What’s the most challenging part of preparing a Thanksgiving feast? Cooking the turkey, many say. But should it be? Aside from the time it takes to thaw a frozen bird – hey, try buying a fresh one instead – cooking a turkey is fairly easy. It’s devoting all that time in the oven that has you stressed out. That’s where a turkey oven comes in handy. These devoted, countertop appliances are made for roasting the largest pieces of meat you can buy. And they leave plenty of room in the oven for your pies, cornbread dressing and yeast rolls. Here are the turkey ovens we recommend.
A hardworking tool
Ever wonder when and how turkeys became a popular main course? Domestic turkeys were first raised by Native Americans in Mexico and Central America as early as 25 A.D. They were brought back to Europe around 1519 by Spanish explorers who found them quite tasty. This roaster oven from Oster looks like it was invented solely for the fall holiday, but it’s equally adept at preparing lamb, ham, beef and other poultry dishes. The self-basting lid continually recirculates moisture to keep your feast juicy. This set comes with a roasting pan and rack, both of which can be removed for easy cleaning.
Quicker, crispier and juicier
One of the founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, famously preferred the American turkey to the bald eagle, calling it “a more respectable bird.” But despite the popular myth, he never proposed making it the symbol of the young nation. Celebrate the delicious dichotomy by using this Ninja convention oven to prepare your holiday feast. Actually, it’s a combination air fryer, toaster oven, dehydrator and roaster. Unlike many of the other roasters we examined, this one isn’t meant for the largest birds – its capacity is a 12-pound turkey. But the nice thing is that it’s designed for preparing an entire meal – slide in a 5-pound turkey and a tray of veggies about it. When in convention mode, it can cook a feast at 10 times the speed.
No feast too big
How important is a turkey to this American holiday? An estimated 46 million turkeys are consumed in America on Thanksgiving Day. The rest of the year, turkey is the No. 4 most-common protein after chicken, beef and pork. You might change your preference once you learn this roaster from Sunvivi can accommodate a 30-pound bird. The window on the lid means you don’t have to open the roaster – and lose the heat – to check on your dinner. Thanks to its defrost setting, you can take a turkey straight from the freezer to this oven. A warming setting keeps everything warm until the relatives arrive.
For feeding a crowd
About 88 percent of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving while about half as many do so on Christmas. (Easter Sunday comes in a distant third.) This 18-quart oven can accommodate a 24-pound turkey – enough for more than a dozen guests. Slow roast your meal or steam it – either is easily done thanks to the domed lid. And best of all: It comes apart easily for a quick, painless cleaning afterward.