Best Cut Of Beef For Oven Roast

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Choosing the Best cut of beef for oven roast may be difficult. How do you choose what’s best? I have a trick for you. Find out here! There is a lot to consider when choosing a cut of beef to roast. Tenderness, flavor, and cooking time. But the most popular barbecue dishes are made from roasts. As such, I have decoded the pros and cons of different outdoor beef cuts that make great steaks.

Classic Roast Beef

Here’s a timeless roast beef recipe that can be made with rump roast, round roast, or sirloin roast. Slow-roasting on low heat works magic on tougher cuts of meat and provides a tender roast beef recipe you’ll love!

Side view of a medium rare roast beef on a cutting board with a couple slices in front of it.

My mother knows a thing or two about cooking beef. She knows all of the cuts and the best way to prepare them. Perhaps it’s because she came of cooking age during a time when most neighborhoods still had local butchers who prepared the cuts themselves and freely shared information with customers about what to do with them.

How to Make Roast Beef

I remember accompanying her to our local corner butcher (now long gone) years ago. The butcher had these huge graphics of beef, pork, lamb on the wall behind the meat counter showing what part of the animal the various cuts came from. It was easy to see that a chuck roast came from the shoulder, and that a rump roast came from, well, the rump.

These days most people buy their meat already packed in plastic at the supermarket. If you want to talk to a butcher, you have to work to find one in your area.

Back to the roast. My mother typically uses a rump roast when making roast beef. This is her method for getting the most out of this (relatively) less expensive cut. (You can also use a round roast or a sirloin tip for this recipe.)

A sliced roast beef cooked to medium rare beef temperature.

How to Make Tender Roast Beef: Go Low and Slow

She starts the roast at a high temperature to get browning for flavor, and then lowers the oven temp and cooks the beef “slow and low” for a couple hours.

This slow roasting method at low heat is good for tougher cuts of beef; the lower heat prevents gristle from getting too tough. Roast beef made this way is easy, relatively inexpensive (compared to other cuts of beef), and you get great leftovers for roast beef sandwiches.

A plate of rump roast sliced and topped with gravy.

Choosing the Best Cut for Roast Beef

The cut you buy will depend on what you’re using the roast beef for, your budget, your personal preferences. If you’re looking for a tender cut for a special occasion or to serve to guests, go for a more expensive cut:

  • Prime rib
  • Ribeye
  • Beef tenderloin

For meals that aren’t big affairs, you can still get that wonderful roast beef flavor, but without the high price tag.

  • Petite shoulder
  • Sirloin tip
  • Rump roast
  • Bottom round

Whatever cut you decide on, look for one with some fat and visible marbling for better flavor.

A tied roast gives a more uniform shape for even cooking. If you have a butcher, ask them to tie the roast for you. Or you can tie it yourself with some kitchen twine.

Tips for The Best Roast Beef

  • Every oven is different, so the timing will vary. For the most accurate cooking time, use a meat thermometer to test the doneness of your roast. Bring the internal temperature to 135°F (for medium rare meat), 145°F (for medium meat), or 150°F (for medium well).
  • The size and shape of your roast makes a difference in cooking time. As a general rule of thumb, at 225°F, cook your roast for about 30 minutes per pound, after the initial browning (for a medium rare). But be sure to check at least 30 minutes before it should be done, just to make sure.
  • You may need to cook bone-in roast a bit longer than boneless roasts, because the bone can act like an insulator.
  • If your roast doesn’t have any fat, you can rub the roast with butter or olive oil. Or top the roast with some slices of bacon to add some fat. If using butter, it’ll brown faster, so keep an eye on it and shorten the browning time at the beginning.

How to Store Roasted Beef

  • Refrigerate leftover roast beef, wrapped in plastic or foil, about 3 to 5 days.
  • To freeze, we recommend slicing it into portions for easier use later, but you can simply put the entire roast in the freezer. Cool to room temperature and double-wrap in plastic or foil, then, seal in a zip-top bag, squeezing out as much air as you can.
  • To thaw, defrost in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat in a pre-heated 350°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

How to Make the BEST Oven Roast Beef

The BEST Oven Roast Beef is tender, flavorful and perfect every time! Sunday roast has been a tradition in our family for years. We hope you love this classic recipe as much as we do.

Roast beef on a plate next to a bowl of potatoes and gravy

How Do You Cook a Roast in the Oven?

Don’t be intimidated by oven roast. It couldn’t be easier! There are just a few tricks to getting that buttery, melt-in-your-mouth roast beef you love:

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  • Bring the meat to room temperature. Take it out of the fridge and let it relax a little before roasting. This will help create a tender roast beef. 
  • Start with the right pan or pot. A heavy duty roasting pan or a Dutch oven works best (As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.). It needs to be able to transfer from stove top to oven.
  • Sear that meat! Using hot oil, sear all sides of your roast until there’s a nice brown crust. This step will ensure all those delicious juices stay locked in and give it a gorgeous color.
  • For tantalizing fall-apart meat remember these two words: LOW and SLOW. Simmering at a lower heat for a longer period of time will give even tougher types of meat that tender texture your family will die over! 
  • Make sure your meat never roasts dry. Keep it covered in its natural juices and beef broth for maximum juicy tenderness.

How Long Does it Take to Cook a Roast Beef in the Oven?

Depending on the size of roast, plan to keep that meat snug in the oven for at least three hours (remember low and slooooow) for a three pound roast. Then add about an hour per extra pound on top of that.

