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Tent with foil or not while resting meat?

The recent question posted about roasting chicken got me to thinking...I have read/heard divergent opinions about whether or not to tent meat with foil while resting. I've found that resting chicken, for example, under foil ruins crispy skin so I let birds rest uncovered. This has worked well for me, but I do tend to let chickens get a few degrees higher before I'll pull them out of the oven b/c I worry that the temp won't continue rising as much uncovered as it would tented. Don't know if this idea is unfounded, which is one reason for my question.

Skin texture obviously isn't an issue for other types of meat, but again, I've heard different opinions about whether, steak, for example, is tastiest when eaten at or close to room temperature. I remember a radio interview with Thomas Keller in which he said he usually lets meat rest for the same amount of time it took to cook (obviously not applicable to whole roasted chicken), so I keep that in mind, but this question of whether or not to tent with various types/cuts of meat and how internal temp is affected by doing one or the other always bugs me. Any thoughts?

Kristen W. is a trusted home cook.

asked almost 4 years ago
7 answers 17977 views
added almost 4 years ago

I don't generally tent the meat unless it's one with a low fat content to begin with, or if I'm worried about it being a bit dry. I never put a cover on a roasted chicken. A boned pork loin, however, I would put a tent on, whether it's foil or the lid of my Le Creuset braiser. If you've made a roast, I wouldn't cover it. If you've made a braise and want to keep it warm, by all means cover it up.


pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added almost 4 years ago

I remain a "tent it" guy. What's happening with roasted meats, including chicken is that those delicious juices are boiling deep inside and when you remove the meat from the oven and allow it to rest they gradually spread back out into the flesh. I love roast chicken with a crispy skin and have found no problem with the foil tent impairing that. A far more difficult problem is when people don't know understand how to properly carve poultry. As in only two or three of the diners get any skin at all.

added almost 4 years ago

I usually tent steak, while its resting, to keep it warm. It doesn't seem to raise the temperature and end up with overlooked meat.


June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added almost 4 years ago

I usually tent roasted meat. It doesn't make the meat overcooked, but it does keep it warm, especially if it's going to sit for a while.

Kristen W.

Kristen W. is a trusted home cook.

added almost 4 years ago

Appreciate the feedback and the information. I do use a meat thermometer, by the way, but for some reason never thought to leave it in while meat is resting (hitting palm of hand on forehead right now)! Live and learn...

added almost 4 years ago

I tent!