If you are looking for the best beef cuts for oven roasting – you’ve come to the right place! In this article, I will walk you through 11 different cuts of beef that are perfect for roasting. I don’t know why, but roasting a big piece of meat is intimidating for most home cooks. Trust me; it shouldn’t be scary or intimidating. Roasting is a great way to cook beef for family dinners and special occasions. With the right cut of beef, it can be a straightforward and stress-free process.
Here’s a quick summary of what steak cuts are excellent for cooking in the oven: ribeye, prime rib, chateaubriand, top sirloin petite, top round, bottom round rump, tri-tip, petite shoulder tender, sirloin tip, the eye of round and bottom round roasts.
Yes, it’s quite a long list to choose from. But as a chef, I’ll give you some tips on making those roasts juicy and tender every time you roast them.
The 11 Best Beef Cuts For Oven Roasting
First thing first, what is a beef roast? I guess that most are familiar with beef roasts, but for those trying to cook a large piece of meat for the first time, a beef roast is a cut of meat typically roasted in the oven. The most common beef roasts are from the cow’s loin, rib, and chuck areas.
And you may ask, what makes a good beef roast? Well, a good beef roast should be tender, juicy, and flavorful. Keep in mind that tenderness depends on how you choose to cook your roast. And last but not least, it should have a good amount of marbling throughout the meat, which will help keep it moist during cooking. Some roasts on this list are lean, but if you cook them (meaning you do not overcook them) correctly, you can still make them tender.
Ribeye roast is a classic choice for oven roasting. Not only it’s incredibly flavorful, but at the same time, it’s incredibly tender. It’s a boneless cut of meat that comes from the cow’s rib section. It’s well-marbled, which means it has a good amount of fat (the more marbling – the more flavor). It helps keep the roast juicy and flavorful without needing to tenderize meat before cooking.
Prime Rib Roast
The prime rib roast is another excellent choice for oven roasting. A melt-in-your-mouth texture and fantastic flavor profile can turn anyone into a steak lover instantly. It’s a large, boneless cut of meat that comes from the cow’s rib section. Like ribeye, it’s well-marbled. It helps to keep the roast juicy and flavorful. No special treatment is required for prime rib roast. Simple seasoning with salt, pepper, and herbs is all you need.
Chateaubriand roast is a cut of meat that comes from the tenderloin area of the cow. It’s a long, thin, and slightly tapered cut of beef. Chateaubriand roast is one of the most tender and lean cuts of meat. Worth mentioning that it’s one of the most expensive cuts (at a local butcher shop it’s even more expensive). Although it’s not as flavorful as a ribeye roast, it doesn’t need special treatment. Since it’s incredibly tender, enjoy this roast with simple seasoning.
Top Sirloin Petite Roast
The top sirloin petite roast is a cut of meat that comes from the top sirloin area of the cow. It’s a boneless and leaner alternative to the ribeye roast. Top sirloin petite roast has a good amount of marbling, which helps to keep it juicy and flavorful. You can tenderize the roast even more by marinating it for a few hours before cooking (preferably 24 hours before roasting.
Top Round Roast
The top round roast is a cut of meat that comes from the rear leg area of the cow. It’s a leaner alternative to the ribeye roast. It does not have an abundance of marbling like the ribeye roast has, which means it can dry out quickly if not cooked properly. That’s why I recommend cooking top round roast no more than medium. To compensate for the lack of marbling, tenderizing the roast before cooking is a good idea.
Bottom Round Roast
The bottom round roast is yet another cut of meat that comes from the rear leg area of the cow. It’s leaner than the top round roast and has even less marbling throughout the meat. That’s why I recommend cooking bottom round roast no more than medium-rare or medium. Even though it lacks marbling, it has an excellent flavor profile. Tenderize the meat before cooking to make sure it’s not tough. I like to use dry brine or lactic acid foods for tenderizing the bottom round roast (more about that later in the article).
Bottom Round Rump Roast
The bottom round rump roast is a cut of meat that comes from the rear end of the cow. It’s an active muscle that gets quite a lot of exercise, considering cows are big animals and carry a lot of weight with them. Flavor-wise it has a nice beefy flavor even though it’s lean. I highly recommend not overcooking the meat. It’s best if you roast it until the internal temperature is no more than 145° Fahrenheit. Tenderize the meat before cooking to make sure it’s not tough.
