Roasting Basics

Roasting food is simple: Keep the following tips in mind, and you’ll always have great results.

  • Sara Quessenberry

Use a heavy pan. It absorbs heat best, allowing the meat to cook evenly. Avoid roasters with handles that fold down; they’re difficult to grab with mitts.
 
 Skip the roasting rack. It’s hard to clean and unnecessary for all but the fattiest meats, such as prime rib and duck.
 
 Don’t overcrowd the pan or the heat won’t distribute properly and the food will steam.
 
 Use a thermometer. To accurately gauge doneness, insert an instant-read thermometer 2 inches into the center of a roast or a chicken thigh, being careful not to allow the tip to touch any bone.
 
 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.
 
See 16 easy roasting recipes.