I often think about new and different ways of preparing foods. I never get bored of this low carb paleo way of eating! My latest variation is truly slow roasting.
- depending on thickness, temps vary from 150 to 200F.
- truly slow roasting preserves the fat!
Years ago experimented with ‘dry aging’ meats, the longest in my refrigerator was 7 days. I do love dry aging my meats. If you are unfamiliar with ‘home’ dry aging read “Dry Aging Meats“.
In my mind I thought, “what if I cook it very slow … and allowed air drying with a very slow cooking process?”
Fat Preservation is the Key
I knew generally that most recommend meats obtaining an internal temperature of 140-160 F before consuming them. So I thought, I’ll cook it at 180 F for hours directly on an oven rack (with a drip pan) and see what happens. Getting up to temperature so slowly preserves the FAT! :)
The results were… amazing!! Over hours the meat temperatures slowly rise. Minimum amounts of water and fat are lost.
Note: Your cooking temps and times will vary. Oven temperature varies almost as much as Glucose Meters… almost. (Diabetes Humor attempt) :)
Slow Roasting Benefits
1 – Fat preservation. Cooking at low temperatures causes very little fat loss … in other words fat is retained in the meat instead of ‘cooking out’.
2 – Cooking at such low temperatures, you do not have to ‘watch it’. I have not noticed a real difference in cooking meat for 4 or 5 hours, yes there is some difference but it’s minor. I have started meats cooking and come back hours later and all was well. I believe that’s due to fat preservation. :)
3 – Very Little Energy Expenditure – this I can’t prove but again, cooking at such low temperatures once the oven heats up I rarely see the ‘heating light’ on, unless of course I open the oven door.
4 – Variety in Textures – this is an important benefit for me. I do love the difference in a slow roasted pork chop, beef roast, NY Strip, chicken breast, salmon, etc . I still love to eat foods fried in my skillet in minutes or cooked overnight in a crock pot… but I really love slow roasted meats. Thanks again to the fat preservation. :)
Slow Roasting Details
Not all ‘slow roasting’ recipes are the same. I glanced at a few sites and saw a recipe for slow roasting a beef roast for 6 hours at 450 F, covered. … THAT IS NOT WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT. :)
I started out placing the meats directly on the oven rack, with a broiler pan as the drip pan. Air flow is important I do believe. This method worked great since, at the low temperatures sticking to the rack was not a big problem, but still I found a better way. :)
Next I used an old toaster oven rack but later found a mini grill rack that fit my broiler pan perfectly. You could use a broiler pan rack that comes with it, but I prefer the added air flow of a grill/oven rack.
As of yet I have not done any ‘dry rubs’ or marinades. I truly love the taste of dry roasted meats.
At some point I will, but for now I simply apply copious amounts of sea salt. Any ‘clean’ marinade or dry rub should be fine.
The width of the meat determines the temperature and the length of cooking. The other factor is how you like your meats. Rare, medium rare, well done, etc. I am a rare to medium rare kind of guy. :) I cooked with these parameters:
Pork Chops, thin steaks, Chicken Breasts, Salmon Fillets – (4) Hours at 180 F.
Standard sized steak – Chuck Eye, NY Strip (4) Hours at 200 F
Beef and Pork Roasts – (6 – 8) Hours at 200 F
Slow Roasting Examples
– (4) hours 200 F produced an AWESOME medium rare to rare roast.
– (8) hours 200 F produced a deliciously succulent medium cooked roast.
I bang the drum of variety often. Not only about variety of meats including organ meats (offal) but also food preparation and spices.
Slow roasting does require a little planning and time of course; but has quickly become my favorite way to cook meats. I am not throwing away my skillet nor my crock pot, I still have them holstered and ready for action. :)
Give slow roasting a try. The fat preservation is a HUGE benefit to making meats stay moist and juicy. And placing on an open rack is key for air flow.
I am still experimenting with various meats, temperatures and cooking lengths. Soon I’m going to try an ALL DAY cooking at 160 F and see how it turns out.
Peace, love and normal blood sugars. :)
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