual oven than a crock pot? I'm confused.
ellen
11/15/11
20 pounds per oven. Different brands have the heat source either under the bottom or around the sides like a crock pot. Just put a cookie rack in the bottom, put the meat on it, cover with the sauce/marinade, cook covered at 200. It will take a bit longer than the crockpot, maybe an hour longer.
lulu
11/16/11
Thanks Ellen, I have a Bella Cucina. Do you know the heat source for that? I've tried to google it and I can't find an answer. The roaster hasn't arrived yet so I don't have a manual to check. If I just use a cookie rack, and I can pour the marinate directly in the container with the pork, am I also able to exceed 4 inches in height? Will it take about 8 hours at 200 for 22 lbs of pork? I cooked in the crock pot for 6 on low for 5 lbs.
yolanda
11/20/11
Hi Ellen,
I plan on using my electric roaster to cook 8 stuffed Cornish hens. At what temperature should I set the roaster and how long will it take???
Also, do I use the cover? a rack????
Thanks
ellen
11/20/11
Lulu, yes, you can fill it 2/3 full. Probably 6-7 hours will be enough; check it.

Yolanda, preheat the roaster. Same temp as a regular oven. Definitely use a rack. Be aware they will not brown/crisp.

KK
11/21/11
Hi Ellen,
I am making stuffing for 20 people on Thanksgiving and would like to use the Nesco 18 qt. Can I prepare it the day before in the cook pan and then cook it on Thanksgiving? If so, for how long and on what temperature? Thanks!
RC
11/21/11
I'm cooking my very first turkey dinner.
I have a 14 lbs turkey. How long and at what temp should i cook it to impress my new in-laws? Thank you
ellen
11/21/11
KK, yes, it has to be refrigerated overnight. I make mine, store in baggies, then transfer to the preheated oven in the cook pan. Bake same as in the oven.

Hi, RC,
Turkeys are much less complicated than people think. Most people overcook them. See my recipe for honorable turkey in the recipebox. Then see:

eatturkey.com

For all you ever wanted to know about turkeys.

It will take about 4 hours, needs to stand another 1/2 hour before carving.

Margie
11/22/11
Can I use an oven bag for my turkey in the roaster?
ellen
11/22/11
Yes, make sure the bag does NOT touch the walls of the roaster.
flynn
11/24/11
I just bought a NESCO 18qt roaster and forgot to do the burn-in when roasting my Turkey(although I did preheat it for about a half hour on 400 with the liner in the roaster). Will this affect the Turkey in any way or is it still safe to eat? Thanks.
ellen
11/24/11
It did not stink up the house and turkey? You are VERY lucky. Safe to eat.
RC
11/28/11
ELLEN, my Turkey ROCKED. 14lbs at 325 for about 4 1/2 hours... the crowd loved it and my soon to be husband was very impressed. THANK YOU AGAIN
ellen
11/29/11
Congratulations, RC, and thanks for the followup. Turkey is a great meat for not holidays, too; a Sunday dinner and great lunches and dinners all week. Turkey makes great pot pies and "chicken" salad, too.
Ross Anderson
11/30/11
I dought it,but,can you fry chicken in a roaster(Rival) instead of a frying pan on the stove?
ellen
11/30/11
Nope.
Cindy
12/03/11
Is there a way to clean off a melted on pan liner bag from my roaster? I have tried everything??? Thanks.......
ellen
12/03/11
Turn it to lowest heat and warm up the plastic, then scrape, carefully. That's why I keep repeating, don't let the bag touch the sides. If that does not work, you can get a new cook pan- see the manufacturer for parts.
Kate
12/08/11
Hi Ellen,
I'm hosting a Christmas Eve party for my family, about 50 people. I would like to serve a parmesean chicken, baked in my oven, and some polish sausage baked in the electric roaster. How much meat should I plan on per person,
( we will also have several sides)and how, and how long would I cook the polish sausage in the roaster.
ellen
12/09/11
You want to allow at least 1 pound boneless skinless chicken for each 4, PLUS 1 pound sausage for each 5. The sausage depends on how you are cooking it- peppers and onions, sauce, steamed. More info, please.
kate
12/09/11
I think I would like to do some sausage with saurkraut and some plain (without anything added).
I'm not sure if I can do the kraut and sausage in the roaster . . if not, maybe I could use a crock pot, or just do it all plain.
ellen
12/09/11
You could do them side by side in the roaster, in 2 pans, but even easier to do in 2 crock pots.
Carol
12/12/11
Hi Ellen, I have a 22 QT Roaster and I am wanting to make a Tavern Ham in it for Christmas dinner. I have never used it or made a ham so I need some help. First do I need to leave the roasting rack in the bottom? Do I cook the ham in a basting bag? I want to make it with Brown Sugar, Pineapples, and Pineapple Juice. Any recipies or suggestions would help. The ham I figure will be about 14-16lbs.
ellen
12/12/11
Hi, Carol,
Tavern ham means different things in different parts of the country. Let me know if this is the salt cured one that needs soaking, or one that just needs heating?
Carol
12/13/11
It is one that will just need heated.
ellen
12/13/11
See the reheating ham instructions in the reheating turkey and ham article in the holiday cooing section at the top of Big Pots. I would use the rack.
Billie
12/19/11
Need the best way to cook beef tenderloins in an electric roaster. Probably two 5 lb. roasts.
ellen
12/19/11
This is one of the situations where I would suggest you do the other dishes in the roaster and the tenderloins in the oven, as the bit of browning on the edges is a great part of the tenderloin. However, if this is not possible., preheat the roaster to its highest temp for at least 20 minutes, use a rack and a meat thermometer. Then watch your time like a hawk, and let stand at least 10 minutes before slicing. Did I say, don't overcook it?