Tri-tip roast is a cut of meat that comes from the bottom sirloin area of the cow. It’s a triangular-shaped muscle that’s relatively lean with some marbling throughout. However, despite being lean compared to ribeye roast, tri-tip packs a good amount of flavors that are perfect for oven roasting. I recommend not overcooking the meat as it can dry out quickly. Cook it until the internal temperature is no more than 145° Fahrenheit. To make it more tender, you can marinate it for a few hours before cooking (preferably 24 hours).
Shoulder Petite Tender
Shoulder petite tender is yet another cut that comes from the chuck area of the cow. It’s a smaller, more tender version of the beef chuck roast. Even though it’s not the beef cut that contains a lot of fat, it still packs many flavors. When it comes to roasting, it’s juiciest and most flavorful when cooked until internal temperature reaches between 135° Fahrenheit and 145° Fahrenheit. To tenderize it even more, you can marinate it for a few hours or, even better, overnight.
Sirloin Tip Roast
Sirloin tip roast is a cut of meat that comes from the rear end of the cow. It’s a leaner alternative to the ribeye roast and has quite a bit less marbling throughout. But do not worry – it still is a flavorful cut of meat despite being lean. To retain juiciness and most of the flavor, it’s best not to overcook sirloin tip roast. Roast it until the internal temperature is no more than 145° Fahrenheit. You can marinate it for a few hours or, even better, overnight to make it more tender.
Eye of Round Roast
The eye of a round roast is a cut of meat that comes from the rear leg area of the cow. It’s one of the leanest cuts of beef that you can find. That being said it does not have a lot of marbling throughout, which means it can dry out quickly if not cooked properly. I love using this cut for roast beef sandwiches. Roast the eye of the round until the internal temperature is no more than 145° Fahrenheit. This cut of meat benefits from being tenderized and slow cooking. You can use dry brine or lactic acid foods for that (more on that later in the article).
Tips For Cooking Roast Beef
Cooking roast beef may seem like a difficult task. Trust me; it’s actually a pretty simple cooking method. However, you’ll need a meat thermometer in order to cook it perfectly. As a chef, I’ll share a few tips to help you cook the perfect roast beef every single time:
- Bring roast beef to room temperature before cooking. Most home cooks will skip this part; however, it’s crucial if you want evenly cooked roast beef;
- Season the meat generously with salt and other seasonings. Do not be shy with the seasoning. Some roasts are leaner than others; therefore, adding more seasoning will help to flavor the meat. Keep in mind it’s best to marinate the meat for at least 4 hours (preferably overnight) before roasting;
- Tenderize lean cuts. Tenderize lean beef roasts with dry brine or lactic acid foods like yogurt, buttermilk, etc. It will help to make the meat more flavorful and juicy. Tenderize the meat 24 hours before roasting;
- Remove connective tissue. If the meat has a lot of connective tissue, remove it before cooking. It will help to make the meat more tender;
- Sear the meat on all sides in a hot pan before roasting. It will help to lock in the juices;
- Roast at low temperature. Roast the beef at a low temperature, between 275° Fahrenheit and 350° Fahrenheit. Slow roasting will help to prevent the meat from drying out;
- Do not overcook the roast beef. Use a leave-in meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat. The general rule is to cook it until the internal temperature is no more than 145° Fahrenheit;
- Rest the roast before slicing. Letting the roast rest for at least 20 minutes before slicing will allow all the juices to redistribute evenly throughout the meat, making it juicier and more flavorful;
- Slice against the grain. To make the meat more tender, slice it against the grain. Slicing thin is excellent for sandwiches. However, when serving roast beef for dinner, keep slices thick.
Note: know your oven before roasting because all ovens roast a bit differently. You would be surprised how two ovens side by side can roast quite differently. So, keep an eye on the roast and use a leave-in meat thermometer to check doneness.
How long does it take to cook roast beef in the oven?
Depending on the roast beef size, it can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 4 hours to cook in the oven. Remember to use a leave-in meat thermometer. It will help you to cook steak without losing moisture and flavor.
What’s the best way to slice roast beef?
The best way to slice roast beef is against the grain. It will make the meat more tender.
Which roast beef cut is best for oven roast?
If you’re not on the budget, then a ribeye roast is the best choice for an oven roast. However, there are other great cuts of beef that will work just as well, such as a sirloin tip roast or an eye of round roast.