5 Tips To Ensure Success When Roasting Meat

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Roasting Meat Beef Rib-Eye

Roasting meat the modern way may be defined as one of the methods of cooking meat with dry convected heat(which is a form of heat transfer) in an oven cavity.

Initially, roasting meats are subjected to high temperatures, which seal in the juices by coagulating the surface protein.  Once this is achieved the cooking temperature is reduced to allow even steady cooking.

The dryness of the atmosphere within the oven is modified by the presence of steam. In modern commercial ovens, the steam is generated by the action of adding moisture in the form of a mist into the oven cavity.

Roasting meat the traditional way was and still is carried out over an open fire on a rotating spit and the moisture is driven from the open atmosphere. Modern roasting spits powdered by electricity and gas are a more common way of roasting meat today.

However, there are still people that roast meat over hot coals. Some great examples are Asado (Argentinian barbecue), Churrasco (roasting meat Brazilian style).

Roasted Mid Rare Rib Eye Salad
Roasted Mid Rare Rib Eye Salad

When roasting meat, protein strands heat up and bind together, forcing the juices into the center of the cut. This creates a raw red hard knuckle in the center the longer you roast your meat, the more the protein strands set and bind together, the firmer and more towards the well-done side your meat becomes.

Braising, stewing, slow. or pot roasting meat the protein strands start to break down due to the prolonged cooking time. That’s why the meat becomes “fall off the bone” tender.

These are great cooking methods for secondary cuts like beef short ribs, cheeks, brisket, pork belly, lamb neck fillets, and lamb shanks. 

There are certain fruits like Asian pear and Kiwifruit these 2 fruits have a type of cysteine protease enzyme in them that breaks down protein strands in meat and makes it tender.

They can be used as part of your marinade ingredients. It is important to remember not to leave the meat in the marinate no longer than 2 hours. 

Other ingredients have protease enzyme properties which you can try. Pawpaw, mango, and black cardamom which is different from green cardamom.  Black cardamom has a subtle sweet smoky flavor.

Word of caution when using black cardamom only marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour maximum. Black Cardamom is so potent that marinating any longer than 1 hour will result in the meat becoming too tender and will start to fall apart! Becoming mushy even before being cooked! Trust me I’ve made that mistake!

Roasting Lamb With Fresh Herbs And Garlic
Roasting lamb with fresh herbs and garlic

Roasting Meat Tips And Tricks

If you’ve ever pulled a whole roasted beef tenderloin out of the oven and proceeded to carve it straight away. Only to have all those moist precious juices pour out onto your chopping board and all over your clean bench?

A common mistake people make when roasting meat is they don’t rest their meat before carving. This also includes when you cook a fat juicy steak.

  • Letting meat rest for a few minutes after cooking allows those juices to redistribute throughout the meat.
  • This also relaxes the protein strands making them succulent, tender, and flavorful.
  • This will also help towards avoiding that raw red hard knuckle in the center. 

What Does It Mean To Roast Meat?

Roasting is a dry-heat cooking method that uses long, slow cooking to seal in the meat’s natural juices and enhance its flavor.

There are two simple tips for achieving success with this type of cooking – first when placing your meat into the oven start it off on high heat for the first 15 minutes which will quickly seal the meat locking in those juices.

And second, resting your meat for 15-20 minutes after cooking will relax the meat making it tender.

 

Tip #1 Rest Your Meat

Rule of thumb when roasting whole pieces of meat, rest in a warm place for 15 – 20 minutes before carving. Chicken or duck rest for 5 – 10 minutes before carving.

Cooking steak rest it for around half the time you’ve cooked it, e.g. cooking steak for 4 minutes rest in a warm place for 2 minutes. Have a goal temperature in mind before you start cooking.

Periodically check the temperature, this should be done with a digital meat thermometer, inserted in the thickest part of the meat.

  • The meat will always continue to cook while resting, this is due to the presence of residual heat.
  • Your goal temperature should be around 37ºF – 43ºF (3ºC – 6ºC)  below your required meat doneness temperature.

When your goal temperature is reached remove it from the oven.  Rest in a warm place, somewhere like on the stovetop.

You could also loosely cover with aluminum foil, don’t cover too tight or you’ll make the hot meat sweat and lose valuable moisture.

Even better if you’ve got a wire rack rest it on the rack and over a plate or platter. This stops the meat from sitting in its own juice and the caramelized outside becoming soggy. Those valuable juices that come off the resting meat are awesome for making gravy.

