How to Make Perfect Roasts
From starting with a brine to finishing with delicious gravy and everything in between, we’ll show you how to make perfect roasts for your family dinners!
Roasts have often been called the ideal family meal. But there are many different kinds of roasts and all of them cook differently.
You have pork roasts as well as beef roasts like roast beef and pot roast. Then of course there’s roasted chicken and even ham and lamb! And of course, what roast would be complete without an amazing gravy?
We’re going to walk you through a number of amazing roast recipes, each featuring a link to a more involved dedicated post on each one.
So, now the question becomes, where are we going to begin?
Let’s start at the beginning! Whether you’re cooking pork roast or roasting a chicken, you should first start off by brining.
How Do You Brine Meat?
Before cooking you might want to brine your meats. It’s helpful and makes a world of difference. Brining involves soaking a meat in a salt water solution for an extended period of time. It’s great for pork loin, pork tenderloin, and chicken especially.
Here are the steps you’ll need to follow:
- Combine water, salt, and sugar in a nonreactive container. Stir to dissolve.
- Transfer your solution to a resealable bag.
- Add the meat in with the solution along with any optional ingredients.
- Seal the bag. Make sure to squeeze out as much air as possible.
- Refrigerate the bag for eight to 12 hours.
- Remove the meat from the brine and pat dry.
- Proceed with your recipe!
How Do You Roast Beef?
Beef is one of the more traditional roasting meats. There are a number of different ways to roast it, and we’re going to go through three can’t miss options here.
When roasting beef you’ll typically want to use chuck roast, shoulder steak, chuck shoulder pot roast, boneless chuck roast, beef chuck arm, chuck seven-bone pot roast, or brisket.
Roast beef is all about the method you use to create it. The right steps could help you take a economical cut of beef and turn it into a fantastic roast for a special occasion.
If you want to make the perfect roast beef, follow these simple steps.
- Sprinkle salt onto the meat on all sides and pat it into the surface.
- Wrap your salted roast in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours.
- Take it out of the fridge and pat it dry with a paper towel.
- Rub olive oil all over the roast and season it with pepper on all sides.
- Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet.
- Once it’s smoking, sear the meat on each side for 3-4 minutes.
- Transfer the seared roast to a rack placed in a baking sheet and insert a probe thermometer.
- Place in the oven, which should be heated to 225 degrees F.
- Bake until the meat reaches 115 degrees F inside.
- Turn the heat off and keep the meat in the oven until if reaches 130 degrees F for medium-rare.
- Remove from the oven and let the roast sit for 10-15 minutes.
- Carve it up and serve with your favorite sides and gravy!
How Do You Make a Perfect Pot Roast?
A moist and juicy pot roast is a thing of beauty. Much like our roast beef example, it’s all in the preparation.
We have a great recipe for a braised chuck roast that uses some balsamic vinegar for an extra burst of flavor.
Follow these steps and create your perfect pot roast.
- Season the pot roast with salt and pepper.
- Heat a skillet over medium high heat with a spoonful of olive oil.
- Once the oil is really hot, add the roast to the skillet.
- Cook on one side until it is well browned (4-5 minutes).
- Flip and repeat on the other side.
- Peel and chop your veggies. In this recipe we used carrots and potatoes.
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
- Place the roast in a roomy roasting pan.
- Pour beef stock into the skillet and heat to a simmer.
- Add balsamic vinegar to the stock and stir. Pour it over the roast and surround with potatoes.
- Top the roast with potatoes and carrots.
- Cover the roasting pan and put it into the oven until the veggies are soft and the meat is tender enough to be pulled apart. This should take about 2 hours.
- Remove the meat and potatoes from the liquid. Slice and serve.
Can You Make Pot Roast In an Instant Pot?
Pot roast is traditionally a weekend meal, since it takes so long to prepare and cook. But using the Instant Pot, a modern kitchen marvel if there ever was one, you can create a perfect pot roast any day of the week.
Follow these steps to make a pot roast in your Instant Pot.
- First, you’ll want to season the roast with salt and pepper. Make sure that it’s covered on all sides.
