Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Aug 17, 2010 06:35 PM

ISO: fourunder about London Broil

I saw your post about slow roasting London Broil. I ate some London Broil in a restaurant and I asked for the recipe. I was told that the London Broil was grilled to seal in the juices then slow roasted in the oven at a very low temp. overnight. It was so tender you could cut it with a fork. I was told this can be only done in a commercial oven, but I don't see why it can't be done in a home oven. The lowest temp on my oven is 170*. I don't know what temp. they used they didn't share that.

Can you tell me more about how the catering people do this method you described?? thanks so mcuh for your help!!!!!! :) :) :) :)


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Barbara.....I would be happy to. The method is very simple actually. All it takes is marinating the meat, placing the meat on racks(cookie/cake cooling racks work fine) and placing the meat in the oven at your desired temperature for slow roasting. Over the years, I've experimented with almost every cut of meat or poultry at various temperatures in my home gas oven....and I find 215-225* works best overall.....250* works best if time is an issue...Myself, I have not found any serious noticeable differences in texture of meat or tenderness cooking at temperatures between 170* and 200*, rather than at 215* and 250*. The extra time needed to finish the roast simply is not worth the extra time required. If any commercial products are slow roasted in this manner, I believe it probably has to do with shrinkage concerns, rather than tenderness issues. With regard to ovens, not all catering facilities have electric ovens, but the smart ones will have them in the kitchen. Gas ovens can cook the meats equally as good, but gas ovens require you to be more hands on to check on the meats and turn the oven off when the meats are done. Generally, gas ovens have warm settings from 140-200* which you can slow roast at, but often, unless the ovens are calibrated properly, some ovens will not be able to maintain a proper setting and flame out. If you have a gas oven, I would suggest you test it out overnight and check to see if the oven is able and has maintained the !70* you mentioned your oven can be set at, to see if it can be utilized for your application. More recently on this site, many have expressed their preference to roast at this setting for the Cooks Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen Eye Round Roast...but as I indicated earlier, I find no benefits myself. The difference I have found in the 170* temperature, as opposed to 215-250*, is the lower 170* will require 2-4 times longer roasting time. If you are roasting overnight, this may not be a problem, but to tie up the oven for the longer period is problematic for my schedules and patience. Home electric ovens can be set at lower temperatures without fear of flaming out. The difference between the home electric oven and a commercial electric oven is this.....the commercial ovens are *cook and hold ovens*. What this means is you place the desired meat in the oven and insert a temperature probe into the meat for your intended meat doneness, e.g. medium-rare, and set your oven at the roasting temperature, e.g., 225*. When the meat reaches the desired doneness temperature, it shuts the oven off and holds it a a preset temperature of 100-120* , automatically, until the items are ready to be served... this can be up to 12 hours later without compromising the quality of the beef or product. I'll direct you to the <> oven site and you can research this further. They even have directions and instructions for different temperatures and recipes for different meats, poultry, vegetables and fish.....all which you can use in your home oven. They will note and recommend you use 250*, but in the past, the number was lower at 225*. I cannot explain why the reason for the change, but I can only surmise it has to do with litigation concerns.

    Personally, I do not mean to offend anyone, but I have never really cared for Top Round London Broil.....slow roasted or otherwise, as it's a little dry for my tastes and I prefer other cuts better. I do purchase it on occasion, i.e., when it goes on sale for .$1.49 or less.....but I will only purchase the pieces that have the scallop/oyster in the cut. In general, I just find top round too dry myself....but this portion of the cuts seems better than others to me. When London Broil goes on sale at the local supermarkets, generally all the other beef cuts go on sale as well, so I will usually purchase other cuts of beef for a slow roast......for a supermarket purchase, this usually means the chuck or chuck eye roast. I find this meat has much more flavor....and this cut works well with the low temperature, slow roast method. Whenever purchasing meat at the supermarket, I always request the butcher special cut the meat for me @ minimum of 2.0 inches thickness.....but I prefer 2.5-3.0 inches best. I also like to purchase/use Top Butt Sirloin, Flap Meat and Tri-Tip Newport, Hanger and Flat Iron/Top Blade

