Roasting 101

February 25, 2020

My tips, tools, and techniques for roasting anything and everything!

What is Roasting?

Roasting is as simple as drizzling meat, fish, or vegetables with a little olive oil, seasoning with salt and pepper (and other herbs or spices, if you like), then placing in the oven and letting the oven do all of the work. A dry, high-heat method of cooking, roasting yields a deliciously browned exterior and a moist interior.

It’s one of the easiest and most approachable cooking techniques out there. Roasting seems to bring out the best in whatever you are cooking as it concentrates flavor and creates a caramelized crust. It’s an extremely versatile method that works well with meat, fish, vegetables, and even fruit. For specific instruction on roasting vegetables, check out my How-To HERE!

Tools you Need

  • A large roasting pan that is about 2-inches deep is a great investment. Look for a heavy pan with a flat bottom and handles, that you can transfer from the oven to the stovetop to deglaze those valuable pan drippings. For smaller items like fruits and vegetables, a rimmed baking sheet works great. 
  • A very simple meat thermometer is also essential for roasting meats to their appropriate temperatures. It takes out the guesswork and ensures that you will have tender meat without it being underdone. 
  • A metal rack is often helpful for roasting meat, to both help it cook evenly and achieve maximum browning. You can also create a rack out of a single layer of vegetables that the meat can rest on top of (carrots and celery are favorites, as they also add great flavor to the pan drippings). 

Ingredients Best Suited for Roasting 

  • Roasting is an excellent method for large, tender cuts of beef (rib roast, filet), pork (tenderloins), lamb (bone in or boneless leg of lamb), poultry (whole chickens, bone-in chicken pieces), and fish (salmon fillet). 
  • When selecting vegetables, consider starchy root vegetables like potatoes, carrots, beets, and parsnips, and well as harder, crunchy vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, even green beans, and sugar snap peas. 
  • Choose firm fruits like apples, pears, or stone fruits. Tomatoes are also fantastic roasted—you can eat them as is, or grind them up for salsas or sauces. Simple roasted fruit, caramelized and warm from the oven, served alongside ice cream, is one of my favorite desserts.