nesco roaster

RaeJuly 13, 2001

Does anyone have a Nesco Roaster? We've been thinking of buying one but since they are more expensive than a crock pot, would appreciate any comments - pro's or con's.



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I love my Nesco. We have had them in our whole family for as long as I can remember and I am not young. :) They are wonderful expecially in the summer for anything you would put in your oven. Roasts, stuffed cabbage, pork and kraut ect. If mine ever broke I would have another a.s.a.p.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2001 at 4:25PM
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They are GREAT!!! Things taste so much better when cooked in the Nesco. I have them in 3 different sizes. The last one I bought was an 18qt size for $24.90 at Target. Couldn't pass that up. It was a steal!! Right now I have Spaghetti sauce in my 6qt thats been simmering all day.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2001 at 6:09PM
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I love my roaster too. I've had mine for about 10 years, and it's still going strong. Can't think of any negatives.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2001 at 6:13PM
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Hmmmmm. I bought one of those at Target for $12.44 a couple of months ago, and still haven't taken it out of the box. Guess I better check this thing out! I should have thought of it yesterday when I made my porkchops in mushroom soup....sure would have been better than heating up the big oven. Thanks for reminding me!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2001 at 7:44AM
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Thanks to everyone for their comments. Now to look up some recipes, or is it just the same as using a roasting pan in the oven?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2001 at 3:35PM
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I have a 4, 6, 12 and 18 quart Nesco and usually have 1 or two of them going each weekend. They are one of the best tools any kitchen can have. I use them for everything from soups to cakes.

If you have the "roasting" element on any of them they will roast quite nicely. However, without that I would not compare them exactly to oven roasting.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2001 at 6:44AM
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Thanks Maggies for the info. I want to get the one with the roaster element.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2001 at 6:37PM
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Hi all!

I also love my Nesco. We had a 6 QT size given to us and I was hesitant to use it at first. I think anything roasted in it tastes better (moister etc. than the oven).

I'm attaching a link to the NESCO homepage. They have recipes for the roaster listed.

Here is a link that might be useful: Nesco/American Harvest

    Bookmark   July 24, 2001 at 11:34PM
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I also have a 4 qt 6 qt 12 qt and an 18 qt nesco
they are treasured in my kitchen...
I also have a 6 qt Hamilton Beach.....thinking that they are all equal...not so....the HB is not as temp controlled as the Nesco....
Anything I have cooked in the Nesco, is perfect..
moist, tender,tasty...whether it be soup, sauce,roast,whatever....I would not be without mine...that and the foodsaver are my favorite items for the kitchen...

    Bookmark   July 25, 2001 at 10:10AM
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Why does everyone have so many sizes...One size doesn't fit all?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2001 at 3:22PM
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Rae: A Nesco is great...use as a second oven expecially when you can put it in basement or garage in a hot/humid part of the country. I use a crock pot as a slow cooker...different from the Nesco and for a different type of cooking.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2001 at 8:40PM
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Re: Turkey in a Nesco Roaster?
Has anyone roasted a turkey in the large Nesco?
Is there any difference from making in an ordinary
oven in an electric stove?
Any comments would be appreciated.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2001 at 12:38PM
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I cook 20 lb. turkeys and 20 lb. hams in mine. I don't use the oven for that task any more.
It cook them faster and they don't dry out.
and the turkeys with the timer work great no time per lb to think about.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2001 at 2:53AM
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I have the 4,5,6,12 & 18 qt. Nesco's. I also have the warmer inserts for 2 of them,and use them on the buffet table for hollidays. I roast my turkeys in my 18 qt.,and would NEVER do it any other way. It is definetly more tender and moist. I did a roast pork in my 5 qt. today,and it was fall apart tender.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2001 at 10:25PM
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What is the "roaster element" referred to? Is this a special feature, or is it just a reference to the rack? Will a turkey have the nice roasted color or is it just steamed? Thanks