- Add oil to the inner pot of your Instant Pot and select Saute to pre-heat.
- Once the indicator says HOT, add the roast to the inner pot and brown the meat on all sides.
- Transfer the meat to a clean plate.
- Add onion and garlic into the inner pot and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add red wine and deglaze the pot, scraping the bottom.
- Add beef broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, and thyme. Stir.
- Add the beef back into the pot.
- Close and lock the lid. Place the steam release handle into the sealed position.
- Select Pressure Cook and cook on high for 60 minutes.
- Once the time is up, naturally release for 10 minutes. Turn the steam handle to the venting position and release remaining steam.
- Unlock the lid and open carefully.
- Remove the roast to a cutting board and cut against the grain or shred to serve.
How Can You Make the Best Brisket?
Brisket can be a simple and amazing roasted beef. If you make brisket correctly, it should fall apart in your hands.
Here’s a can’t miss recipe for roasting brisket.
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
- Put the brisket in a baking pan with the fat side up.
- Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
- Mix together garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper.
- Whisk together broth or wine, and flour.
- Remove the brisket from the oven and sprinkle with seasoning mix.
- Pour the broth or wine into the pan around the meat.
- Cover the meat tightly with foil and continue to bake until the meat is tender. This should take around 3 hours.
- Take the pan out of the oven and let the meat cool in the pan juices for 30 minutes, uncovered.
- Remove the brisket and slice it across the grain.
How Do You Roast Pork?
Pork is another very common roasting meat. We have a slew of delicious pork roasting recipes for any occasion.
There are various different types of pork that you can roast. There’s pork loin, pork tenderloin, pork pot roast, pork rib roast, and much more.
Before we dive into more specific and specialized recipes, take a look at these steps on how to roast pork perfectly. This recipe is meant for pork butt or pork shoulder, which is nice and moist. It is typically used for pulled pork.
Here are the steps.
- Take your pork roast out of the fridge. Let it sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 300 Degrees F.
- Cut away the fat except for a thin layer.
- Season your pork with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Place the roast in a large roasting pan with the fat side facing up. Add about a half inch of low salt chicken broth to the bottom of the pan and roast it uncovered until the interior temperature hits 180 degrees F.
- Once the broth has evaporated, a light brown layer should be left on the bottom of the pan. Add more broth or water.
- Put the roast back into the oven. Add more liquid when it gets low again.
- Once the interior temperature hits 180 degrees F, remove the roast and let it rest for 30-40 minutes uncovered.
- Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
- Put the roast into a clean roasting pan or baking sheet and place into the oven for 13-17 minutes, uncovered.
- Carve and serve!
How Do You Roast Pork Loin?
Pork loin is white pork meat. It shouldn’t be confused with pork tenderloin. Pork loin is drier, so when roasting it, you have to be careful.
Once, it was suggested to cook pork to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F, but those guidelines were lowered to 145 degrees F. Cooking pork loin to 160 degrees F will result in a very dry cut of meat. That’s why we prefer it at 145 degrees F with a little pink in the middle.
Here are the steps you’ll need to take to roast pork loin perfectly.
- Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F.
- Mix together black pepper, garlic powder, and salt.
- Sprinkle the seasoning mix all over the pork loin roast.
- Rub the seasoning all over until the roast is coated.
- Put the roast on a rack in a roasting pan. You could, alternatively, use three stalks of celery in place of a rack.
- Put the roast in the oven.
- Roast until the internal temperature is at 145 degrees F.
- Remove from the oven, cover the roasting pan with foil, and let the roast rest for 30 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 475 degrees F.
- Uncover the roast and remove the thermometer. Transfer to a clean pan and roast for another 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and serve with gravy.
We also have a great recipe for a garlic rosemary pork roast that can turn a simple recipe into something totally spectacular.
Can You Roast Pork in an Instant Pot?
The Instant Pot is making major waves throughout the home cooking world. It is one of the go-to appliances popping up all over.
You can make a multitude of meals in an Instant Pot, chief among them roast pork.
