The Best Beef for Roast Beef: How to Choose & Slow Cook the Perfect Roast

Roast beef is a classic dish that can be enjoyed on any occasion, from a cozy family dinner to a festive holiday feast.

But with so many different cuts of beef available, how do you know which one to choose for your roast? And how do you cook it to achieve the best results?

In this article, we will answer these questions and more, by providing you with a comprehensive guide on how to select and prepare the best beef for roast beef.

We will also share some tips and tricks on how to season, carve, and serve your roast beef, as well as some delicious recipes to try.

Key Takeaways

CutDescriptionCooking MethodDoneness
Ribeye RoastA well-marbled and tender cut with a rich beefy flavor. A classic choice for roast beef.Oven roasting at high heat, then low heat.Rare to medium (125°F or 52°C to 150°F or 66°C).
Top Sirloin RoastA lean and flavorful cut that is easy to carve and budget-friendly.Oven roasting at high heat, then low heat.Medium rare to medium (130°F or 54°C to 150°F or 66°C).
Tri-Tip RoastA triangular-shaped cut that is lean but juicy and has a robust beefy flavor. Popular for grilling and smoking.Grilling, smoking, or oven roasting at high heat.Rare to medium rare (120°F or 49°C to 135°F or 57°C).
Chuck RoastA budget-friendly cut that is rich in flavor and collagen. Requires slow and moist cooking to become tender and succulent.Braising or slow roasting in liquid.Well-done (180°F or 82°C to 200°F or 93°C).

How to Choose the Best Beef Cut for Roast Beef

There are many factors to consider when choosing the best beef cut for roast beef, such as:

  • The size of the cut: Depending on how many people you are serving and how much leftovers you want, you can choose a smaller or larger cut of beef. Generally, you can estimate about 1/2 pound (0.23 kg) of raw meat per person.
  • The shape of the cut: Some cuts are more uniform in shape and thickness, which makes them easier to cook evenly and carve neatly. Other cuts are more irregular and tapered, which means they will have different levels of doneness throughout.
  • The fat content of the cut: Fat adds flavor and moisture to the meat, but it also affects how the meat cooks and shrinks. More fat means more browning and crisping on the outside, but also more dripping and splattering in the oven. Less fat means less shrinkage and waste, but also less juiciness and tenderness.
  • The price of the cut: Generally, more tender and popular cuts are more expensive than tougher and less common cuts.

To help you decide which cut is best for your roast beef, here is a table that summarizes the main characteristics of some of the most common cuts:

CutLocationSizeShapeFat ContentPrice
Ribeye RoastRib section4 to 6 pounds (1.8 to 2.7 kg)Rectangular or cylindrical with a large eye of meat surrounded by a cap of fat and meat. May have bones attached or removed.HighHigh
Top Sirloin RoastSirloin section3 to 5 pounds (1.4 to 2.3 kg)Oblong or round with a thin layer of fat on top. Boneless.Low to moderateModerate
Tri-Tip RoastBottom sirloin section1.5 to 3 pounds (0.7 to 1.4 kg)Triangular with a thin layer of fat on one side. Boneless.Low to moderateModerate
Chuck RoastShoulder section3 to 5 pounds (1.4 to 2.3 kg)Square or rectangular with a lot of connective tissue and marbling throughout. May have bones attached or removed.HighLow

The Best Beef Cuts for Roast Beef 

 239.99 2,499.99 available on subscription
This product has multiple variants. The options may be chosen on the product page
 59.99 189.99 available on subscription
This product has multiple variants. The options may be chosen on the product page
 104.99 119.99 available on subscription
This product has multiple variants. The options may be chosen on the product page
 69.99 149.99 available on subscription
This product has multiple variants. The options may be chosen on the product page

The best beef for roasting beef, can be categorized into two categories: Oven Roast & Pot Roasts. 

Oven roasts

Oven roasts are cuts that are leaner and more tender, and can be cooked quickly in a hot oven.

