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Check out our tips to make roasting a success every time.

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Cooking Class

Roasting

When the temperature drops, it's time to roast. The heat from the oven warms the kitchen and the aromas waft through the house. Roasting is similar to baking—both rely on dry oven heat to cook food from the outside to the center. But baking usually applies to desserts because it implies even oven temperature, while roasting may use varied temperatures during the cooking process.

Essential Equipment

  1. A heavy roasting pan that comfortably holds food. If it's too big, food may burn. If it's too small, food may stick or steam.
  2. Poultry and meats should be elevated on a rack so that fat drips below and heat cooks it from all sides.
  3. For safe cooking, you need an instant-read thermometer.
  4. A fat separator cup helps minimize the fat in pan sauces, and a whisk is useful for deglazing the pan.

Meat And Poultry With Panache

  • Red meat and poultry roast more evenly if they are not chilled. Microwave at 20% power (low) for 1-minute intervals for a total of 2 to 4 minutes, depending on size. Rinse, and dry with paper towels.
  • Season with salt, pepper and spices. For poultry, place halved garlic cloves and shallots, herbs and/or slices of orange or lemon into the cavity to flavor the meat and juices.
  • Poultry should be trussed before roasting.
  • Roast meat or poultry on a rack in the center of a 400°F oven for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325°F for food that weighs five or more pounds, and 350°F for under five pounds.
  • Roast until it reaches desired internal temperature—use our Cook It Safe Calculator to make sure.
  • After roasting, poultry and meat should "rest" for 10 to 30 minutes before slicing, depending on size, so the juices will be reabsorbed.

Deglazing

  • While meat and poultry are resting, degrease and deglaze the pan for a sauce by discarding the fat and placing the pan on top of the stove over low heat.
  • Add 1 to 1.5 cups stock, wine or juice. Stir with a wire whisk, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Reduce liquid by half, season with salt to taste.
  • Pour the sauce into a fat separator cup, and from there to a gravy boat.

Vibrant Vegetables

  • Roasting vegetables concentrates flavor and retains nutrients since they aren't leached out into liquid.
  • Clean or peel vegetables, and cut into pieces 1/2-inch or larger. The bigger the pieces, the longer the cooking time.
  • Heat the pan at 350°F, mist with olive oil spray, add the vegetables. Lightly spray vegetables and sprinkle with salt and pepper. See chart.
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  • To minimize fat, roast vegetables separately from meats or poultry.
  • With mixed roast vegetables, add to the pan in stages according to cooking times (see chart).
  • Even if you don't want a sauce, deglaze the pan with water to speed cleanup.
  • If you're out of trussing string, create thin cords with heavy duty aluminum foil.
  • Rather than starting meat in a hot oven, sear the exterior on a grill to add extra flavor.
  • Remember, a meat thermometer needs to be in for 15 to 20 seconds to ensure accuracy.
  • For foods that need to roast longer than an hour, add herbs midway through the cooking process and they'll taste more pungent.

 

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