How to roast

Roasts hold a special place at the dinner table…they’re quick and easy to prepare, full of flavour and make a delicious meal that’s sure to please even the toughest kitchen critics.

Simple steps that are the basis for all roasts

Step 1 – Preheat the oven in line with the type of cut you are roasting, depending on the weight of the roast. Brush it lightly with oil. Season with salt, pepper and any flavourings

Step 2 – Place the roast on a rack or trivet in a roasting dish. Raising the roast allows the heat to circulate, browning it evenly.

Step 3 – Different cuts require different cooking times per fixed weight (see below). For ease and accuracy use a meat thermometer.

Step 4 – Remove roast when cooked to desired degree. Transfer to a plate, cover loosely with foil and rest for 10-20 minutes before carving. Carve the roast across the grain to ensure tenderness.

Roasting tips

  • Take the roast from the fridge about 15-20 minutes before cooking. This will take the chill out of the meat and allow it to cook more evenly. If you like rare or medium rare meat, and the roast is without a bone it’s a good idea to do this. Never stand meat in direct sunlight, standing the meat in a cool kitchen (covered) for a short period of time (no longer than 20 mins) before cooking is fine.

Use a roasting dish that is close to the size of the roast you are cooking. Place the roast on a rack in a roasting dish. Raising the roast allows it to brown evenly. Placing the roast on a bed of vegies (cut into sticks) or trimmed meat bones is another way to raise the roast. The exception is bone-in roasts like a standing rib roast; the natural arc of the bones raises the meat from the base of the roasting dish removing the need to raise it off the pan.

  • Cook for the calculated time, baste the roast occasionally. Use the juices in the roasting dish to baste the roast as it cooks. Add a little stock to the dish if there’s only a small amount of pan juices. Or make a baste to give your roast extra flavour (see below).

Check the temperature (or ‘doneness) about 10 minutes before the estimated cooking is up. Take larger roasts out of the oven just short of the goal, as the larger roasts and bone in roasts tend to cook further and go up just a little in temperature (and therefore, doneness) as they rest.

  • Always allow the roast to rest before serving.  This gives the juices in the meat a chance to redistribute, giving a moister and more tender result. Transfer to a plate, cover loosely with foil and rest for 10-20 minutes before carving. 

Suggested roasting times

Use these recommendations as a guide at the start of the cooking time. Take your roast out of the oven a few degrees below those stated below as your roast will continue to cook while resting.

ROASTING CHART – times per 500g

BEEF

 

Temp

Rare

60ºC

Medium

65-70ºC

Well Done

75ºC

Rib eye/scotch fillet, rump, sirloin, fillet/tenderloin, standing rib roast, rolled rib beef roast

200ºC

15 -20 min

20 -25 min

25 -30 min

Silverside (uncorned), blade, round, topside, eye round, oyster blade

160ºC

20 -25 min

25 -30 min

30 -35 min

LAMB

 

Temp

Rare

Medium

Well Done

Eye of loin/backstrap, lamb round, topside roasts, mini roast, lamb rump

220ºC 

15-20 mins

20-25 min

25-30 min

Rack of lamb, four rib roast, crown roast

200ºC

20-25 min

30-35 min

40-45 min

Loin (boned and rolled), Leg or shoulder (bone in), easy carve leg or shoulder   

180ºC

20-25 min

25-30 min

30-35 min

VEAL

 

Temp

Rare

Medium

Well Done

Fillet, rack, leg, loin/eye of loin, rump, shoulder, boned and rolled loin, breast

200ºC

15-20 min

20-25 min

25-30 min


Cooked to your liking… judge your roasts degree of doneness

The final internal temperature for:

  • Rare 60ºC
  • Medium rare 60-65ºC
  • Medium 65-70ºC 
  • Medium well done 70ºC 
  • Well done 75ºC

Note: you will need to remove your roast fromthe oven before it reaches these temperatures as it will continue to cook while resting.

