How to Make the Perfect Roast Beef in the Oven

You can learn how to make the perfect roast beef in the oven. In fact, I think it is one of the easiest main dishes to make.

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.

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. 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 in 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, 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 on 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.

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 7 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

Ingredients

  • 3 to 4 pound roast like a ribeye 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 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.

Video

Nutrition

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 CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. D FORTNUM

    My mom was not a great cook, but she taught me her “secret” to the perfect roast. Slice off the layer of fat from the bottom and set it aside. Heat the oven to 425-450. Season the roast, salt, pepper and garlic powder, put beef broth and onion soup mix in pan. Put the roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Turn the oven down to 325 and drape the layer of fat over the top of the roast. Cook til medium rare and let sit. This way has never failed me.

      • Rose Solis

        Hi Stephanie,
        I could not print the recipe.
        From this recipe, when you say: “Bake the roast for approximately 25 to 30 minutes for every pound of meat for a roast to be cooked to medium.”
        from the oven setting, is it really “bake” , just plain bake? with 325 degrees, and not convection roast or not convection bake?

        Thanks,
        Rose

  2. TheCapnVideo

    Nice of you to mention searing the beef, you didn’t tell how that is done. Since so many people in the comments seem to be novices I am adding it here. You may not agree with my method, but you haven’t tasted my roasts either…

    For those that follow:
    To sear your roast…

    Realize it is going to sizzle and spit so you will not be surprised or scared from the noise and spatter.

    Put your heaviest skillet on to heat up. You want a hot skillet so set the fire for medium and let it warm up fully. If this is a heavy pan, like cast iron, let it heat for 5 minutes or longer.

    Prepare your roast for searing by patting it dry with a towel (or paper towels) then season the roast simply, black pepper maybe garlic salt or seasoned salt. Minimize your use of salt before searing.

    When the pan is hot add your lard or beef tallow. Oils like Olive and Corn smoke at lower temps. IF you must use oil use a high temp oil like peanut oil or sunflower oil. Add enough oil to a depth of a half centimeter. Turn your fire to HIGH.

    When the roast goes into the pan you do not want to suck the heat out of the center of the pan it will be difficult to get the pan back up to temperature. Place the roast in the pan to one side not in the center.

    Patience is your friend here, you do not want to move the roast for about 3 minutes. When you do, flip it, onto its opposite side, on the far side of the pan. Let it sit for another 3-4 minutes before picking another side to roll it to, always hugging the outside of the pan to assure you are hitting a hot spot on the bottom. Continue in this fashion until the roast is seared (sealed) on all sides.

    Then proceed with roasting.

    • Allen Ryan

      Why is,anyone using any kind of Frankenfoods oils like canola or corn oil? In fact, there is no such thing as a canola plant, it is a made up name. It is actually from the rapeseed plant, and is considered a pesticide by the EPA.

      Coconut oil or avocado oil are best for searing, grass fed butter is another good choice. The mainstream media and the FDA have totally misled people about the food we eat. It’s all about the money, vegetable oils are made in a laboratory, and are much cheaper to make. Do your homework on this topic.

      • CLee

        I agree with you about the FDA and media brainwashing us to use products that make the industries high profits without concern for health. That said, the crafting of the message can persuade or polarize, intended or not. The latter has become the trend, conveying a tone of condemnation. These comments are offensive and divisive.

      • Stephanie

        I hate the way the media treats food. I would rather give people ideas about shifting to healthier alternatives when possible. I think where consumers spend their money drives shift and change.

  3. Linda Stosberg

    Help! I am baking 2 small roast (sirloin tip I think). One is about 3 lbs and the other 2.5 or so. Can I cook both together? They have been marinating for about 6-8 hours. I want them real pink (not rare) because I plan to heat in the skillet , sliced with wine gravy and want the finished product slightly pink when served. What temp should I use and how long should I cook and is it OK to cook together. Hope you can respond soon. Thanks.

  4. Carol mahoney

    Sometimes you say 325 for three hours and sometimes 350 two hours. I have a four pound bottom round toast. I plan on going 325 for two hours figuring 30 minutes per pound and using a thermometer using a cookie sheet and rack does that sound right

  5. Tonya Worner, loves to cook

    This page has been a big help to me. I put my 2 1/2 lb roast in the oven, uncovered with olive oil rubbed on it with sea salt & pepper. I put a pinch of garlic powder on it as well as a package of dry onion soup and 2 cups of water . I baked it on 325° for almost 3 hrs and it came out delicious and moist. It was picking k in the middle, yummy.

    • Stephanie

      I am happy this worked out well for you. Roasting meat is a great way to make delicious meat. This technique is so basic you can easily use this for most any cut of beef.

    • I can't cook

      Combine onion soup powder and water and pour over roast? Or pour water in pan, and put dry onion soup powder on top of roast?

      • Elaine Williams

        Poor thing! After the olive oil rub I would maybe roll the roast around in the dry mix, then pour the water into the pan on the side – not over the top of the roast – that will remove the salt, pepper and other seasonsing

  6. Patty

    Very good information!! We love a good moist roast beef sandwich and of course the Sunday roast beef dinner.

    I would rub the eye roast with a little veg oil, garlic powder, salt and cracked pepper.

    I put in the oven covered in foil at 350.

    But lately they come out dry.

    One question which may sound stupid-when using a meat thermometer I know you go to the thickest part of beef out how deep do you put it in?? If I don’t go deep enough ( but careful to not hit bottom) I’m worried it will be undercooked.

