How to Make the Perfect Roast Beef in the Oven

You can learn the best way and every detail of 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 for any special occasion or Sunday dinner.

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. If you have leftover roast beef, you can always turn it into delicious warm roast beef sandwiches.

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

How to Choose the Best Beef

This recipe works well for most cuts of beef when making roast beef. You can use most cuts of boneless roasts, from a rib-eye roast to a rump roast, a top sirloin roast, top round roast, bottom round roast, or even an eye of round roast. All of these cuts taste quite good.

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.

The one cut of beef I do not recommend for roasting is a chuck roast. Chuch roasts need a longer amount of time to cook to become tender. You should braise a chuck roast.

What Are The Different Meat Grades and How Do They Matter When You Cook

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 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 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 are a lot of discussions about how to season a roast. If you want to marinate your roast, you must 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 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 and make the best roast beef.

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, it would be best to cook the roast low and slow. This has 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.

How to Cook Roast Beef in the Oven

  1. Allow the meat to rest at room temperature for an hour before cooking it.
  2. Preheat your oven to 325°F.
  3. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the roast. For leaner roasts, first, drizzle the meat with olive oil. Optionally, truss the roast with twine, which helps it to keep its shape and cook more evenly.
  4. Bake the roast on a baking sheet with a wire rack for 25-30 minutes for every 1 pound of meat (this will produce a medium roast). For example, a 4-pound roast will take approximately 120 minutes (2 hours).
  5. Determine what level of doneness you prefer. Check the meat’s temperature by inserting a meat thermometer into the thickest part. Aim to remove it when the meat internal temp is 10 degrees lower than your preferred doneness because of carry-over cooking.
  6. Allow the meat to rest for 15-30 minutes before enjoying!

Roast Beef Internal Temperature

  • 120-130°F for rare
  • 130-135°F for medium-rare
  • 135-145°F for medium
  • 145-155°F for medium well
  • 155°F and above is well done

Special Equipment

Using a meat thermometer is the only true way to know when the roast has reached the correct temperature range that you want. If you estimate just by how it looks visually, you might under or overcook the meat.

There are plenty of cooking thermometers available. Many thermometers have an instant digital read that will tell you what the meat is internally, so there is no guessing involved.

Do you need to cover the roast?

You do not need to cover the meat in this style of cooking which is roasting. A pot roast is a braised beef dish.

Braising means cooking with liquid, a couple of examples are beef broth or beef stock. Both roasting meat and braising meat are 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.

a slice of roast beef on a cutting board

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, and 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


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 butcher’s string that is sold in most grocery stores.

How to Serve Roast Beef

Serve your oven-baked roast beef with delicious sauces to accentuate the meat’s natural flavor. For instance, pour a classic brown gravy over the meat or an umami-filled mushroom sauce. Other condiments that taste fantastic with it are horseradish, Worcestershire, or even BBQ sauce.

You can’t go wrong with a simple herb garnish. Use fresh rosemary, thyme, or parsley to instantly upgrade the presentation of the roast beef when you serve it.

How to Store Leftover Roast Beef

You should store leftover roast beef in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Another option is to tightly wrap it in foil or plastic wrap, but there is a higher chance air will get in and deteriorate its quality, so a container is best. Allow it to fully cool before you transfer it to the refrigerator.

How to Freeze Leftover Roast Beef

You can freeze leftover roast beef in tightly wrapped plastic wrap or a vacuum-sealed bag in the freezer for up to 3 months.

The vacuum-sealed bag is a smart way of guaranteeing that the meat won’t get freezer burn prematurely. Make sure to safely thaw it in the refrigerator or a cold-water bath before reheating it.

What’s the Best Way to Reheat Roast Beef

For reheating your roast beef, I do not recommend the microwave as the meat can get tough. Place your meat into a moderate oven with an oven temperature of 350°F.

If you have some gravy or some au jus, or even beef broth, I like to add a bit of that to the pan, add my roast beef, wrap with foil, and reheat for about 20 minutes.

This ensures that the meat comes out tender and juicy, just like the first time.

What to Serve with Roast Beef

Here are some delicious side dishes to make and serve with roast beef:

Take a look at even more easy beef recipes and the best side dish recipes here on CopyKat!

Roast beef on a wood cutting board

How to make the Perfect Roast Beef in the Oven

You can make the perfect roast beef in your oven, it’s actually very easy to cook a roast! 
5 from 117 votes
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to make roast beef in the oven, Roast Beef
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 217kcal


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


  • 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 resting.
  • 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 and 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: Your cooking time depends on the size of your roast.



Calories: 217kcal | Carbohydrates: 0g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 103mg | Sodium: 3428mg | Potassium: 508mg | Sugar: 0g | Vitamin C: 81.7mg | Calcium: 508mg | Iron: 3.8mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


    • Boudreau Kathie

      I always preheat the oven to 450°. As soon as the roast goes in the over temp is turned down to 325°. Timing is the same as yours but that initial high heat gives a beautiful sear to the meat and keeps all the juices in.

  1. JimmyB

    5 stars
    I made this last night with great success. I had a chuck roast and it needed to be cooked but was not in the mood for pot roast. When I do a roast like this (dry heat) I brush it liberally with Kitchen Bouquet or Gravy Magic and then season it with Morton’s Nature Seasoning and fresh ground pepper. The roast was just shy of 3 lbs. I cooked it for one hour at 350. It was the perfect doneness for me. I cooked it standing up on a rack so the heat got to it all around. Took it out of the oven and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then I thin sliced it on an electric meat slicer. I served it with mashed potatoes and some gravy I made with leftover juice from another pot roast cooked earlier in the week. Even my picky eater liked it! Thanks for offering this recipe.

  2. Radu

    5 stars
    The last time I tried to do Roast beef, it was unsuccessful. Now, I give it a try by using your recipe and it was just perfect.

  3. Romaine

    It nice to hear your family fun at dinner time on weekends and cooler months BUT! It sure took you a very long time to get to the Recipe!!
    But thank You So Much For It.
    I’ll use it again…

  4. Beck and Bulow

    5 stars
    I used a rump roast, package of steamer gold potatoes and baby carrots. The meat was very tender and veggies soft, but held their shape.

    • Ellana

      I was impressed when the first recipe I looked had a step so I could send that recipe to my email. I was VERY disappointed to find no other recipes with that
      clever option.

5 from 117 votes (102 ratings without comment)

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