An electric roaster is a table or countertop appliance that is used as a substitute for a conventional oven. When roasting or baking large amounts of food, such as for a Thanksgiving dinner, you can use a roaster in conjunction with your regular oven. Like your oven, an electric roaster can be used to reheat foods and has the added benefit of not heating up the entire kitchen.
Preheat the roaster to 177 degrees Celsius according to the manufacturer's instructions. For most electric roasters, this involves simply plugging the appliance into an electrical socket and setting the temperature.
Place leftover foods into appropriate-size ovenproof dishes. Add a small amount of liquid, i.e., enough to cover the bottom of the dish, if needed to keep the food from drying out during the reheating process.
Place the filled dishes into the preheated electric roaster. Heat the leftovers for the same amount of time that you would in a conventional oven. Most foods will reheat in approximately 30 minutes or less.
Remove the lid of the roaster and insert a meat or food thermometer into the thickest area of the food. The food should register at least 73.9 degrees Celsius to be safe for eating, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service. Unlike cold foods eaten straight from the refrigerator, reheated foods must reach a certain temperature to prevent bacterial growth that can cause sickness. The USDA promotes that all hot foods are served hot, and cold foods are served cold. Food temperatures in the midrange, from 4.44 to 60 degrees Celsius, are listed in the USDA "Danger Zone."
Serve the reheated leftovers immediately or replace the cover on the roaster to maintain a safe temperature of the food.
If cooking leftovers such as soup, stews and chilli, you can reheat the food directly in the roaster's main pan. If you purchased your electric roaster without a manual, set the temperature of the roaster to the same temperature you would an ordinary oven. Roasters mimic a traditional oven for temperature and cooking time.