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

By Sara Quessenberry
Updated September 25, 2007
woman holding roasting pan
Credit: Beatriz da Costa
  • 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.