Roast beef is a luxury and can be costly, whether purchasing a shoulder roast or whole tenderloin or beef arm roast.
So, of course, there will be a bit of a price difference between these two cuts of beef. However, you do not want to dry any of them out while roasting them (and making it a tough roast).
Cooking roast beef that is not dry has as much to do with its resting time after being cooked as is the way you cook it.
You start by placing your roast on a rack in a shallow baking pan or roaster. DO NOT COVER with a lid or aluminum foil because this is the leading reason you get tough beef unless you make pot roast.
You can cook your pot roast and roast the vegetables that go with it uncovered in the oven. The result will offer beef and vegetables with a different flavor than pot roast in a lidded Dutch oven.
How do I cook a beef roast without drying it out?
Once your roast beef has reached the temperature for the level of doneness you want, take it from the oven, tent it with foil, and let it rest for 30 minutes before you slice it. The resting period of a beef roast is as vital as how it is seasoned and cooked.
While resting, the liquid in the roast beef redistributes. If you cut it too soon, the juiciness of the meat will run across your cutting board instead of staying in the roast.
Not letting roast beef rest before carving is the leading reason your roast beef dries out.
How to cook beef roast?
Depending on the meat you are roasting, you may want to use one technique over another. For example, the prime rib can be roast beef, but not all roast beef is prime rib.
Prime rib comes from ribs six through 12 of a cow and can be roasted whole and bone-in or bone out.
Another cut of beef whose name represents its location on a cow is tenderloin, from which you cut tenderloin roast for Chateaubriand or slice it for filet mignon.
The beef tenderloin comes from the back of a cow, just below the spine. It is the tenderest and the most expensive of all beef roasts.
However, it is leaner than prime rib, does not have a richness of flavor, and is generally more costly.
All other roast beef cuts might come from the neck, shoulder, rump, or cow’s chest. Each cut will require extra attention and preparation before roasting.
Cuts of beef that work well for roasting include:
- Tenderloin roast
- Prime rib roast
- Top Sirloin petite roast
- Tri-tip roast
- Top round roast
- Sirloin tip roast
- Bottom round rump roast
- Eye of round (roast)
- Beef brisket
Seasoning your roast beef
Every roast needs at least salt and pepper for seasoning. Unseasoned roast beef will taste flat. The addition of seasonings and herbs will draw the flavor from the roast.
Herbs that go well with beef are thyme, marjoram, and rosemary. However, I find the flavor of rosemary to be overpowering on any meat but lamb. On the other hand, marjoram gets little recognition and is a beautiful herb for beef.
Like rosemary, you can grow it in a pot in a window. It compliments roast beef, pot roast, and other beef recipes and has a more subtle flavor than rosemary.
Trussing a roast beef
Most cuts of beef roast hold their shape better when trussed. What is trussing? Trussing meat requires tying it with cotton string to roast in one tight piece.
A prime rib, tenderloin, or other beef roasts will spread out without trussing while cooking. This can cause the meat to dry out. Trussing the beef helps keep the roast’s juices to remain in the meat.
To truss a beef roast for cooking, wrap it with lengths of string, placed about half an inch apart. Cotton string is best for trussing because it is chemical-free. In addition, you can stick sprigs of herbs under the string to add their flavor to your roast beef.
Should I cover my roast beef while it is roasting?
Covering the pan in which you put your roast is the biggest mistake you can make.
Roasting meat requires dry heat, and lidding the pot gives you wet heat, so instead of roasting the beef, you are steaming it. This is why roast meat is often tough, dry, and can take on a grey color.
The only reason to lid a cooking vessel with roast beef is if you are making a pot roast, which you can make from many different cuts of meat.
What’s the best way to cook roast beef?
The best way to cook roast beef can vary. Some cuts of roast beef can be grilled, smoked, braised, or roasted. You can braise any roast beef before roasting because it helps start the cooking process.
Braising meat is the method of heating oil and a little moisture in a tightly sealed pot. The result is a piece of beef steamed and roasted even though covered.
Braised meat must be seared outside before liquid and vegetables are added to the pot. Then, after browning, you can lay the beef on a bed of vegetables, lid it and cook it slowly, on low heat.
Or, you can place your roast on a rack at the bottom of your pot or pan, surround the meat with vegetables and add a small amount of water.
Whatever cut of meat you are roasting, place the fat side up when placing it in a roasting pan or other cooking vessel. As the fat melts, it will coat the meat, helping to seal it and add flavor to the beef.
How to cook roast beef in an oven
Whether you roast a prime rib, beef tenderloin, or a chuck roast, searing the meat before you roast it will seal in the juices.
