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Dec 28, 2007 04:42 PM

Alton Brown's Standing Rib Roast - oven question

I record Good Eats programs for later and just got to the one on Standing Rib Roast. Alton uses a terracotta pot on a terracotta base because the dirty oven would not focus the heat well and one side of the roast would cook more than another. There are other programs where he uses techniques like that.

What about "convection roast" though? We just bought a spiffy Bosch oven with that feature and I assumed that the convection part pretty much eliminated hot and cool spots. We've got convection bake and convection broil, as well. Isn't that what it's all about?

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  1. I have a convection oven also. Mine has a "convection roast" feature and that's what I use.

    1. I use my convection oven, too. It did my roast perfectly this year at Christmas.

      1. If you have a oven with convection, you can forget about the terracotta pot, and roast to a preferred internal temp.

        I love Alton, but what he claims and what I was taught in college thermodynamics class makes me wonder.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Kelli2006

          FWIW, a lot of what he purports in general doesn't seem to hold up in my own experience, especially when it goes against the grain in accepted wisdom from most sources. While I am the first to agree that many cooking conventions are usually accepted without verification, I've grown to find many of his claims dubious at best.

          1. re: Kelli2006

            I'm with you on the physics of that episode, but I used his method without the pots for a 16 pounder and had very good results.

            It should be said that I used a 25 year old oven with dubious low temperature control. I told my wife we're replacing it before next year when I do it again.

          2. I did his recipe in a regular oven in a regular roasting pan, and it was delightful. Sometimes his little riffs are fun to watch on tv, but aren't really necessary for actual cooking.

            1. I'm pretty skeptical about his claim that uneven heating is a problem. If it is, the convection feature will pretty much eliminate it.

              On the other hand, throwing 20 pounds of clay into your oven will add a lot of thermal mass, and will provide insulation from the surrounding oven air. So the temperature inside the terra cotta pot will be much more consistent than the temperature in the rest of the oven.