With modern technology, roasting is the easiest way to prepare food. It’s the method that most novices start with because you just throw it in the oven and move. The food takes care of itself. But don’t let it fool you. Roasting is easy. Roasting something the right way takes a little bit of know how. If you roast something perfectly, you get a juicy cut of meat or the softest vegetables. If you roast something the wrong way, you get dry meat. No one likes dry meat.
So how do you roast things perfectly? Here are the steps to a perfect roast.
- First bring your food to room temperature. This allows the meat to cook evenly on the inside and out. If the food is still cold, then you could end up with a cold center or a dry exterior. I usually just defrost meat on the counter at room temperature to get around this. If you’re food is already defrosted, you can still let it sit on the counter (covered or wrapped of course) for 30 minutes to an hour.
- Lightly oil the meat. Just enough to makes the surface glisten. If you leave a puddle of oil on the table, then you’re using too much. This keeps the meat moist. If you’re uncomfortable adding oil to your food, you can always omit oil. It’s not essential, but it definitely helps.
- Season the meat. Remember to go light on the salt if you’re watching your blood pressure. But ground pepper, cayenne, chili powder, and other herbs and spices are always on the table.
- This is optional! If you want a crust to form while roasting, try roasting at different temperatures. Spend 80% of your time on a lower heat (like 325F or 350F) then spend the rest of your time roasting on a higher heat (400F or 425F).
- Cook the meat until it is done. It’s easiest to tell with a food thermometer. If you don’t have one, you’ll have to go based on how pink the center looks. Or if it is a fish, how flaky it is.
Voila! The roasting is done. Remember for tougher cuts of meat and vegetables roasting may not be the best method. For pork shoulders or chuck beef, try using a slow cooker or braising. For collard greens, try boiling or simmering.