How to Cook Roast Beef

Three Parts:Prepping the MeatRoasting the MeatFinishing the Roast

Roast beef is a classic comfort food that makes for a mouthwatering family meal - and there's usually some left over for delicious sandwiches the next day. Slowly roasting budget-friendly cuts of beef like rump roasts and round roasts until they're fall-apart tender brings out the best in their flavor. If you want tonight's meal to be one to remember, see Step 1 to get started.


  • 3 1/2 pounds of boneless rump roast, round roast, or sirloin tip
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh garlic bulb
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 Carrots, 3 parsnips, 1 medium onion and other cut vegetables, if desired

Part 1
Prepping the Meat

  1. Image titled Cook Roast Beef Step 1
    Bring your meat to room temperature. Removing your meat from the refrigerator a half hour before you start the roasting process will ensure that the beef cooks evenly and comes out to the right texture. If you place it in the oven while it's still cold, the cooking time will be thrown off, and the meat could come out either undercooked or tough.
    • A note about your meat: make sure you get rump roast, round roast, or sirloin - one of the cheaper cuts. Using the slow roasting method for prime cuts of beef doesn't work as well, since prime cuts are more tender. If you want to cook a prime cut of beef, see How to Cook a Prime Rib Roast.
    • Make sure the beef you get is boneless, and check for a dark pink, springy surface and plenty of marbling. Depending on the cut you get, it might have a cap of fat on top.
  2. Image titled Cook Roast Beef Step 2
    Truss the meat (optional). If you want your roast to come out in a pretty, symmetrical shape, you can truss it before you roast it. You can either ask your butcher to truss the roast for you or do it yourself using kitchen twine. Simply cut a few lengths of twine and tie them around the beef at intervals down its length. You can skip this step if you don't mind how your beef will look on the serving platter.
  3. Image titled Cook Roast Beef Step 3
    Season the meat. Rub it all over with olive oil, then sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper on all sides. Use your hands to pat the seasoning into the meat. If you'd like, add other seasonings like garlic powder or ancho chile pepper - however, using this roasting method, the beef will be quite flavorful without these extra spices.
    • Seasoning all sides will ensure even cooking and flavoring in the final product when you roast red meat. Seasoning all over will also help seal in the meat's juices.
  4. Image titled Cook Roast Beef Step 4
    Prep the vegetables. If you plan to serve roasted vegetables as well, prep them now. Peel the carrots and chop them into bite-sized pieces. Peel the parsnips and do the same. Peel the onion and roughly chop it. You can add other vegetables to your roast, like sweet potatoes, squash, or anything else that's in season. If all you want is the beef, skip this step.
  5. Image titled Cook Roast Beef Step 5
    Break up the garlic. Break apart the bulb and place the individual cloves on a cutting board. Don't peel the garlic, since that would cause it to cook too quickly. Simply break it up, and at the end of the roasting process you'll have delectable roasted garlic to go with your beef.

Part 2
Roasting the Meat

  1. Image titled Cook Roast Beef Step 6
    Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Image titled Cook Roast Beef Step 7
    Assemble the roasting tray. If you're using vegetables, pile them into your roasting tray, then spread them out to make an even layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Lay out the garlic in an even layer. Place the beef on top of the vegetables.[1]
    • If you're not using vegetables, simply place the beef in the roasting tray and arrange the garlic cloves around it.
    • In place of a roasting tray, you can use a roasting pan with higher sides and a roasting rack inside it when cooking beef roasts. The rack holds the meat away from accumulating juices in the bottom of the pan, allowing it to cook more evenly on all sides, because heat can circulate evenly throughout the pan and around the beef.
  3. Image titled Cook Roast Beef Step 8
    Place the tray in the oven and roast for 1/2 hour. For the first half hour, the beef will cook at a higher temperature, which will give the outside of the beef a good sear. Make sure you remember to come back to the oven after 1/2 hour.
  4. Image titled Cook Roast Beef Step 9
    Turn down the temperature to 225°F (107°C) and continue roasting. The beef will finish cooking at this consistent temperature until finished. Depending on the shape and cut of your beef, it could take 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours, so be ready to monitor it's progress.
  5. Image titled Cook Roast Beef Step 10
    Check the beef with a meat thermometer. Use a meat thermometer or instant food thermometer to check the internal temperature of the roasting beef. Push the thermometer halfway into the center of the roast so its tip is approximately in the middle of the cut of beef, being careful not to let the thermometer touch the hot pan. The roast is ready when it reaches an internal temperature of 140°F (60°C).[2]
    • If you like your beef on the slightly rarer side, you can take it out when the temperature reaches 135°F (57°C).

Part 3
Finishing the Roast

  1. Image titled Cook Roast Beef Step 11
    Let the meat rest. Remove the roast from the oven once it has reached the desired temperature, tent a piece of aluminum foil over it to retain the heat and let the roasted beef rest for 15 to 20 minutes. This resting period allows the juices to redistribute themselves in the meat, which will keep them in the meat once you carve it instead of running out onto your cutting board. This will keep the roast flavorful and juicy.
  2. Image titled Cook Roast Beef Step 12
    Make gravy while it rests. Spoon 3 tablespoons of the drippings in to a small saucepan, and place it on the stove over medium heat. When it's hot, stir in a teaspoon of cornstarch or flour, and stir to thicken. You can thin it out with water, red wine, beef stock or beer, or make it richer by adding butter. Keep stirring until it reaches the desired consistency, then pour into a gravy dish.[3]
  3. Image titled Cook Roast Beef Step 13
    Arrange the roast and vegetables on a platter. Place the roast in the middle of a serving platter and arrange the vegetables and garlic around it. When you're ready to serve, slice the meat against the grain in 14 to 14 inch (0.6 to 0.6 cm) slices. Serve with gravy.

Things You'll Need

  • Roasting rack and pan
  • Meat thermometer
  • Aluminum foil

Article Info

Categories: Food Preparation