You've probably heard about the many uses of aluminum foil for cooking. If you're wondering if you can use foil when roasting beef so that you'll achieve a tender and juicy dish, you've come to the right page. We've got the answers for you as we asked expert cooks regarding the use of foil when roasting.
No, you shouldn't cover your beef with aluminum foil while roasting. It'll get in the way of browning the outside of the meat, attaining the distinct flavor coming from roasting, and achieving your desired level of doneness.
However, if you're cooking beef that weighs more than 8 lbs., you can cover it lightly with foil halfway through roasting to prevent over-browning.
Keep on reading to understand better why it isn't recommended to cover your beef with aluminum foil while roasting. We'll also share tips on how to keep beef moist, soft, and tender when roasting. We'll also answer if you can put water in the pan when cooking roast beef. Let's begin!
Do you cover roast beef with tin foil when cooking?
Perhaps no holiday or special occasion is ever complete without having roast beef on the dinner table. That flavorful, juicy, and tender dish is no doubt, everyone's favorite. We love it so much that we even crave the leftovers to make them into delicious sandwiches.
Just the thought of this dish makes one's mouth water and look forward to the next family celebration when your mom or grandma will surely prepare this special recipe for everyone to feast on.
Some expert cooks say that roast beef is probably one of the easiest recipes that you can cook for the holidays. They just say cook it slow and low as if these are some magic words that'll turn your chosen beef cut into a classic culinary masterpiece.
But for some who are beginners and still finding their way in the kitchen, they might have heard of different ways to cook this dish and they're trying to make sense of everything so that the finished product would be worthy to serve in the dining table on those special occasions.
One such dilemma when cooking roast beef is whether it should be covered or uncovered while cooking. Aluminum foil is widely used in cooking because it offers certain benefits.
When to use aluminum foil
- Using foil after roasting helps to keep the meat moist. It is said to help in sealing in moisture so that the food that you're cooking won't be dry.
- It also helps in cooking food evenly since heat is distributed throughout. This is good news when you're cooking a rather large piece of meat.
Some also say that when you cover your meat with aluminum foil, it'll help cook the food faster. Considering how long it takes to cook roast beef, this would seem like a good idea as well. However, this was disproved by experts. The use of foil doesn't make a significant difference in cooking time.
In other words, some cooking processes can benefit from covering the dish with aluminum foil and some won't.
When roasting beef, it isn't advisable to cover it with foil. The meat has to be directly exposed to the heat source to achieve the desired level of doneness and brownness of its exterior. It would also help in attaining a more flavorful dish. Also, covering with foil would result in steaming and not roasting.
There are two occasions when you should use foil for your roast beef.
Tent Roast Beef With Foil after Roasting
Once you get to your desired doneness, it could be 145 degrees Fahrenheit for medium-rare, 160 degrees Fahrenheit for medium-well, or 170 degrees Fahrenheit for well done, take the roast beef out of the oven. And that's when you can use your aluminum foil.
Make a tent out of the foil. Don't wrap it tightly as the meat still has to breathe. Allow the meat to rest inside the foil tent for 15 minutes before you start carving it. This time, the foil would help seal in the juices of the roasted beef so that you'll be serving a warm, juicy, and tasty treat for everyone to enjoy.
Cover Large Roasts with Foil after Browning
There is one instance though when you can cover the beef with aluminum foil while roasting. It is when your meat cut weighs more than 8 lbs.
Take it out of the oven halfway through roasting and cover it loosely with foil before putting it back inside to finish cooking. This will help prevent over-browning of its outside part since it'll take much longer to cook a heavier piece of meat.
How do you keep beef moist when roasting?
Properly cooked roast beef is brown outside but moist and juicy inside. After all, no one wants to eat a dry piece of meat. It is unappetizing. To avoid this, home cooks need to keep this in mind. The secret to keeping the meat moist when roasting is in the temperature and resting.
Cook at a Low Temperature
Slow roasting is the key. The lower the temperature, the less chance that your meat will dry out.
Sure, pre-heating and searing require a high temperature. But after the searing is done about 10 minutes into roasting, you should reduce the heat from a high of 450 degrees Fahrenheit to 275 degrees Fahrenheit only and wait until the beef reaches your preferred level of doneness - from medium-rare to medium-well and well done.
Your best bet is to use a meat thermometer to check if the beef is fully cooked all the way. Just insert the thermometer at the center of the beef cut then get the reading after 20 seconds.
Alternatively, you can use a skewer. Pierce the roast beef at the center and check the color of its juices. If it is pink-red, it is medium-rare and if it's pink, it is medium to medium-well.
Rest the Roast Beef Properly
The next tip to cooking a perfectly juicy roast beef is in giving it sufficient time to rest after taking it out of the oven. This is equally important in locking in the juices in your roast beef.
As mentioned earlier, you can wrap it lightly with aluminum foil and let it stand there for about 15 minutes. During this time, the juices in your beef will be redistributed all over the meat so that no part is dry. When it is time to serve the roast beef, you can be sure that it is still moist and juicy.
Do you put water in the pan when cooking roast beef?
Speaking of making your roast beef moist and juicy, would putting water on the baking pan help you achieve this as well?
Expert cooks share that you shouldn't do this. Don't add water to the pan when you're roasting. You won't be able to achieve the roasted texture when you do this.
As the water heats up, it will create steam. While it is still an acknowledged way of cooking, it is simply not the way to cook your roast beef. You will end up with a lump of steamed meat with a soggy texture and underwhelming flavor.
How do you make beef soft and tender?
As you would know, there are different cuts of meat. Some are more expensive than others for a good reason. These are prime cuts that would require little effort to make them soft and tender. But don't worry if you don't have the budget for those expensive meat cuts, you can still serve beef that's soft and easy to cut and chew with these tips.
- Cover the meat with salt. This should be a part of your food preparation. Sprinkle salt all over the beef and allow it to rest for 2 hours or longer. Salt draws out the excess water from the beef and breaks down the protein cells to make beef tender.
- Use a meat tenderizer. Place the whole meat in between two sheets of plastic. Beat the beef with your meat tenderizer working your way from the inside to the outside portion.
- Slow cooking. We've already said this earlier. Cook your beef cut slowly in low heat. This is why roast beef takes a long time to cook. This will melt the tough muscle fibers so that they're softer and easier to chew once done.
These are just some of the recommended ways to make your beef cuts tender and juicy so that whatever your budget, you can still enjoy a soft and succulent roast beef with the family.
Don't cover your beef cut with foil when roasting so that you can achieve a roast beef that looks perfectly brown on the outside and juicy, tasty, and tender on the inside. That's how you cook a dish that's the star of the dinner table at every special gathering.
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