If the roast beef is small enough, you can easily braise it in a skillet, a Dutch oven, or a similar piece of cookware.
However, larger cuts of meat, such as a prime rib or other roasts too big for a pan, can be seared in the oven. Preheat the oven to 425 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and cook the roast for 15 to 20 minutes before lowering the temperature to the desired setting.
Many roast beef and pork recipes call for an oven temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
However, I roast beef, pork, chicken, and other meats at 325 degrees Fahrenheit and never have a problem with dried roasts. This roasting chart will help you cook prime rib roast and many different cuts of beef roast.
How long do you cook a beef roast?
I learned my basic cooking skills in my grandmother’s restaurant. However, a tool my mother gave me is still indispensable in my kitchen.
Early on, Betty Crocker’s cookbooks had pages filled with instructions on how to roast any meat for the best results.
The cookbook also had proper usage of herbs clearly outlined. The use of herbs can be as tricky as roasting a perfect tenderloin, and if used in the wrong combination, it can ruin the flavor of your roast beef.
However, the rule of thumb for roast beef cooked in a 350-degree Fahrenheit oven is approximately 25 minutes per pound. The internal temperature of a roast does not need to be 165 degrees, like other meats.
The internal temperature of beef tenderloin can be as low as 135 degrees for a medium-rare roast. To cook tenderloin to that level of doneness will take 12 to 15 minutes per pound.
How do you cook beef, so it is tender?
The best way to get beef tender when you roast it is by starting with a high-quality cut of beef. In the absence of fulfilling that desire, you can cook any roast beef so that it comes out tender.
Different cuts of beef require different cooking times, per pound of meat. If you can braise your beef first and follow the time and temperature for your cut of beef, you can rest assured that it will be tender and tasty when cooked.
How to cook a beef roast that isn’t dry
Now that you have selected the cut of meat you want to roast, you can prepare it to be cooked.
- If you want to put a rub on the beef you are roasting, prepare it the night before, applying it generously to the roast.
- Take your beef from the refrigerator at least two hours before you want to start cooking it so that it will come to room temperature. Placing a cold piece of meat in the oven can mess with your cooking time and results. Bringing the roast to room temperature is as important a step as pre-seasoning beef before you roast it.
- Place your beef in a pan on a rack in a preheated oven with the fat side up. If you have not braised your roast by then, crank your oven up and braise it for 15 or 20 minutes at about 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Some cooks will sear the outside of a beef roast in a reverse manner by cooking it at a very low heat first. They then sear it after the roast has reached the desired internal temperature. This technique will make the outside of the roast crispy.
- After removing the roast beef from the oven, tent it with aluminum foil and rest for about 30 minutes for large roasts and at least 15 minutes for smaller beef roasts.
- Slice and serve.
How much beef do I need per serving?
Leftovers are great, but eating or storing them becomes a problem when you have too many leftovers. For example, a large roast can take up a lot of space in the refrigerator or the freezer. So, buy what you need with just a little extra for leftovers.
How do you do this? First, you determine how many ounces of meat you need per person and go from there.
You will want at least four ounces of beef per person, and six ounces would be a safer serving size for your entrée item. For example, if eight people eat six ounces of beef roast each, you know you need at least 48 ounces of beef or four pounds.
However, wait because you will need a roast that weighs more than four pounds if you want each person to get six ounces of meat.
Every type of meat will shrink when you cook. For example, the shrinkage rate of beef roast can be between 15 and 30 percent of its weight during the cooking process. So, to account for that loss, you need to buy more than four pounds of beef. To account for the shrinkage, buy about five and a half pounds of beef instead.
That means you need to get a roast that weighs at least five and a half pounds. If you want meat leftover, then add a pound or so to the weight of the roast you buy. You may have a little left or not if you cook it so that it is juicy and not dry and rubbery.
Any beef roast can be cooked so that it is not dry.
Whether cooking a rump roast or whole tenderloin, your beef roast won’t be dry if you use the proper process for roasting it. The same technique works for every cut of beef you want to roast.
Even a pot roast sealed in a Dutch oven can dry out if you do not braise it first, add too much liquid, or overcook it. A pot roast that you immerse in liquid is boiled meat and is generally tough, chewy, and flavorless. It can have the consistency of sawdust and less flavor – and provide better leftovers.
Therefore, knowing how to cook beef roast will give you great results. Whether you choose chateaubriand with cherry jubilee to finish or pot roast with crusty bread, a well-cooked beef roast makes a meal special.