Roast meat is the heart of many delicious meals. Whatever type of roast meat you prefer – chicken, turkey, duck, beef, pork, lamb, etc. – there are an infinite number of roast meat recipes to experiment with.
Roasting meat is very simple – after you place the meat in the oven, not a lot of attention is required. All you have to do is wait!
To ensure you are roasting meats in the best possible way, heed these 10 roasting tips.
Buy quality meat
When it comes to buying food, the one food you should not skimp on is meat. Always buy the best quality meat you can afford, and don’t be afraid to ask the butcher where the meat is from.
Prepare the meat
Seasoning the meat the day before you plan to cook it will allow the flavours to penetrate deeply. Depending on taste, season your cut of meat with salt and pepper, olive oil and fresh thyme.
Let your meat reach room temperature
Before you begin cooking your meat, let it stand at room temperature. This will ensure the meat cooks evenly all over. The larger the piece of meat, the longer you should let it stand for (between 1 and 2 hours will suffice).
Preheat the oven
An important step to remember when roasting any kind of meat is to preheat the oven to around 220 degrees Celsius (425 degrees Fahrenheit). To ensure you achieve the most even roast, cook the meat at 220 degrees Celsius for around 15 minutes and then reduce the heat to 180 degrees Celsius, and cook until done.
To make a complete meal, roast veggies with the meat. To give the vegetables delicious flavour, add them into the same dish as your meat around 30-40 minutes before the meat is fully cooked.
Follow general timing guidelines
When timing your meat in the oven, it’s important to use your instinct. Ovens vary and so do sizes of cuts, but here are the approximate timings for different meats:
- Whole chicken: 1 ½ – 2 hours
- Whole duck: 2-3 hours
- Whole turkey: 3 hours
- Beef: 2 hours (rib); 2 hours (topside)
- Pork: 1 ½ hours (rib); 2 hours (belly); 3 hours (shoulder)
- Lamb: 4 hours (shoulder); 1 hour (leg); ½ hour (rack)
Use a thermometer
Sometimes, ovens can indicate inaccurate temperatures, so use a thermometer to be sure that the meat is being roasted at the temperature it should be.
Don’t baste the meat while it’s in the oven, as the temperature will drop each time you do and you will risk an uneven roast.
Leave to rest
When golden brown and tender, remove the meat from the oven, cover it with foil and and leave it to rest for 1-2 hours (depending on size and cut). This will allow the meat to absorb all of the juices.