Overcooking ruins it. See this offsite article for detailed help:

www.homecooking.about.com/od/beef/a/filetmignontips.htm

Michelle
12/21/11
Red potatoes for about 15 people in the Roaster....how many pounds(bags) do I buy and temp in roaster and how long?

Thanks!

ellen
12/21/11
6-8 pounds is not too many, if this is buffet service and the only starch. There are a lot of ways to roast red potatoes, you use your favorite recipe and the time and temps for a regular oven; preheat 20 minutes before adding the potatoes. About 400 for about an hour.

I suggest you chunk them up into approximately same-sized pieces, roll in olive oil and herbs of choice (some people even use onion soup mix or ranch dressing mix).

What the roaster does not do is slightly brown/ caramelize the skins as an oven would. They are still mighty good...

T
12/24/11
In reference to the melted on roasting bag... if I cannot get it all scraped off, is there any harm in continuing to use my roaster?
ellen
12/24/11
No, but don't use bags anymore.
boyd
12/25/11
Getting lost in the details - need your help

I have 12 lb prime rib that i want to cook for tonight.

Will put in roaster at 200 degrees - how long would it take?

ellen
12/25/11
I start in a preheated oven (up to 500 in the regular oven but not the roaster), then turn down to the cooking temp.

Here is what Chris Kimball suggests for the 200 degree cooking method and time:

Chris Kimball, publisher of Cooks Illustrated have come up with a slow-cooking method that also produced a delicious brown crust.

First, they sear all sides of the meat in a hot skillet on top of the stove. They season the roast with a little salt and pepper, place it on a rack in a roasting pan and slip it into a 200F oven, where it cooks until it reaches an internal temperature of 110F (45C). At that point, they turn the oven up to 500F and continue cooking until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 130F (55C), which should take only 10 or 15 minutes more. Raising the temperature after most of the cooking is done gives you a deep brown crust very fast, Corriher says, because protein- and sugar-laden juices that came to the surface during cooking evaporated, leaving a high concentration of proteins and sugars that brown quickly.

Eight hours may be a little long, though, for all but the largest roasts. A roast cooked at 200F is going to take about twice as long as one roasted at 350F. But you will really have to rely on your trusty meat thermometer to know when to turn up the heat and when the roast is done. It should rest outside the oven for 20 to 30 minutes before you carve it. .

Janet
12/29/11
I want to make green chili beef burritos ahead of time and warm them up in my roaster.

Can I just stack them in the roster and reheat them? It would be approx. 120 burritos.

Thanks

ellen
12/29/11
No, it will need more than one roaster- You don't want to make them more than 2 deep, or the outer ones will be overdone and the inner ones not hot enough. Be SURE to preheat at least 20 minutes before inserting the cooking pans with the burritos.
Pat
12/30/11
How long and what temp for 10 lbs white baking potatoes in my electric roaster?
ellen
12/30/11
Same as the oven- see the discussion on the baked potato bar page.
Clarice
01/02/12
Steam tray
What can I do to keep already cooked ham from turning dark in a steam tray?
ellen
01/03/12
You can:
use a citrus-based or mustard flavored sauce,
keep covered very tightly and only put out enough for 20-30 minutes at a time.
Paulie
01/07/12
I would like to bake bread in my Rival 20 quart programmable roaster. Can I do so by setting up the roaster in buffet server mode, using the three pans that came with it? If not, can I use the three pans and just set them on the roasting rack in the bottom of the roaster?
ellen
01/07/12
Preheat the roaster at least 20 minutes, put the rack in, use regular loaf pans or try the buffet pans- but they are dark and will tend to over-brown the crusts.
patti
03/12/12
roaster oven
i have a 18qt. roaster oven and i want to make sloppy joes for 100 people - so i am looking for a quick and easy recipe.
ellen
03/12/12
There is one on the website.

