› ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Recipes › Cooking a roast.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Cooking a roast.

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
I am looking for a good pot roast recipe for the oven. I have always done mine in a crock pot but now i don;t have one so i think i will use what i have which is the oven. i used different spices, garlic, seasoning salt, salt and pepper. Put it all in a pyrex pan with some veggies but i am not sure what temp of how long to cook it for. So if there is anything anyone would like to share i am all ears. And as always thanks for all the help! :D
post #2 of 37
...... I am looking for a good pot roast recipe for the oven

uhmm, perhaps first we should discuss "terminology"

a "pot roast" gets its name from being done in a pot on a stove(top)
<previously: in/on the coals of an open fire>

"oven" residents include
roasted <whatever>
baked <whatever>
broiled <whatever>

there are some cross-over candidates such as "braised" which can technically be done on a stovetop or in the oven - but results do differ.

......what temp of how long to cook it for
regards temp, there's at least two schools of thought:
low, long and slow

regards "how long" - now there's a job for a thermometer.
the temps for rare / medium / well done are known quantities - so at a given cook temp is a starting point for timing, but the finishing point is most best established by measuring the internal temp of the cook-ee.

if you'll elaborate a bit on what kind of meat & cut you're working with, somebody here will have an opinion, fur'sure.
post #3 of 37
I'm thinking he wants to duplicate what he's achieved in a crockpot. I like a roast in the crock, but I'd like to get a little more flavor out of mine, also. ala Bob Evans. Don't shoot me for saying Bob Evans is the be-all, end-all, but it is good.

Also, I'd love to learn to duplicate Chipotle's Barbacoa. :bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce:
post #4 of 37
It is possible to duplicate slow cooker results in your oven. Proceed in this manner: Choose a heavy, deep oven-proof pan or dish with a tight fitting lid. Lacking a lid, then use a piece of foil, that will be crimped tightly to the pot or dish.

Follow the slow cooker recipe, browning the roast if called for (I would anyway, for the flavor), then arrange the meat and other ingredients in the pot or dish. Put on the lid, or tightly crimp the foil to make as tight a seal as possible. Place this into a 250 to 275 degree oven and slow cook for the same time as you would have done with the slow cooker. Yummy.

Avoid the temptation to peek. This releases moisture and heat, and extends the cooking time.
"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
post #5 of 37
I don't know how the name was derived, but I do know that of the sixteen potroast recipes I have, about half are done in the oven and about half on the stove top or in a crock pot/slow cooker.

Coincidentally, a couple-three weeks ago I saw a show describing how braising in the oven was a better alternative to using the stove top. All my pot roasty dishes have been done in the oven, but that's just me, just following the directions if the recipe looks interesting. So, I suppose it doesn't matter much which technique one uses - or do you think it does?
post #6 of 37
All the pot roast recipes I use have marijuana in them. The roast doesn't taste so good, but the dessert afterwards sure does. (Just a word play on "pot" roast, dumb joke).
post #7 of 37
My favorite pot roast recipe dates back to Justin Wilson when he was on TV as the Cajun Cook(I think that was the show name, lot of years ago :lol: )
post #8 of 37
With luck oldschool, Ed, foodpump and a few of the other old-school pros will jump in on both the terminology and cooking parts of discussion.

As almost always with the English language and dishes that are cooked in a lot of different ways there probably is no single right answer. So, take what I'm about to say with a grain of salt.

A pot roast is simply a roast braised in a (preferably smallish) pot. In other words, it's a large piece of meat cooked in liquid -- but not enough to cover, in a (preferably close fitting) covered vessel at moderately low heat.

The physics of the cooking include heat transfer by radiant heat from the vessel's walls, immersion conduction (that part of the meat submerged in the liquid), and vapor conduction -- which falls between immersion and convection conduction -- hard to explain without getting into the physics of plasmas. And I ain't.

Breaking it down into ordinary words -- a stove top braise emphasizes the energy transfer from immersion and vapor, while an oven braise emphasizes the radiant heat. But since braising use a blend of all three types, if the stove and oven are handled properly, there isn't that much of a difference.

