When you think of wonderfully homey dinners, surely pot roast must be an all-time favorite. Slow cooking meat in the oven makes a tasty dish when roasted with herbs, spices and broth. It's the kind of meal your family will want to linger over and savor.
The best way to slow-cook a roast in the oven involves browning the meat on the stove, and then cooking it for several hours in the oven with broth and seasonings.
Slow-Cook Roast in Oven
In an interview with LIVESTRONG.com, Ariane Resnick, CNC, gives an overview on how to slow cook a roast in the oven. First, thaw the roast in the refrigerator before cooking, she advises. "Don't thaw a roast in the oven because bacteria may grow during the length of time it takes for frozen meat to get hot."
Resnick says that for optimal flavor, it's best to sear the roast on the stove over medium-high heat until all sides are well caramelized. This takes several minutes for the first side and one or two minutes for each additional side.
Next, place the roast in a baking dish with aromatics, such as garlic, onion, celery and carrots. Also, include herbs, stock or water. "If you cook the roast at 250 degrees, it will take about 40 to 45 minutes per pound. For slower roasting at 200 degrees Fahrenheit, it will take from 45 minutes to an hour per pound," Resnick notes.
What is the secret to making a tender roast in the oven? "Some people think roast in the oven should be covered, but others are firmly against it. The most important key is that if the meat isn't fork tender, it needs to be cooked longer," she says. "When the sinew is fully broken down, the meat will shred easily; patience is required to leave it in the oven until that happens." You can use this method for any cut of roast, including a chuck roast.
Read more: How to Cook a Chuck Roast Perfectly
Beef-Cooking Safety Tips
Raw and under-cooked meat can carry an array of pathogens that cause food-borne illnesses such as Salmonella and Escherichia choli, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Although older recipes call for washing raw meat before cooking, this practice can result in the spread of bacteria to utensils, cutting boards and other foods.
Cook a 4- to 6-pound bone-in rib roast at 325 F for 23 to 25 minutes per pound, advocates the CDC. A 2 1/2- to 4-pound round or rib roast takes a little longer: Cook it at the same temperature for 30 to 35 minutes per pound.
The internal temperature of meat should reach 145 F. Place the thermometer in the thickest part of the roast, away from the bone, advises the University of Illinois. Don't rely on color to indicate when a meat is thoroughly cooked, because many factors can affect this characteristic.
Shopping, Thawing and Storage Tips
For the best possible results of slow cooking meat in the oven, freshness counts, recommends Clemson University. When shopping, look for meat that is cool and firm to the touch with a bright red color. Make meat the last item you pick up before checking out, and take it straight home to put in the refrigerator or freezer once you leave the store.
The best way to thaw meat is to plan ahead and put it in the refrigerator for about 24 hours before you need it. Never thaw it at room temperature. You can thaw meat in the microwave, but with this method you need to cook it immediately afterward because portions of it will get warm. While it's safe to cook meat on the stove or in the oven without thawing, the cooking time will be about 50 percent longer.
Use leftovers within two to three days. Cooked beef will stay good in the freezer for two to three months.