How to Slow Cook in the Oven
Slow cooking is an art form that requires plenty of patience and extra time. It is not an exact science and often requires patience, but the rewards it reaps are well worth the time and effort that is placed into cooking your meal.
Slow cooking is often done in a slow cooker, but can be done in an oven as well.
Slow cooking works by minimizing water loss utilizing lower temperatures to cook the meat over a longer period of time.
You end up with a flavorful, tender creation that is described as either melting in your mouth or falling right off the bone. It works best with meats that come with a bone.
The Slow Cooking Process
Step 1: Preheat
Slow cooking starts by setting your oven to preheat. You should preheat to 200 degrees Fahrenheit and no warmer. It is important to keep it at this temperature as higher temperatures will tend to dry out the meat.
Step 2: Prepare the meat
While the oven is preheating you can begin to prepare the meat. Coat it with seasonings and sauces that will cook into the meat over time. Heat a pan with oil on the stove and brown the marinated meat. Do not cook the meat, just brown it.
Once it is browned you can place the meat into either a Dutch oven or a pan for roasting. A Dutch oven will provide the best results because it locks in the flavor and moisture.
Step 3: The cooking process
This is the part of the process that is less of a specific recipe and more of an art form. You should cook the meat at twice the time it would normally take the cook in the oven.
There is no specific time, but this usually ends up being from six hours to eight hours.
The most important part of cooking the meat is keeping the temperature correct. This can be helped with the use of a thermometer.
The thermometer should read temperatures between 130 and 150 degrees within the meat, depending on how you want it done.
As it is approaching the final results, you can quickly heat the oven to as high as it will go for 10-15 minutes. This will make it crunchy on the outside while the short time should not dry the meat out.
Step 4: Enjoy!
Slow cooking meat can take a whole day and usually starts in the morning to be eaten at night.
Once it is done you can leave it out for at least 10 minutes to let it cool off. Once it is cooled you should serve the meat by slicing it so that the whole cut can be enjoyed.
Slow cooking terms
- There are some terms that can be confusing for the average person. This might cause one to purchase additional equipment or other things that might not be what the recipe calls for.
- For example, the term “slow oven” might lead one to think they need a slow cooker. This is not the case. Slow oven means that the cook should have their oven preheated to 300 degrees or less. This means that the oven will be slowly cooking the food rather than cooking at a regular pace.
- There are other temperature indications such as moderate oven, hot oven, or fast oven, all of which give an indication to other temperatures. However, there is specialized equipment for slow cooking food. The most obvious type of equipment is the Dutch oven.
- A Dutch oven is the best way to slow cook in the oven because it gives the most even slow cooking. It is a container that has thick walls that can either be metal or ceramic. The dish will heat up and evenly cook the meat. It is lidded to lock in flavor and moisture.