But even better than watching a clock is using a meat thermometer. Oven roast is ready when it’s 160-165 degrees inside for a well done roast, or when it easily pulls apart with a fork. For medium rare, internal temperature should reach 125-130 degrees. For medium, internal temp should reach 140-150 degrees.

Roast beef made in the oven that has been sliced and on a plate

Which Roast Beef Cut is Best for an Oven Roast?

Choosing a cut of meat can seem confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. With the low and slow method, most cuts of beef can be roasted to tender perfection. But here are a few options to look for at the grocery store:

  • Rump Roast
  • Chuck Roast or Shoulder Pot Roast
  • Rib Roast
  • Ribeye Roast
  • Tenderloin Roast
  • Top Sirloin Roast or Steak
  • Tri-Tip Roast (try this Rosemary Tri-Tip Roast!)
  • Round Tip Roast
  • Bottom Round Roast
  • Top Round Roast
  • Eye of Round Roast

Optional Roast Beef Cooking Methods

Growing up, Sunday just wasn’t Sunday without the waft of savory roast permeating the house. But sometimes during the summer, our mom refused to heat up the house using the oven. This Slow Cooker Roast Beef came to the rescue during those hot months and is so delicious! And now with the popularity of the Instant Pot, a homemade roast can be on the table in a fraction of the time. Try our Instant Pot Sunday Pot Roast  for a quick and easy roast dinner.

More Flavors and Add Ins

Looking for more flavors and add-ins to try? Here are some more popular additions:

  • Red wine: Add a splash of red wine to the broth to get a rich, deeper flavor.
  • Garlic: It never hurts to throw in a clove or two or seven with your roast. Mash the cooked garlic in with mashed potatoes or serve them whole with your roast and vegetables.
  • Potatoes and carrots: Add some quartered potatoes and thick-cut carrots to the roasting pan with the roast beef before cooking to make an all-in-one meal.
  • Pepper: Add some extra black pepper for a little kick.
  • Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme: A teaspoon of each will make a delicious herb mix that you can sprinkle over the top for a more earthy flavor.
Gravy being poured over sliced roast beef

How to Make Beef Gravy from Beef Drippings

Don’t forget about the show-stopper topper: gravy! Those delectable drippings from the pan make the richest, creamiest gravy you’ve ever had. It’s delicious over roast, mashed potatoes, veggies, rice, just about anything. Just use our simple tips for How to Make the Best Beef Gravy. It’s easy, fool-proof and oh so yummy.

How to Make the Perfect Roast Beef in the Oven

You can learn how to make the perfect roast beef in the oven. When you use this simple technique for cooking your roast beef in the oven, you will never want to try another way to make a flavorful and juicy tender roast beef. You will have roast beef perfection every time you make a roast.

Roast beef on a wood cutting board.

How to Make Delicious Roast Beef

Growing up it was on Sundays we would enjoy Roast Beef. As an adult, I make these on long weekends during the cooler months. There is just something about having a marvelous hearty roast to serve for dinner.

Beef roasts are quite uncomplicated to make. Often I have put them in a crockpot, but there is something about a slow-roasted roast beef that is so hard to resist.

Meat Selection

You can use almost any cut of meat when making 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.

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Often my choice depends on what is available or on sale. This last week it happened to be that ribeye 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 at the store. I spent a month working in a butcher shop. It was there I learned about different grades of meat.

Typically in the grocery stores, you will see three distinct 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 throughout the meat. Prime beef has a lot of marbling throughout 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 time 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 special seasoning together. I promise salt and pepper will do the job quite well.

Roast beef slices on a wood cutting board.

Roast Beef Recipe Ingredients

Here is a list of what you need:

  • Beef roast
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper

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 and your final result will be more tender and juicy.

Cooking slower means that the meat will cook more evenly, roasts are not always uniformly shaped you don’t want portions of the meat to be overcooked. So by slow cooking the roast, you ensure that it will cook more evenly.

Do you need to cover the roast?

You do not need to cover the meat in this style of cooking. Here we are roasting. When you make a pot roast you are braising the beef.

Braising means cooking with liquid, a couple of examples are beef broth or beef stock. Both roasting meat and braising meat are both great ways to cook beef, but they are different from each other.

Wait Before You Carve the Roast

So you have cooked your roast perfectly, what should you do now? Wait for 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 an opportunity to redistribute within 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.

Searing the Beef

You can sear the beef if you like. Searing can help brown the roast on the outside. Some people believe this gives the roast a better flavor. I am not entirely satisfied if it enhances the flavor, but it makes the beef look wonderful and brown.

To sear the beef, I suggest an iron skillet. I add some oil to the pan, a good tablespoon. I like to use an oil that has a high smoke point. So something like canola, or your generic vegetable oil will be perfect. Fancy olive oil tends to burn at a lower temperature, so it isn’t ideal for this use.

Season the meat, and put it into the hot skillet with the hot oil. Let the meat rest there for a couple of minutes on each side.

If you try to move the meat around initially, it will stick. It is counter-intuitive to wait. When the meat is brown it will let you pull it to flip it to the other side.

Continue this process until all sides are browned. This step is not necessary for this recipe.

Other Optional Steps

Trussing

Why would you truss a roast? You can truss a roast to help force it into a more smooth shape. This will contribute to cooking the roast evenly.

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.

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