    By the way we all prefer Medium well!! A LITTLE pink is ok.
    I think I’ll be switching prime meats!!

    • Stephanie

      My first question is are you cooking all roasts for the same amount of time. I used to cook a roast for say 2 hours because that’s how long I thought it took to cook a roast. Now I look at the package, and do the math, and my roasts come out much better.

      I would put the thermometer in the thickest part of the beef and measure the temperature there. Stick the thermometer halfway. If you push it too far through, it will simply be reading past the middle, and it will read at a higher temperature.

  7. Marianne

    Thanks for this recipe. I have an Angus Beef Chuck Tender roast USDA choice. Looks like a really good amount of marbeling. It also has an Angus label that says “Oven Roast.” However, it only 1.73lbs. Hey, I’m only one person. So, should it take about an hour in the oven? I cook a lot, but have ruined a roast beef by cooking it on too high of a temperature. I do have a meat thermometer. Any other tips would be great, but just want to be sure that I should still follow cooking times listed with such a small roast. Thanks in advance !

    • Stephanie

      I am sorry I didn’t reply sooner. I am glad it worked out ok for you. I would think you should as a rule at 350 degrees multiply the weight times 20 minutes. For example 1 pound x 20 minutes= 20 minutes. It isn’t a set time, as different roasts will require a different cooking time.

    • Stephanie

      You can do what you like, but this technique is roasting, it will brown. We always brown meat before we could it in liquid for flavor, but in roasting you don’t need to do that.

  8. Michelle Bowles

    I need to cook a roast, but i was told 200 degrees. My roast weighs 2.39 pounds. I’ll be working most of the day. So if I were to cook it at 200 degrees, how long should it be in the oven?

  9. Marie

    Like your info. I want to cook an Eye Round roast in the oven.Today. I heard cooking it at 250* would help to make it very tender. 3 1/2 lbs. How long should cook in the oven to get medium? Thanks, Marie.

  10. Fyllis

    I think a lot of people here are confusing a beef roast (just the roast) with pot roast (where you cook potatoes, onions, celery and carrots in the pan along with the roast.
    The keys to a good beef roast are:
    *The cut – good marbling throughout – get a choice or prime cut.
    *The marinade – simple salt and pepper is really all you need, but you can add extra seasoning if desired. Let it marinade in the fridge at least 8 to 24 hours so the flavors get into the meat and not just on the surface.
    *Allow the roast to warm to room temperature before roasting (about an hour or so).
    *Truss the roast for uniform shape so it cooks evenly.
    *Roast Low and Slow! Roasting on high heat will dry the roast and it won’t cook uniformly.
    *Allow the roast to rest at least 15-20 minutes under a foil tent before carving. This allows the internal juices to flow back throughout the meat. When meat is cooked (regardless of the meat or cooking method) the juices will go toward the center of the meat – away from the heat source. If you cut the meat immediately, all those collected juices will run out onto the serving platter. By allowing it to rest, the juices will remain IN the meat providing a more moist and flavorful end result.

    And don’t discard those wonderful juices left in the pan! That is what you create the au jus and/or gravy from!

    I like to serve my roast with homemade garlic mashed potatoes, gravy, corn-on-the-cob (in the winter I use my frozen corn ‘off the cob’), fried okra and/or roasted parmesan asparagus and, if in season, sliced ripe tomatoes from the garden. Sweet iced-tea and a good Merlot tops it off. For dessert, just out-of-the-oven homemade apple or peach pie a la mode.

    Bon Apatite!

  11. Mark

    Thanks for this guidance. I really love crock pot roasts but they are very hit or miss when I make them so I prefer an oven roast.
    I have a 2.5 lb roast that I seared and put in the oven a few minutes ago. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Thanks again.

      • Stephanie

        I am sorry to hear that. It sounds like it was over cooked. Two things I might suggestion. See if your oven is cooking at the right temperatures. You may want to buy an oven thermometer and set your oven to a particular temperature and see if the thermometer matches in the oven. Also you may want to use a meat thermometer about 80% of the way through, so see what temperature the meat is. Once in awhile you can get a tough piece of meat that it harder to navigate around.

      • Serena Giordani

        Stephanie… I need to cook a WHOLE CHUCK ROAST for a buffet.. I am going to be pullin it apart instead of slicing.. I am going to be seasoning it Mississppi Style.( dry au jus powder, dry ranch dressing, butter on top, and pepperoncini’s).. It normally calls for slow cooker this way.. How do I go about doing this in the oven?…. Covered with foil? What Temp?..how long? I will be puttin this in a chaffing dish with sterno to keep it warm.. its almost 27 pounds.. any help would be appreciated. thanks

  12. Jeannine

    I’m cooking a Angus Beef top round roast 3lbs how do feel about putting in the potatoes and carrots celery onions all together

      • Jeannine

        then i would have to put water in the pan for the vegtables and potatoes will that take away the goodness of the meat taste

      • Stephanie

        You can do a couple of different things. First cut the vegetables up, drizzle some olive or vegetable oil over them. Season with salt and pepper and put on a baking sheet and bake those on a lower rack than the roast.

        If you are using a wire rack like did in the video, they aren’t going to pick up the meat juices. If you are resting the roast in a large pan, you could still coat the veggies with a little bit of oil, and then slide into the pan.

        The method I describe here is a dry roasting, and not a pot roast. Does this help?

  13. Dave

    Being an Aussie male I do most of the cooking and I always give a quick sear then put in slow cooker on low in the morning and it is always perfect when we get home in the afternoon from work just have to prepare the veggies lazy Aussie ways ????

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