Roast, braised in a pot, low heat = pot roast. Make sense now?

Braising is its own artform. Real braising ALWAYS begins with a browning or searing. As good as the crock pot version is, it's not quite the real thing. But let's not allow language to come between us and a nice dinner. FWIW, crock pot cookers heat the crock, the crock heats the liquid, acts as a radiant source, and the tight lid holds the vapor -- so it provides a better balanced blend of energy transference agencies than either stove top or oven.

Before we get into recipes, why don't you give us some idea of how you like your pot roast?

Do you like your gravy thick or thin? Vegetables in it or to the side? Big piece of roast, or more like a steak? Tell me as much about what you like as you can think of, and I'll show you how to write your own recipe -- because the principles of braising are very easy, and can accomodate almost any ingredients.

post #9 of 37

pot roast

Jason- avoid the Pyrex. The glass will not give you the constant, lower level heat retention you will need for good results. Get a good cast iron Dutch oven or a heavy duty anodized aluminum pot or even terra cotta works excellent; the key, low slow covered heat and good quality meat.

A chuck roast is best and avoid beef that has been given hormones-that beef has a lot of water retention and you will have a lot of shrinkage and moisture loss.:chef:
post #10 of 37
With respect, I disagree with nearly everything in this post.

For one thing, the thermal properties of terra cotta and pyrex casseroles bear more in common with each other, than either does with cast iron, or an anodized aluminum pot. That's certainly true with respect to "low level heat retention," by which you seemingly refer to insulative properties.

In the oven, all of them work about the same -- as will most reasonably heavy pots -- whether highly conductive like copper or aluminum, or highly insulative like glass or most ceramics (cast iron's on the conductive side of the ledger but not nearly so much as aluminum). In fact, you can make perfectly good "pot roast" by wrapping the roast and a little moisture in aluminum foil and baking it on a cookie sheet.

What's important is that the heat is spread evenly and little moisture lost. Ovens take care of the heat distribution, and foil seals quite well, thank you.

On the stove top the situation is a little different -- becuase a vessel which spreads the heat efficiently and uniformly up the walls will do a better job than one which won't.

It's a VGT (very good thing) to have nice casseroles, but at the end of the day, it's not going to make much of a difference in the oven part of your oven braises. Nice to be able to use ths same pot you seared in, to braise though. But that lets out the terra cotta, doesn't it?

While some chuck cuts pot roast quite well, others are less spectacular -- and many other cuts of beef, like round for instance, make great pot roast.

No offense Chef, but you're wrong on most of this.

post #11 of 37
Thread Starter 
Well thank you all as always for all your help. And to answer you BDL i have not had much variety in this area of food, i have only had it done one way and that was in the crock pot at a low heat with the veggies in the water. A large piece of meat cause we had a large family. I do however enjoy the larger piece of meat and the potato's and onions in the roast. I have never had gravy over my roast so i could not tell you weather i enjoy it or not even though i am sure i would. I enjoy my roast to have flavor not just being a boring piece of meat, not spicy just some flavor, like salt, pepper, galic, seasoning salt is what i used this last time. As for the done part . . . . well again not much i can say my mother used to be the cook, so if it had any pink at all it was not done and we were not eating lol. I hope that is a start it is all i can think of at the moment.
post #12 of 37
If it's past pink, it's better dissolved in a stew or something. Just my opinion. I'm talking about red meat.
post #13 of 37
Pink does not necessarily mean not cooked. I am not a scientist so I cannot speak for chemical reactions yada yada yada but I have often braised or BBQ certain cuts of pork and beef for long periods of time past the point of well done only to see that the meat still is pink.

Here's a recipe we like to enjoy. I like to use either a boneless chuck, or a bottom round.