    Getting to Catering Methods....the preferred cuts of beef for the carving stations are Flap Meats, Tri-Tip(Newport) or Top Butt Sirloin. These meats are much more reliable to be flavorful and tender. The Tri-Tips and Top Butts are seamed out to remove the unpleasant sinew and gristle...leaving nice cuts of meat perfect for slicing. There will be much debate on whether the meats should be seared first or not, but in my opinion and others as well, this step is not necessary for searing in juices, but is necessary for appearance in both steaks and roasts.....Personally, I find searing at the end is fine and the method I use.....even for when I roast Prime Rib Roasts and Turkey on the holidays. Not searing the meat also works best if you plan on pre-paring the meat for use later in the day or for the next day. In such cases, you can take the meat out of the refrigerator an hour or two ahead and then reheat on the grill or under the broiler prior to serving without over-cooking, This is how every commercial kitchen and Fine Catering Hall I have been associated with prepares and serves the meat....for carving stations....or sliced steak sandwiches on their menus.

    The Catering Halls usually marinate the beef cuts with only the following three ingredients, the fourth is optional(garlic):

    * Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
    * Olive Oil
    * Soy Sauce
    * Garlic

    The key ingredient is the soy sauce, as it is believed to be what helps break down the meat without affecting the texture in a negative way like acids do. Acids can work for shorter marinating times, but to me they make the meats taste sour and the texture weirdly soft and not enjoyable. I know of some that use vinegars and citric fruits to tenderize, but I do not care for the method/recipe myself. If you are a fan of Korean BBQ Short Ribs, I understand the secret ingredient to tenderize is pureed Kiwi fruit. Some Asian recipes call for Pineapple juice to marinate and tenderize.

    I've had friends that have expressed they like to marinate in any of the following alone or mixed:

    Good Seasons Italian Dressing
    Wish Bone Italian Dressing
    Balsamic Vinegar
    Grapefruit Juice
    Orange Juice
    Cranberry Juice
    Red or White Wine
    Tequila & Lime
    Lime Juice
    Lemon Juice
    Brown Sugar

    Here are some related topics and sites.

    If you need any clarification on any of the above, please do not hesitate to ask....

    Kind regards,


    4 Replies
      1. re: fourunder

        I just got to log on, thanks so much for the info!!!!! :) :) :) :)

      2. re: fourunder

        Wow! Thanks so much for this terrific London broil primer, fourunder! It's been ages since I've made one, and this has prompted me to do so asap!

        1. re: fourunder

          You hold beef for 12 hours at 100-120 degrees F? And you're a commercial caterer? OMG. Where's the Dept of Health? FOOD BORNE ILLNESS!!!

        2. The slow roasting technique works wonders with all tougher cuts of meat. I prefer to sear mine at the end rather than the beginnning - searing does not seal in juices, no matter what anyone tries to tell you. And searing at the end gives you a much better crust, and in addition further minimizes the grey band.

          Depending on how long you're roasting for, it may also help to keep the meat wrapped in foil to minimize moisture loss.

          The marinade/seasoning is up to you but the heart of the process is to salt and refrigerate overnight and then to cook in an oven at 200 or so. With my oven I find it takes way to long to bring a roast up to temp when I set my oven below 170, and some times it plateaus around 120 and never rises further if I use too low of a temp.

          The most important thing is to have a probe thermometer so that you can monitor your meat's temp as it rises and pull it out at the right time. Keep in mind there's almost no carryover temp increase with this method so pull your meat when it's within a couple degrees of your desired temp.

          As for the cut, the best bang for the buck for me is sirloin, but flank is also a good choice, and traditional. This method works great with an eye round roast poor man's tenderloin.

          You can use the same method for any beef roast and it comes out personal favorite is doing a strip roast with this method...the resulting meat is crazy, crazy delicious.

          If you have a smaller piece of meat you can also try slow cooking it sous vide which is equally terrific.