That might seem odd to some but it is absolutely possible to roast in your Instant Pot. This goes above and beyond what most people think of when dealing with a typical pressure cooker. But the Instant Pot is anything but typical.
Here are the steps you’ll need to learn to make roast pork in an Instant Pot.
- Combine salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a bowl and stir to combine.
- Rub the pork roast with olive oil and sprinkle the seasoning on the meat.
- Select Saute on your Instant Pot. Once HOT is displayed, add olive oil.
- Add the seasoned pork inside the Instant Pot and sear it on all sides. This should take 4 minutes on each side.
- Once the roast is seared, press Cancel and remove the roast, placing it aside on a plate.
- Add broth or water to the Instant pot and scrape the bottom and sides.
- Place the trivet into the Instant Pot and lay the roast on top of it. Arrange onions and garlic around the meat.
- Cover the pot and lock the lid. Set the steam release valve to sealing.
- Choose the Meat/Stew or Pressure Cook setting and cook for 30 minutes.
- Once the cooking cycle finishes, let the pot sit for 10 minutes. Do a quick release by moving the valve to Venting.
- Remove the pork to a cutting board.
- Carve and serve!
How Do You Roast Pork Ribs?
Pork rib roast is typically an easy and elegant meal. It’s simple enough that you don’t need to set aside a whole day to cook it, but it is nice enough to serve to company.
This recipe calls for pork loin with the ribs still attached. It’s kind of a pork version of rack of lamb.
Here’s how you can roast pork ribs perfectly.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Mix together salt, pepper, and Italian herb blend.
- Rub the spice mixture all over the pork.
- Put the pork on a rack in a roasting pan with the fat side up.
- Roast until the internal temperature is between 145-160 degrees F.
- Cover the roasting pan with foil and let it rest outside the oven for 30 minutes.
- Increase the oven temperature to 475 degrees F.
- Place the roast back in the oven uncovered and continue to roast for another 10 minutes.
- Carve between the rib bones and serve immediately.
This same recipe can also be applied to making a pork crown roast. The only major difference is the shape of the meat. A pork crown roast is pork loin ribs formed into a circle with the rib bones facing up.
How Can You Make Roast Pork and Sauerkraut?
This is a traditional New Years roast pork meal that is popular in Germany as well as parts of the Northeast US. It is said to bring good luck for the year ahead.
It combines salty, sour, and sweet flavors together and makes for a truly memorable holiday meal.
Here’s how you can create roast pork and sauerkraut in your oven.
- Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F and take the pork loin out of the refrigerator.
- Combine apples, onion, caraway seeds, Sauerkraut, garlic powder, and black pepper in a large bowl.
- Transfer the sauerkraut mixture to a medium roasting pan, leaving behind any juices that accumulated in the bowl.
- Sprinkle the roast with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Place the roast in the roasting pan with the fat side up.
- Roast in the oven until an internal thermometer reads 145 degrees F.
- Remove the pan from the oven and stir the sauerkraut mixture around a bit.
- Let it rest for 15 minutes.
- Increase the oven heat to 450 degrees F.
- Put the pan back in the oven for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, transfer pork to a cutting board.
- Stir brown sugar into sauerkraut.
- Slice the pork and serve.
How Do You Roast Chicken?
Roasting chicken is one of the most common forms of roasting meat. When prepared correctly, it is juicy and tender on the inside and crispy on the outside.
We have a flawless technique for roasting chicken perfectly.
Here are the steps needed to create an amazing roast chicken.
- Take the chicken from the fridge and remove the giblets. Either discard them or use them to make a broth.
- Put the chicken in a roasting pan and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
- Truss the drumsticks with a length of butcher’s twine.
- Tuck the wings under the chicken to avoid overcooking.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
- Pour chicken stock or broth into a roasting pan.
- Roast the chicken uncovered until it has an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. Should take about 20 minutes per pound.
- Add more stock during the roasting if after an hour it has evaporated.
- Take the chicken out and let it sit for 30 minutes uncovered.
- Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
- Place the chicken into a clean roasting pan or baking sheet.
- Place it back in the oven for 10-15 minutes.