- 1 large onion diced
- 1 carrot diced
- 2 stalk celery diced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 cups of mushrooms sliced in half
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup red wine
- beef stock or water
- 5 dried porcini mushrooms rehydrated in 1 cup of hot water.
- flour for dredging
- s/p
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- fresh thyme
- 2 cloves
- olive oil

1. In a dutch oven on the stove top heat up the olive oil until it almost hits the smoke point.
2. salt and pepper the meat and dredge through the flour shaking off the excess.
3. Place into the dutch oven to sear. Do not move the meat around. Don't poke it, don't prod it, don't slide it around the pan. Just leave it alone. After 4 minutes turn it over and do the same thing - leave it alone for 4 minutes.
4. Take out the meat and put it on a platter for later. Look inside the pot now. See the little dark bits on the bottom? Yum, these are the true essence of your pot roast. All the flavor is concentrated in these little bits so take care of them. Don't let it burn now, work quickly.
5. Add a little bit of fresh olive oil to the pan and add the onions, carrot, celery, half the sliced mushrooms (not the porcinis yet), and garlic. Lower the temperature and let these vegetables sweat, and don't let them get browned. The onions should become translucent, not crispy.
6. Add the tbsp of tomato paste and stir. Cook with the vegetables for 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
7. Add the wine and bring to a simmer until the alcoholiness cooks out.
8. Add 1 cup of beef broth, or water. At this point I like to add the porcini mushrooms and the water they are steeping in instead of the beef broth. Careful not to add all of its water because some dirt and impurities may have settled to the bottom.
9. Now taste your broth and season accordingly and add your aromatics.
10. Put the meat back in. Make sure you only have enough liquid to partially cover the meat. It should not be completely submerged, I have enough enough liquid to come up at least halfway up the sides.
11. Put the lid on, turn down the heat. You can do this on the stove top or in the oven. Oven temp should be about 300-325 for about 3 hours cooking time (I'm not so sure about this part, consult with someone else for timing).
12. When the braise is done, remove the meat and cover with foil. Set aside.
13. Looking at the liquid it was braised in the veggies should pretty much be mush now. At this point I like to add new chopped veggies like carrots, mushrooms, celery, and potatoes. Continue cooking on the stove top until veggies are cooked through.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."


"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

post #14 of 37
Thread Starter 
Well Oregon Yeti i know what mean after that roast, after it sat and just got a little cooled down i think i could of used it as shoe leather. I guess for some reason i never thought about a roast being a bit pink in the middle. But with that said it has opened up a whole area of cooking in my mind, thank you. Mapiva that recipe sounds amazing and is something i will have to try, thank you very much.
post #15 of 37
(deleted - user error)
post #16 of 37
With respect,


Not true. Water in an oven absolutely does boil; it doesn't have big bubbles coming up from the bottom and look like water which boils as a result of energy applied ONLY to the bottom of the pot, but it boils nevertheless.

At or near 39.7 degF -- by defintion.

Yep. And? Your point?

A BTU is a unit of energy, but as applied to the difference in stove top and ovens it's more useful to think of it as a unit of fuel usage. Yes it takes more fuel to keep water at a boil in the oven than on the stove top. But both the "boiling" and fuel-use issues are red herrings; and fuel use is immaterial to the discussion.

Energy transference (heat conduction) by convection is less efficient than contact conduction, immersion conduction, and vapor contact/immersion conduction, yes. However, "insulation" or insulative properties (insulative properties are simply the reciprocal of conductive properties) don't have a lot to do with it. It's more a question of how much energy it takes to get air molecules moving, and how much energy they "waste" before transfering it to the object to be heated.

First, the water in a closed pot doesn't "evaporate." If it evaporated that would mean it left the closed pot -- which it doesn't because the pot is closed. Instead the liquid vaporizes.

From a culinary standpoint, the idea of a stove-top braise does not include boiling; although because there's less agitation it won't necessarily ruin an oven braise. In that sense the oven is more flexbile. Whether at a simmer or a boil, amount and temperature of the vapor are immensely consequential to the braising process; and stove top and oven produce similar results.

Yes the oven requires more fuel than the stove top to transfer the same amount of energy into the pot, but the oven certainly can and does get the job done. And does so rather easily at the relatively low temperatures of a braise.


No. You're wildly wrong.

In "poaching" the food is completely (or almost completely) covered by liquid, either water (which may be slightly seasoned or acidulated) or a very light stock called a court buillon, and the food is cooked at a simmer, i.e., at a temperature below boiling. The primary method of energy transference is immersion conduction. Oven braising cooks the food primarliy in and by vapor, not by immersion.

