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Making pot roast right now for dinner tonight, but have a couple questions that I’m just not altogether clear on...

I used a Dutch oven and it’s in a 275-degree oven currently. Once it’s done, I was planning to put it in the fridge until I reheat it about an hour before dinner time.

Should I...

  1. Remove the meat from the liquid and strain it before putting it in the fridge or leave the vegetables and strain after reheating?

  2. Cool the meat and liquid separately or together?

  3. Slice the meat before or after reheating?

  4. Just take it out when it’s done, let it all cool for 30 minutes on the counter before taking the whole Dutch oven (meat and unstrained liquid) and stick it in the fridge until ready to reheat?

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  • 1
    Approximately how many hours will it be from when you're finished cooking to when you want to serve it for dinner? Time-zones aside, we don't know when dinner is for you :)
    – Onyz
    Oct 5 '20 at 17:00
  • I'm PST. It's 10:10 am Oct 5 '20 at 17:11
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You will end up with different results depending on which options you select, but people's interpretation of "pot roast" varies greatly, so it's impossible to say if any particular set of answers is "better" than another.

For instance, if you like your pot-roast fall-apart tender, you should shred it before you let it cool down too much. It will be near impossible to get that same texture if the pot roast has been warmed back up.

Likewise, cutting up the chilled pot-roast will result in a much drier, firmer pot roast. It's also difficult to warm back up a whole roast without over-cooking the outside.

Personally, for my preferences (being able to cool it down and reheat it quickly while having succulent meat) -- I would:

  1. Separate the pot roast from the liquid to let it cool. Simply because the liquid is a huge thermal sink, and would make it take much longer to cool down the roast.

  2. Once the roast is cool enough to handle, I would slice it thickly across the grain. (warm enough that it breaks apart some while cooking, but not so much that it shreds entirely).

  3. Place the slices into a container, putting a little bit of the juices over each slice. (to prevent it from becoming dry as the muscle fibers contract; if the meat is firm enough, you can dip each slice back into the liquid, then the storage container).

  4. Store the rest of the liquid separately. If it's a heavy dutch oven, I would move the liquid to some other container, so I don't have to chill down and reheat the pot, too. If you have vegetables in your pot roast that you don't want turning into complete mush, I would put them in the container with the meat.

To reheat, I would heat the liquid first, and then put the slices into the liquid to let them warm through.

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  • Thanks! This helps me so much. Oct 5 '20 at 18:15
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Guessing your time available until dinner at maybe 10 hours, I'd have just cooked the whole thing much lower & slower and not allowed it to cool at all.

Allowing pot roast [or most meats] to cool then reheat will completely change the flavour [& imo, ruin it].

If you'd put it on at approx 90°C [190°F] it would have been ready to go in 10 - 12 hours without needing to be cooled.

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