- Remove and serve.
How Do You Roast Lamb?
Roast leg of lamb is truly amazing, and it doesn’t take a long time to make. Our recipe for roast leg of lamb should only take you about an hour and a half to make to perfection.
Just follow these steps.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Mix garlic powder together with salt and pepper.
- Trim large amounts of fat off the lamb until only a thin layer remains.
- Unroll the lamb.
- Sprinkle the lamb with seasoning mixture.
- Roll to lamb back up and tie with kitchen twine.
- Season again.
- Put the lamb on a rack in a roasting pan with the fat side facing up.
- Roast the lamb in the oven until the temperature is at 125 degrees F. If you want it well done, shoot for 150 degrees F. This should take 15-25 minutes per pound.
- Remove from the oven and cover the pan with foil. Let it sit for 30 minutes.
- Increase the oven temperature to 475 degrees F.
- Roast the meat uncovered for another 10 minutes.
- Carve and serve!
How Do You Roast Ham?
Ok, so ham isn’t technically a roast. That’s especially true when you consider that a ham comes fully cooked. You’re just heating it up.
However, it’s useful to know how to bake a ham in your oven, and we’ve outlined all of the steps.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- Line a large shallow roasting pan with foil and place the ham on it, flat side down.
- Trim the fat until there’s only a thin layer.
- Loosely cover the ham with foil and back for an hour and a half.
- In a small saucepan, combine marmalade, butter, thyme, coriander, and cinnamon. Stir it until the marmalade and butter melt together and the mixture comes to a gentle boil.
- Baste the ham with the glaze mixture and continue to bake, loosely covered with foil.
- Baste every 15 to 20 minutes.
- Continue baking until the internal temperature is at 130 degrees F.
- Remove the ham from the oven and cover it tightly with foil. Set it aside for 30 minutes.
- Increase the oven heat to 475 degrees F.
- Pour off any liquid from the baking pan and brush the ham with more of the glaze.
- Roast for 5-7 minutes until the glaze is caramelized.
- Carve and serve.
How Can You Make the Perfect Roast Gravy?
A well made gravy is ideal to serve atop and beside your roast. A perfect roast needs to have the perfect gravy to go along with it.
Thankfully, we have that covered in our perfect gravy recipe.
- First you have to make good drippings. Do this by putting unsalted broth in the bottom of your roasting pan while it’s cooking. The broth will evaporate leaving bits of the roast to caramelize on the sides and bottoms of the pan.
- Once that’s done, pour all the juices from the roasting pan into a gravy separator. The fat will rise to the top while the juices remain on the bottom.
- Scrape the bits from your pan into the juices.
- Use a ratio of 1.5 tablespoons of fat to 1.5 table spoons of flour to 1 cup of liquid. This gives you one cup of gravy.
- Use a measuring spoon to scoop out the right amount of fat. Deposit it in a saucepan.
- Add an equal amount of flour to the saucepan. Whisk together into a paste.
- Taste test and add seasoning as desired.
- Add liquid.
- Whisk ⅙ of your liquid into the fat and flour roux.
- Pour more in and whisk until smooth. Repeat a few more times.
- Slowly pour in the rest of the liquid and continue whisking to eliminate lumps.
- Heat and cook the gravy on medium-high heat.
- Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Taste and season the gravy.
Sometimes when you brine your meat the drippings might be too salty for a good gravy. Problems could also occur if your meat is super lean and won’t produce enough drippings for a good gravy.
If that happens, you’ll want to take these steps to make gravy without drippings.
- Heat butter in a skillet over medium heat. Let it melt and brown slightly.
- Add onion and garlic. Cook until everything is browning. (Not burnt)
- Remove from heat and whisk in flour.
- Return to the heat and whisk and cook until it is lightly brown.
- Add wine and stir.
- Remove from heat and stir in poultry seasoning.
- Whisk in chicken broth ¼ cup at a time.
- Heat to a simmer.
- Strain through a fine mesh before serving.
There you have it! A plethora of roasting recipes that the whole family can enjoy. What’s your favorite meat to roast? Let us know in the comments below!