    Bookmark   November 9, 2001 at 2:36PM
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I had never heard of a Nesco Roaster. I have a Showtime Rotisserie for turkeys, roasts, etc. that I love. I also have a crock pot that I have hardly ever used. I would love to cook stews and soups. Is the Nesco Roaster used for this purpose? How is it different from a crock pot? Can you leave it on all day like a crock pot or can it cook a beef stew quicker than a stock pot on top of the stove? What other meals besides roasted poultry or roasts can you make in a Nesco Roaster? We are a family of 3. Which is the best size to start with so that I would have leftovers to freeze? TIA

    Bookmark   November 10, 2001 at 11:12PM
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My mother just gave me her 18-qt. Nesco roaster and when I came looking for posts on the Nesco, I found this board. :o) I haven't used it since Mom gave it to me, but I did roast a turkey in it several years ago when she first got it and it was the best turkey I've ever had anywhere! I would appreciate ANY help.


    Bookmark   January 17, 2002 at 4:14PM
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Just pull it out and start using it! :o) It's really that simple. Set it up and use it the same as an oven. If you need, the manuals for the roasters are available at They also have recipes at their site if you need. I like putting things in for longer time at lower temp. Smelling a roast/ham/turkey cooking all day makes you smile! My little (though now departed) dog also *loved* the smell. He'd start sniffing and wander into the kitchen and lay down by the roaster. I imagine he was guarding it from burglers?? :) Enjoy it.


Here is a link that might be useful: Nesco Recipes:

    Bookmark   January 19, 2002 at 2:22AM
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Oh, and there is one difference I've noted with the Nesco vs regular oven. In the Nesco (at least a turkey breast in the 6 qt) doesn't get the dark, crusty skin that a lot of people (including myself) like. This is because of all the moisture kept in the Nesco, which keeps the meat so moist. I got around it by propping up the lid a bit right at the end and crank the heat up a bit. Letting out the moisture and higher heat would do it without drying out the meat. But I've bought the Roast Air (fan) lid so I just put that on for the last 20 minutes or so and sometimes just use it for the bulk of the cooking process and accomplish the same thing. I tried cooking a turkey breast in the oven one time since and it was a mistake. Never again. Turkey, ham and roast beef go in the Nesco for me.


    Bookmark   January 19, 2002 at 1:02PM
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I have to agree with the others you will never want to cook a turkey any other way. My mom lent me hers 4 years ago she still is waiting for me to return it. lol

    Bookmark   January 20, 2002 at 8:48PM
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What temperature settings on the Nesco would correspond to the hi/med/lo settings of a crockpot? The manual says the roaster can be used as a slow cooker- I want to make a nice pot roast in it (using 18qt size)


    Bookmark   January 21, 2002 at 11:22PM
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Just think of it as an oven. Use the same or even slightly lower temps than you would in an oven. You could use 300-350° for meats and it'll definitely be more moist than a regular oven. If you want it to be like a crock pot, there's really no exact temp. Just like a crock pot! They vary so much. But for slow cooking, generally 180°-250° will be close to what the average crock pot would run for an all day cooking. You could take an oven thermometer and put it in a crock pot to be sure, but I've had good luck with lower temperatures. The Nesco is so forgiving that you really have to goof to make a mistake! has recipes at the site if you want to double check there. Hope you enjoy it. Let us know how it turns out. If you're using an 18 qt you definitely have room if you want to put your side dishes in there too, btw.


    Bookmark   January 24, 2002 at 6:08PM
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Hi, I have a 6 qt Nesco, made beef and mushrooms in it last night for dinner. The only way to cook a ham or pork roast is in a Nesco. Got mine from QVC and use it all the time.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2002 at 9:34AM
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Hi Ken and all
I did cook my pot roast in my Nesco and it was the best I ever made! Yes, I do have the 18qt. I was a little hesitant to use it, as I thought it might be overkill, there are only 2 of us here! I thought cooking a 3 or 4 lb roast in it might not work, I seem to remember reading something about food not cooking properly if the cooker wasn't full enough, or does that just apply to crock-pots? Anyway, roasts and meatloaf and ham are great, & chicken (although I like the "crispy" skin in the regular oven, any tips how to get it this way using the nesco?
Small casseroles don't seem to cook through though. I guess this is because of the size? Anything I can do? Otherwise I love it!


