Lesson 25: How to Roast

How to Roast

Roasting is a dry cooking technique in which large cuts or whole meats are cooked at 325 degrees Fahrenheit, in an oven or over an open flame. Roasting takes place for an extended period of time, usually several hours. Think about a whole turkey, a whole chicken, entire pork lion, or a rack of ribs. These all would be cooked for many hours to achieve the desired result. Typically, foods that are roasted are thick, like a whole turkey.

The key here though is that it is a dry, indirect cooking method where the food must be cooked for a long time. It must be thoroughly cooked and must naturally develop browning on the outside. A steak can not be roasted simply because of the size. A steak could be baked, but it could not be cooked for long enough to be called a roast. Th e long and slow cooking process of roasting creates big, bold, naturally occurring, savory flavors in large cuts of meat. Roasting helps to tenderize and liquefy the connective tissues inside of the meat. This creates a light, delicate end product.

Very often people will advertise that vegetables, especially potatoes, have been roasted. While they can be cooked in the oven and browned, this is actually an inaccurate description of the cooking process they have received. Roasted potatoes and vegetables are actually more appropriately labeled as baked. Even though they are browned, they are not actually roasted. Roasting requires hours of cooking. If a potato was roasted for 3 hours, it would be hard, black, and inedible.

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