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What Are the Best Tips for Cooking Roast Beef?

By Christina Edwards
Updated May 16, 2024
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Choosing the right cut of beef is essential when cooking roast beef. The beef can either be plain or seasoned before being cooked. To ensure even cooking, the beef should be left out until it reaches room temperature. It can then be cooked in a hot oven until a meat thermometer indicates a safe internal temperature. Letting the roast sit for several minutes before carving it can also help create more tender roast beef.

The first step of cooking roast beef is choosing the right cut of meat. Typically, cuts labeled as tenderloin or rib-eye cuts will result in the most tender roast beef, but these cuts of meat are also more expensive than other cuts. Sirloin roasts are often less expensive, and they can be used as well.

A layer of fat is also often desirable when cooking roast beef. This will help baste the meat while it cooks, which will result in moist dish. Fat can also add flavor to a beef roast.

Beef does not necessarily need to be seasoned prior to cooking, but many people prefer to season roast beef. One or two simple seasonings, like salt and pepper, can be sprinkled on the meat, for instance. An herb rub or an herb paste can also rubbed onto the meat when cooking roast beef.

After any seasonings are applied, the meat should be allowed to reach room temperature. This will help ensure that the entire roast cooks evenly. To accomplish this, the meat can be left in a covered dish on a counter for a few hours. The meat may spoil, however, if it is left out for too long, so it is important to periodically test the temperature of the meat.

Before cooking roast beef, many individuals also sear the surface of the meat. This should be done in a very hot pan with a small amount of oil. Searing meat correctly will create a crust on the outside of the roast and make it more flavorful. Contrary to popular belief, however, searing meat does not actually keep the juices from escaping from the meat.

As soon as the meat has been seared, it should be put into a hot oven. Many cooks place the meat in a roasting pan. If this method of cooking roast beef is used, a rack or grill should be placed on the bottom of the pan. This will allow the hot air to circulate around the meat, which will result in more even cooking. The meat can also be placed directly on an oven rack with a pan below to catch the juices, but this method is typically messier and possibly dangerous.

The internal temperature of the roast should be checked periodically, using a meat thermometer. For a rare roast, the temperature should read 125 degrees F (52 degrees C) and a medium rare roast should have an internal temperature around 130 to 140 degrees F (55 to 60 degrees C). Medium roasts should have an internal temperature of about 145 to 150 degrees F (63 to 66 degrees C), while roasts that are well done will have a temperature of around 160 degrees F (71 degrees C).

Roast beef should be removed from the oven just before its insides have reached the desired temperature. Covering the meat with foil and letting it sit for roughly 15 minutes before carving is usually advised. Doing this will allow the juices to settle back into the roast, resulting in moist meat.

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Discussion Comments
By Lostnfound — On Jan 19, 2014

I cooked roast beef for Christmas dinner using a recipe I found online. I had a sirloin tip roast and all I did was season it with salt and pepper and roast it in a moderate oven, rather than a hot oven. It was great, and the family loved it, so I guess I found a good recipe.

If I remember correctly, about halfway through cooking, I did take it out, check the temperature of the meat and turned the roast over. That way, it browned evenly on every side. The recipe called for using one of those V-shaped roasting racks, but I don’t know what happened to mine, so I used an aluminum pie pan. Worked fine, as far as I could tell.

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