    Bookmark   February 25, 2002 at 5:26PM
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Barbara, I guess I haven't been back in a while! Hope you still stop by. Anyway, For the crispy skin you really only have one option and that is to use the "Roast-Air" (fan) lid. When I do a turkey breast, I pop the lid a bit and crank the heat way up at the end if I don't use the fan. That way the steam escapes and the high heat will firm up the skin. BTW, I take the turkey skin off and put it between lots of paper towels and microwave it until it pretty much stops popping. Crisp as a potato chip and if you've seasoned it, it's reminiscent of a pork rind with wonderful flavor. My little dog used to climb into my lap to try to take it out of my mouth. We literally fought over it! Wonderful turkey flavor.

For your casseroles, it's a regular oven basically, so I'd guess you need to cook a little longer and/or turn up the heat.

Good to hear you like your Nesco.


    Bookmark   March 30, 2002 at 9:45AM
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HATE IT! I bought oe to use an an extra oven for my Xmas Eve dinner. All I put in it was an already cooke dhoney baked ham. I had it plugged in the basement (my kicthen is directly over it) & the fumes were SOOOOO bad that I smelled them upstairs, i tpenetrated the flavor of the meat & it gave me a migraine every time I walked into th kitchen, let alone the basement.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2002 at 12:09AM
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Michie, did you follow the instructions to take the unit to a covered outside area or vented room and burn the roaster in for about an hour at high temperature? I noticed that I actually had to do it longer than that, and after a few uses had no further smells from the unit.

Once you burn the unit in, it makes great roasted chickens, lasagna, pork chops, chicken and rice, and a lot more.

I heard about the roaster for the first time right here, bought a 6qt roaster the next day, and haven't stopped using it since. In the past two weeks, I've made more full meals with the use of our roaster than I had since the holidays.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2002 at 4:01PM
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I was a cook at a camp, cooked for forty teenage staff members. I got one of the large size ones, I think it was about thirty-five dollars and I used it for everything! It was great for rice and stews and even baked potatoes.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2002 at 7:13PM
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The Nesco

When my Mom and Dad married in 1939, one of the wedding gifts they received was a Nesco. If you're not familiar with this cooking device, it's commonly called a roaster oven. It has a hinged lid which seals tightly and will probably cook most anything known to man.

Now this was nothing like one of those wimpy, new toaster ovens. No indeed! This baby was big! It was about the size of a good sized modern microwave oven. It was gleaming white, and the styling was sleek for it's time.

Because of it's size, I remember it being stored either in a large kitchen cabinet or in the basement. But, when it appeared on the kitchen counter, it was always a good sign. A very good sign! It's presence could only mean two things. One was that it was Easter, Thanksgiving day or Christmas day. The other was that we were going to be treated to a wonderful meal of gargantuan proportions. I remember Mom cooking turkeys, hams and beef roasts which, at least through my then, small eyes, appeared to be fully 1/2 of the entire beast, or certainly the largest turkey in existence. In reality, I'm sure that the turkeys were in the 12 to 15 lb. range and the hams and roasts a bit smaller.

When Mom plugged that magnificent machine into the electrical outlet and turned it on, the lights in the neighborhood would dim for just a minute. Well, not really, but even I could tell that it used some power. It just had to be powerful to cook those large meals in but a couple of hours!

It never took long for the aromas emanating from the Nesco to begin wafting through the house. And oh, what aromas they were. Mom would cook the meat, potatoes and veggies, all in that big white monster. The house would take on the essence of, perhaps, an old YMCA cafeteria where one could find many foods in a steam table and could smell all of their distinctive aromas.

