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5 Comfort Food Roasts to Master Before You're 30

Here are five simple recipes that help you master roasting techniques every grown-up cook should know. Once you've learned the basics, you can get as creative as you want to be. Because you know you're finally coming of age when you can make comfort food that doesn't come out of a box.

Roast Chicken

A comfort food classic and one of the easiest roasts to master, roast chicken can be as simple as seasoning it and putting it into a hot oven until an instant-read meat thermometer shows that it's cooked. Once you nail the basics, you can start playing with brines, herbs, and spices to change up the flavors. You'll save money, too: Whole chicken is always cheaper by the pound than cut-up chicken. And the leftovers can be used in everything from soups to casseroles.

Roast Chicken with Herbs

Photo by Meredith

Try this recipe: Roast Chicken with Rosemary

More About Chicken

  • Get tips for roasting chicken, plus a roasting chart to show you how long it will take depending on the size of your chicken and the temperature of your oven.
  • Discover all the roast chicken recipes you need from now until forever.

Roast Pork

Next up is pork roast, specifically boneless pork loin. It's just as easy as roast chicken, making it a great intro before you branch out to other kinds of pork roasts. As with roast chicken, be sure to let the roast rest for a few minutes so the meat can reabsorb the juices before carving. What to do while it's resting? Make a pan sauce to spoon over the meat.

Sheet Pan Roast

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Try this recipe: Roasted Carrot and Fennel Pork

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Beef Pot Roast

The secret to a delicious pot roast is to intensify flavor by searing the meat, and that's what you'll learn how to do with this super-basic recipe. After that, you'll sauté vegetables and herbs in the hot pan, then put the whole thing into the oven to cook slowly for 2½ to 3 hours. That's it! Master this technique, and you're ready to tackle other kinds of pot roasts, both for the oven and the slow cooker. One important thing to note: A pot roast is not the same as a prime rib roast. The best beef pot roasts are made with tough, gnarly cuts like beef chuck roast; using spendy beef to make pot roast is a waste. So save your bucks and go for the chuck.

Pot Roast

Photo by Meredith

Try this recipe: Simple Beef Pot Roast

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Roasted Fish

Seriously, if you can turn on your oven, you can roast a delicious fish dish in mere minutes. The secret to success is to not overcook it, so start checking for doneness well before you think it's time. You can also pan-roast fish in a skillet on your stove top, which Chef John demonstrates in a video for Pan-Roasted Halibut.

Roast Salmon

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Try this recipe: Salmon with Caramelized Leeks

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Roasted Vegetables

Roasting vegetables at high heat caramelizes their natural sugars and deepens the flavors without adding heavy sauces in order to elevate them to comfort food status. And as we all move towards giving vegetables more room on our healthy plates, mastering the simple art of roast vegetables is a skill worth having.

Roasted Vegetables

Photo by Meredith

Try this recipe: Savory Roasted Root Vegetables

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Vanessa Greaves

About Vanessa Greaves

Good food, friends, and fun are always on the menu. Check out things that make me go yum: foodelicious On Instagram On Twitter @vanessa_greaves