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/bbentree5.html

Jenn
04/10/12
I am looking for an easy recipe for chicken and dumplings in an electric roaster for about 40 people. Can you help?
Thanks!
ellen
04/12/12
I use the angel biscuit recipe on this site to make dumplings- the strip/square kind often seen in the south. I would make the chicken stew, cook the dumplings separately over chicken broth, then assemble it all in the roaster to reheat; it is hard to make enough dumplings in the roaster, and easy to scorch the stew while the dumplings cook.
maxine
04/15/12
I am serving chicken fajitas for 20 people at a church meeting. I have grilled the chicken breasts, sliced them, and frozen them. I would like to warm them up in the electric roaster. Should I defrost them in the refrigerator and then place in the roaster at 250 for one hour. I plan on placing an aluminun pan on the rack. I plan to put about an inch of water at the bottom of the roaster and about 1/2 cup of broth in the pan. Will this work, with a one hour warm up time?
ellen
04/15/12
Yes thaw, and do put some broth or slas on the chicken. Time is OK if the roaster is pre-heated and the meat is thawed and loose.
amy
04/24/12
I am doing a brunch for a bridal shower in a week and want to use an electric roaster. Do you have any ideas for a breakfast casserole to feed 50 people? Thanks!!
Stacey
04/24/12
Do you have a good breakfast bake recipe for the roaster?
ellen
04/24/12
Look at the festive family brunch page. A roaster holds 4-5 9x13 pans.
Florence
04/24/12
I am wanting to make bbq chicken breast for my daughters reception. Can I bbq 5 oz chicken breast in an electric roaster for 150 people? How many roasters would I need to do this?
Florence
04/24/12
I am wanting to make bbq chicken breast for my daughters reception. Can I bbq 5 oz chicken breast in an electric roaster for 150 people? How many roasters would I need to do this?
ellen
04/25/12
See the festive family brunch page.
ellen
04/25/12
Hi, Florence,

Of course you can't really BBQ in a roaster. You can cook up to 20 pounds of boneless meat in one, which will serve 50-60 people.

Kathleen Faulkner
06/10/12
You do put water in the well of the older roasters. The newer roasters do not require water. Just read directions. I have used roasters for over 40 years.

We are frying fish for 75 people. I have two warmers built in my counter. If I also put some of the fried fish in a roaster to keep warm will putting on the lid make it soggy?

ellen
06/10/12
Yes, covering will trap moisture which sogs the crust. Oven warming will be better. Nesco has never recommended putting water in the roaster itself; only in the cooking pan for steaming.
Catherine Martin
06/11/12
I am having a taco bar for my son's graduation party. I need to cook 20 lbs. of chicken, along with salsa and taco seasoning (taco chicken recipe). Can I safely cook that in my 20 qt. roaster, at what temp. and for how long? I am also having 20 lbs. of ground beef taco meat in another roaster. Also, is there an easy way to serve Mexican rice for a crowd? I was planning to make it on the stove and keep it warm at a low temp. in the oven, filling a crock pot with it as it is emptied. Any other suggestion for this? I am also having black beans and refried beans in crock pots. So hard to figure amounts when it is an open house and many people will be visiting more than just our party.
ellen
06/11/12
You can also make this rice in the roaster, using the baked rice recipes on the recipe box page. One roaster serves about 50. You don't give me any numbers.
Catherine Martin
06/11/12
The chicken is 20 lbs. of boneless chicken breast. How long and at what temp would I cook that? I am planning to feed about 180 give or take - also having a roaster of hamburger taco meat. As I said, I cannot count on how many will eat b/c of so many grad parties that day.
ellen
06/12/12
That is OK for one roaster for the chicken, but I would be concerned about running out of meat unless I also had a couple of roasters-worth of the beans. Usual to use about 2 to one beef to chicken.
Catherine Martin
06/13/12
How long and at what temperature do I cook 20lbs. of boneless chicken breast in a roaster? It is a 20qt. roaster.
Catherine Martin
06/13/12
So you are saying that I should have 40lbs. of hamburger and 20lbs. of chicken?
ellen
06/13/12
I would do at least 30 pounds beef, 2 roasters.

To do the chicken, you can use the roaster as a giant crock pot, 200 preheated for low, 290 for high, and your standard recipe. Can make ahead, shred and chill and reheat day of, also.

Catherine Martin
06/13/12
Thank you!
Doreen
06/22/12
I bought a used "GE" electric roaster & haven't a clue as to
How to use. (unfortunately, the Manuel was not included) I have made approx 4-lbs of meatballs in sauce. They are fully cooked. I would just like to reheat in roaster for a party, & was wondering how I go about doing so?
Please advise & thanks!
ellen
06/22/12
The GE site will allow you to download the roaster manual.
In the meantime, heat the sauce in the roaster at 300 and then add the meatballs and turn to 200, simmer an hour to let them mingle.
Doreen
06/23/12
Thank you Ellen !
saundra
07/21/12
I am cooking 12 stuffrd pork chops and would like to use my large roaster oven. what temperature and cooking time do you recommend?
ellen
07/21/12
Same as for the regular oven, just be sure to preheat 20 minutes.
tracey
07/22/12
i am having a party of approx. 80 people. serving ham, penne with meat sauce, red skin potatoes(cubed), fried chicken, cole slaw. How much penne would i need to cook, how much potatoes would I need. can i put the potatoes and pasta in roasters to keep warm.
ellen
07/23/12
Roasters are fine.

15 pounds of potatoes.

About 6 pounds of dry pasta.

Vickie
07/23/12
I need 100 hot dogs cooked...do not want to boil, have a 18qt roaster. I also need to reheat taco meat for 100 people...Help what temp, how long, use Pam on the reheat?
Vickie
07/23/12
I should have stated that is 17lbs. of taco meat...
ellen
07/25/12
The how to for hot dogs in a roaster is on the hot dog thread.

