Your best tips for holiday roast success?

General or specific: Favorite cuts for roasting? Rack or no rack? Oven to table strategy? How to get the best flavor? (Or any other secret tricks that come to mind.) Thanks in advance!

Kristen Miglore


Benny November 21, 2013
When roasting a bird, sometimes I brine, sometimes I don't. depends on my schedule and space availability. If I'm not brining, I will make a compound butter with thyme, oregano and sage. Tuck it under the skin and massage it until its spread around. Truss it up into a nice shape, generous salt and pepper on the outside and into a roasting pan (no rack, I feel like I get a better fond for deglazing) with a few mirepoix veggies sitting around it. Baste it often while roasting with the pan liquid.

I pretty much always brine pork loin roasts, unless I have a very specific recipe that doesn't call for it. and I will most likely use a rack for those.
Kristen M. November 21, 2013
Rocky Bill, to be more clear about why I'm asking -- we're putting together a feature on holiday roast tips, and looking for help from the community. So general or specific tips work!

(Sorry reposting after accidentally posting from one of our contributors' accounts!)
nancy E. November 21, 2013
Find an excellent butcher and order your roast grass fed and finished. You will be amazed at the difference in flavour and texture and you will feel better knowing you are eating ethical meat.
pierino November 21, 2013
I'm not sure what "ethical meat" means but at least I have some idea. Cows have ethics? I live in grass fed beef country and the biggest problem to tackle when cooking it is the lack of marbeling. Now, I'm definitely not in favor of giant feed lots but diet to marbeling for flavor is important. Grass doesn't bring it. And the texture is "chewy". Same with pigs (which will eat anything if allowed).
pierino November 21, 2013
Personally I do use a rack for all roasts. I also use an "internal brine" which means you need and injector. But most of all you need a really fast, instant read probe thermometer such as a Thermapen. Expensive yes, but you will never regret owning one. Getting an accurate read on internal temperature is essential.
Rocky R. November 21, 2013
Buy: Roasting - A Simple Art by Barbara Kafka.
She'll tell you all.
Rocky R. November 21, 2013
Could you give us more to work with?! Are you asking about beef, lamb, pork, chicken, turkey??
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