How Long to Cook a Beef Eye of Round Roast for Perfect Results

Beef eye of round roast can seem intimidating to cook since it’s such a lean, tough cut of meat. But with the right technique, it can become a delicious and budget-friendly dinner option. This detailed guide will teach you exactly how long to roast eye of round for guaranteed tender, juicy results.

What is Eye of Round Roast?

The eye of round comes from the rear leg or “round” primal cut of the cow. This area gets a lot of exercise, so the meat is lean and packed with connective tissue.

While cuts like ribeye contain delicate fat marbling, eye of round is very low in fat. It’s inexpensive, averaging around $4 per pound, but requires special handling.

When the whole eye of round is roasted, it’s called eye of round roast. Sliced into steaks, it becomes round tip steak or cube steak.

Benefits of Cooking Eye of Round Roast

Despite being a tricky cut, eye of round roast has advantages:

  • Budget-friendly – Much cheaper than premium cuts like ribeye or tenderloin.

  • Lean and healthy – Lower in fat and calories compared to well-marbled steaks.

  • Flavorful – Has a rich beefy taste when cooked properly.

  • Versatile – Slices beautifully for sandwiches, rolls and salads when roasted.

Keys to Cooking Eye of Round Roast

Follow these crucial tips for guaranteed tender, juicy results:

  • Roast thin cuts – 1 to 2 inches thick maximum. Thinner roasts cook faster.

  • Use a meat thermometer – Don’t rely on cooking times. Cook to 125°F for medium-rare.

  • Rest before slicing – At least 10 minutes covered with foil to finish cooking and seal in juices.

  • Slice across grain – Cut very thin against the natural grain for tenderness.

How Long to Cook a 2-3 Pound Eye of Round Roast

For a 2 to 3 pound eye of round roast that’s around 1 to 2 inches thick, follow these simple steps:


  • 1 eye of round roast (2-3 lbs)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • Fresh herbs (optional)


  1. Bring roast to room temperature. Remove from fridge 1 hour before cooking.

  2. Preheat the oven to 450°F.

  3. Coat roast with oil and season all over with salt and pepper. Add fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme if desired.

  4. Sear roast on all sides in a hot skillet for 2 minutes per side to brown.

  5. Roast at 450°F for 10 minutes to develop a crust.

  6. Turn down heat to 325°F and roast for 40-60 more minutes until it reaches 125°F internally.

  7. Rest for 10-15 minutes tented with foil before slicing.

How Long to Cook a 4-5 Pound Eye of Round Roast

For a 4 to 5 pound eye of round roast that’s 2+ inches thick, allow more time:


  • 1 eye of round roast (4-5 lbs)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder


  1. Bring to room temperature. Remove roast from fridge 1 hour before cooking.

  2. Preheat oven to 450°F.

  3. Season roast all over with oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder.

  4. Sear roast on all sides in a hot skillet for 3 minutes per side.

  5. Roast at 450°F for 15 minutes to develop a flavorful crust.

  6. Turn heat down to 325°F. Roast for 70-90 more minutes until it reaches 125°F internally.

  7. Rest for 15-20 minutes before slicing thinly against the grain.

Testing Eye of Round Roast for Doneness

Since eye of round dries out easily, don’t cook it by time alone. Use these methods to test for perfect medium-rare:

  • Instant-read thermometer – Insert into thickest part without touching bone. Wait 15 seconds. 125°F is medium-rare.

  • Finger test – Touch to feel firmness. Rare is soft, medium-rare is springy, well-done is very firm.

  • Cut to inspect – Slice in thickest area and check interior color. Red is rare, pink is medium-rare.

  • Appearance and touch – Meat should feel slightly firm with reddish-pink interior when medium-rare.

An accurate digital meat thermometer is best. Remove roast right before hitting target temp.

Resting, Slicing and Serving Eye of Round Roast

After roasting, be sure to:

  • Rest 10-15 minutes – This finishes cooking and allows juices to reabsorb.

  • Slice very thin – Cut across the grain for tender portions.