Taco meat; Preheat the roaster at least 20 minutes to 325, do pam, allow 1 hour covered, stirring occasionally.

Vickie
07/31/12
I am cooking for a crowd, using Roasters. I have a surplus of ground chuck. I have already prepared sloppy joes and walking tacos. Is their a recipe for beef enchiladas in a roaster, or anything different. I have 3 nights left to cook for about 200....HELP I always have had hot dogs, trying to have 2 items to choose from....
Vickie
08/01/12
I'm thinking hamburgers, if I do grill them the same day as serving, I will have about 4hrs before serving.... should I put them in the roaster to stay warm on refrigerate? how many burgers per 18lb roaster. How do I get or keep them warm? THANK YOU!
ellen
08/01/12
What about shepard's pie (ground beef stew with a mashed potato topping)?

Do meatloaf NOT burgers- it is unsafe to hold for so long after cooking- make the loaves ahead, refrigerate, slice and reheat

Do chili mac/ hamburger helper style pasta and ground beef

Do spaghetti with meat sauce.

Erika
08/22/12
I'm having a Nacho/Taco Bar for my son's 1st birthday party. I need to make enough chicken and beef for about 120 guest (kids included in count). I would like to make more beef than chicken since it is less costly. How much should I make of each?
ellen
08/23/12
I do 5/8 beef and 3/8 chicken. You need about enough for 100 total, see the taco bar page, if you have 20 or so small kids.
Jane
10/10/12
I will be making sauerkraut and smoked sausage for my sunday school social for about 40 people using an electric roaster. Should i use 1 or 2 ovens? How much sauerkraut? Any receipes for help would be appreciated. Thank you.
ellen
10/11/12
This is perfect for one roaster. 6 quarts (2 #10 cans) sauerkraut, 16-18 pounds sausage, depends on the side dishes- maybe hot potato salad or boiled potatoes, and brown bread, and a medley of mustards...
Anita
11/23/12
how long and how can I reheat leftovers in the electric roaster, I thought 350 degrees for an hour for two dishes, what do you think?
ellen
11/23/12
It really depends on what you are reheating. General info: preheat roaster 20 minutes, start covered, solid items take about a half hour per inch of depth.
Sally
12/10/12
Can I bake a smaller roaster of cabbage rolls by placing the small roaster in the electric roaster? Do I keep the lid on just like in a regular oven? I have a Rival 18 qt roaster and we have tried to cook cabbage rolls directly in the big roast pan that comes with it but it never works out. I think it is because we don't have any more than 2 layers of cabbage rolls.
ellen
12/11/12
Yes, preheat for 20 minutes and treat like a regular oven.
Jenn
01/15/13
I am making a boiled dinner. I normally use a crock pot but a 6 1/2 lb ham won't fit in it so I am using my roaster. It will be ham, potatos, carrots, and cabbage. I want it to cook all day can you tell me what temperature and how long and really how to cook it? Any help please.
ellen
01/15/13
200 degrees, but only about 8 hours. Add some chopped up celery and parsley.
June Brulotte
02/08/13
Hi, I would like to barbeque burgers, for 150 people and keep them warm for three - four hours and was thinking of putting them in a 22 QT electric oven, would that be appropriate?? any suggestions would be greatly appreciated
June
02/08/13
Hi I need to prepare mararoni and cheese for 150 people and have access to 3 18 Qt electric roasters. Could you help me with the quantity and cooking method> I dont know if i shoul put cooked, drained macaroni and then add the cgeese sauce directly into the oven or in pans in the electric roasters. Please share your suggestions
ellen
02/08/13
WARNING! One circuit can only handle 1 roaster. If you plug in 2, the circuit will blow, and blow, and blow. You can use a surge protected extension cord for each one to protect your main circuits.

The roasters each come with a pan that lifts out and fits snugly into the cooker. These can be used as giant size casseroles. Each one will safely and thoroughly cook 6 pounds of dry pasta, and the 6 quarts or so of sauce you need to make the casserole. More than that, they tend to over cook the edges and under cook the middle.

Preheat the oven base to the temp for your particular recipe. Heavily coat the cooking pan, which is out of the roaster, with grease or spray of choice, then dust on a coating of plain old grated Parmesan cheese. Cook the pasta, drain, mix with sauce, pour into the cookwells. Bake covered. Turn down to 180 to hold. The one thing it won't do is make a crispy top; you can either add a topping such as crushed French fried onion rings the last 15 minutes, or run them under the broiler, which is hard because the pans are heavy and hot.

Be sure to preheat the roaster for 20 minutes before starting the casserole. Since the layer is 2-3 times as deep as a 9x13 pan, use 350 degrees and allow 70-90 minutes baking time (takes up to an hour longer if it has has been refrigerated). The temperature in the middle must be 180 degrees for safety, before you turn it down to hold. It will not brown like the oven does.