The anticipation of that wonderful meal was incredible. Christmas mornings would find my sister and I alternately opening gifts, and wandering into the kitchen hoping to catch a little whiff and to ask Mom, bedecked in her ever-present apron, "Is it done yet, is it done yet?" Of course it never was. These things took time. But we soon learned a secret. The old Nesco would squeak a little when the lid was opened. We would listen closely for that telltale squeak. It meant that dinner was only a few minutes from being on the table. We also learned that this was NOT a good time to enter the kitchen. Once the Nesco squeaked, there was an instant flurry of activity in the kitchen, and young ones were just bound to get in the way. Dad would be wrestling the meat out of the Nesco while Mom would be getting out all the required platters, plates and the gravy boat. And of course, Mom's homemade pie would just be coming out of the oven. Her sense of timing was always perfect.

In a few minutes, our bounty would be on the dining room table and we would take our seats. After thanking The Creator for our company and for our good fortune, Dad would begin carving and serving. The time had come. Our wait was over. Every meal Mom served from that old Nesco was delicious. I'll remember them always.

The Nesco is now well out of warranty. Some of the little adjusting knobs are missing and it has it's share of dents and dings. But it still cooks perfectly. The last meal I remember preparing in the Nesco, was a Virginia ham. This was just a couple of years ago at Easter, and it was the first time that I was the one to man the old cooker. The ham was great, as was the company of my family and of my best friend and his son.

After that meal, Mom and I had a conversation. We decided that I should be the keeper and caretaker of that wonderful old roaster oven, as it always held deep memories for me. I was happy to know that it would soon become mine.

Since that conversation, Mom found herself well out of warranty too.
We lost her on July 1st. of 2002.
After 64 years of marriage to Mom, Dad's warranty also expired in 2005.
The Nesco now resides with me and is a treasured belonging.

I think the best thing I can do for now, is to plan a great Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner and cook it for my family and my friends. It won't be the same as seeing mom fussing over that great old machine, but I'll try to prepare that meal with the same love and dedication that Mom would have shown.

So, if you are someone who is trying to decide what to buy that soon to be married couple as a wedding gift, or if you are a little older and own a Nesco but don't know what to do with it, I have a suggestion. Give or pass down, a gift that will keep on giving, perhaps for generations. You won't regret being the gift giver or the gift receiver.

© Jon Swalby 2002

    Bookmark   November 22, 2005 at 2:30PM
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What a great story,Jon, especialy the squeak. I'll bet the new ones are as well made and surely don't come filled with memories.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2005 at 1:58PM
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I have the Nesco Roast-Air Oven 6 with the fan. I am embarrassed to say that I received it for my wedding - 11 years ago! By mistake it was put in stoarge and recently found when I moved. I want to cook a spiral ham in it but cannot find the manual. Any recommendations on temp and length of cooking? The Nesco site does not have a manual listed for the roast-air.


    Bookmark   December 13, 2005 at 8:33AM
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Hello, I have the 18 quart Nesco and would also love to have the insert buffet trays. Does anyone have a set they aren't using and would sell or know where I might find them.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2006 at 8:06AM
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I cook for my dog. 4lbs carrots,zucchini and string beans. 3lbs white potato and sweet potato. This last for about a month. What size crock pot do I need.

I also cook 14lbs skinless chicken breasts but on a different day. What size crock pot do I need.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 12:14PM
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Jon, that was such a great story behind the nesco. As it happens I need a wedding gift this June and I have copied and pasted your story to print and give with the Nesco as a gift. My Mother in Law used to work at the company back in the 40's in before she was married. This will also enhance the giving of the oven to a family member.
I bought a Nesco with a fan 5qt size about 10 years ago and I used it for heating leftovers before I got a microwave and it makes the best baked potatoes ever. This will give you the crunchiest peel and fluffiest potato ever. Wash and scrub baking potatoes, poke holes all over with fork, rub with cold butter, roll in kosher salt all over. Bake in preheated 400 oven with fan running for 1 hr. Rub salt off with a paper towel and serve. This does not over salt but you will need less inside the potato.
I also have baked chickens and had great results when I needed extra oven space.
I know you wrote this 2 years ago but I had to respond after reading your story. You might consider writing it was very detailed. Cindy

    Bookmark   April 27, 2007 at 3:15PM
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I know this was an "old thread"
but I loved it!!!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2007 at 11:38AM
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Hi Cindy!
Thanks for your kind words.
You know, I'd never thought about anyone including that story WITH a Nesco, but I think you've come up with something!

