# How to adjust an oven to accommodate two items with different cook times and temperatures?

For dinner this evening we are cooking a roast beef and intend to serve a baked brie appetizer. Unfortunately, we only have one oven. To reach medium rare the roast needs 3 hours at 325° while the brie needs to be cooked at 400° for 20 minutes.

Is there a way to cook both of these items in the oven at the same time? Is it a matter of adjusting the length of time the brie needs to be in the oven?

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Is the Brie in puff pastry? – Jacob G Dec 31 '11 at 21:56
yes it is in puff pastry – ahsteele Dec 31 '11 at 22:21

I would cook the Brie at that same temperature for 30-35 minutes and it should be okay.

Alternatively, you could cook the roast fully, remove it from the oven, tent it with foil and then cook the Brie. The meat can rest while the Brie is cooking and being eaten. Prior to slicing the roast, heat up the pan drippings to a sizzling temp and baste to ensure a crispy crust. But if the appetizer course happens to last for 20-30 minutes, then the roast will have been resting for 40-50 minutes and could lose too much internal heat.

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Went with your first suggestion and things worked out perfectly! – ahsteele Jan 2 '12 at 16:44
Great to hear! Glad I could help. – Jacob G Jan 2 '12 at 16:48

use the following formula to compute: time of one item * the temperature of that item = the "degree-minutes" for that item. divide that large number by the other temperature to get the time for the other item.

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The main problem with this answer is that it is completely false. – SAJ14SAJ Apr 12 '14 at 3:26

@Jacob G is on the right track. It is better to roast your beef at a lower temperature for a longer time. Rather that relying on roasting for a fixed time and temperature you should go for an internal temperature of 122°F (Med Rare). If you reduce the oven temperature for the roast to below 300°F you will find that the internal temperature will not increase significantly during the resting period.

Testing has shown that when you roast beef at below 300°F it will only increase in internal temperature by 2-4°F during the resting period. If you roast meats at temperatures in excess of 300°F the internal temp will rise by 14-20°F during the resting period. This will cause a Medium Rare Roast to become shoe leather during the resting period.

By relying on lower temperatures and target internal temperatures you will be able to rest your roast and bake your brie during the rest period.

The testing referred to is on pp 408-9 of the "The New Best Recipe" book. A great book for anyone.

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