#11  
Old 06-23-2010, 10:14 AM
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Default Re: Roasting a whole or half a lamb in wfo

Also, if I did have some sort of spit made for the meat, if I did it whole, would this be an advantage over doing it while it lay in a pan?
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Old 06-25-2010, 02:42 PM
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Default Re: Roasting a whole or half a lamb in wfo

How would you do a pig? The same?
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Old 06-25-2010, 02:59 PM
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Default Re: Roasting a whole or half a lamb in wfo

I guess so, but that's a very weak answer if you think about it, because I believe pork and lamb behave differently when cooked.

I would do a separate search, Lwood.
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Old 06-28-2010, 10:18 AM
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Default Re: Roasting a whole or half a lamb in wfo

Right then.

I got some lamb as a test; a leg, a shoulder, a rack of ribs, a rump steak and a rolled shoulder of lamb, although I'd never heard of that one before.

The morning after the pizza bash, the oven was at 170c. Now, you guys are referring to 200, but I think you are working in Fahrenheit...? If so, then my oven temp in the morning was around 340F.

This might explain why the meat was cooked, all of it, leg 'n' all, in 2.5 hours.

Looks like that was my mistake, because the meat was cooked, as I said, but not 'achingly' soft. Seems like I should have waited for the oven to cool right down to 90c which is your 200f.

This is a major learning curve for me, then. I think I now have all the data I need to judge when to make my pizza fire, when to have a pizza party and how to follow that with a roast lamb.

And I have to consider who wants to eat like a king on the Saturday and again the following day. Not many perhaps.

So I might have to have a big fire, and not have any event on the day, just to get the temp up. Or have a medium fire and aim for the sensible lower temps for the roast.

Back to Sunday. The meat really did not have the appearance of being seared and glistening as I have had when doing a roast in the regular oven where we start with a high heat for 30 minutes and turn it down for the rest of the cooking.

Like I say, a learning curve. Oh, and I forgot to take any temp measurements inside the leg and shoulder. The ribs and the rump steaks were very well cooked, the ribs moist with the fat, the steaks rather dry.
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Old 06-28-2010, 10:39 AM
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Default Re: Roasting a whole or half a lamb in wfo

Hi PdeD!

You can put a roast in an oven in the 170 to 200 degree F range and keep it there for days! Well realistically 12 hours to a day. It will almost melt. Time beyond 8 hours or so is almost meaningless - it just gets more tender - but you do have to worry about it drying out. Shouldn't be a big problem in a sealed WFO but can be a problem in gas ovens where the combustion gases go through the oven and will dry stuff out. As you found you may have to cook some pieces in a covered container to keep it moist.

340 F is in the normal baking range and fully explains why you cooked in 2 1/2 hours. Good thing you were paying attention.

Experience is a wonderful thing. It resolves lots of questions and provides real guidance for the future!

Good Luck!
Jay
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Old 06-28-2010, 11:00 AM
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Default Re: Roasting a whole or half a lamb in wfo

Hi Jay

So a wfo with the door on, and the coals taken out is considered 'moist'?

Yes, you're so right I checked the meat when I did.

Given your description of the lamb make me want to have another go ASAP! But it'll have to wait.

Yes, I would be concerned about drying it out.

P de D

Last edited by Puy de Dome; 06-28-2010 at 12:52 PM. Reason: Added word
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Old 06-28-2010, 02:46 PM
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Default Re: Roasting a whole or half a lamb in wfo

As a reference for Pig, I tried a large 7kg leg using a meat thermometer -with the door shut, ( not a really good fit !) . This took 5 hours and even had crackling.
The leg was in an iron Paella pan which it did overhang a bit.
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Old 06-28-2010, 02:52 PM
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Default Re: Roasting a whole or half a lamb in wfo

Muppety - what temperature was the oven?
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Old 06-28-2010, 03:02 PM
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Default Re: Roasting a whole or half a lamb in wfo

Hi Tim/PdeD!

A WFO is more moist than gas ovens for sure. With electric ovens it depends.

WFOs are "moister" because with the door closed the exchange of "air" in the oven is limited. As water evaporates out of dough (or meat) it humidifies the oven (and actually pushes out some oxygen and more nitrogen). The relatively high humidity encourages gelatinization of dough which is the precursor to crust. On meat it just helps reduce drying out. In another email you said the "steaks" were a bit dry. Were they actually "dry" or more "well done"/overcooked which tends to come across as dry. With slower cooking they would have softened and probably felt more moist to the tongue. (Think of a barely cooked pot roast that feels tough and dry and a longer cooked one that falls apart).

NOTE: WFOs do lose humidity over time and that is good - it is important in getting great crust. You want the dough to bake in a gradually less humid environment so it is relatively dry at the end and you get a great curst. In regular ovens you usually remove the steam generation device after about 15 minutes. In WFOs the humidity just slowly wanes as steam escapes. Part of the magic of the WFO.
Jay
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Old 06-29-2010, 12:21 AM
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Default Re: Roasting a whole or half a lamb in wfo

Thanks for the clarification, Jay.

As for the 'steaks', you are absolutely right - they were well done, or very well done, not dry. They fell apart very easily.

Now, I don't have a door as such to my wfo - just the way I built it I'm afraid. I have to rely upon blocking the entrance with firebricks. Not very quick, but sort of works, but there is always a gap for air to exit/enter. That's not deliberate, like I say, and something I guess I'm stuck with.

I think when i started out building the oven, I had in mind pizza only, and didn't give any serious thought to a door.

Puy de D
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