For what it's worth, I've done a good bit of writing. Some were musical reviews, and others, like the Nesco story, were of a much more personal nature. If you're interested in reading a couple of them, drop me an email;


    Bookmark   September 2, 2007 at 12:28PM
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I see this is a very old thread, but I just found this forum and have a Nesco Roaster that I just love so here goes:

For the poster that HATED her roaster because she used it once and it had a smell: Nesco tells you to heat it up, for about an hour when it is brand new out of the box. After that it is fine. I've had mine for over 15 years. My brother bought one with the inserts for a family party and left it over here for me to use because I throw big parties a lot and would never be without one.

Basically, they are a nice, big, extra oven which is portable. The heating element is built into the wall, so it is a ring of heat around your items. I have never baked in either Nesco since the heat is a moist heat. It is wonderful for meats, stews and beans.

I buy the "half pans" (aluminum pans) at Sam's Club, 20 for eleven dollars and they fit the inside of the 18 quart Nescos perfectly. Which means the clean up is as easy as pie. Yes, I have made ham, pork chops, roasts, turkey, stews, calico beans and used the buffet inserts to do breakfast buffets i.e. scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, rolls. The breakfast items are made ahead of time and just "held" in the inserts. I put about an inch of water in the bottom of the Nesco and then put the inserts in which keep the food warm. I'll be doing a breakfast buffet for Mother's Day for about 20 people. Love the Nesco!

I have a lake cabin too. On really hot days I love to take my Nesco outside and make a Taco casserole or something similar. For some reason I hate messing around with a hot barbeque on the hottest days but I can handle using the Nesco outside.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2008 at 7:03PM
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I have a question for all you Nesco users out there.

We are full-time rver's and, needless to say, rv ovens leave a lot to be desired. They really heat up the rig so I don't use mine except for storage. In the winter I am able to use it some. I'm considering a Nesco roaster but it has to be able to be used for a lot more than turkeys or chickens. What about baking? By baking I mean cakes, pies and casseroles. I love to bake and have really missed it. Storage is at a premium in a rv so I really have to be able to justify this purchase as something that will see frequent use (not just holidays).

Hopefully, you will be able to answer my questions.


    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 6:21PM
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Hi NJ, I am a big fan of the Nesco. I know what you mean about heating up the big rig. I use my Nesco to cook outside up at our lake cabin to keep the cabin cool inside. I use ours for more than turkeys and chicken. I do a large variety of casseroles (in the roasting pans) and have never tried baking cakes, pies or rolls. I should try that sometime soon. The reason I never tried is becuase I always see beads of moisture when I open the lid (moist heat) and wouldn't think it condusive to baking. The one I have is pretty large (22 qts) not suited for rv'ing. However my mom has a 5 quart and loves it. If you could bake in it the 5 quart is pretty small, like a medium size crock pot.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 12:00PM
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The "moist heat" is VERY conducive to baking! Far preferable in most situations, in fact. Bakeries use "proofing" boxes when they make things that need to rise, like cinnamon rolls. When I worked for the convenience store with the fast food in it, we had a "proofer" that was about the size of a big residential oven. It would seal and added moisture so it would have moist but low heat to help the rolls and things raise faster before baking them. That's how you get the big fluffy cinnamon rolls.

Moisture in there would help keep your cakes from cracking on top as well as cheesecakes. You supposedly don't get the tearing on lemon merangue (sp?) pies.

I have the 4 & 6 qt Nescos. I've baked bread in them. Worked perfectly, except a time or two it would rise so much that it was touching the top of the lid! Delicious anyway.

Nesco roasters ARE NOT CROCKPOTS! They are a fully functioning portable oven. I can't think of anything you would put into an oven that can't be done in the Nesco, and often, you're better off using the Nesco. The limitation of course for me is the size. Mine won't take a 9x13 pan or the 9" round cake pans but I use bread pans in there.

Meatloaf is great in there as is any kind of soup, stew, chili, and you can make your casserole right in there without a pan. I've used it to boil things, but that takes a while to heat the water up. I've seared meats in there, fried burger when I'm making chili and more.