They are usually carved into thin slices and served with a sauce or gravy. Some examples of oven roasts are:

  • Ribeye Roast: This is one of the most popular and expensive cuts of beef, as it has a lot of marbling (intramuscular fat) that makes it juicy and flavorful. It comes from the rib section of the cow, and can be sold bone-in or boneless. A bone-in ribeye roast is also known as a prime rib or a standing rib roast.
  • Top Round Roast: This is a lean and economical cut that comes from the hind leg of the cow. It has a mild flavor and a firm texture, and can be cooked to any degree of doneness. It is also known as a top sirloin roast or a silverside roast.
  • Tri-Tip Roast: This is a triangular-shaped cut that comes from the bottom sirloin section of the cow. It has a moderate amount of fat and a rich flavor, and can be grilled or smoked as well as roasted. It is also known as a bottom sirloin roast or a Santa Maria roast.

The Best Oven Roasts for Roast Beef

 239.99 2,499.99 available on subscription
This product has multiple variants. The options may be chosen on the product page
 109.99 159.99 available on subscription
This product has multiple variants. The options may be chosen on the product page
 104.99 119.99 available on subscription
This product has multiple variants. The options may be chosen on the product page

Pot roasts

Pot roasts are cuts that are fattier and tougher, and need to be cooked slowly in liquid to become tender and moist. They are usually cut into chunks or shredded and served with vegetables and broth. Some examples of pot roasts are:

  • Silverside Roast: This is a lean and inexpensive cut that comes from the rear leg of the cow. It has a mild flavor and a coarse texture, and can be roasted or braised. It is also known as a rump roast or a leg roast.
  • Chuck Roast: This is a fatty and flavorful cut that comes from the shoulder section of the cow. It has a lot of connective tissue that breaks down during cooking, making it succulent and tender. It can be braised or slow-cooked in various ways, such as pot roast, beef stew, or pulled beef. It is also known as a blade roast or a shoulder roast.

The Best Pot Roasts for Roast Beef

 69.99 209.99 available on subscription
This product has multiple variants. The options may be chosen on the product page
 69.99 149.99 available on subscription
This product has multiple variants. The options may be chosen on the product page
 44.99 389.99 available on subscription
This product has multiple variants. The options may be chosen on the product page

How to Season Roast Beef

Seasoning roast beef is a matter of personal preference, but there are some basic guidelines to follow:

  • Salt: Salt is essential for enhancing the flavor of the meat and drawing out some of the moisture from the surface, which helps create a nice crust. You can use kosher salt or sea salt for better texture and distribution. You can salt your meat up to 24 hours before cooking for deeper penetration, or just before cooking for a more subtle effect.
  • Pepper: Pepper adds a bit of heat and complexity to the meat. You can use black pepper or white pepper, depending on your taste. You can also use whole peppercorns or coarsely ground pepper for more texture and bite. You can pepper your meat at the same time as salting, or just before cooking.
  • Herbs and spices: Herbs and spices can add more flavor and aroma to your roast beef. You can use fresh or dried herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, sage, oregano, or parsley. You can also use spices, such as garlic powder, onion powder, mustard powder, paprika, or cumin. You can rub your meat with a mixture of herbs and spices, or make a paste with some oil or butter and spread it over the meat. You can season your meat up to 24 hours before cooking for more infusion, or just before cooking for a fresher flavor.

How to Roast Beef

Roasting beef is a simple but precise process that requires attention to time and temperature. Here are the basic steps to follow:

  • Preheat the oven: Preheat your oven to the desired temperature, depending on the cut and the cooking method you are using.

    Generally, you can start with a high temperature (around 450°F or 232°C) for 15 to 20 minutes to sear the outside of the meat, then lower the temperature (around 325°F or 163°C) for the rest of the cooking time to cook the inside of the meat.

    Alternatively, you can start with a low temperature (around 250°F or 121°C) for most of the cooking time to cook the meat slowly and evenly, then raise the temperature (around 500°F or 260°C) for the last few minutes to reverse sear outside of the meat.

  • Prepare the pan: Choose a roasting pan that is large enough to fit your meat with some space around it, but not too large that it will cause excessive evaporation and burning of the juices.

    You can use a rack to elevate your meat above the pan (or try bone in ribeye roast), which allows better air circulation and even cooking. You can also add some vegetables, such as onions, carrots, celery, or potatoes, to the bottom of the pan, which will add flavor and moisture to the meat and the gravy.

