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Whether low and slow or hot and fast, roasting builds big flavor in meats and vegetables. This comprehensive guide delivers tips, tricks, and recipes for mastering the art of roasting.
1. Classic Roast: Best for Crispy Skin and Juicy Meat
Eating healthy should still be delicious.
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Roasting is one of a handful of ways to cook with dry heat. Baking is, too, but technically baking is for foods that lack structure until the cooking process is complete (think: batters, doughs). Roasting involves foods that have a solid structure from the start, and roast turkey is a signature example. We start this traditional technique at a high temperature (500°F) then drop down (350°F) for the rest of the cook time. That initial blast of high heat promotes a crisp exterior, while switching to low and slow ensures a moist interior. If you maintained that scorching heat, the turkey’s muscle fibers would contract and expel their moisture, leaving you with dry, tough meat.
2. Slow Roast: Best for Concentrating Flavors
This vegetarian pasta dish looks special, but it’s doable for a weeknight dinner if you roast and refrigerate the tomatoes in advance. You can store them in an airtight container up to two days.
Slow-roasting is how the pros liven up out-of-season produce. It draws out moisture and concentrates flavors while slowly
caramelizing the natural sugars for a sweeter bite. We tried slow-roasting tomatoes at 200°F in a convection oven and a conventional oven. Convection was faster—after 3 hours and 30 minutes the tomatoes were comparable to the conventional ones at the 5-hour mark. But convection ones (pictured at top) were drier and more chewy, while conventional ones (below) retained a pop of moisture with their concentrated sweetness.
3. Pan Roast: Best for High-Moisture Foods
For the mushrooms, use either a presliced mix of wild mushrooms from the grocery store or seek out more unique varieties at specialty stores or a farmers market. For the toasts, we recommend using a good-quality sourdough.
Pan-roasting is ideal for high-moisture foods like mushrooms and scallops. On the stovetop, you get the direct heat needed for quicker browning and less steaming. It’s crucial to preheat your skillet so that the moisture starts to evaporate the moment your ingredients hit the pan. Another key tip: Work in small batches so each piece of food is in direct contact with the hot skillet. If you overcrowd your pan, all the moisture that seeps out will end up steaming the ingredients. And remember, no stirring! With pan-roasting, you have to allow time for browning (also known as the Maillard reaction) to take place.
4. Reverse Sear: Best for a Perfect Medium-Rare Roast
This method takes longer than the traditional sear-then-cook approach, but it makes achieving a perfectly cooked piece of red meat foolproof. Roasting first at a low temp cooks the meat more evenly, yielding a cut that’s medium-rare from end to end. Also, the internal temp rises more slowly, so you’re less likely to miss your target temp and overcook the meat. At the end, crank up the oven briefly to get a nice crust on the exterior (for smaller cuts, use a very hot cast-iron skillet). We let the roast rest before the final high-heat sear so the internal temp doesn’t rise too much in the last step.
5. Salt Crust: To Lock In Moisture
To offset all those deep rich flavors typically found in holiday food, you want something bright and fresh, with enough flavor to cut through those other dishes. This salad is like a breath of fresh air at any table: The tangy yogurt and bold citrus will ensure it quickly becomes a favorite.
Salt-crusting pulls double duty by locking in moisture while thoroughly seasoning. The crust insulates the vegetable or protein inside, slowing evaporation and cooking the food gently and evenly. It’s also healthier than you might think; only a small amount of sodium is absorbed into the food. Use this method with other root veggies like rutabaga, carrots, parsnips, and turnips, as well as with whole fish and chicken.
6. Coal Roast: Best for Bold, Smoky Flavor
Give your favorite fall salad a hearty boost by swapping grilled purple cabbage in place of the traditional iceberg. It's crunchy, and rich, and chock-full of Vitamin C. Losing the bacon keeps this starter vegetarian. And sumac—a purple spice with a bright, tart flavor—is well worth finding and keeping on hand. Look for it in Mediterranean groceries or specialty spice shops. It shouldn't be too difficult to find.