If you suggest things you want to specifically make in there, I might be able to comment for you but I really can't think of anything you couldn't do in there.

I do, however, HIGHLY recommend the "Roast-Air" fan for two reasons. First the lid is higher and sometimes the extra space is nice, but more importantly, the fan will crisp thing better and removes much of the moisture that some are concerned about. Plus it speeds the cooking process since it makes it a convection oven. I sometimes turn the fan off for a while and turn it back on, depending on what I'm cooking. Don't always use it, and don't always use it during the entire cooking time.

Bewarned that it will be different that cooking/baking in a conventional oven. Heat rises so when you pop the lid, more heat will escape than from a side door, but it heats up again quickly. Don't oven peep too much. And you'll reach down into it and lift. If lifting is a problem, it could be an issue. You DO need space around for working area same as with anything else.

How many people do you cook for?

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 8:11PM
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I love my nesco roaster ( 18 qt) for cooking- I have never baked in it but since we live in southwest Arizona where summer time temps climb it is attractive to cook outside. Our electric rates have taken a huge jump and we get heavily penalized for power usage between the hours of noon until 7 pm. Since we still have children at home I need to be making dinner before that 7 pm cut off. Is it more energy efficient ( i.e. cheaper to run the nesco vs. a traditional electric stove?)

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 7:01PM
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Kimdyuma, I'm sorry, I don't know if the Nesco will provide you with an energy savings. But I do know that the crock pot will. Maybe you should look into some crock pot recipes.

Cynic, thanks so much for the baking information! I always thought the condensation would be a negative when it came to regular baking. I am definitely going to try something. You mentioned cinnamon rolls and now I've got them on the brain!

I don't know what the Roast Air is. My nesco is pretty old and is just a basic 18 quart.

I went to a graduation last week where the host used several Nescos. I was surprised to see that she used Roaster Liners (don't know the proper name) that were very similar to the Slow Cooker Liners that Reynolds recently came out with. Since I love the Slow Cooker Liners I asked the host where she got the Nesco liners. Unfortunately she didn't know the source, someone gave them to her but she believed they came from a restaurant supply store. If I could use the liners instead of aluminum pans the Nesco could handle a large capacity and still be easy to clean. I am definitely going to follow up on locating liners!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2008 at 11:25PM
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I baked a chicken in my new range/oven the other day and it made a huge splattered mess then I found this thread. I totally forgot about my Nesco! I can't wait to get it out and get started using it. I didn't even think about putting other kinds of pans in.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2008 at 7:43PM
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I should clarify something, Nescos are not crockpots but they'll also do virtually everything a crockpot will do. I don't really know of anything a crockpot will do that you can't do as well or better in the Nesco. I threw away my crockpot.

As far as enery use, the Nesco is comparable to the crockpot. It uses about 1500w (watts) as I recall, which is comparable to the crock.

A traditional oven uses about 2500w - 3500w depending on the unit. An electric burner uses from 1300w - 2500w depending on the size and burner.

Any 110v appliance will have a limit of about 1800w power simply because that's the maximum power that a 15 amp breaker can handle so whether it's an electric heater, hair dryer, electric frypan or a Nesco, it will be 1800w or less and usually 1500w is the high side because other items can be on the circuit.

Roast-Air is really slick. It's a fan that clips onto the lid of the roaster. The shaft of the motor goes through a hole in the top of the roaster and the fan blade goes inside the lid. It is just a fan that blows air around in the oven making it a convection oven, just like a $5000.00 convection oven... in theory. I'm not saying they're the same but the theory and practice is the same. Moving air cuts down on moisture, browns better, keeps the heat more even and cooks the food faster. You can get the adapter kit for any of the Nesco models built since something like 1955 (I don't remember the exact date) check with the Nesco website for more info.

I'm not surprised that there's liners. Other options: Cooking bags. The oven type. It's an oven so they're going to work the same. Other option, crockpot liners or just plain old foil. My cousin has two old electric roasters (non-Nescos) and she lines them with heavy-duty foil when she cooks ham or turkey. The last time I used my 6 qt for a turkey breast I used HD foil and it worked great. Sometimes I'll even put it over the rack if I make a meatloaf and don't want to use a pan.

