v. roast·ed, roast·ing, roasts
1. To cook with dry heat, as in an oven or near hot coals.
2. To dry, brown, or parch by exposing to heat.
3. To expose to great or excessive heat.
4. Metallurgy To heat (ores) in a furnace in order to dehydrate, purify, or oxidize before smelting.
a. To ridicule or criticize harshly.
b. To honor at or subject to a roast.
1. To cook food in an oven.
2. To undergo roasting.
When you roast something, you are cooking it with dry heat, and the heat surrounds the food. Roasting is different from steaming or braising because you don’t want to add moisture to the food. For instance, a pot roast is actually a braised dish, because you add moisture and cover it to moisten and tenderize the food. Roast beef, on the other hand, is cooked without adding moisture.
In roasting, the food is cooked from the outside in, and the heat surrounds the food. Originally, roasting meant putting a chunk of meat on a spit and setting it over an open fire, and turning it frequently so that the fire seared and cooked the entire cut of meat. Now, most of us do our roasting in a conventional or convection oven.