This is a fairly hands-off approach to roasting. It also requires less oil than oven-roasting or sautéing. Use natural lump charcoal (no chemicals), because your food is cooked straight in the embers. Coal-roasting works well with vegetables that have a protective outer layer that can be peeled off, such as russet and sweet potatoes, beets, eggplant (if you’re only using the scooped-out flesh), corn (in the husk), and onions. If you want to tone down the smoke flavor, wrap the food in aluminum foil before roasting.
7. High Heat: Best for Subtle Smoke Flavor
Romesco is a Catalonian sauce made from tomatoes and nuts—and it makes a delicious pre-meal appetizer or snack with veggies! It pairs beautifully with harissa-spiked hummus. Make this romesco as smooth or chunky as you like—and up to three days ahead. Use leftovers as a sandwich spread or sauce to top meat or pasta. Sunchokes are sometimes labeled as Jerusalem artichokes. If you can’t find them, sub fingerling potatoes.
We love how high-heat roasting—from 425°F and up—imparts a hint of smokiness to foods. A blasting hot oven can perfectly char thin-cut pork chops or—in these particular recipes—yield blistered, but not mushy, peppers. Plus, you can usually get away with far less oil (or none at all) when cranking the heat, saving you a step and a few calories.
Bonus: The Healthiest Way to Cook Bacon
When you start bacon in a cold skillet it renders more fat, yielding leaner slices, but we love to oven-roast bacon because it has less cleanup than stovetop cooking. So we decided to try the “cold-start” technique in the oven: We put bacon in a cold oven that then was heated up to 350°F. We also slid a rimmed baking sheet with bacon straight into an oven preheated to 350°F. Both batches took virtually the same amount of time to cook (30 to 35 minutes). However, the cold-start slices rendered nearly 55% more fat.
Crock Pot Roast Gravy Dinner
This Crock Pot Roast Gravy Dinner recipe was suggested by one of our readers, Pamela, and I am sure glad she did! It is absolutely delicious!
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Alton Brown's Rump Roast
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Ingredients for 1
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Set your Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker to 135ºF / 57.2ºC
Trim any fat and sinew from the exterior of the roast, but don't discard it.
Heat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over high heat for 5 minutes. Brush or rub the roast with the oil and season the roast on all sides with the salt.
Thoroughly sear the roast on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Add the trimmings to the skillet and brown alongside the roast.
Combine the Worcestershire, Dijon, garlic powder, onion powder and pepper in a one-gallon zip-top freezer bag.
Transfer the seared roast and trimmings to the freezer bag and squish the sauce around to coat. Remove as much air from the bag as possible and seal tightly. Place the bag in the water bath, making sure the meat is completely submerged (see Cook's Note). Cover the water bath with plastic wrap to prevent evaporation.
After 10 hours, retrieve the bag from the water bath, discard the fatty bits and remove the roast to a carving board. Strain and reserve the jus. Thinly slice the beef across the grain and serve with the jus.
How To Roast Everything
How to Roast Everything is the first cookbook from America&rsquos Test Kitchen devoted to the art and science of roasting, pulling together decades of test kitchen experience and knowledge to help you roast everything from meat and fish to vegetables and fruit.
This landmark collection includes 295 fresh, inventive recipes that guarantee success. Get recipes for quick weeknight-friendly meals, have summer covered with a whole chapter devoted to grill roasting, and discover new ways with vegetables. An extensive front section covers every step of the process&mdashfrom shopping to carving&mdashand includes 10 essential roasts, including Weeknight Roast Chicken and Slow-Roasted Beef.
Some of the recipes you'll find inside:
- Grill-Roasted Beef Tenderloin
- Grill-Smoked Lexington Pulled Pork
- Grill-Smoked Side of Salmon
New Ways With Vegetables
Item Number: CF14
Item Weight: 3.3 pounds
This item must be returned within 6 months of the purchase or ship date.
See return policy for details.
Shipping: Standard shipping ships within 2-3 days.
Need it faster? Choose expedited shipping at checkout.
FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $40
Bring on Summer Sale Terms and Conditions: Offer expires May 24, 2021. Free gift selection appears at checkout with $40 cart total one-gift maximum per order while supplies last. All brand pen sets, grocery lists & Young Chefs&rsquo Club subscription box purchases excluded from $40 qualifying total.