If you find any liners, would you drop me an email please? I'd appreciate it. I'm really curious on it.

One last thought on energy savings. If you use an 18 qt to make a 2# meatloaf, well, I'm sure you'll save money over the regular oven but a smaller appliance might be better. A smaller Nesco or something. I use an electric frypan a lot. The book that came with it talked about baking in it and I don't see why not. I'm just concerned about the heat loss.

I just made some baby back ribs in my oven last weekend. I used it because I wanted to follow the recipe first to see how I liked it and then try modifications. I'm definitely using the Nesco next time. BTW, in case you were wondering, they were fabulous... :D

One tip on cleaning it. Now this isn't exactly energy efficient, but then again it's not too bad if you do it right away. Try to get to it quickly if you can. Put some hot to boiling water in it. I usually run the coffeemaker without coffee - just to heat the water (faster and cheaper than using the stove) and put it in the oven, crank up the heat and it'll boil up and steam most of the crud loose. Take a pad, appropriate for the surface, give it a scrub, maybe even a drop or two of dishsoap and it should clean pretty nice. Since I can put the 4qt & 6qt cookwells in the sink, I don't have to do this.

I may sound like a salesman for them (and I do not have any affiliation) but I really do believe in the product. As far as I know, it's still American owned, American made, American assembled and that's starting to mean more to me as I get older and see the way things are going. Plus it WORKS! and works like it should.

One other little tip for any cooking but applicable to the Nesco as well is to get an instant read thermometer and preferably the type with the probe and separate unit with the readout so you can leave it in the oven, Nesco, electric frypan, crockpot or whatever and monitor temperature. It has dramatically improved my cooking. I wish I would have gotten the one that has the remote that you can carry around with you so you can go outside or a different floor and still be able to monitor the temp. But this works well and it has an alarm so for instance, when I make a turkey breast I set the alarm for 155° and when that goes off, I turn the heat off and it'll rise about 5-10° and be perfectly cooked, moist and juicy. If I need to start potatoes for instance, I guestimate how long to raise it the temp and set the temp for that. But even if it is finished, turn it to 150° and leave it and it'll stay fine for hours.

I've been craving turkey lately... now I REALLY have a hankerin' fer it. And it was on sale last week too! :( Oh well, I do have some country style ribs in the freezer...

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 2:22AM
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I have an 18 quart Nesco that was my MILs. I love it. I also have two smaller similar cookers--one is a Rival and the other GE brand. Both of them are okay, but not as good as the Nesco.

I have a crockpot, but have used it maybe two times. I just don't like them and the time that it takes to use them. I know people who swear by them, but not me.

I have a slow cooker that is a metal pan with a pyrex lid on a heated surface that is not too bad for roasts if I want to leave them cooking. Usually, though I just opt for cooking in one of the above cookers or the Baking stone crock.

I always cook holiday turkeys in the large Nesco. I usually set it on top of the washing machine in the garage. It doesn't heat up the house at all, but we still get the advantage of the nice aroamas.

I also am an avid pressure cooker user. I have two large canners that i haven't used in several years, a mid size canner and two small Prestos that are probably as old as I am. They are great and so fast. Carrots in less than two minutes.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 1:24AM
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I have a question. I purchased a GE roaster at Wal-Mart on clearance this past spring for $10 and it's done an OK job. I didn't want to spend a lot and then find out I wouldn't use it. I've made pies, casseroles and side dishes in mine. The temperature settings seem to be off though. If I want the oven to be 350 I have to turn it to 400. Is this normal for a roaster or would I get better quality with a Nesco? I don't mind making the adjustment but that means I can't go over 400 degrees since the oven only goes to 450. I put my oven thermometer in it to see what the temp really is.


    Bookmark   November 27, 2008 at 8:48AM
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I'd try to contact GE and see if they'd replace or repair it or if there's an adjustment for it. There might be a simple adjustment you could make. Just to be sure, do you have another thermometer or one you could borrow to double check the temp? I guess otherwise, you might just need to live with it and make the adjustment.

