A great roast beef should be beautifully browned on the outside and tender pink when it’s cut open. Every thin slice should be so moist that it almost melts in your mouth when you bite. There’s a lot of conflicting information out there about how to make the perfect roast beef. What temperature should it be? What seasoning? What cut of meat is best? This simple guide will help you obtain the perfect roast beef every single time.
The Cut of Beef
You want to pick a large, tender cut of beef – avoid tough chuck roasts. Rib roast, top sirloin, tri-tip, round roasts, and tenderloin should all result in a nice roast beef. The meat should also be darker in color with a thick layer of fat and good marbling throughout so that it can stay juicy through the roasting process.
Preparing the Beef
Make sure to take the beef out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before you cook it. Dress the meat following whatever recipe you choose. For most cuts of meat (especially leaner varieties) you will want to drizzle it well with olive oil (and whatever herbs and seasonings you are using) and rub it all over the roast.
While you are prepping the meat, preheat your oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit (240 degrees Celsius). Once your oven is ready, pop in the roasting tray. Turn the heat down immediately to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and let the roast continue cooking until your desired rarity is achieved. (Cooking times will vary – the following times are determined from a 3.5 pound roast!)
- For medium-rare meat the roast should take about 50-55 minutes.
- A medium roast will take approximately 1 hour exactly.
- A well done roast will take about 1 hour and 10-15 minutes.
*Another common method is preheating the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and cooking the roast at that temperature for half the time, and then turning the oven down to 375 for the rest of the time.
- Using a meat thermometer, check the internal temp of your roast. It should reach 150 degrees F for a medium-rare roast, 160 degrees F for a medium roast, and 175 degrees F for a rare roast
- Cooking temperatures vary depending on the weight of your roast. For every pound of meat you’re roasting, it will take approximately 12 minutes for rare, 14 minutes for medium, and 16 minutes for well-done.
Serving the Roast
When you take the roast out of the oven, make sure to let it rest for at least 20 minutes. This will allow the juices to spread throughout the roast and will make it much more tender and delicious. Carve thin slices, as this will exemplify the tenderness of roast much better.
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