          1. Thanks fourunder for the most EXCELLENT primer on cuts of beef. Definitely will be more informed when going to the local butchers!!

            Barbaraincc -

            I grilled a 3lb tenderloin a few wks ago for a small dinner party using a technique I saw on America's Test Kitchen on PBS. Turned out a perfect rare / medium rare with GREAT flavor. Secret was searing AFTER grilling - like joonjoon said. That way the meat cooks evenly thru - without drying out or overcooking the outer section. Could also work with your London Broil or other cuts.


            -- tie up the filet with twine every 1.5" to get a consistent shape. coat with a light sprinkle of coarse Kosher salt and cracked pepper. Let rest at room temp lightly covered with plastic for 1 hr.

            -- meanwhile, preheat gas grill to 300/325 and allow a quarter stick of unsalted butter to soften at room temp.

            (Note, our oven broke 2hrs before our dinner party so I had to go to plan be - the backyard Weber! Could also do in the oven at 300. No need for lower temp / longer cook time if you watch the internal temp of the meat.)

            -- coat filet with softened butter and place filet on a cooking rack on a baking sheet. Place baking sheet on grill and roast at 300 +/- for about 20 mins, then turn filet over on cooking rack and continue roasting till internal temp is 125, about another 20 mins. Forget the clock here, instead, use the thermometer to tell you when to take it off the grill. 125 is your target! Using this indirect process, the outside of the filet doesn't overcook. Simply keep an eye on your grill temp and the cover closed to ensure an even process.

            -- while filet is roasting on the grill, soften up about a qtr stick of unsalted butter, add half a shallot minced, a small crushed clove of garlic, some cracked pepper and a quarter cup of finely chopped italian parsley - to make a simple herb butter.

            -- when the filet reaches 125 at it's thinnest section, remove from grill and sear each side 1-2 minutes in a medium hot 12" skillet with a couple tablespoons of olive oil till you get a nice even char. For best results, make sure oil is hot, almost smoking, prior to searing filet.

            -- after searing, coat with herb butter, cover with foil and allow to rest for a good 30+ mins. The long rest is essential (enjoy a drink and apps with your company) and even tho the tenderloin cools, the results were superb.

            -- after resting, untie filet and cut into 1" sections for plating.

            -- plate with a salsa verde, some garlic mashed red potatoes and a small side of your favorite greens.

            Filet was full of flavor, absolutely fork tender and melt in your mouth good and the salsa verde was a great compliment!

            salsa verde recipe:

            1. Barbara.....

              How did the experiment turn out?

              2 Replies
              1. re: fourunder

                That's a truly informative and useful post, fourunder. I just noticed it, I didn't see it when you posted it back in August. I have saved it to persue and refer to for my future beef roasting projects.

                Have a great holiday!

                1. re: bushwickgirl

                  Thanks B,.....same wishes to you and yours for the holidays.

                  After reading the original post myself....I remembered something that we did, which I believe was exclusive to our catering facility.....For reception hour, unless there was an upgrade in menu for Filet Mignon, for our carving stations we used to serve the Outer Deckles from Prime Rib......the reason for this was we had an over abundance of them as a result from trimming the Prime Ribs for Dinner service. As you well know, many people like to complain about Rib Eye steaks being too fatty with the pockets of fat between the Rib Eye and the Outer Deckle Cap.....At our club, we used to remove the outer cap and fat to leave only the center eye.....this served the purpose of making a smaller and more attractive piece of meat to fit on the plate with the other accoutrements served.....and no one would complain about the meat being too fatty.

                  Since we had all these outer deckles, the owner of facility did not want them to go to waste, so he decided to offer them on the carving stations at reception.....brined as corned beef or plain as regular steak, both which were always a big hit. I've commented before that the deckle makes the best pastrami and corned beef, much more so than the traditional brisket or navel plates and it also makes great steak.



                  Koreans may marinate/tenderize their Short Ribs with pureed Asian Pears, in place of Kiwi fruit, depending on recipe or personal family traditions.

                  Chinese tenderize with Baking Soda (velvetizing)