One other thought, I assume you left it sit long enough to be sure it was up to temperature and adjusting? Just to make sure it's at full temp. Is there any light that comes on when it is heating?

One other thought. Pull the knob off and look to see if there's an adjustment screw behind the knob. Sometimes there can be an adjustment there.

That was quite a deal you got on that roaster! Hope you're enjoying it. Have you done a turkey in it yet? To me that's the foolproof way of cooking turkey.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2008 at 5:55PM
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I haven't done a turkey yet. I usually do a turkey breast in my crockpot, the 18 quart is probably too big for the size breast I get. I have done pies and the only problem I've noticed is that the crust didn't get done on my pumpkin pie, but that was before I started making adjustments for the temp variance.

Thanks for the info. I'll check and see if there's an adjustment I can make. I let the roaster sit until it preheated and the light went off, then I put the thermometer in and let it sit for quite a while, long enough to get a true reading.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2008 at 7:06PM
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Has anyone placed an oven thermometer inside their Nesco to see it is correctly calibrated? We put TWO thermometers in our new Nesco before cooking with it. After a 30+ minute "warmup" they BOTH consistently register -35 degrees lower than the cooker dial setting. We went ahead and used it Thanksgiving, and followed Nesco's brochure re: time and temperature setting on the cooker dial. Turkey turned out fine. Does a Nesco actually cook differently/faster than an oven, so they calibrate it lower than the dial? Or is ours malfunctioning and need to be replaced (& we got lucky on this dish)?

    Bookmark   December 6, 2008 at 12:23PM
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I've never tried an oven thermometer in mine, but I use an instant read thermometer when I'm cooking things so for me, it's not an issue.

What I would do is find the spots for 250°, 300°, 350° and 400° and simply mark it with a magic marker. It's not a click switch, it's a rotary dial. Line up the spots where it's the temp.

You could contact Nesco and see what they say. One other thing on this topic that just hit me. By chance did the knob get pulled off and put back on in the wrong position?

    Bookmark   December 7, 2008 at 6:47PM
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When I was checking my oven temps I did use the oven thermometer. Mine was consistently 50 degrees low but I have the GE version, not the Nesco so I don't know if there's a difference. I haven't had time to check and see if there's a way to calibrate mine yet but will do so soon.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 10:55AM
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There is a very good NescoRoasting group at Yahoo. List Mom Ginger takes very good care of the site and the members are friendly and helpful. I hope you'll take a look and consider joining.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 12:11PM
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It's not unusual for Nesco temperatures to be off. Experienced users suggest taking Cynic's advice. Check up and down the dial and make a chart or mark the dial so you know what temp you're cooking at.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 12:14PM
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I have an old Nesco Roaster I bought at a garage sale. It has the enamel porcelain and the inside is 11x15 inches. I think I could get a turkey in it. Do I have a 12 qt or an 18 qt? It doesn't say.

Stamped on the bottom it says it was made in Granite City, Ill, and on the side is stamped the number 41E04044. The cord is rubber not braided. Any idea when it might have been made? It's white with a stainless top, bakelite handles, black porcelain, has a rack with sides you can lift and a little extra square tall pan with a lid for side vegetables, so I was told. Has the logo Nesco in script over a dial with numbers up to 400.

I measured and I think I can even get my cast iron pan in there to bake cornbread. That's what I wanted it for, to bake. My regular oven is so big, why waste all that heat on that big space for a couple loaf pans.

Can I use a silicone muffin pan in the Nesco or will it melt on the rack? Oh and I have seen people put water in the heatwell, under the cookwell, I was told it made for more even heating and to prevent damage to the enamel. But you don't want to do that, do you? If the water got through the heatwell seams it would get into the electrics.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2011 at 1:32AM
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I love my roaster!! The last one I bought was an 18qt size for $24.90 at Target. Couldn't pass that up. It was a steal!! Right now I have Spaghetti sauce in my 6qt thats been simmering all day.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 12:29AM
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