The Juciest Salt and Pepper Turkey made in an Electric Roaster

 Salt and Pepper Turkey made in an Electric Outdoor Roaster
I have always been a big proponent of deep-frying a turkey. It has been, until now, the juiciest turkey I have ever made. However, the biggest turn-off of the whole deep-frying process is the $50 of oil you need to buy and then have to dispose's kind-of-a-pain and always feels like a big waste.

However, there is nothing better than not tying up the oven on Thanksgiving Day with a turkey that needs four hours to cook. Therefore, deep-frying the turkey continued for a few years until I just couldn't get myself to buy those large vats of oil anymore. So the turkey made it's way back to my indoor oven and last year I did make one of the most delicious turkey's ever.

But, over the past year I kept seeing this Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU Infrared Smoker and Roaster everywhere I went. Mostly at large warehouse stores like Lowe's. Seeing it so many times wore me down and I finally decided to buy one. It was a sign, right? I wanted to get the turkey cooking back outside where it belongs. This way the oven is reserved for all the beloved side dishes. Good idea? Yes. I thought so too.

This past weekend I finally fired it up to give it a test run. It requires a 30-minute seasoning cycle before using, which was not a big deal to complete.

I wanted to make a "no-frills" recipe. No exotic rubs and/or seasonings. No brining (which I always do). And no expensive free-range, local, special-fed, gobbles in seven languages turkey. I wanted to see what this machine could do on its own with a simple, frozen Butterball, rubbed in peanut oil and seasoned with salt and pepper. That's it. The results were kind of astonishing.

This was the most amazing, juiciest turkey I have ever made. Three days later, the leftovers were just as awesome. Still juicy, still full of flavor. The turkey needed nothing else but salt and pepper...that's it.

Salt and Pepper Turkey made in an electric roaster raw
The roaster can hold up to a 16-pound turkey and would definitely hold a couple of chickens, which is what I'm going to roast next. The turkey you see here was 14.5 pounds and fit perfectly in the basket. I have always preferred a smaller-sized turkey because they are usually hens at this size. I think the hens are juicier than the toms.

Anyway, the basket comes right out and is sprayed with cooking spray. The turkey slides right into the basket, legs down.

Salt and Pepper Turkey made in an electric roaster cooked
The roaster comes with a meat thermometer, which gets inserted in the breast. The machine automatically turns off when it reaches the maximum temperature you have set it for.

It takes about 10-15 minutes per pound for this size turkey. When it's done, it is beautifully browned and ready to eat.

Salt and Pepper Turkey made in an electric roaster cooking basket
Here it is resting in the roasting basket after it was done cooking.

Print Recipe

Salt and Pepper Turkey made in an Electric Roaster

Recipe from: Created by Cathy Pollak for | Serves: 10-12


  • 14-16 pound turkey, thawed
  • 2-3 Tablespoons peanut oil
  • kosher salt
  • coarse ground black pepper


  • Prepare your turkey, making sure it is completely thawed (this can take 3-5 days in the refrigerator). Remove the neck, giblets etc.
  • Make sure there are no metal ties that are holding the legs together. Rinse your thawed turkey and pat it dry.
  • Rub the turkey all over with peanut oil. Apply salt and pepper generously all over the bird.
  • If turkey legs are not secured be sure to truss them.
  • Spray roasting basket with cooking spray to prevent sticking. Insert the meat thermometer into the breast (do not touch bone). Set ending temperature for 162 degrees F.
  • I set my power (cooking) setting on "12" for 30 minutes and turned it down to "9" for the rest of the cooking time. (Each power setting corresponds to a certain temperature.) The turkey was finished in about 3-1/2 hours.
  • Remove the basket from the roaster and place on a rimmed baking sheet, letting it rest for about 15 minutes before removing it. Let it rest another 15 minutes before carving (30 minutes total).

Salt and Pepper Turkey made in an Electric Outdoor Roaster a quick and easy process
Bird is never going in the oven again, this was just too easy with an amazing result. This machine also works as a smoker, has a little place for wood chips. Haven't tried it yet. Will let you know.

One Year Ago: Mushroom and Leek Bread Pudding
Four Years Ago: Vanilla Cider Pork with Pears and Walnut Wild Rice
Disclosure: This post has an affiliate link.

Post a Comment

20 Comments and 19 Replies

  1. I’ve wondered about these too! That turkey looks perfect!

  2. Sues 2

    What a beautiful turkey!! I cannot wait for Thanksgiving! :)

  3. Sheila 3

    I have never seen a roaster like this! That looks like one dang good turkey ;) you have an extra seat or 6 at your thanksgiving day table? xoxo Sheila

  4. kd 4

    would you mind telling us what brand of roaster you bought? i’m looking at lowe’s and nary a one looks like yours.


  5. kd 6

    Oh! good grief!!! The brand is RIGHT THERE…I’m sorry…brain dead this morning.

  6. Diane in Cincinnati 8

    Looks wonderful but at $170, I doubt I’ll be buying that roaster.

    • Cathy 9

      Diane, it is an investment but something you can use all year long for all kinds of meats. Great for the summer as it won’t heat up your kitchen. It’s also a smoker as well. $170 is actually a really good price as I’ve seen it for over $200 at some stores. In all honesty, the roaster is cheaper than my turkey roaster pan I use for the oven. Go figure. I wouldn’t even be showing it to you if I didn’t think it was worth every penny.