We Tested 4 Famous Pot Roast Recipes and Found a Clear Winner
Pot roast is as classic, comforting, and all-American as it gets. It’s the original one-pot wonder, built on the stovetop and finished in the oven, where inexpensive cuts of beef like chuck or brisket cook low and slow until impossibly tender. The very best pot roast recipes are low-effort and high-reward, yielding buttery, tender beef that practically falls apart at the touch of a fork. The veggies should melt in your mouth, and everything should be covered in a rich, meaty glaze. It’s an absolute showstopper, and it makes awesome leftovers to boot.
Pot roast is also steeped in nostalgia, and many people’s favorite recipe is the one they grew up eating every Sunday night. But if you’re looking for a new recipe, one to create your own traditions with, I cooked my way through four of the most popular ones to find the very best. After several hours of chopping, searing, braising, and tasting, I found the one that will never let you down.
Simplest Whole Roast Chicken, Six Ways
We justifiably associate roast chicken with elegance, but it can also be super weeknight food, cooked in just about an hour. This method works because the high heat provided by the heated skillet cooks the thighs faster than the breasts, which are exposed only to the heat of the oven. It gives you nice browning without drying out the breast meat, and it's easily varied. If at any point during the cooking the pan juices begin to smoke, just add a little water or wine (white or red, your choice) to the pan. This will reduce browning, however, so don't do it unless you must. I suggest serving the pan juices with the chicken (you can call it sauce naturel if you like).
1 whole chicken, 3 to 4 pounds, trimmed of excess fat
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A few sprigs fresh tarragon, rosemary, or thyme (optional)
5 or 6 cloves garlic, peeled (optional)
Chopped fresh herbs for garnish
1. Heat the oven to 450°F. Five minutes after turning on the oven, put a cast-iron or other heavy ovenproof skillet on a rack set low in the oven. Rub the chicken with the olive oil, sprinkle it with salt and pepper, and put the herb sprigs on it if you're using them.
2. When both oven and pan are hot, 10 or 15 minutes later, carefully put the chicken, breast side up, in the hot skillet if you're using garlic, scatter it around the bird. Roast, undisturbed, for 40 to 50 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the meaty part of the thigh registers 155165°F. 3. Tip the pan to let the juices from the bird's cavity flow into the pan (if they are red, cook for another 5 minutes). Transfer the bird to a platter and let it rest if you like, pour the pan juices into a clear measuring cup, then pour or spoon off some of the fat. Reheat the juices if necessary, quarter the bird (see the illustrations on page 685), garnish, and serve with the pan juices.
A little more elegant: Start the cooking without the olive oil. About halfway through, spoon a mixture of 1/4 cup olive oil and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, chervil, basil, or dill over the chicken. Garnish with more chopped herbs.
Brush the chicken with olive oil before roasting cut a lemon in half and put it in the chicken's cavity. Roast, more or less undisturbed, until done squeeze the juice from the cooked lemon over the chicken and carve.
Roast Chicken with Paprika.
With good paprika, quite delicious: Combine the olive oil with about 1 tablespoon sweet paprika or smoked pimentón. Roast Chicken with Soy Sauce. Chinese-style roast chicken, made easy: Replace the olive oil with peanut or neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn. Halfway through the cooking, spoon or brush over the chicken a mixture of 1/4 cup soy sauce, 2 tablespoons honey, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1 teaspoon grated or minced fresh ginger (or 1 teaspoon ground ginger), and 1/4 cup minced scallion.
Roast Chicken with Cumin, Honey, and Orange Juice.
Sweet and exotic: Halfway through the cooking, spoon or brush over the chicken a mixture of 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice, 2 tablespoons honey, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, and salt and pepper to taste.
5 More Ways to Flavor Simplest Whole Roast Chicken
There are many ways to flavor a roast chicken here are some simple ideas to get you started:
1. Lemon: Use 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice in addition to or in place of olive oil.
2. Lime: Use 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice in a soy sauce mix (as in the Roast Chicken with Soy Sauce variation) or with some minced jalapeño or serrano chiles or hot red pepper flakes, chopped fresh cilantro leaves to taste, and a tablespoon or two of peanut oil.