As for the burgers, they will be pretty bad after 4 hours. Either make sloppy joes/ maid rites/ loose meat sandwiches, which hold very well, recipe on this site; or make sausage in BBQ sauce. You can do about 20 pounds per roaster, 3-4 quarts of bbq sauce. You would need about 50 pounds.

maryann
04/18/13
ellen,we are doing a rigatoni fundraiser for a friend battling cancer. I can't get into the our church kitchen to prepare as early as i'd like to. i was`wondering if i can boil some rigatoni in my oven roaster? i have two roasters and thought if this would work it would help me out, immensely. fundraiser is april 20th. thanks for your input
ellen
04/18/13
Yes. You can cook it ahead and reheat it, also. See the spaghetti page for discussion on cooking, holding, reheating.

An awfully good idea is a baked pasta dish like the sausage mozzarella bake on the spaghetti page.

Hope it goes well.

jody trenk
04/27/13
Someone told me it is possible to cook hot dogs in the buns, wrapped in foil, in the electric roaster. Have an event that I need lots of hot dogs, and if this would work...serving should be easy. How long would it take to heat a roaster full of hot dogs. Would be buns get soggy if they are in foil?
ellen
04/27/13
Never have seen that- there is a whole thread on large amounts of hot dogs in roasters.

www.ellenskitchen.com/forum/messages/25635.html

Mary
05/04/13
I have a Nesco Millenium Roaster and I need to cook 85 pieces of thawed boneless chicken thighs (about 24 lbs)for about 50 people. I'll be marinating them for 12 hours with meat tenderizer and barbeque sauce. Under what settings and for how long does it need to cook in order to get the juiciest and most flavorful results?
ellen
05/05/13
This is absolutely the max the roaster can handle, and what I would probably do if it were me, is bake it in the regular oven and transfer to the roaster to hold (holds at 180 degrees).

What I would do is,
preheat the roaster 325
spray the cook pan with nonstick
bring the marinade or bbq sauce to a boil on the stove top to pour over the raw chicken in the cook pan, making sure the chicken is covered and it is stirred around so all the pieces are coated.
Simmer covered about 2 hours until the middle pieces are 165. Then turn down the roaster to 180 to hold.

If this saves you time, trouble, or money, consider a donation, maybe a dime per person, to support this site.

Kristin
05/08/13
Hi Ellen...this site has been so helpful in party planning! I need to reheat beef brisket in an electric roaster. I have 22lbs of brisket....how long and at what temp? Thanks!
Mendy
05/09/13
I am having a graduation party for about 150 people. My question is about pulled pork. I am purchasing the meat cooked so all I have to do is warm it up but have been quoted different amounts. The majority tell me that I need 40-50 lbs of pulled pork. The local locker says that it would be cheapest to do a whole hog. They would cook it & have it cut for me. They can't seem to tell me how many pounds of meat this would yield from a 200 lb hog, only that it will feed about 150-175 people & will fill 2 roasters. How much already cooked pulled pork fits in a roaster?
ellen
05/09/13
Kristin, sliced, sauced, in tight foil in packets 2 inches thick or less. Preheat to 350. Put rack in before adding meat. Better to reheat in the packets spread out in a regular oven, then hold to serve in the roaster.
ellen
05/09/13
Mendy, the hog is about the right size; but if it were mine, I would have them trim out the loins, which are dry for pulled pork anyway and freeze those for future family dinners.

I would allow 3 roasters.

I would expect 4 sandwiches per pound, allowing 1.2 per female and 1.5 per male.

Karen
06/12/13
I am cooking approx. 600 precooked meatballs with cream of mushroom soup and sour cream for the sauce. How long do I cook them in an electric roaster and can one hold all of the meatballs. Never used one before so I need help.
ellen
06/13/13
Most meatballs are 1 ounce, so you have about 36 pounds- that is at least 2 roasters, as the max they can do is about 18 pounds- and 3 would be much better- or preheat in the big oven and transfer to the roaster.

I am assuming these are fully precooked and you are just reheating.

Preheat the sauce and the roaster to speed up the reheat. With hot sauce, allow a half hour- temp in the middle is 165.

Ruth
09/24/13
I have 6 - 2 1/2 lb.pork
Ions to cook and am wanting to use an electric oven.
Please advise me on time and temp. Cooking all together.
Thanks
ellen
09/24/13
Same as you regular oven, treat as if 1 3 pound roast, so use your usual time- but start checking at the shortest estimate, and do use a thermometer to check. Preheat 20 minutes before adding the meat, keep covered.
Sarah
10/04/13
I'd like to serve 50 people bacon-wrapped chicken bites on a kebab. I am thinking about making the chicken in the oven to get it nice and crispy, but then would like to put it in a roaster to keep warm until I serve it. What setting should I set the roaster (100 degrees to 500 degress available) and and how long can my chicken kebab's stay in the roaster before they get too dry? Thanks for any advice!
ellen
10/04/13
It wont stay crispy in the roaster, and it will dry out.

You need an electric griddle or warming tray to hold it. You would cook it in the oven, 350, 23-35 minutes depending on the size and shape of the chicken pieces.

