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”.