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Can you use an electric roaster without the insert?

Electric roasters are basically portable ovens and in this day and age where convenience and utility combine to give us some of the most useful inventions, the electric oven does not disappoint. 

If you own a range then an electric roaster is redundant to acquire but if you do not then it may be the perfect appliance to add to your kitchen. 

Furthermore, if your kitchen is too small to fit a range or if you tend to enjoy roasting more than any other form of cooking, then an electric roaster is a better fit for you than a range.

Its portability means that you can use it at different spots in the kitchen, you can also take it outside to the porch or you can use it on the lawn as you enjoy the outdoors. The convenience and ease of use are simply refreshing.

Electric roasters come with specific instructions for use and it is advisable to follow to the letter, the guidelines dictated therein to avoid mishaps that come with improper use of your appliance. 

Additionally, all parts and components of machines have specific uses and it is prudent to always utilize your appliance in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions.

This way, you avoid ruining your appliance, your meals, and your house in the case of an accident.

However, the main question remains, “Can you use an electric roaster without the insert?”

The simple answer is no and here’s why.:

Components of an Electric Roaster

  • The main unit or the base unit
  • The insert
  • The rack
  • The lid
  • Pan liners or insert liners

The main unit or base unit

This is the bottom part of the electric roaster and the one that you connect to the socket. Inside the unit, there is an electric coil or coils that run the entire circumference of the unit similar to a belt. The main unit is a composite that does not come apart any further. 

This unit should never be cleaned in any way apart from simply being wiped down with a wet wrung cloth. Contact with water or any foods will damage the unit and the heating coils underneath by distorting how the thermostat responds to rising and falling heat levels on the surface of the unit.

The insert

The insert is the basin-like pan in which the food is placed directly. The insert is a removable cooking dish that sits directly against the main unit and conducts the heat from the main unit to the food inside it. 

This pan is what you can remove and clean. Most if not all types of food can be placed directly in the insert or on a rack that goes into the insert. Cooking directly without this insert will shorten considerably the lifespan of your electric roaster by damaging the main unit, specifically the heating coils.

The rack

The rack is a simple metal contraption with slits that can be used with solid dry foods such as meats that you would prefer to have suspended within the insert. 

Dry foods may tend to stick to the insert while cooking which would cause the food to overcook or burn on the surface that is in contact with the insert. 

The rack solves this problem by keeping the food away from direct contact with the insert allowing the heat within the oven to impact the food more evenly thus cooking it fully all through.

The lid

This is the top cover of the electric roaster.

Pan Liners or Insert Liners

Insert liners as the name suggests are bags made of nylon resin that can withstand prolonged and high temperatures during the cooking process. 

Pan liners can be placed in the insert if you wish to use water in your cooking. Instead of putting water directly into the insert, palace a liner in the insert, and the food then sits in a bath. 

Pan liners can also be used to collect residue that will pour from the foods as they lose their moisture. 

In either case, by using pan liners instead of the bare insert, you will be adding an extra layer of protection to your insert preventing you from scrubbing off foods dried up against the surface of the insert.

Since the bags are reusable, they can be used three or four times but in most cases, the job of cleaning them out is simply not worth the time and effort and instead, every meal utilizes one liner. 

Your insert is likely to last much longer if you are using insert liners and the rack.

Advantages of using an electric roaster

  • It is easy to use

The traditional oven that you find on a range can be more complex to use especially for a novice cook. 

The electric cooker is fairly straightforward since it has limited calibration options and therefore it would be nearly impossible to go wrong with the controls. 

The electrical mechanism means it automatically regulates itself using the thermostat mechanism making it less likely to burn food.

  • It is portable 

The electric roaster can be used inside or outside the house depending on what you wish to do making it a fun accessory to have during events that you host. 

You do not have to get held up in the kitchen for the entirety of your house party and you can engage your guests in the process of cooking a delicious roast together.

  • It is easy to clean

By using the insert liners, the job of cleaning the electric roaster becomes much easier and straightforward. Even without the pan liners, the insert disassembles into its own singular unit that can be cleaned easily just like any other utensil at the sink. 

The traditional oven that comes with the range can be a nightmare to clean especially because it is not removable and instead you have to bend down to or crouch in order to clean the oven’s cavity.

  • It is versatile

An electric roaster can be used for roasting, grilling, baking, stewing, warming food, and even serving. This makes it a welcome if not a better addition to your kitchen.