When prepping the kabobs, you will benefit by partially cooking the bacon before wrapping, as the chicken will be completely overcooked if you try to cook the bacon from raw to crispy after it is wrapped, especially if you are using breast meat in small pieces.

People really love these and will easily eat 2 skewers.

ellen
10/04/13
PS, try these with boneless chicken thigh meat instead of breast, and I think you will stick with thigh- juicier, more flavor.
Roni
10/09/13
Hi i was cooking food for an upcoming wedding & was wondering if i cook the rice in the roaster how many cups of rice & water would fit in a fairly large roaster?
E Beth
10/10/13
I am cooking an 18lb turkey in my roaster. They always turn out great. My question is: I want to put in veg.potatoes,parsnips,carrots in as well. What time do I put these in at and what temp. Model R0171B-CN
Thanks for your guidance.
Melinda
10/15/13
Ellen, I want to bake my dressing in my 18 qt. electric roaster... can I cook it right in the cooking well? I will be abt half filled. How long will I need to bake it and what temp...I know to spray the sides and while it bakes due I stir it ?
I can't find any where how long or what temp to bake dressing in the cooking well of my roaster...Can I cook a half filled roaster of dressing this way ? Thank you for you time.
ellen
10/15/13
Melinda, Yes, you can, use the insert, and fill it at LEAST half full, or use a smaller container inside. It will stay moister than oven, so watch the moisture in your recipe.

Preheat the roaster 20 minutes. Bake at the usual oven temp, it will take almost as long as the oven, and just start checking about 30 minutes before it would be done. Aim for 170 in the middle of the dish, and when it reaches that, turn the roaster down to 180.

ellen
10/15/13
Roni, use the guide in the baked chicken recipe and remember to preheat the roaster, also that you need to fill the roaster at least 1/2 full- 2/3 is better.
ellen
10/15/13
E Beth, they will do great under the turkey, they take about 75 minutes, and it doesn't hurt to parboil the potatoes before sticking them in.
Ann
10/15/13
Cheesy potatoes in a nescro roaster. How much of each ingredient will I need? Also how many will it feed? The setting and how long will it take? This is for our daughter-in-laws baby shower. Which will be held at a hall. Thank You for any advice you can give me.
ellen
10/15/13
Ann, go to the breakfast planning page and use the recipe and guide at the bottom of the page. A roasterful serves 50-60.
Linda
11/04/13
I am cooking 100 boneless chicken breasts in cranberry sauce and Russian bottled dressing. I'm using a very old Westinghouse roaster oven. I think it is 20. Quart. Do I need more than one roaster. How long and what temp. The roaster looks a if water had been between the roaster and the insert. Also making cous cous for 100 can I use a roaster oven or should I do it in a 16 quart Magnalite? Thank you. Need answer by nov 5 if possible
ellen
11/05/13
You need 2 roasters for this much meat. The temps are the same as the oven, the time is usually a bit less, (turn to 180 to hold if done early) and the liquid does not cook of as much as in a regulae oven.

The couscous will also take 2 roasters or 2 pans that size.

Caution; each roaster requires 1 15 amp circuit, you can't run 2 on the same circuit without blowing the fuse.

Linda
11/05/13
THANK YOU for such a rapid and helpful response.
Vickie
11/21/13
How do I cook a large quantity of dry Lima beans in the roaster?
ellen
11/21/13
Soak 8 pounds beans overnight first, rinse. To use as a giant slow cooker, set to 300, simmer 8-10 hours, or until they reach the desired tenderness, adding liquid as needed. Keep it covered!!!

If done before you need them, turn roaster down to about 180 to hold.

Will cook up to make 50 cups or so; my favorite lima recipe is the Biloxi Deacons limas on this site.

Stacy
01/06/14
I have a 16 quart rival roaster oven. I'd like to make a lasagna for my daughters 2nd birthday party in it. How many servings would it make and can you provide a recipe and instructions for this busy Mom please?
ellen
01/07/14
Will have about 50 servings. Please see the article, Lasagna in a roaster on the spaghetti page-

ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/sphagetti.html

Stacy
01/07/14
Thank you so much! A google search brought me to this page so I never saw your other posts. Now I got it, great site!
Sher
01/10/14
I have a 22 qt Rival roaster oven, was wondering if I can bake loaves such as bread or cakes in my roaster oven? Would appreciate any suggestions
ellen
01/10/14
Yes, just be sure to use the rack under the pan and preheat about 20 minutes with the lid on for even baking.
Linda
01/13/14
can I use my electric roaster to steam hotdog buns
ellen
01/13/14
Yes, but just preheating is more successful.
Vicki
01/30/14
I need to serve nacho cheese sauce for a large crowd. Can you heat it in a roaster? If so, what temperature and how long would it take to heat?
ellen
01/31/14
Yes, but you would do better to use the buffet inserts over hot water that some roasters can be fitted with, or smaller crock pots. Otherwise, you will lose a lot to crusting around the bottoms and sides as the level drops.

By the way, if this saves you time, trouble, or money, please consider a donation, maybe a dime per guest, to support the site. Thanks.