Tip #2 Seasoning And Flavoring

Prior to cooking, meats should be lightly seasoned with salt and pepper. Seasoning food and adding flavors like spices or fresh herbs. Certain items like chicken or turkey may also be filled with a selected stuffing. These methods of seasoning and flavoring meat and poultry are designed to enhance the flavor profile.

Seasoning and Flavoring Meats
Seasoning and Flavoring Meats

Tip #3 Larding And Barding

Larding and barding are old-school techniques that I still use today. This is where the addition of inserting of covering meats with fat. This acts to provide moisture throughout roasting preventing drying out and excessive shrinkage.

What Does Larding And Barding Mean In Cooking?

Larding is where you insert fat into the meat or under the skin, like flavored butter under the chicken skin. This is what I do when cooking chicken as it stops the breast meat from drying out.

You could inject aromatic fats or oils into the flesh of the meat before roasting.  This will also act as a marinade.

Barding is where you cover meats with fat, like covering turkey with bacon or covering lean beef with pork fat before roasting.

What Meat Is Good To Roast?

Lamb leg, or shoulder, pork shoulder, or rolled loin, beef rump, bolar, or striploin, and standing rib roast.

You want meat that contains substantial intramuscular fat content which provides the majority of the flavor during cooking/roasting and helps to keep the meat moist, juicy, and flavorful.

Best Injector For Meat


UikieGo Heavy Duty Stainless Meat Injector

This injector is high quality and made with good taste in mind. This surgical tool is highly recommended by culinary professionals, like me due to its diversity, volume capacity, portability, ease of use, and cleaning. The detachable design makes cleaning simple & convenient and an ideal cooking companion.

Master The Perfect Roast Chicken
Larding whole chicken with fresh sage, rosemary, thyme, and paprika-flavored butter

Tip #4 Using A Trivet

A trivet is used to raise the meat being roasted out of the fat or moisture it’s being cooked in. A trivet lies in the base of the roasting pan on which the meat sits.

Trivets can be formed with bones, vegetables like onions, carrots, or leeks, fruits like citrus fruits, or apples with the addition of fresh herbs. Also available are trivets in the form of steel or silicone racks. 

  • Using a trivet combined with a baster will give you that much-needed helping hand to achieve the ultimate moist succulent roast that we all crave!
Trivet of Fresh Herbs and Onions
Trivet of Fresh Herbs and Onions

Tip #5 Basting

Basting is a technical term to describe the action of moistening meat with melted fat and cooking juice during the roasting process.

This process is carried out at regular intervals by spooning, using a baster, or brushing the melted fat and juices over the roasting meat.

This can be easy as adding equal amounts of butter and oil to the roasting pan along with fresh herbs, like thyme, sage, or rosemary accompanied by fresh garlic.

When the aromatic fat and oil are hot you can start basting it over your roasting meat at 15-20 minute intervals.  

Doneness Test And Endpoint Temperature

You can use the meat doneness touch test by poking, prodding, or squeezing to check if your meat is ready.

Firstly you can use a digital meat temperature probe which will give you an accurate doneness verification. However, if you don’t have a temperature probe there are other ways to check for your preferred doneness

So, whether you’re roasting in the oven or cooking ribeye steak on the barbecue, remember – rest your meat, be patient, good things take time.

Finger Test Poking, Prodding, Or Squeezing

  • Soft and spongy – within the rare range.
  • Springy and slightly firm – medium range.
  • Firm and feels dense – within the well-done range.

The Visual Test

Visual tests can be done, here is a general guide on what to look for: 

  • Rare to med-rare, when the meat juices run red and bloody.
  • Med-rare to medium, when the meat juices run pink.
  • Med-well to well done when the meat juices run clear.
Rare Seared Beef Tenderloin
Rare Seared Beef Tenderloin

What Are The Degrees Of Doneness? – When roasting meat we all have a preference for how we enjoy our steak or whole cuts. This can be blue, rare, med-rare, medium, med-well, or well-done.

These are the degrees of doneness, and they’re determined by your roast meat surface color, juice color, feel (when poked, prodded, or squeezed) and internal temperature when cooked.

CHEFS TIP:

  • Just a word about food safety, all chicken products should always be cooked between 149 – 158ºF (65 – 70ºC). If you’re unsure use a digital meat thermometer.

Meat Doneness Chart

Meat DonenessTemp (ºC)Temp (ºF)
Blue43ºC110ºF
Rare49 – 53ºC120 – 127ºF
Med-Rare54 – 57ºC129 – 134ºF
Medium58 – 61ºC136 – 141ºF
Mid-Well62 – 65ºC143 – 149ºF
Well Done65ºC and Above149ºF and Above

How Long Should You Rest Meat After Cooking?

