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Jan 23, 2009 11:14 AM

Covered vs. uncovered roasting

When roasting veggies what is the difference between covering it and leaving it uncovered? Also, whats the effect of a lower temperature longer roast and vs. a higher temperature shorter roast?

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  1. Covering will tend to steam the vegetables more than truly roast them.

    As for roasting time and temp, I don't think either one of your scenarios is best; you should meet somewhere in the middle. Too low and slow and you'll end up with mushy, non-caramelized vegetables. Too high and fast and you'll burn the poor things. 350ish is a good temp for roast vegetables because it allows them to cook without burning but still soften.

    1. I usually do both - start them under HD foil with a little added moisture, then uncover and finish when they test semi-tender. Get all that caramely-gooey stuff that way. Hell to clean off a pan, though!

      7 Replies
      1. re: Will Owen

        Don't you put foil in the pan to intercept the turns-to-glue cooked juices?

        1. re: Sharuf

          Put the pan on the stove and deglaze it with water, broth, wine...makes cleanup far easier too, and there's no waste of foil.

          1. re: Caralien

            Pyrex baking pans aren't recommended for stovetop use, especially for the thermally stressful process of deglazing. I generally just scrape up as much of the goo as I can and toss that over the veges, then let the pan soak overnight in water and a splash of Dawn or whatever.

            1. re: Will Owen

              Veggies roast better on a dark pan - I won't recommend pyrex.

              1. re: alwayscooking

                My Pyrex pans are dark blue. I wouldn't have chosen them - I find the color unattractive - but they were a gift, and they work very well. I actually find them easier to clean than metal ones, since I can use the green scrubber on them, and Barkeeper's Friend as well, without scratching.

              2. re: Will Owen

                I generally use metal pans, so this hasn't been an issue lately. When I tried glass or ceramic bakeware, it was a pain to clean, so I stopped using them. Simply not worth it for me, as I'm a lazy cook and our sinks are rather small.

                1. re: Will Owen

                  I agree - pyrex is for brownies and casserole, not roasting vegetables.

          2. I normally roast uncovered in an oven that is well preheated at a high temp (425-450F). Vegetables are oiled and seasoned before they go in, for the most part.

            Modern ovens don't genuinely roast (which technically involves direct exposure to open flame in open air, a genuinely dry heat form of cooking), but bake-roast. To bake-roast, you try to minimize the amount of steamy air around the items being cooked, so you don't cover, in order to keep the air as dry as possible.

            2 Replies
              1. re: Morganna

                Yes, they can, but not everyone know how to truly roast in them.