  • Serve with pan sauce – Make a simple sauce from the meat juices for added flavor.

  • Use leftovers creatively – Top salads, make French dip sandwiches or stuffed pitas.

Cooking Times for Different Sized Eye of Round Roasts

Use this handy chart as a guide, but always check internal temperature:

Roast Weight Oven Temp Cook Time Total Time
2 lbs 450°F then 325°F 50-60 minutes 1 hour 10 minutes
3 lbs 450°F then 325°F 60-75 minutes 1 hour 30 minutes
4 lbs 450°F then 325°F 75-90 minutes 1 hour 45 minutes
5 lbs 450°F then 325°F 90-110 minutes 2 hours
  • Sear at 450°F for 10-15 minutes to brown exterior and develop flavor.
  • Finish roasting at 325°F until it reaches 125°F internally.
  • Rest at least 10 minutes before slicing.
  • Times are for medium-rare doneness. Add 5 minutes if you prefer medium.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

It’s easy to dry out or overcook eye of round roast. Avoid these pitfalls:

  • Not using a meat thermometer to check doneness.
  • Cooking for the full time a recipe states without verifying temp.
  • Forgetting to let the roast rest before slicing – juices will spill out.
  • Neglecting to slice very thin across the natural grain – can be chewy.
  • Overcooking past medium-rare to medium or well-done – will be tough.

Tips for the Most Tender, Juicy Eye of Round Roast

  • Choose roasts that are 1-2 inches thick – thinner cuts cook faster.
  • Allow roast to sit out for 1 hour before cooking – removes chill.
  • Pre-sear in a hot pan before roasting – develops flavor.
  • Roast uncovered so crust can form – provides texture.
  • Check temperature early and often – prevents overcooking.
  • Rest 10-15 minutes before slicing – juices reabsorb.
  • Slice very thin across the grain – ensures tenderness.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to cook eye of round roast?

  • Sear at 450°F then roast at 325°F until it reaches 125°F internally. Rest before slicing thinly against the grain.

Should you cook eye of round roast covered or uncovered?

  • Roast it uncovered so a flavorful crust can develop. Tent loosely with foil during the resting period.

Can you braise or slow cook eye of round roast?

  • Braising or slow cooking eye of round can help break down its tough tissues. Cook covered with a small amount of liquid on low heat.

Is eye of round roast good for roast beef sandwiches?

  • Yes, it’s often used for deli roast beef. Slice the cooked roast very thin across the grain. Pile high on bread or rolls for French dip sandwiches.

What is the best cut of beef for pot roast?

  • Chuck roast or brisket are ideal cuts for pot roast since they have more fat marbling and connective tissue that breaks down into tender, juicy shreds.

The Takeaway on Cooking Eye of Round Roast

With minimal work, inexpensive eye of round roast can become a delicious home-cooked meal. Allow it to rest before searing, use a meat thermometer, and roast to no more than medium-rare. Rest again before slicing very thin against the grain. In about 1 1⁄2 hours, you’ll have beautiful, juicy roast beef to enjoy!

Oven Roasted Eye Round Roast


How do you cook eye of the round so it is not tough?

This cut of beef is tougher than others, so following a steak recipe and using cooking methods that allow for long, slow cooking times work best for eye of round steak. Slow-cooking, braising, and cooking sous vide are some of the best cooking methods for eye of round steak.

What temperature should eye of round be cooked at?

Test the eye of round roast for doneness with a meat thermometer, and remove when the internal temperature reaches 130°F to 135°F. If overcooked it becomes tough and dry.

Is it better to cook a roast at 325 or 350?

When roasting meat and poultry, set the oven temperature to 325°F (163°C) or higher. Explore the charts below to learn how to get great results every time you cook.

How long do you cook a 2.5 lb roast at 350 degrees?

As a general rule of thumb, you can estimate about 20-25 minutes per pound for a boneless beef roast cooked at 350 degrees. Here’s a basic guideline for cooking times: For a rare roast: Cook until the internal temperature reaches 125-130 degrees Fahrenheit. This will take approximately 15-18 minutes per pound.

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