Do I really need a meat thermometer?

There are lots of variables involved when roasting meats and judging to see it it’s ready or not. Variables like the cut, size, shape and thickness of the meat. To take out all of the guesswork use a meat thermometer. It’s the easiest and most accurate way to tell if it’s ready.

Inexpensive leave-in style thermometers are available from kitchenware shops, supermarkets and selected butcher stores. Place the thermometer in the roast before cooking. Insert it into the middle of the thickest part of the roast away from any bone.

You can also use tongs to test the roast’s doneness.

Gently prod or squeeze the roast – rare is very soft, medium rare is soft, medium is springy but soft, medium well is firm and well done is very firm.


Enhance the flavour of your beef, veal or lamb roast with rubs and bastes

  • Rosemary, thyme and lemon - Rub the roast with a mix of salt, pepper and chopped fresh rosemary and thyme leaves before cooking. As the roast cooks baste it with this easy mix – combine a splash of olive oil, the grated rind and juice from one lemon and a little more chopped rosemary and thyme leaves.  
  • Mustard, orange and honey - Rub the roast with a mix of salt, pepper and a little seeded mustard before cooking. As the roast cooks baste it with this mix - combine a splash of olive oil, the grated rind and juice from one orange, small dollop seeded mustard and a good drizzle of honey.
  • Peppercorn and garlic - Make a peppercorn rub; drain a small can of green peppercorns, crush the peppercorns lightly. Combine with 2 cloves crushed garlic and about 60g slightly crushed dried black peppercorns. Rub the roast with oil and spread the peppercorn mix over the meat. Baste with the pan juices.

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From The Community

Toby Semler
Nov 13, 2016 #

Great site and advice. Thanks!

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Toby Semler
Nov 13, 2016 #

Great site and advice. Thanks!

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Peter
Jan 30, 2016 #

My Pyrex brand meat thermometer instructions states for both beef and lamb Rare - 60 Medium Rare 66 Medium 71 Well Done 77

Peter replied
Jan 30, 2016

Hi guys. If you read the instructions carefully, the temperatures quoted are the FINAL temperatures "Take your roast out of the oven a few degrees BELOW those stated below as your roast will continue to cook while resting."

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John
Jul 16, 2015 #

The article has some good points but the table is a bit confusing. The internal temperatures are not correct - see AC Quinn's comments. The oven temps and times for beef just don't gel.

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A.c. Quinn
May 27, 2015 #

this article is rubbish rare roasts average 38c centre temps 60 would remove the pink instantly, blood juice turns brown at 50c, a rare steak would never make it over 40 c, rare is pink running red blood, medium rare is pink running no blood, medium is just a dust of pink at most having just, "just" cooked out the last of the pink usually whilst resting.

John replied
Jul 16, 2015

You are spot on!. I cooked a 1 kg roast last night to 60C for rare as per table. It came out as very, very medium. I was very disappointed. Because I was using a meat thermometer I saw the colour of blood at various temperatures and IMO the 40C mark was very much the upper limit if rare. Thanks for your advice.

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Daniel Wilson
May 10, 2015 #

Very helpfull ,,,,give it 5 ,,, easy to understand ,,, just learning how to cook for myself ,,,,

Ryan Mil replied
May 17, 2015

YES IT IS INDEED HELPFUL COS I AM A FIRST TIME COOK MUM DID ALL MY COOKING, AND NOW I SHALLPUT MY COOKING SKILLTO THE TEST ON NEXT MOTHER DAY. MY BEST COOKING SKILL WERE POACH EGG AND INSTANT NOODLE WITH HARD BOILED EGG.

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Rhonda Gwyther
May 09, 2015 #

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Colin Rowley
Apr 03, 2015 #

Hi are the temperatures for a conventional gas oven such as i have, or for fan-forced types?

Beef and Lamb replied
Apr 14, 2015

Hi Colin, these are based off conventional oven temps.

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