We all know one of the keys to successfully cooking roast beef is achieving the right internal temperature. What can be tricky is determining the time needed to achieve that temp since this can fluctuate depending on the cut and size of meat. To make this task easier, I created a handy guide to refer to that can help sort this out.
The simple kitchen chart found below lists assorted beef cuts and how long they should be cooked for (at varying levels of doneness).
These are based on fully thawed roasts kept chilled in the refrigerator, if they have been sitting at room temperature before being placed in the oven, time will need to be lowered/adjusted.
First, here are a few suggestions to help you get the best results possible…
- Preheat the oven first.
- Remove from heat when the internal temp is about 10°F lower than what you want and allow to rest for about 15 minutes before carving.
- This will make the beef juicier, the internal temperature will still rise as it sits on the counter.
- Tenting with foil while it rests will also help hold the moisture in and retain heat.
- To measure internal temp, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part (without touching the bone, if any).
- Arrange on a rack inside a shallow pan, uncovered. This will cook things evenly and keep the meat out of any juices (which will just boil it and affect the texture).
- If you have a convection oven, this is the time to use that feature as the results are fantastic.
- Position with the fat side up, this will baste the meat and add more flavor.
Cooking Chart & Timetable For Roast Beef
(chine bone removed)
|350°F||4-6 lbs||Medium-Rare: 22-26 mins|
Medium: 28-34 mins
Medium-Well: 34-36 mins
|Rib Eye||350°F||4-6 lbs||Medium-Rare: 20-22 mins|
Medium: 20-24 mins
Medium-Well: 22-24 mins
|Eye Round||325°F||2-3 lbs||Medium-Rare: 35-45 mins|
Medium: 45-53 mins
Medium-Well: 45-60 mins
|Round Tip||325°F||3-4 lbs||Medium-Rare: 30-35 mins|
Medium: 38-45 mins
Medium-Well: 45-48 mins
|Sirloin Tip||325°F||3-4 lbs||Medium-Rare: 35-37 mins|
Medium: 37-39 mins
Medium-Well: 38-40 mins
|Rolled Rump||325°F||4-6 lbs||Medium-Rare: 25-27 mins|
Medium: 27-29 mins
Medium-Well: 28-30 mins
|425°F||4-6 lbs||Medium-Rare: 50-60 mins total|
Medium: 60-70 mins total
|425°F||4-6 lbs||Medium-Rare: 35-40 mins total|
Medium: 40-50 mins total
Is the roast still frozen? No worries! Add 50% more cooking time
Some guides may show lower numbers but they’re likely providing the “pull from the oven” temp vs. “final temp”. Remember, you want to remove it from the oven when it’s about 10 degrees less than where you want it to be since it will still cook as it rests.
I’ve seen numbers as low as 104°F for rare and I have no idea how that’s possible. It’s still mooing!
Also keep in mind many restaurants commonly serve beef more rare to leave room for customer expectations. They can’t fix complaints of overcooked meat and have to throw it out, but chefs can reheat it to a customer’s preference.
These are general guidelines so if you have a recipe advising something different, follow those directions. You’ll find over a dozen mouth-watering recipes here if you’re looking for something new to try.
For those in the family who will only eat roast beef if it’s “well-done” and you don’t want to overcook it because everyone else prefers it medium or medium-rare:
- Cut a few pieces after cooking to where you want it then put them in a shallow casserole dish or baking pan (single layer).
- Place this under the broiler then flip the pieces after a couple minutes to broil each side.
- This will sear them a bit, crisp up the outer fat (if any) and get them “done” for those who are convinced the meat is “raw” or “undercooked” when they see any red.
What to do if you don’t have a meat thermometer? These are a must for accurate readings but if you don’t have one or the battery just died, do what we used to do back in the day before they were commonly found in nearly every home kitchen:
- Cut a slit into the top center of the roast that is just wide enough to pull it back with a fork and knife.
- Look at the image above to compare the degree of doneness and pull from the oven when it’s a level lower than what you want it to be.
- Another test when you make the slit: red juices inside means rare, pink means medium, clear means well done.
The meat will continue cooking as it rests and since the cut is on top, the juices will still redistribute throughout and not drain away. Tenting with a sheet of foil will also help hold moisture in.
While internal temperature is one of the keys to success, seasoning is the other “just as important” factor.
- I like to rub the meat surface with olive oil first, this helps the seasonings hold in place but it also encourages a flavorful crust to develop on the outside. Delicious!
- If recommended roasting time isn’t going to take long, crank up the heat to about 450°F right at the start and leave it for about 10 minutes before reducing to recommended temperature. This will help sear and get the crust started.
- Be generous with salt when seasoning (before cooking). Sprinkle all over what you think should be good, then add some more. I prefer Kosher salt.
- Freshly ground pepper and garlic powder are also good additions.
- Adding a layer of onions and carrots along the bottom of the roaster then placing the meat on top of this before popping it all in the oven will add flavor to the final dish.
- For tougher cuts, slicing the roast thin then letting the pieces soak in the pan juices for about 30 minutes will help (with heated beef or vegetable stock added if necessary).