How to Calculate Roasting Times

by Jeffrey Brian Airman

Bone-in roasts cook faster.

Venison roast with roasted potatos image by Elzbieta Sekowska from Fotolia.com

Calculating the roasting time of meats or poultry can remove some of the worry about preparing a big meal by making sure that all the elements of the meal will be ready at the same time. Roasting foods to a delicious golden brown is a matter of understanding the properties of the foods and controlling the conditions of the roast. You can use some simple timing calculations next time you plan to roast a meal.

Determine four time calculations: preheating; initial hot roast; low temperature roasting; and final hot roast.

Write down 20 minutes for preheating the oven and 30 minutes for the initial hot roast. Roasting needs to start in a hot oven, 400 to 450 degrees F for 30 minutes before you lower the temperature.

Calculate the time for the longer low temperature portion of the roast. Multiply the total weight of the food in pounds by 30 minutes when roasting below 300 degrees F, 20 minutes when roasting from 300 to 375 degrees F, and 15 minutes when roasting at 400 degrees F and above. For example, 10 pounds of food in a 350 degree oven would slow roast for about 3 hours and 20 minutes.

Add another 20 minutes for a final hot roast period. The oven again will be turned up to 400 to 450 degrees during this final part of the cooking process.

Add the four times to calculate total roasting time. This time will give you a good estimate and allow you to monitor the progress of the roast.


  • Bone-in meats tend to cook faster than boneless because the bone conducts heat to the interior. Always thaw meats in the refrigerator before roasting. Meats should rest for 5 to 10 after roasting to allow the internal juices to settle. Slicing food too soon will result in a wet cutting board and dry meat.

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Photo Credits

  • Venison roast with roasted potatos image by Elzbieta Sekowska from Fotolia.com

About the Author

Jeffrey Brian Airman is a writer, musician and food blogger. A 15-year veteran of the restaurant industry, Airman has used his experience to cover food, restaurants, cooking and do-it-yourself projects. Airman also studied nursing at San Diego State University.