People keep asking me to blog this, so I shall. It’s really exactly what Alton Brown would tell you.


  • Meat, such as rib roast or lamb leg
  • Roasting pan
  • Probe thermometer with temperature-based alarm
  • Kosher salt, black pepper (you can add more spices, obv.)
  • Just a soupçon of oil

Steps to reproduce:

  • Bring roast to room temperature (optional, but helpful!)
  • Set oven to 250F.
  • Lightly (lightly) oil the meat — it should glisten, but there should be no dripping.
  • Rub with salt and pepper and whatever other spices you can’t resist.
  • Put probe in the centre of the meat, set the alarm for 118F
  • When the oven hits 250F, turn it to 200F, and put the meat in
  • When the probe alerts you to the 118F-ness of the meat, take the pan out and tent
  • Turn oven to 500F
  • Take the probe out: you’re not gonna need it any more, and some of them don’t really enjoy 500F
  • When the oven gets to 500F, wait 15 mins to let the walls of the oven get good and hot. (You can actually wait a long time at this stage, right up to your level of comfort with food sitting out of the oven.)
  • Put the roast back in and let it go for about 15 mins, such that a pleasant crust develops .
  • Take the roast out of the pan, tent to let it rest ~15 mins.
  • Meanwhile, you have pan juices and 15 mins to kill. Let your conscience guide you.

The reduction of heat from 250F to 200F when the roast goes in is key. It’s the difference between “perfect medium-rare with a 1/2″ of medium around the edges” and “medium-rare at the centre, medium for the outer third”.

9 comments to “meat”

  1. entered 29 March 2008 @ 4:01 pm

    I’ll be right over.

  2. entered 29 March 2008 @ 4:48 pm

    Alton’s magic 8:3:1:1 ratio for dry rubs also works wonders, with roasts and otherwise.

  3. Jon
    entered 29 March 2008 @ 5:05 pm

    Do you know that the guys at koloz have reposted your article?

    Check out this google search to see their page:,+such+that+a+pleasant+crust+develops+.+%22&hl=en&safe=off&rlz=1T4GFRC_enGB203GB204&filter=0

    They’ve done the same to me, but I’m not sure what I can do about it.

  4. entered 29 March 2008 @ 5:57 pm

    It’s so much easier to just microwave a corndog for 1 minute on high.

  5. entered 29 March 2008 @ 9:29 pm

    An idle neuron has suddenly reminded me of this classic:

    [Mmm, Meat... With a pleasant crust.]

  6. mrz
    entered 29 March 2008 @ 9:56 pm

    You get a +1 in my book for mentioning Alton Brown, perhaps the only reason I started taking cooking classes a couple years ago (for a while I thought I’d toss this tech thing and be a chef – didn’t pan out though).

  7. entered 30 March 2008 @ 10:41 am

    Your dinner sounds most lovely. Can’t wait to enjoy one just like it with you one of these crazy days!

    Suggestion: next time, try rubbing the meat with a few cut cloves of fresh garlic. You can even insert some in crevices if you wish. Mmmmm…. Doesn’t negate the additions of the rest of your seasonings, either.

  8. Gary Johnson
    entered 31 March 2008 @ 9:07 am

    I would like to try this. Do you have any guidelines as to how long this takes for different size and shapes of roasts? I am sitting here thumbing through Alton Brown’s “I’m just here for the Food”. He talks about the surface to mass ratio of a roast as being on of the prime determinants of cooking speed. Then he talks about this slow roasting method and he says “about four hours”. The old cooking charts are of no help as the temperatures they use are to high.

    It would be nice to know how to control those nasty microscopic critters on roasts in kitchen.


  9. Mike Beltzner
    entered 10 January 2010 @ 7:40 pm

    I have finally found occasion to attempt this recipe, and thought I’d mention that if you were the type of person who enjoys roasted root vegetables, all you need do is add a layer of them to the bottom of the roasting pan, along with 1/4 cup of some form of cooking liquid to keep them from drying out entirely. It does mean that you’re not going to have as much in the way of pan drippings, but since there’s a preservation of “tasty” in the laws of kitchen physics, it does mean you’ll end up with delicious roasted root vegetables.