Should You Put Water in the Roaster When Cooking a Turkey?

My tried-and-true methods will enable you to consistently cook a gorgeous golden skinned turkey with juicy, tender meat in an electric roaster!

This joyful occasion can feel a little overwhelming because of all the shopping, preparation, dishwashing, and cooking that goes into it.

Having hosted our family’s Thanksgiving for the past ten years, I’ve learned a few stress-free tricks to make meal preparation a breeze!

The age-old question: to water or not to water when roasting a turkey? It’s a debate that has raged in kitchens for generations, leaving many home cooks scratching their heads in confusion. But fear not, fellow turkey enthusiasts, for I am here to shed some light on this culinary conundrum.

The Short Answer: No You Don’t Need Water in the Roaster

That’s right, you can ditch the water when roasting your turkey. In fact, adding water can actually hinder the cooking process and lead to a less-than-ideal bird. Here’s why:

  • Water can create uneven browning: Water in the roaster can lead to spotty browning, making your turkey look less than appetizing.
  • Water can lead to soggy skin: The steam created by the water can prevent the skin from crisping up, resulting in a less-than-desirable texture.
  • Water can dilute the flavor: Adding water can dilute the natural juices of the turkey, resulting in a less flavorful bird.
  • Water can lead to splatter and mess: The water can splatter and pop as the turkey fat melts, creating a mess in your oven.

So, What Should You Do Instead of Adding Water?

Instead of adding water, there are a few things you can do to ensure a perfectly cooked and juicy turkey:

  • Use a roasting rack: Elevating the turkey on a rack allows for better heat circulation and prevents the bird from sitting in its own juices.
  • Baste the turkey regularly: Basting with melted butter or pan drippings helps to keep the skin moist and flavorful.
  • Use a shallow roasting pan: A shallow pan allows for more browning and helps to prevent the turkey from drying out.
  • Add vegetables to the bottom of the pan: Adding vegetables like carrots, onions, and celery to the bottom of the pan can help to create a flavorful base for the turkey.

Pro Tips for a Delicious Roast Turkey:

  • Thaw the turkey completely before cooking.
  • Season the turkey generously with your favorite herbs and spices.
  • Cook the turkey at the correct temperature and for the appropriate amount of time.
  • Let the turkey rest for at least 20 minutes before carving.

So there you have it! Ditch the water and embrace the dry-roasting method for a perfectly cooked and flavorful turkey. By following these simple tips, you’ll be sure to impress your guests with a Thanksgiving feast that will leave them wanting more.

Why you’ll love this recipe:

We could all use three extra ovens during the holidays, so using an electric roaster oven to cook the turkey frees up valuable oven space!

With my turkey recipe + tips, you’ll get a perfect turkey:

  • with golden brown skin
  • and moist meat every time!

Simplify Thanksgiving this year, and cook your turkey in a roaster instead.

do you put water in the roaster when cooking a turkey

  • Whole turkey: I strongly advise brining your turkey unless it is already kosher or has been injected with saline solution. It ensures a flavorful turkey with moist and juicy meat. My go-to method is dry brining a turkey.
  • Olive oil: The oil helps the skin crisp up in the roasting If you’re a die-hard butter fan, swap with softened butter.
  • Baking powder is a key component of crispy skin because of its chemical makeup, which slightly raises the skin’s pH and promotes browning.
  • Oranges Try oranges, apples, onion, garlic, and fresh herbs! .

How big of a turkey do I need?

Aim for 1. Each person was served five pounds of turkey, which may seem like a lot of meat, but it also takes into consideration the weight of the bones. You can up the serving size to two pounds per person if you have picky eaters or want lots of leftovers.

This means if you have ten people to feed, you’ll need a 15-pound turkey.

Do you put water in a roaster oven when cooking a turkey?


Do you add water to roasting pan for turkey?

Drain juices and pat dry with clean paper towels. Place breast, skin side up, on a flat roasting rack in a 2-inch deep roasting pan. Do not add water to pan. If you don’t have a roasting rack, crunch aluminum foil into a coil or use vegetables like carrots to keep your turkey off the bottom of the pan.

Do you put liquid at the bottom of an electric roaster for turkey?

Do you put water in a roaster oven when cooking a turkey? No, you do not need to add any water to the roaster oven when cooking a turkey. As long as the lid is on properly, it will self baste and create all of its own juices.

Are you supposed to put water in a roaster?

Despite a long standing rumor, there is absolutely no need to put water in between pans when cooking in a NESCO. The patented NESCO Circle of Heat® provides consistent, even cooking throughout. Water will actually slow down the cooking process, and make it more difficult to clean up.

Should I rub butter or oil on my turkey?

Rub the skin with fat Fat is going to help the skin get brown and crisp, and contrary to what most might think, butter isn’t better. Butter does an okay job, but because it contains a lot of water, oil is a better fat to rub on the skin to ensure it gets extra crispy.

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