Roasting is a hands-off, hassle-free cooking method that can turn the simplest of meals into feasts. And yet, people tend to make common mistakes that lead to dried out roasted meat and chicken which are a complete waste. Here are all the tips you need to avoid making these roasting mistakes to create that beautiful, meaty centerpiece your next feast deserves.
Roasting is an art and a sure-shot method of creating a centerpiece for a meal, whether it is a festival or just the weekend. One of the most hassle-free methods of cooking out there, roasting requires very little work on your behalf—and yet, the results are stunning enough to wow family and friends alike, so much so that nobody would believe you didn’t slave over a pot to get that meal ready! Despite this, however, many people are apprehensive about roasting poultry and meat, especially whole chicken and large cuts of red meat.
The reason behind this is simple. While roasting is an easy cooking method for sure, there are details that one needs to keep in mind to ensure that the cooked meat is tender, juicy and falling off the bones. After all, isn’t that precisely what we all love about a good meat roast? Nailing the cook on roasted meat can be quite difficult especially if you are attempting it for the first time, or if you are cooking a new cut of meat for the first time. What you need to get that roasted leg of mutton or lamb, or that roast chicken for that matter, perfectly cooked are a few handy tips and tricks.
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First though, you need to understand that roasting is a dry-heat cooking technique. Roasting meat in an oven involves transferring dry heat to the meat to get a brown, crispy exterior and a soft and tender interior. There is usually very little liquid introduced to the roasting pan, which means the juices of the meat usually accumulate at the bottom, which can leave the meat dry and unpalatable if not done right. So, despite being a hands-off cooking method, roasting meat can get tricky and lead to a lot of waste.
Here are all the tips and tricks you need to roast meat and poultry to perfection every single time.
Always Preheat The Oven
Placing a well-prepped meat with marinate and all in a cold oven is a big no-no. In fact, whether you are baking or roasting, preheating the oven is a must. This is because raw meats can easily develop harmful bacteria if left at room temperature for too long. Preheating the oven ensures that the meat gets a blast of heat as soon as it goes in, which gets rid of the bacteria risk completely.
Meat Should Be At Room Temperature
When a frozen meat meets a hot oven, the result is often that the meat defrosts in the oven, leaving the cooked meat dry and inedible. In fact, putting cold meat in the oven is a sure-shot way of ensuring that the cooking time is longer, the meat doesn’t brown properly and the results are usually devastating. This is the reason why thawing out the meat and bringing it to room temperature before putting it in the oven is critical.
Get The Right Roasting Tools
Baking trays and pans can help get an even cook on the meat and prevent the loss of juices, so getting plenty of these to fit different cuts of meat is very important. Roasting also involves taking the tray out and turning the meat to get an even cook, so oven mittens, spatulas, tongs and other equipment that can help are must-haves. While most ovens have a temperature setting, it is also critical that you get a meat or cooking thermometer too. This can help you ensure that the meat is getting evenly cooked.
Know Your Oven
Not all ovens are made the same. While temperature settings on the surface may indicate one thing, the temperature inside isn’t going to be the same all over. Ovens usually have heat rods, so the area closest to the rods will be the hottest, while those close to the edges would be colder. So, calibrating your oven and setting the roasting temperature accordingly is very important. Also understand if you want an oven with a rotisserie setting to roast meats or just one with heating rods is good enough.
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Combine Cooking Methods
While putting a prepped meat straight into the oven is definitely more hassle-free, you should consider the cuts you are cooking and see if you want to combine cooking methods. For example, browning the meat in a pan first and then slow roasting it in the oven can often provide much better results. Trying this combination method can ensure that your roast is perfectly golden brown and tender at the same time.
Know Your Meat Cuts
It is very important to understand that different meats and different cuts need to be roasted at different temperatures. If your meat cut comes from the belly portion of mutton, lamb or pork, the likelihood is that these cuts will have plenty of fats and will prevent the meat from drying out even at a relatively higher temperature. On the other hand, legs and breasts are usually leaner cuts and can go dry very easily—which is why covering them with foil for a duration of the roasting process is important.
One of the biggest mistakes people tend to make after roasting is that they leave the cut uncovered and serve it immediately. Keep meat uncovered after roasting, and it is likely to dry out as it cools down. Serving immediately can also lead to a mess as the juices from the meat seep out and dry out quickly as you cut into them. This is the reason why it is recommended that you let the meat rest for at least 20 minutes after roasting it.