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How to make the Perfect Roast Beef in the Oven

How to Make Roast Beef

Growing up it was on Sundays we would enjoy a Roast Beef. As an adult, I make these on longer weekends during the cooler months. There is just something about having a marvellous hearty roast to serve for dinner. These are actually quite uncomplicated to make. Often I have put these in a crock pot, but there is something about a slow roasted roast beef that is so hard to resist.
You can make the perfect roast beef with this recipe.

Meat Selection

You can use most any cut of meat when making a roast beef. I have used anything from a rib eye roast, to a rump roast, a sirloin roast, or even a chuck roast. All of these cuts taste quite good. Often my choice depends solely upon what is available for sale. This last week it happened to be that rib eye roasts were on sale. These are also known as standing rib roasts when the bone is left in the roast.

Meat Grades

So years ago I was a co-manager at a Kroger store. During my training, we received a fair amount of training within the store. I spent a month working in the butcher shop. It was there I learned about different grades of meat. Typically in the grocery stores you will see three different grades of meat, those are select, choice, and prime. Prime grade beef is the beef that is the highest of quality. The fat marbling is through out the meat. Prime beef has a lot of marbling through out the meat, less than 5% of all meat is graded prime beef. The next best grade of beef is choice, it has less marbling than Prime but more than Select. What I honestly like to do is to watch when meat goes on sale is to look at what grade of beef it is. I like to compare the price of Prime and Choice grade beef, if the difference is small, I will choose the Prime beef. It is the fat that gives you the flavor as well as the ability to make gravy and Yorkshire pudding.

Seasoning the roast

There is a lot of discussion around how to season a roast. If you want to marinate your roast, you need to do it a couple of days in advance. It takes times for the flavors to penetrate past the outside surface area of the meat. If you are going to take the meat from the package, and cook it your options are more limited. The flavors you add aren’t going to make it all of the way through the meat. The old standbys of salt and pepper will do the job for you. You can always serve your roast with beef gravy, au Jus, or a wine reduction sauce. There is no need to worry about getting a specific seasoning together, I promise salt and pepper will do the job quite well.

Cooking the roast

Ideally you should cook the roast low and slow. This has some advantages over cooking the meat as quickly as it can be cooked. By cooking it at a lower temperature the juices within the meat are retained, your final result will be more tender and retain more of the juices. Cooking slower means that the meat will cook more evenly, roasts are not always evenly shaped you don’t want portions of the meat to be over cooked. So by slow cooking the roast, you ensure that it will cook more evenly.

Wait before you Carve the Roast

So you have cooked your roast perfectly, what should you do now? Wait, wait 15 to 30 minutes. Why should you wait? This will give the meat a chance to rest. What does it mean to rest a roast? It means that the juices within the roast will get a chance to redistribute over the roast. This has a few advantages you can prepare the gravy, set the table, or even make some Yorkshire pudding while the meat is resting. You can cut it immediately when you remove it from the oven, but if you wait a few minutes, it will pay off. So when you pull the roast out of the oven cover it with foil and let it rest before carving it up.

Other optional steps

Trussing

Why would you truss a roast, you can truss a roast to help force it into a more even shape? This will help cook the roast evenly evening. It also can make the roast easier to slice when it comes time to slice the beef. Did you know that often you can ask the butcher to truss the roast for you? You can also truss the roast yourself with some butchers string that is sold in most grocery stores.

Searing before cooking

You can sear the roast before you cook the roast. What this does is to help brown the roast which will give your meat more flavor. You could stick your roast in an extremely hot oven and then turn the oven down, but this can dry out your roast. If you sear it you will sear the edges of the beef quickly, so it retains the juice. Personally I like to sear cuts such as chuck and sirloin when I cook roast, these cuts are leaner and do not self baste like a roast with more marbling.

How to make the Perfect Roast Beef in the Oven

  • Author:
  • Recipe Type: Main Dish
  • Prep time:10 minutes
  • Cook time:2 hours
  • Serves: 8
How to make the Perfect Roast Beef in the Oven

You can make your own perfect roast beef.

Ingredients

  • 1 3 to 4 pound roast
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons black pepper, crushed or ground

Instructions

To prepare the meat remove from the refrigerator 60 minutes before cooking. This will give the roast a chance to reach room temperature. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. If the roast is very lean you may want to drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil or two over the roast. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the roast. Place the roast on a wire rack on a baking sheet. Bake the roast for approximately 25 to 30 minutes for every pound of meat for a roast to be cooked to medium. Adjust accordingly for your preferred level of doneness. You should use a meat thermometer to determine when the roast is done.