Melanie
02/12/14
. I just am wondering how long it shud take to heat a roaster full of veggie soup? And what temp? It wont be frozen, but will be cold. Thanks!
ellen
02/13/14
Preheat the roaster before putting the soup in, allow up to 5-7 minutes per quart- depends on how chunky or thick the soup is.
Connie
02/13/14
I have a 20 qt Rival roaster and I am wanting to serve Corn Chowder (Mimi's Cafe recipe)for 100. I was going to make the soup in the morning(warm) or the day before(cold) and transfer to roaster after we are at location for party. Not sure what temperature to set it at or what temperature to keep soup. When I have had this in their restaurant sometimes it is thin and sometimes very thick. They tell me it thickens the more it is reheated. When I reheat mine it gets thinner. I would like to serve it not so thin but not so thick.(just right- ha ha) It is made with a roux and then vegetables are added and cooked covered. After that half and half is added and you cook it uncovered until it is thick. (recipe says 15 minutes or so). What would you suggest?
Brandie
04/12/14
I am making mostaccoli in an 18qt roaster I have 150 people I have 3 roasters for the mostaccoli. (there will be pulled pork as well). How can I make this with out it getting mushy or soggy. Do I cook the noodles first? There will be no meat in this just the noodles and sauce. Thanks for any help!
ellen
04/12/14
Brandie,

That's right for the roasters, just be aware you need one circuit per roaster, 2 will blow most circuits/fuses. You can minimize the mush factor, by cooking the pasta a couple minutes short of done- just past chewy- and usin a thicker sauce.

ellen
04/12/14
Connie, sorry I missed your question. It posted after I had worked the thread that day, and so I missed it. It works best to start a new thread with the box at the top of the form.
Donna
04/13/14
Can I use the electric roaster to steam hot dog buns without making them soggy?
ellen
04/14/14
Yes, it requires a solid rack in the bottom above the water and a single layer and preheating the roaster to 180-200 before you put in the cook pan. You would pour the boiling water very carefully down the side of the cook pan after you put the pan into the roaster. You would have checked earlier withcold water, the rack, and no buns in place to see exactly how much water.
Toni
04/17/14
I will be cooking 4 5# pork loins in my 2 electric roasters. What temp and how long should they cook.
ellen
04/19/14
Same as a single one for both time and temp, approx., using regular oven temp. I always preheat the roaster 20 minutes, before inserting the cook well. You might like this article:

culinaryarts.about.com/od/beefporkothermeats/a/How-To-Cook-Pork.htm

Kay
04/26/14
Thanks so much for your site. It's very helpful to read through others questions/comments and your answers/tips/suggestions.

We're having a come and go graduation party next weekend for 150 people. I'm making Italian Pasta Skillet to serve from an 18 qt electric roaster. It's kind of like Baked Spaghetti but I'm going to use Penne pasta instead.

1-2 days before the event, I was going to brown the hamburger, onions and green peppers on the stove. Then add minced garlic, diced tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, basil, italian seasoning and parmesan cheese to make the sauce. Then I'll put it in the roaster well. I plan to boil the pasta until almost done and keep it in ziplock bags with a little olive oil to keep it from sticking.

On the day of party, I'll heat the sauce up in the roaster for several hours. One hour before event, I'll add the pasta. I'm doing this because I don't want the pasta to overcook and get mushy.

Do you think I am going about this the right way? Do you have any suggestions or different ideas?

Thank you so much.

ellen
04/26/14
Hi, thanks for reading over the thread first.

The cooking plan is fine. The only thing I would do differently is, to hold the sauce in baggies, too; it will cool faster (safer) and be easier to handle. The problem is that you are looking at at least 20 pounds of pasta which means more than 20 quarts of sauce (5 gallons), which is at least 2 1/2 roasters full, more like 3. A roaster will usually feed about 50 teens.

Keep in mind that you can only plug in one roaster per circuit. Consider borrowing extra same-brand cooking pans and heating them in the regular oven, or just borrow the roasters and plug them in in various rooms.

Good luck. Don't forget the Parm.

Barbara
05/27/14
I would like to make baked mac & cheese for my son's graduation (in two weeks). I'm expecting 75 or so people. I think using a roaster would be the way to go rather than baking several large foil pans of it. This way I can keep it warm during the party. I am borrowing a friend's roaster, so I have no experience with them. I will boil the pasta and mix all the ingredients ahead of time. I have done this for my oven-baked version and it works fine. My questions are...what temperature should I bake it at, and for how long? Don't want it to be too dry...but a little crispy crust won't hurt! Thanks for any help you can give me... I'm in panic mode!
WANDA
05/28/14
I want to cook 15 pounds of frozen broccoli/cauliflower/carrots in a roaster with only a couple of pounds of butter, salt and pepper. What temperature should I set the roaster at and how long would it take. Thank you
ellen
05/30/14
Wanda, the roaster will be VERY full. Preheat 20 minutes to 400.
I would melt the butter and toss the veggies in it. Put a rack in the bottom of the roaster with water under it to make a little steam. Put the veggies in, stir a bit once or twice, allow at least 40 minutes, turn to 180 when nearly done.