3. Honey-Mustard: Combine 2 tablespoons to 1/3 cup mustard with 2 tablespoons honey and rub the chicken with this mixture during the final stages of roasting.
4. Wine: Put 1/2 cup white wine and 2 cloves crushed garlic in the bottom of the roasting pan baste with this in addition to or in place of the olive oil mixture.
5. Curry: In place of the olive oil, use neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn-or butter. Combine 1/2 cup coconut milk and 2 tablespoons curry powder and baste the chicken with this mixture during the final stages of roasting.
Easy Paleo Slow Cooker Pot Roast
I have been cooking simple comfort food a lot over the past few weeks, since the heat in our apartment is broken and it seems to be colder than ever outside. And sometimes I get so preoccupied with coming up with exciting new Paleo recipes that no one has tried or conceived before, that I forget about the basics. Something as simple as well-seasoned pot roast can be quite delicious and satisfying for dinner, especially during this time of year.
My slow cooker is getting more and more use as my days get busier and I don’t have time to cook dinner late at night. Placing the roast in a slow cooker allows the meat to get juicy and tender. I would highly recommend searing the roast first in order to develop more flavors in the broth. Some slow cookers have that option built in, but if you’re slow cooker is old like mine you can just use a separate pan. Throw in some veggies and broth with the roast and check back later, and your meal is ready and waiting.
I developed a sort of spice rub to add a little variety to the classic pot roast recipe. When I was younger, my parents could not get me to eat roast for all the money in the world. I would sit at the table for a good hour after everyone else had finished and left, staring at my plate, refusing to eat. I was obviously a stubborn child. But how the tables have turned. Here I am developing spice rubs for pot roast.
In addition to searing the meat to get a greater depth of flavor, I recommend reducing the leftover juices from the slow cooker to make a thick sauce. Simply simmer the juices in a pan on the stove for 15 minutes or so after the roast is done. Then all that is left to do is to enjoy this simple recipe that is still completely satisfying and delicious.
If you want a more fully-rounded meal all made in your Instant Pot, you can toss in some veggies before sealing the lid and cooking everything. Keep in mind, since the roast cooks for an hour, the veggies will have a softer result.
- Sear: Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef cubes, working in batches if needed, and sear them on all sides. Set the beef cubes aside.
- De-glaze: Pour the pepperoncini juice and beef broth into the skillet and scrape up all the bits from the bottom. Stir in the ranch seasoning and onion soup mix.
- Arrange: Add the beef to your slow cooker along with the sauce from the skillet. Arrange the pepperoncinis and butter over the beef.
- Cook: Secure the lid of your slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
- Finish: Use two forks to shred the beef directly in the slow cooker. Whisk the cornstarch and water together in a small bowl, pour it into the slow cooker, and stir well to combine. Cook on high for 20-30 minutes or until thickened.
Sous Vide Chuck Roast
Close your eyes and you’ll think you’re eating rib-eye. You’ll get more flavor out of economy cuts of meat with the sous vide method because the meat never overcooks!
About Sous Vide
Imagine never over cooking an expensive roast again. Or taking an economy cut and making it taste premium. That’s the advantage of sous vide cooking--it’s always perfectly cooked!
Once only available to restaurant chefs, sous vide is a technique home cooks are embracing thanks to smaller, cost-friendly models like Anova or Joule. Translated to “under vacuum,” sous vide is a method of cooking meats and vegetables in a vacuum sealed bag placed in a water bath. The water is heated at a consistent and controlled temperature thanks to the heating element used in the water bath.
Precise temperature control and uniformity of temperature of the sous vide machine offers two big advantages. First, it allows you to cook food to an even doneness all the way through, no more dry edges and rare centers. Second, you get highly predictable results. The steak emerges from the bag juicy and pink every time.
Sous Vide Is Ideal for Entertaining on Yom Tov
Seal ingredients in a plastic bag or canning jar and place them in a water bath. When food reaches your target temperature or time, you take it out, give it a quick sear or other finish, and serve it. That’s it. Perfectly predictable results with no fuss!