Push the meat thermometer all of the way into the center of the roast. Pull the roast from the oven when the inside temperature of the roast is about 10 degrees less than your desired level of doneness. The temperature of the roast may rise while the roast is cooking. Let the roast rest for at least 15 minutes, tented in aluminum foil to keep warm, before carving to serve.

Rare : 120 - 130 degrees - bright purple red, tender, juicy

Medium Rare: 130-135 degrees - bright red, warm, tender very juicy

Medium: 135 -145 degrees - rich pink, slightly juicy

Medium well: 145 - 155 degrees - tan with slight pink, firm, slight juice

Well Done: 155 and above - tan to brown, very little juice, meat can become tough

So if you want a medium rare roast remove it from the oven when the internal temperature reaches 120, it will rest for 15 minutes. The internal temperature will rise while the meat is resting. It is always best to use a meat thermometer if you have one to ensure you cook the roast to your desired level of doneness.

PLEASE NOTE: The cooking time is longer that is noted. The roast can take up to 3 hours.

Print Recipe

Now you can go out and make you Roast Beef easily in your oven. I will come out juicy and flavorful without a lot of extra work on your part. Tell me, what do you serve with your roast beef?

  • Judy Willington

    Trying my very first roast in the oven today ;) Wish me luck. Hope it turns out as good as yours. My Mom use to cook roasts often while I was growing up but unfortuneatly she didn’t pass on many cooking skills to me. My meats always turn out VERY tough anytime I try to cook, hoping this one will be a hit! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  • Brad Fink

    try peeled carrots on the bottom of roast pan add 1 beer and a beer bottle of water package of onion soup mix place roast on top of carrots fat side down surround roast with peeled potatoes and onions cook on low heat

  • Tammy

    I just looked up this site to remind me of the time and temp I need but, we have a store here called Olives Oil that has all kids of flavor oils. I take sliced mushrooms and onions and make a bed and put kosher salt and some Italian seasoning with Tuscan herb olive oil drizzled over a chuck roast, cook it to a medium, medium rare and it turned out so yummy.

  • Jay Johnson

    This turned out excellent on a 3.75 pound roast. Its straight forward and easy – I went liberal with the seasonings and it was great. I thawed the roast in a cold refrig for 36 hours and I think this helped (I do the same with my steaks). Thanks for posting this!

  • mom24dogs

    Oh yes, I did use my meat thermometer however the little chart kind of gives you a guesstimated timeline for getting it into the oven on time.

  • crismahn

    First of all let me say thank you for this wonderful page about roasting beefs. Excellent stuff! This evening I cooked my first roast beef. It was a 4 1/4 pound boneless rib-eye roast. I seasoned it with fresh ground “Olde Thompson” garlic pepper- which also contains sea salt. I cooked it on a rack, raised maybe 1/2 an inch, if that, off the bottom of a speckled enameled roasting pan. I cooked it in a 350 degree oven uncovered for right around 2 1/2 hours- until the meat thermometer pointed to mid range medium-rare. I basted it 3 times during cooking with the juices from the bottom of the pan. After removing it from the oven I took it from the pan, placed it on a serving plate and covered it with aluminum foil. I then poured the fatty juices out of the pan and deglazed with port. I added that liquid to a already simmering saucepan of canned beef gravy (yes I know, I am a heretic ;^) ). Let me say that the roast looked absolutely beautiful coming out of the oven with a wonderful flavor but not at all dried out or “hard”. It was cooked to perfection and tasted great along with horse radish, mashed potatoes and green peas. Interestingly this very easy recipe came right off the package that the roast came in- bought at Walmart. But it pretty much goes along with what I have read here. WRT to covering while cooking, It wasn’t necessary in my case. Again, thank you Ms Manley for this great page. Chris (San Diego, CA)

    • http://www.copykat.com Stephanie Manley

      I think your roast sounds completely amazing. I totally get that a can of gravy can be a nice flavor enhancer. No shame there. I will have to check out that “Olde Thompson” garlic pepper.

      Thank you for giving the recipe a try.

  • mom24dogs

    Here is a handy tool to use ensuring you get your timing down. https://www.cookipedia.co.uk/recipes_wiki/Meat_cooking_time_calculator_Imperial
    You have to make sure you pick the link that calculates imperial measurements as it is a UK calculator. You put in the cut of meat, desired doneness and the time you want to serve it and it gives you a step by step how to starting with preheating the oven. See if it interests you at all.

    • http://www.copykat.com Stephanie Manley

      Thank you for this. I still encourage folks to use a meat thermometer ;)