Even if I wanted to which I don't, I couldn't argue with your experience. I mean it's your experience.

However in a professional kitchen most braising is almos always done in the oven rather than on top of the stove -- as much to conserve stove top real estate as for any other reason. The point is, there's no question of "poaching." I can't speak to your experiences.

Not really. Because of the heavy ceramic vessel, crock pot heat is less directional than most stove top applications and the results are different. In fact, the temperature of the top of the vessel's walls is within a few degF of the temperature of the bottom. Thus, crock pots are a bit more like closed pot, slow oven than like closed pot, low flame. However, crock pot cooking usually isn't braising because the meat usually is not seared before the slow cook in liquid and vapor.

Hope this helps,
post #17 of 37
Thread Starter 
And as always BDL you take the time to teach as well and explain why someone is wrong. Thank you for all the help each and everyone have given me. I am going to have to try all this different things and see how each comes out.
post #18 of 37
Jason -

when I was a kid, my mother told me not to believe everything I heard.
today, with the internet, that has to be expanded to "....or your read, either"

since you value "teaching" here's an experiment you should conduct.
it's primary purpose is to demonstrate the value of independent thought.

preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
put an ovenproof pan on with water and bring to a rolling boil

measure the temperature of the rolling boiling water
put the pan of water in the preheated oven

come back in 15 minutes
measure the temperature of the water

now, if you are thinking on the theory that opening the oven cooled things off, or the "not fully hot pan" chill shocked the oven:
come back in 60 minutes
measure the temperature of the water

come back in 120 minutes
measure the temperature of the water

in 150,000 words or less, explain the behavior of the water temperature and why it got hotter, colder, or stayed the same.
include in your explanation the scientifically accepted definition of "the boiling point of water"

this experiment will shed considerable light on the accuracy of statements like:

"Not true. Water in an oven absolutely does boil; it doesn't have big bubbles coming up from the bottom and look like water which boils as a result of energy applied ONLY to the bottom of the pot, but it boils nevertheless."

remember, no engineer said the Titanic was unsinkable. it was the press writers that established that "fact"

so, as the proposed "fact" is that water continues to boil in the oven - using the temperatures measured of you pot of water in the oven, go forth and look up the boiling point of water.
the boiling point of water is affected by many things, impurities in the water is one, another is atmospheric pressure.
then go to some weather record source and research the lowest atmospheric pressure ever measured on the planet, trace that pressure back to the boiling point of water at that atmospheric pressure.
see any differences?

so far as:
"A BTU is a unit of energy, but as applied to the difference in stove top and ovens it's more useful to think of it as a unit of fuel usage."
"However, "insulation" or insulative properties (insulative properties are simply the reciprocal of conductive properties) don't have a lot to do with it."

hogwash. not much more to say.
post #19 of 37
Thread Starter 
First Dillbert all i am saying is that is nice to have someone go into what they are telling someone not just giving a rough draft of what they are saying. And also i have already come to the term that my mother told me "take everything with a grain of salt". So therefore even if i do give BDL praise about something that was written by him that does mean that he is the only person on this site that has an option. Being able to think for yourself is something that each person needs to do no matter what they are told. I trust in what BDL say's because he has been one of the people who has had an answer to each topic i have replied too on this site. If i think someone is not being honest with me about something then i will research it on my own time to see how true theis statement is.
post #20 of 37
being honest is not the issue. I would think it unlikely that anyone here would intentionally mislead you with regard to cause / effect for any such screwy reason as "messing up your career" or whatever.
impossible - no; unlikely - yes.

if you have never put a container of hot water into an oven, you have no experience to compare.

anyone who has actually put a water bath in an oven either for temperature moderation ala water bath cooking or for humidity ala bread baking is not likely to make or accept a statement that a water bath continues to boil in the oven, regardless of bubble size. eyeballs, experience, no fit to such statements.

the point is: if it doesn't sound right in your own experience, it probably is not right. that is my point is responding to the "thanks for pointing out how it's all wrong."

it is not wrong. go forth and do the experiment.
then decide what is "wrong"
post #21 of 37

I don't want this to turn into a competition between you and me, and would like to keep this conversation respectful if possible.

