Roasting meat is one of the best known ways of enjoying food. Whether it's a BBQ roast or an oven roast, roast dinners bring people together and make delicious and memorable meals.
Roasting is where food is cooked within a heated and enclosed space (usually an oven, but can also be a BBQ). The more traditional foods cooked this way include lamb, beef and chicken, usually with a generous helping of potatoes.
Meat isn't the only thing you can roast. Many vegetables taste fantastic when they've been roasted, such as carrots, potatoes and pumpkin.
Successful roasting depends on two important factors. First is the temperature - too low or too high and the food may dry out or not cook all the way through. Second is time. It is important to cook your food for the right length of time. This depends on what you're cooking and how big it is.
So, here are some tips that I find really useful. Don't forget the Meat Cooking Times page for more detail.
I find the best temperature is 180 degrees Celsius, or 350 degrees Fahrenheit, in a fan forced oven. If your oven doesn't have a fan then cook at 200 degrees Celsius (400 degrees Fahrenheit).
Allow 30 minutes cooking time per 500 grams/17 ounces for a medium result (i.e. a bit pink in the middle). Add a further 30 minutes at the end to get it a little more well done.
Allow 30 minutes per 500 grams/17 ounces. Cooking poultry requires a
little more care to make sure it is cooked through. Pierce the meat with
a fork and make sure the juices are clear before serving. Even better, to be sure, get yourself a meat thermometer like this one:
Allow 3 to 3.5 hours for a 5-6 kilogram (11-13 pound) bird. Allow 4 to 4.5 hours for a 6.5-8 kilogram (14-18 pound) bird. Turkey, as a good rule of thumb, requires 20 minutes per 500 grams/pound. If the turkey is stuffed, then add 10 minutes per kilo (or 20 minutes per pound) to the total cooking time. Like with chicken, pierce the meat with a fork and make sure the juices are clear before serving.
Peel the potatoes and cut them in half then cook for one hour, preferably in the same tray as the meat. Turn them over after 30 minutes to cook them evenly. Baste them in the juices from the meat as well.
Cut the carrots and pumpkin to about the same size as the potatoes and also cook for an hour. Turn over after 30 minutes. Use the meat juices to baste them.