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Hi Ellen. I have never used a roaster before and am thinking of purchasing it to keep a large amount of chicken warm for a party. Can a roaster be used as a chafing dish by adding water for warming? I don't want the chicken to get dried out. Any suggestions will be appreciated.
NO, it is completely unsafe to put water in the bottom of the roaster.
Nesco sells a roaster that has a "buffet insert", 3 loaf size pans that fit INSIDE the cooking pan on a frame. If you decide to get one, be sure to get the model that holds the buffet pan- most of them don't.
Also, chafing dishes cannot be used for warming, they don't give enough heat. You must bring the food temp above 160 with the oven or stove before transferring it to a chafing dish.
a roaster will only hold about 20 pounds of meat safely.