  7. Laura 10

    Wow so simple and so delicious! That’s just how I like it. I’ll have to check this roaster out

  8. MaryLou 12

    I thought the roaster might be a few bucks. It looks lovely. What happens with the drippings? Is gravy no longer an issue? How does that part work/

    • Cathy 13

      There is a drip pan but I never make turkey the day of Thanksgiving, just too much going on. I do it days before and just warm up using this method. You have to try it. link to

      • Maureen Forrester 14

        You don’t cook your turkey the day of Thanksgiving? How does a turkey taste a few days later after warming it up? Doesn’t sound good to me.

        • Cathy 15

          I always cook my turkey the day of…not sure what you are referring to?

        • Cathy 17

          Ha. Should say gravy, I never make gravy the day of Thanksgiving. However, I will tell you I make turkey in this roaster all the time and a lot of times we don’t even eat it the same day and I might carve it and eat the next day. it’s always juicy and perfect as if it was just cooked. This cooking method is really the way to go.

    • Maureen Forrester 18

      Turkey Gravy is a must in my family. Would definitely have to have those pan drippings. What is the size of this electric roaster pan?

      • Cathy 19

        I make my turkey gravy days ahead with my make ahead recipe, here’s the link link to
        As far as specs on the roaster, there is a link to the roaster I use in the post and it can give you more specific information.

  9. I certainly don’t need yet another small appliance but it would be nice not to tie up the oven with the turkey (and it looks amazing) but I have wanted a smoker for some time! Let me know how the smoking works out!

  10. Anna 21

    This will be the third year I’ve done my turkey in the infrared cooker (actually, that’s the only way I’ve ever done it because I only started hosting family Thanksgiving then!). It is so good and so easy! Mine doesn’t have the auto-shutoff thermometer, though. That would be handy, because it’s easy to get busy and forget to check it! I haven’t used mine for other meats, but I have cooked turkeys several times each year (and then soup after!). What I like most about it (besides how easy it is) is that you get the juiciness and flavor of a fried turkey but without the meat tasting like grease the next day.

  11. Jo Wake 22

    What a great looking turkey, and how easy. If I had more than 2 of us to cook for I think I would invest in this roaster as well. It really does look yummy.

  12. Barb kamil 23

    What about gravy?

  13. Liz 25

    What a great gadget! We made our first deep fried turkey last year…and I hear ya on the oil. Seems like such a waste. I have a feeling our bird will be back in the oven so the hubby can have his stuffing. Or maybe I need an electric roaster???

  14. Well here we go, it’s officially turkey time isn’t it? I’ve heard so many good things about frying a turkey but have never been brave enough to try it. I love how yours turned out in the roaster. Perfection!

  15. Margot C 27

    What a marvelous looking device and a beautiful turkey!

    Isn’t that thing the very devil to clean though?

    • Cathy 28

      Not at all. It has a self-cleaning feature which we didn’t even have to use after using it the first time. Only the drip pan needed to be rinsed and the wire basket needed cleaning. Very simple. Less work than a roasting pan.

      • Margot C 29

        Wow, it’s not that crazy expensive either is it.

        I’m now wondering what else I could cook in there. Have you done anything else? For some reason I have this vision of a stack of game hens (that seems so wrong) or a ham or a gigantic lamb leg.

        • Cathy 30

          Yeah, it’s a good deal on Amazon, much more expensive in the stores. It’s set up for every kind of meat and a stack of game hens would be perfect as well as two whole roaster chickens.

  16. LOVE this post, Cathy! I must show this to hubby. We enjoy a roasted turkey (I have to have the “smell of Thanksgiving” with my citrus bird, stuffing inside the bird and homemade gravy), but I am very interested. Thanks for sharing, girl!

  17. Linda 32

    I was given one of these as a gift a couple of years ago… and we love it!!! We use it for everything from ribs to whole chickens to chicken pieces. to our veggies! You should check out their site they have amazing accessories for this unit. We also just this past summer decided to purchase the Big Easy electric smoker. Which is basically the same thing but electric and you can add smoke chips!! We love this also. Last year we did our turkey for Thanks giving in the Oilless frier and The Ham for Christmas in it also ;-) soooo good!!!

    • Cathy 33

      That’s great but the one I have here is also a smoker which makes it pretty awesome.

    • Linda 34

      oops you have the smoker unit we just bought :-) we also have the propane unit… that does not have the smoke option that goes for about $100 bucks…. both are great investments!

      • Linda 35

        I think our favorite accessory for either unit is the rib hooks! or the insertable trays so you can do more than one whole chicken at once… what we like is that all accessories are interchangeable between units! The Smoker is pretty awesome! We made a pork loin in it this past weekend that we turned into BBQ pulled pork that was amazing! The Ribs always turn out good too. we usually smoke them and then finish them off on the BBQ grill :-)

  18. we’ve been talking about using our roaster to try a turkey this year! we’re traveling for Tgiving but might have to do it next weekend–yours looks perfect!

  19. Tammy 37

    As soon as I saw this recipe I went on line to find the was on sale on HSN. Went I got it of course I ad to cook a turkey! Cathy you are absolutely right…this was the best turkey ever!!! We always deep fry our turkey for Thanksgiving, but I worry about a grease fire and dealing with the used oil. This is so much better and I have to believe it’s better for you. I love this cooker “thanks for telling us about it!!

    • Cathy 38

      So glad you liked it!! And don’t use it just for turkey, we just did salmon and it was amazing. Getting ready to roast some chickens and I’m going to try a prime rib in there too. Love that thing.

  20. Karen Terry 39

    Cathy, if you wanted extra flavor could you stuff the cavity with some citrus and herbs do you think? Also, what other oil would you recommend other than peanut oil? Tried link to the Char Broil in your article and it said page was not available now.


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