The entire boiling water issue is, as I said in my post, a red herring -- although I'll return to it later as it's assumed a life of its own. It's a red herring because pot roast should not be cooked in boiling liquid. My major point regarding your post was that pot roast could be successfully cooked in the oven. I also made a few subsidiary points related to a your other false statements.

Returning to the issue of whether water can be boiled in the oven -- of course it can. Whether enough energy can be transferred to achieve state change (which you referred to as the "ole latent heat of vaporization thing") in a conventional (not "convection") oven held at 350*F is another question. One which wasn't addressed in either your previous posts, nor mine, nor this one either.

However, boiling water placed in a pan in a 450*F oven will maintain a cheerful boil. At least it did in my oven when I baked off two loaves of pain de campagne this morning. Yum. Pain de campagne. Good with pot roast, don't you know?

And, FWIW, a 350*F convection oven with good fan action will certainly keep a pan of water at the boil.

IMO, the "fuel use" metaphor for understanding the practical meaning of BTUs is more helpful for most people than using terms like joule multiples or (1054.53)(1kg)(m^2)/s^2. Not for you of course, but for most people. On the other hand, you might find it helpful to look at BTU qua fuel use yourself. Look at it this way, iIf you crank the oven regulator far enough over, you'll put enough energy in the oven to boil water. Maybe not at 350F but at 1350F certainly.

Insulative properties as the reciprocal of conductive properties is common scientific and engineering understanding and parlance. It just is. In fact, you seemed on the track of the same thought when you wrote, "air is a terrible heat conduct (see: insulation) [sic]." If that wasn't your point, what was it? Not to go off on a tangent, I don't know that I'd go so far as to say air was all that poor a conductor, convection in air is a less efficient form of energy transference than some other forms, but more efficient than others. Hot air popcorn poppers work like a charm.

You see energy is transferred via air convection with the collision of excited molecules. The more molecules, the more collisions. So if you push a lot of air, as with a fan, the more molecule collisions you get per unit time. Also, if you raise the air temperature, each molecule has more energy, move around more, transfers more energy per collision, and is more likely to collide. But of course, you already knew that.

What else?

Oh yes, considering that I quoted your post in near entirety it seems redundant to delete it. Why?

No one's saying you don't have plenty of good ideas and a refreshingly breezy way of expressing yourself. Clearly, you do. But as to the things addressed in this and my earlier post, you were wrong.

post #22 of 37
On the stove top the situation is a little different -- becuase a vessel which spreads the heat efficiently and uniformly up the walls will do a better job than one which won't. BDL

BDL ...I agree with both your post. You can indeed make the thing wrapped in foil as long as you double or triple wrap it to retain the moisture. In fact you can cook it in anything. How in Gods name it is called pot roast who knows? Maybe because it was cooked in a pot. It is actually braised beef or potted cooked meat in moisture.,when if it were roast it would be a dry heat. I am not going to give a recipe he can get that anywhere. I am just giving my proceedure. I start with about 6 full bottom rounds at room temp.from 12 to 18 pounds each. I season them ,then sear them on a flat top or in my old fashioned navy black roasting pans on top of stove . I then add a lot of mirepoix and herbs then beef stock. I wrap with foil and bring up to a boil on top of stove. Then into my convection oven. Since each one is a different size I test with a thermometer, but not for temperature, I just see if it goes in easy and comes out easy. I do not strain I puree the cooking liquid veges and all this thickens it naturally. I do my sauerbraten and braised brisket the same way. Some people wont agree with my method but I have fed the multitudes for 40 years like this with few complaints.
post #23 of 37

Pyrex and such

:blush::blush:Let's discuss- because there are different lines of thought on this.
The terra cotta can easily accept the deglazed pan juices so that wouldn't be a problem. Terra cotta cooking tends to be gentler in the heat transfer and especially in braising helps with the breakdown of cartilage at lower temps over a longer period- you can actually get gelatinization at temps well below water's boiling point over an extended period. Yes of course you can do the same with the foil wrap. The oven temp and calibration needs to be the main issue as you well pointed out.

