p r e p a r a t i o n  q & a

The Spanek Vertical Roaster — Preparation

Getting ready to cook with your Spanek Vertical Roaster . . .

Preparation Questions

Will the Turkey roaster fit in my oven?
How do you buy the best poultry?
What size poultry can I cook on the Spanek Vertical Roasters?
What should I do when I need to prepare a larger bird — let's say, for a large holiday party — when your turkey roaster only works for an 18-lb. bird at most?
Can I skin my chicken and then put it on the roaster?
How do I thaw my poultry?
I can't get the bird down on the roaster far enough ... what do I do?

Will the Turkey roaster fit in my oven?

Yes, even in small ovens. Even the Turkey roaster, our largest size, is only 10" tall. The Chicken/Duck roaster is 8" tall, and the small Game Hen roasters are just 6" tall. Most ovens have at least 12" to 14" between the lowest rack and the top broiler elements. If you can put a roasting pan with your roaster into your oven and slide it in and out — again, you only need 10", even for turkey — you're in business. (If you don't have a roaster yet, just measure the clearance — if you haven't got a tape-measure handy, you could estimate the clearance using a sheet of letter-size paper [11" high] or a standard #10 business envelope [9-½" wide].) The trick to vertical roasting is to cut off the tail of the bird and sit it down on the roaster. Watch our mini-movie and see how easily it's done. It'll be the best turkey you've ever made in your life — in half the time.

How do you buy the best poultry?

This is a great question! I went into some detail on it here, because really it demands more than a short answer.

What size poultry can I cook on the Spanek Vertical Roasters?

For game hens, from 12 to 22 oz. birds will work best. Chicken and duck should be fine anywhere from 2.5 to 6 lbs, and turkey can be anywhere between 8 and 18 lbs.

What should I do when I need to prepare a larger bird — let's say, for a large holiday party — when your turkey roaster only works for an 18-lb. bird at most?

There's not a French chef around who would recommend cooking a turkey larger than 18 lbs. Why? Because a bird weighing more than 18 lbs. is an older bird with tougher flesh. Instead of buying a larger bird, do two 15-lb turkeys facing each other in a single roasting pan. (This way you can have them done in just two and a half hours!)

Can I skin my chicken and then put it on the roaster?

Sure you can! Cut down the back of the bird, splitting the skin. With your thumb, slowly loosen the skin, working your way to the front. (It's like taking off a jacket backwards.) Season the bird and brush with caramel coloring, or sprinkle with paprika. This is a great time to use our Spanek Glaze & Marinade! Watch your cooking time, as a skinless bird will cook more quickly.

How do I thaw my poultry?

Please make sure to always thaw all kinds of poultry in the refrigerator! After handling raw poultry, immediately clean the working surface thoroughly. Hands should also be washed before touching other foods! If you purchase fresh poultry, refrigerate immediately.

I can't get the bird down on the roaster far enough ... what do I do?

Make sure your poultry is completely thawed. Game hens don't have to fit all the way down on the roaster, but chickens do. As for turkeys, it is very important that you see the top of the roaster exposed after mounting. Be sure that you have cut off the tail and if necessary, the neck bone. Then keep pushing — when the top ring comes up flush with the top of the neck opening, that's close enough.


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