With sous vide as my go-to for yom tov cooking and entertaining, I am finally able to focus on the other important aspects of cooking without the worry of going back and forth and checking on that expensive roast in oven, hoping we aren’t messing it up…. Which let’s be honest, we all do it!!
Cooking with Plastic
Bags made expressly for cooking sous vide are perfectly safe as are oven bags. Brand name resealable bags and plastic wrap are made of polyethylene. It’s widely used in containers for biology and chemistry labs, and has been studied extensively, and is safe for cooking. Avoid store brand and cheap plastic wraps when cooking. These are made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and heating them presents a risk of chemicals leaching into the food.
- 5-6 pound boneless chuck or shoulder roastFresh rosemary sprigsFresh thymeFreshly shaved horseradishKosher saltFreshly ground black pepper3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil1 egg whiteShaved horseradishSea salt or Maldon finishing salt
1. Set up your sous vide machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. Fill pot or bucket with water. For medium rare, set temperature to 129°F (for medium set temperature to 136°F). Set time to 18 hours.
2. Wait for water to reach desired temperature.
3. Lightly coat a large pan with evoo and place over medium-high heat. Sprinkle roast with salt and pepper and place in hot pan to sear. Brown on all sides.
4. Once browned, transfer roast to a brand name resealable bag. Add evoo, rosemary, and thyme sprigs to the bag.
5. When the sous vide hits the desired temperature, add bag to the water. Slowly lower bag till it hits the bottom of the pot, and the air is released. Seal bag closed. Cover pot with plastic wrap to avoid evaporation. (You want to avoid any air trapped in the bag, this will insure that the roast remains fully submerged in the water for the duration of the cooking.)
6. After 18 hours take the roast out the bag.
8. Whip one egg white till foamy and lather on roast. Sprinkle roast with shaved horseradish, salt, and pepper, and place on a roasting pan. Put in 475°F oven for 15 minutes.
9. Remove roast and let it rest for 10 minutes. Slice, sprinkle with Maldon finishing salts and serve with roasted veggies and Red Wine Jam.
10. Yom Tov Alternative: if serving on Yom Tov you can place roast in the oven at 180°F up to 1½ hours before eating. This will develop the crust and keep the roast warm for the meal.
For the perfect bottom round roast, you should cook with the fat side up . As the roast cooks, the fat melts and runs down the sides of the meat. This helps provide moisture and flavor, which are so important for these more affordable cuts of meat.
When cooking roasts, we want that gloriously browned exterior, the crust, but still juicy inside. The rule of thumb for most roasts is to cook uncovered in a shallow pan. If your roast is on the smaller side, you should reduce the length of time on high heat from 20 minutes to 10 minutes.
Know your oven
This is so important for so many reasons! First, every oven cooks a bit differently, and you must adjust accordingly. Second, gas, electric, and convection ovens all vary. While gas and electric have similar cooking times, convection times are often reduced by 25% or more. Worse, some ovens run hot, some run cold, and only a few report internal cooking temperatures accurately.
When preparing a roast recipe for the first time, you must make adjustments for your oven and your roast's weight. Every time I read a comment like, "I followed this recipe exactly," my heart skips a beat. So on that note, if you own an oven, which I'm sure you do, buy a meat thermometer and oven thermometer.
Worried your roast will be done early?
The first half goes by relatively fast. About halfway through, you should reach about 125 degrees (2.5-3.0 hrs), and what you'll soon realize is it takes considerably longer to reach your final desired temperature. That last 10 - 15 degrees can easily take another 2-3 hours.
- 125° F (52° C) - Rare
- 135° F (57° C) - Medium Rare
- 145° F (63° C) - Medium
- 150° F (66° C) - MediumWell
- 160° F (71° C) - Well Done
I'll use my 12" cast iron skillet for smaller roasts, and for anything over 4 pounds, I use a large roasting pan with vrack. I prefer a vrack vs. flat rack as it holds the roast in place and find air circulates the roast better.
Let your roast rest
Let your roast rest at least 10-15 minutes before serving. I typically use a foil tent, let it rest, and start on my gravy pan right away. Then, since everything else is ready, I round up the family and settle in for dinner.