To clarify, when I thought of Pyrex I was thinking clear glass which I do not believe works as well because of the type of heat transfer. Opaque material that holds heat better I feel in the long run gives better results and I've done my share of braising, so forgive me as I had envisioned something else. Yes aluminum loses heat quickly but I have had decent results here also. I will check with Paula Wolfert as we conversed on what makes the best braise and she completely stands by earthenware as the best -I'll share when I get her take.

I will disagree on the round in that you can get an acceptable braise but in my opinion there is not enough connective tissue in most of it to get the mellow gelatinous mouth feel that the chuck, or short ribs can provide, it can be done but you have to watch like a hawk in order to get the acceptable tissue breakdown without drying the product out, I have had plenty of braised round also that I felt did not hold a candle to chuck, and of course the chuck is made of about 70 lbs. of meat from each side of of the steer so again some of these cuts are better than others to braise (as would be true of the round)- again my perception but my perception from experience. I will also stand by the quality of the meat itself- start out with inferior product and no matter how good you are mediocrity at best will result. I would rather have a braised round off of some nice Wagyu than a braised supermarket, hormone & antibiotic laden chuck roast of select beef.

I once braised some naturally raised Hereford short ribs with all British beef genetics next to "select supermarket" short ribs- same technique, a complete world of difference- it was unbelieveable how much quality makes a difference and I'll stand by that everyday.

post #24 of 37
"I will disagree on the round in that you can get an acceptable braise but in my opinion there is not enough connective tissue in most of it to get the mellow gelatinous mouth feel that the chuck, or short ribs can provide."

I am not cooking in the home, I am cooking for hundreds commercially. I use good quality rounds , I am really not concerned about hormones, feed source ,grass intake or naturaly grown etc.
I am not running a hospital or old age home here . I will stick by my rounds as they are consistant and slice nicely on machine after chilling. When I am done cooking them they eat like butter.
Your opinion rounds are less spectacular, well everybody to their own I think chuck is great for goulash and chopped meat.
post #25 of 37

all I am saying....

All I am saying is that by nature of what happens to the muscle fibers at the point of being well done by either dry or moist heat is that they lose moisture and so the fat and connective tissue give it more succulence and a better mouth feel- Harold McGee comments on this in OFAC.

Now with proper technique, heat regulation and also by finishing the sauce in a way that helps with the moisture retention and mouth feel you can have a good product- I still feel in application where connective tissue and marbling are more abundantly present it adds a better mouthfeel to the finished product. I'm sure your rounds are wonderful.

I will stand by the quality of the meat, I'm in the meat business and while technique is super important breed and feed specifics are very important as is testified to by my clients and myself personnaly.

post #26 of 37
Chuck braised to the falling apart stage (or cooked in my BBQ pit to 195f internal) has a totally different flavor and texture than round. Chuck has more flavor due to all that nice fat and connective tissue that breaks down and melts into the meat. Round is okay thin sliced and left med rare but I would never take one to the same stage I routinely take a chuck roast to.
post #27 of 37
Thread Starter 
well mary b that does makes sence to me. But i do have a problem with the fat and things on a roast like that, picky eater's. both the people i am living with (my sister and her husband) are very picky, so i don;t see how could make a chuck witout some of it going to waste. He will NOT eat fat, if he gets it in his mouth he will gag. Ans she just refuses to try anything new. Do you have any helpfuls hints??
post #28 of 37
My response to them would be "Go find a McDonalds and leave all this roast for me" :D but the fat internal to the meat literally melts, and what doesn't can be trimmed off. That's the nice part about a long slow cook, all the good stuff melts into the meat and leaves flavor behind.
post #29 of 37
Thread Starter 
i think i like the find a McDonalds better! :D
post #30 of 37

I'm going to cry

If they are picky eaters you can show footage of large feed lots as they are eating their Mickey D burgers and they will come running back to a nice braised pot roast....well marbled and all!:roll:
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Recipes › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Recipes › Cooking a roast.