Thanksgiving is right around the corner. For a succulent turkey with golden crispy skin, nothing beats a Chambers. Well, almost nothing...
Heretical as it may sound, it's my belief that the best way to use a Chambers for the Great Turkey Day is to save it for all the miscellaneous baked sides: pie, potatoes, extra dressing, biscuits, etc, etc. Though I truly worship a Chambers turkey cooked in a Lisk or Reed roaster, the logistics of lots of people to feed with lots of baked items puts a squeeze on the ol' fireless range.
Fortunately, there is a more than adequate solution: the fantastic Nesco Electric Roaster.
My advice, of course, is to look for a vintage Nesco, just to maintain the esthetic. Easily found at estate sales, Goodwill or other thrift stores, or online on Craigslist or Ebay. I think the old ovals are very cool looking, but most often you'll find them in a rectangular shape, plenty big for a 20 lb. turkey.
Vintage or modern, these countertop cookers do a fabulous job on Tom Turkey while keeping the Chambers free for other things. That's how Tillie (grandma Oliver) did it throughout my childhood. Man, the smells are wafting through my olfactory as I type. Tillie's children, grandchildren and great grandchildren still do it that way.
Some are fancier than others, such as the Deluxe with Timer Clock featured above. These can be programmed, er, excuse me, pre-set, to start and stop at desired times. If you are lucky you'll run into one with it's own rolling cabinet so it doesn't take up any countertop space.
My oval Roastmaster, shown at right, has a simple temperature knob with indicator light. I love it.
Like a Chambers, they're well built with little to go wrong. Make sure it comes with the wire rack to place the turkey on: it keeps the bird from directly contacting the bottom, and makes it possible and safe to lift the finished bird out in one piece.
Nesco's often come with cool nesting containers for cooking items separately from each other. The original manuals are very useful and often entertaining (possum recipes, interesting narratives on domesticity, etc.).
The usual fix-up for them is to replace their frayed, brittle power cord or a knob, easily done at your local Ace Hardware. Just bring in the old one for reference.
This time - just before the baking holidays - would be the time to make sure your Chambers is operating at peak. You will enjoy your Chambers so much more when it's adjusted and lubricated to operate and perform the way it was meant to. Call now to schedule an inspection and low cost tune-up
Check out this Vintage Video of a Westinghouse Roaster