I rest a steak for approximately half the time I cooked it.

For whole cuts I rest for 15-20 minutes if it has been cooked for long periods of time, I would loosely wrap the meat in aluminum foil and rest for 20-25 minutes.

How Long Do You Cook A Roast Per Pound

How long do you cook a roast per pound or kilogram? I get asked this question a lot. This comes down to the cut of meat, protein, and weight.

Below are guidelines on times for roasting meat, there will be variables like convection or fan-forced ovens, electric or gas. Also domestic or commercial ovens.

Your endpoint cooking goal temperature will stay the same, don’t forget to cook around 37ºF – 43ºF (3ºC – 6ºC) below your goal endpoint temperature to allow for resting time. 

Before you start cooking consider other factors that might affect roasting times, they include:

  • The temperature of the meat before cooking.
  • Accuracy of your oven.
  • Shape and type of roasting dish.

How Long Does It Take To Roast Meat?

The time it takes to roast meat depends on the cut, the shape, and the size. and your goal endpoint temperature.

Secondary cuts like bolar, shoulder, and leg will take longer, and prime cuts like striploin, rib roast, and loin will take less time.

Following these guidelines will help achieve success – well done 25 minutes per lb (½ Kg) plus 25 minutes over, mid-rare 15 minutes per lb (½ Kg) plus 15 minutes over, and add an extra 15-20 minutes for resting time.

Time And Temperature Chart

ProteinOven Temp
BeefFirst 15-20 min 374ºF (190ºC) Remainder 320ºF (160ºC)
Lamb Or MuttonFirst 20-25 min 374ºF (190ºC) Remainder 302ºF (150ºC)
VenisonFirst 15-20 min 374ºF (190ºC) Remainder 338ºF (170ºC)
PorkFirst 15-20 min 374ºF (190ºC) Remainder 302ºF (150ºC)
ChickenFirst 20 min 392ºF (200ºC) Remainder 338ºF (170ºC)
DuckFirst 15-20 min 374ºF (190ºC) Remainder 320ºF (160ºC)
ProteinRoasting Time Med-Rare to Medium
BeefPer lb (½ Kg) 15 min plus 15 min over
Lamb Or MuttonPer lb (½ Kg) 20 min plus 20 min over
VenisonPer lb (½ Kg) 15 min plus 15 min over
PorkPer lb (½ Kg) 15 min plus 15 min over
Chicken---
DuckPer lb (½ Kg) 15 min plus 15 min over
ProteinRoasting Time Med-Well to Well-Done
BeefPer lb (½ Kg) 20 min plus 20 min over
Lamb Or MuttonPer lb (½ Kg) 25 min plus 25 min over
VenisonPer lb (½ Kg) 20 min plus 20 min over
PorkPer lb (½ Kg) 20 min plus 20 min over
ChickenPer lb (½ Kg) 20 min plus 20 min over
DuckPer lb (½ Kg) 20 min plus 20 min over
ProteinGoal Endpoint Temp
BeefMed-Rare 135ºF (57ºC) Medium 138ºF (59ºC)
Lamb Or MuttonMedium 138ºF (59ºC) Med-Well 143ºF (62ºC)
VenisonMed-Rare 135ºF (57ºC) Medium 138ºF (59ºC)
PorkMedium 138ºF (59ºC) Med-Well 143ºF (62ºC)
ChickenWell-Done 149ºF (65ºC)
DuckMedium 138ºF (59ºC) Med-Well 143ºF (62ºC)

Disclaimer:
The food temperature endpoints outlined in this article are based on the New Zealand Food Safety Standards and could differ in other countries.

Final Words

5 Roasting meat tips I use on a daily basis to create tasty, moist roast meat. These tips you can do just as easily in the comfort of your own home, cooking for family and friends.

People have been roasting meat over an open fire or hot coals forever, This knowledge is hard-wired into your DNA.

In today’s world, you’ve got the tools to roast meat, now you’ve got the knowledge. So the next time you’re roasting meat, basting it with its own fat and juices, add a selection of aromatic herbs.

Try some different seasoning combinations. Get into larding or barding your meat before cooking. Most importantly rest your meat before carving.

Feel, look, smell your roasting meat, then share and eat the end result, there is nothing more exciting. Roasting meat doesn’t have to be a stressed-out affair, it should be enjoyable and fun.