    You can also add some liquid, such as water, wine, broth, or beer, to the bottom of the pan, which will prevent scorching and drying out of the meat and the juices.

  • Place the meat in the oven: Place your seasoned meat in the preheated oven and roast according to your desired doneness.

    You can use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat at different points, or you can use a skewer or a knife to check the color of the juices that run out of the meat when pierced.

The following table shows the approximate roasting times and temperatures for different cuts and doneness levels:

 DonenessTemperatureTime per Pound
Ribeye RoastRare125°F or 52°C15 minutes
 Medium rare135°F or 57°C18 minutes
 Medium150°F or 66°C22 minutes
Top Sirloin RoastMedium rare130°F or 54°C20 minutes
 Medium150°F or 66°C25 minutes
Tri-Tip RoastRare120°F or 49°C15 minutes
 Medium rare135°F or 57°C18 minutes
Chuck RoastWell-done180°F or 82°C to 200°F or 93°C2.5 to 3 hours
 239.99 2,499.99 available on subscription
This product has multiple variants. The options may be chosen on the product page
 59.99 189.99 available on subscription
This product has multiple variants. The options may be chosen on the product page
 104.99 119.99 available on subscription
This product has multiple variants. The options may be chosen on the product page
 69.99 149.99 available on subscription
This product has multiple variants. The options may be chosen on the product page
  • Rest the meat: Once your meat is cooked to your liking, take it out of the oven and transfer it to a cutting board. Cover it loosely with aluminum foil and let it rest for at least 10 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat and makes it more tender and juicy. Do not skip this step or you will end up with dry and tough meat.
  • Carve the meat: Use a sharp carving knife and a fork to slice your meat across the grain into thin slices. This makes it easier to chew and digest. If your meat has bones attached, remove them first and cut around them. If your meat has a layer of fat on top, you can trim it off or leave it on, depending on your preference.

How to Make Gravy from Roast Beef

Gravy is a delicious sauce that is made from the juices and drippings of roast beef. It adds more flavor and moisture to your roast beef and goes well with mashed potatoes, rice, bread, or vegetables. Here is how you can make gravy from roast beef:

  • Skim off excess fat: After resting your roast beef on a cutting board, pour the juices and drippings from the roasting pan into a measuring cup or a fat separator. Skim off any excess fat that rises to the top and discard it or save it for another use.
  • Make a roux: In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt some butter or use some of the reserved fat from step one. Whisk in some flour and cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly, until you have a smooth and golden paste. This is called a roux, which will thicken your gravy.
  • Add the juices and seasonings: Gradually whisk in the juices and drippings from step one, along with some beef broth or water, until you have a smooth and silky sauce. Bring it to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it reaches your desired consistency. Season with salt, pepper, and any other herbs or spices you like, such as thyme, sage, or Worcestershire sauce.
  • Strain and serve: If you want a smoother gravy, you can strain it through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any lumps or bits of meat or vegetables. Transfer your gravy to a gravy boat or a bowl and serve with your roast beef and sides.

Conclusion

Roast beef is a versatile dish that can be made with different cuts of beef and various cooking methods. Whether you prefer a lean and tender oven roast or a fatty and succulent pot roast, there is a cut of beef that suits your taste and budget. By following our guide on how to choose

FAQ

What is the best way to reheat roast beef?

The best way to reheat roast beef is to slice it thinly and place it in a baking dish with some of the gravy or broth.

Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated oven at 162°C (325°F) for about 15 minutes or until heated through.

Alternatively, you can reheat the slices in a skillet over medium-low heat with some butter or oil, turning occasionally, until warmed up.

How long can I store roast beef in the refrigerator or freezer?

You can store roast beef in an airtight container or a ziplock bag in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Make sure to label and date your container or bag for easy identification.

To thaw frozen roast beef, place it in the refrigerator overnight or in a bowl of cold water for a few hours.

What are some side dishes that go well with roast beef?

Some of the classic side dishes that go well with roast beef are mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, green beans, Yorkshire pudding, bread rolls, salad, and horseradish sauce.

You can also experiment with different cuisines and flavors, such as rice pilaf, couscous, quinoa, roasted root vegetables, glazed carrots, asparagus, cornbread, coleslaw, chimichurri sauce, or salsa verde.

Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies to improve your experience