If this saves you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation, maybe a dime per guest, to support this site. Thanks.

ellen
05/30/14
Barb, the roaster will be very full, it only holds about 5-6 9x13 pans worth.

Cook the pasta, al dente, just a bit less than soft. Preheat the roaster 20 minutes, use the same heat as the oven. Usually 350.

It won't get crispy, except maybe a little around the sides. If you want a crispy top, it has to go under the broiler for a few minutes.

Time is a little difficult. Allow 75 minutes. If it has been refrigerated overnight, it takes about a half hour longer. If the sauce is freshly prepared and still hot, quicker. When it reaches 180 in the middle of the dish, turn down to 180 to hold.

05/30/14 Barb, the roaster will be VERY full. Preheat 20 minutes to 400.
I would melt the butter and toss the veggies in it. Put a rack in the bottom of the roaster with water under it to make a little steam. Put the veggies in, stir a bit once or twice, allow at least 40 minutes, turn to 180 when nearly done.

If this saves you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation, maybe a dime per guest, to support this site. Thanks.

Erynn
06/25/14
I need to heat 10 lbs of Italian beef that was packaged frozen in my 6Qt roaster oven and leave it in the roster to keep it warm for a party of 40 people. What temperature should I use and how long will it take to heat up?
We will also be serving 96 pieces of chicken and sides.
TJ
06/26/14
Hello Ellen,

Im cooking for a grad party at home and transporting the smoked pork ribs, grilled bbq chicken thighs and drumsticks and brats from my home to my brothers home 30 minutes away. I need to keep food warm for travel and serving and a two hour window.

I was hoping I could use electric roasters to keep everything warm without drying out or making it soggy. I would take off smoker/grill and put in to oven roasters. If this will work please let me know or anything else you recommend. Thank you for your time. Any tips would help

TJ
06/27/14
Might aswell get your advice on amount of each meat... looking at a pretty even split of adults kids and teens. Around 50 people total..... And the two hour window was total time from my house to when I expect the food to be gone.

Thanks again

ellen
06/27/14
Erynn, that is too much meat to do at one time in a 6 quart roaster. How about this- thaw 48 hours in fridge, heat covered in oven or on stovetop, transfer first part to crock, refill with second part.

10 pounds thawed at preheated 350 covered, about 1 hour. Stir once or twice.

If this saves you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation, maybe a nickel or dime per guest, to support this site. Thanks.

ellen
06/28/14
TJ, you do not want to be transporting hot roasters, and cold ones won't keep warm. The optimum plan;
-Roasters at bro's house, he turns them on to preheat when you call to say you are on the way.
-You read the potato bar page on how to preheat an ICE CHEST- and do that.
-Pack meat into preheated ice chest to transport. Remove to preheated roasters when you arrive.
50 people
smoked pork ribs, 1/2 pound per person
grilled bbq chicken thighs and drumsticks- 25 quarters, cut some apart for serving
brats- about 30

If this saves you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation, maybe a nickel or dime per guest, to support this site. Thanks.

Kristen S
07/02/14
Can I cook frozen hamburger patties in the electric roaster? If yes, approximate time and should I add a broth to retain moist hamburgers?
ellen
07/02/14
Yes, but they will be sort of steamed/baked, no where near broiled or grilled. Would you consider meatball subs? The meatballs do just fine in the roaster, and most anyone who eats hamburgers will eat them.
Beverly
08/23/14
I have a Roaster My Question is can I Make My Chicken & Dumplings in it? I cant remember if it's 12 Quarts or not but Our Church Homecoming is Aug 24 and I've always done them in a stock pot and transfer them to my crock pots.But I want to consume time and just do it all in my Roaster.
Thanks Beverly
ellen
08/29/14
Definitely, Just bring to a boil, lay in the dumplings, turn down about 40 degrees so it simmers, and cover. No peeking.

If this saves you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation,maybe a dime or quarter per guest, to support this site. Thanks.

Sue
10/23/14
I am cater an event for 220 people and I want to cook 29 cups of rice in my electric roaster. How do I do this? Will it work? And can I cook all 29 cups at once. I am doing black beans too. Anything special I need to do with them? How many can I could in an 18 quart roaster
ellen
10/23/14
A roaster only holds about 50 to at most 60 servings, and 29 cups= approx 13-14 pounds is not enough for 220 people. You need at least 8 pounds per 100, and I often do 12 pounds per 100 for large plateful type dishes.

A pound of rice makes about 6 cups cooked. A roaster only holds 6-8 pounds. Beans, the same.

Amanda
11/08/14
Im going to make hot dogs for a crowd of 50 to 75. I was going to use crockpots for the dogs, but wondering if a roaster would be helpful to warm hotdog buns. What way would you suggest to warm the buns?
ellen
11/11/14
Roaster is fine. Preheat to 350. Stack in as is if you want rather toasty; wrap packets in damp paper bags or foil for soft.
Melinda
11/13/14
Is there any reason I shouldn't line an electric roaster with foil prior to roasting a turkey?
ellen
11/14/14
Not specifically, if you are talking about the removable cook pan.
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