There’s nothing like a succulent roast to bring the family together at mealtime. Use our roasting essentials guide along with your favourite traditional or modern roast recipe and make a success of your roast every time.
- Heavy pan: look for a heavy, flat based, shallow roasting pan as these absorb heat best, allowing the meat to cook evenly. Use a roasting dish that is close to the size of the roast you are cooking. A roasting rack placed inside the pan allows heat to fully surround the meat.
- Thermometer: different cuts require different cooking times per fixed weight. For ease and accuracy use a meat thermometer to gauge doneness accurately, insert an instant-read thermometer 5 cm into the center of a roast or a chicken thigh, being careful not to allow the tip to touch any bone.
Certain cuts of meat are perfect for roasting, and range from beef to lamb, pork, chicken, turkey, duck and fish. Roasting is a good cooking method for large, tender cuts of beef, pork or lamb. You can roast vegetables, too, especially if you roast them alongside the meat. The best vegetables for roasting are starchy root vegetables. You can roast firm fruits, like apples, pears and tomatoes, too.
Beef: the best cuts for roasting are obtained from the loin and the rib, however, there is a wide range of cuts suitable to roast. Choose either rib eye/scotch fillet, rump, sirloin, fillet/tenderloin, eye round, blade, topside, round,
oyster blade, standing rib roast, silverside (uncorned), rolled rib beef roast
Lamb: leg (bone-in), shoulder (bone-in), easy carve (leg or shoulder), round or topside roasts,
boned and rolled loin, mini roast, eye of shortloin / backstrap, rack, shortloin /mid loin,
roast, rump roast
Pork: leg (bone-in or boneless), belly, rolled belly, spare ribs, forequarter (bone-in), shoulder (boneless), and scotch fillet
Poultry: choose a whole or half chicken, turkey or duck. Smaller parts such as drumsticks and thighs are suitable too.
- Take the roast from the fridge about 20 minutes before cooking to bring it to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to approximately 220 degrees Celsius. Be sure to follow the recipe instructions.
- Place the roast on a rack in a roasting dish. Raising the roast allows it to brown evenly. Placing the roast on a bed of vegies (cut into sticks) or trimmed meat bones is another way to raise the roast. The exception is bone-in roasts like a standing rib roast; the natural arc of the bones raises the meat from the base of the roasting dish.
- Lightly coat the meat or whatever you are roasting with oil, salt and pepper or other seasonings, and place it in a roasting pan.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan or the heat won’t distribute properly and the food will steam.
- If you have a meat thermometer insert it into the thickest part of the roast.
- You can use a rack to keep the meat up out of the drippings if you want to, but don’t cover it.
- Place the pan in the centre of the oven so that it gets heat evenly all around it.
- Cook at 200 degrees Celsius for between 1-3 hours depending on the weight of the roast and the recipe instructions.
- Baste the meat with pan juices throughout cooking. As the water evaporates, add more to the pan. Add a little stock to the dish if there’s only a small amount of pan juices.
- Test to see if the roast is cooked to your liking by squeezing with tongs: rare feels soft; medium has a little resistance; well-done feels quite firm. It's best not to insert a skewer when testing to see if meat is done as it allows the juices, which keep meat tender and tasty, to escape.
- Alternatively, check the internal temperature of the roast on the meat thermometer. The internal temperature for:
Rare is 55-60ºC
Medium rare is 60-65ºC
Medium is 65-70ºC
Well done is 75ºC
- Remove roast from pan and cover loosely with foil. Allow to rest for about 15-20 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to settle. Well-rested meat won't lose any juices onto the plate.
- For the most tender slices of meat, carve the roast across the grain. Holding the roast with tongs rather than a fork will prevent the juices escaping.
- Let food rest. It will continue to cook after it is removed from the oven. For the juiciest results, wait at least 5 minutes before carving.