The Best Cuts of Beef for Roast Perfection

A beautifully roasted piece of beef makes for a memorable meal. The savory, beefy aroma as it cooks, yielding tender, juicy meat is an amazing experience. However, not all cuts of beef result in a great roast. The best cuts for roasting are chosen carefully to ensure optimal flavor, tenderness, and juiciness.

When selecting the perfect cut of beef for roasting, there are a few factors to consider:


Tenderness is key when roasting beef. You want a cut that will become fall-apart tender after cooking low and slow. Cuts that come from less exercised muscles, like the loin or rib sections, tend to be more tender.


Intramuscular fat, or marbling, is the flecks and streaks of fat within the muscle. Marbling bastes the meat from the inside and keeps it juicy. Heavily marbled cuts like ribeye are ideal.

Connective Tissue

Connective tissues like collagen melts into delicious gelatin when roasted low and slow. Cuts like chuck roast have lots of connective tissue.


Beefier flavored cuts lend more depth. Opt for flavorful roasts like tri-tip over milder filet mignon.


An expensive cut like tenderloin may not fit every budget. Choose an affordable cut like round roast.

Now let’s explore some of the best cuts of beef for roasting to juicy perfection:

Rib Roast

The rib section is where you’ll find the iconic, splurge-worthy prime rib roast. This well-marbled roast contains ribs five through twelve. A lip of fat caps the outside edge, basting the meat as it cooks. The result is impressively tender, juicy and beefy.

Rib roasts are excellent candidates for quick high-heat roasting. Cook until the center reaches your desired doneness, between rare (120°F) and medium-rare (130°F). Resting allows the temperature to coast up another 5-10 degrees.

Strip Loin Roast

The strip loin roast comes from the short loin, which is also where New York strip steaks originate. This cut has a thick band of flavorful fat along one side that melts into the meat.

With its tender texture and bold flavor, the strip loin roast makes a fine substitute for more expensive rib roast. It can be roasted similarly – seared at high heat then finished at a lower oven temperature.


Tri-tip isn’t the most well-known cut, but it makes outstanding roast beef. Taken from the bottom sirloin, it has a distinct triangular shape. While lean, it has decent marbling that keeps it moist.

Tri-tip can be roasted, but really shines when grilled or smoked low and slow. Cutting against the grain is crucial for tenderness. Cook to medium-rare at the highest.

Top Sirloin Roast

For those seeking a leaner roast, top sirloin is a great choice. Taken from the sirloin primal, top sirloin roast is nicely marbled while still being relatively low in fat. It offers good flavor at a budget-friendly price.

Bring top sirloin to room temperature before roasting in a 250°F oven until it hits 125°F for medium-rare. Slicing across the grain is key.

Eye of Round Roast

The eye of round is a very lean, economical cut from the hindquarter round primal. It lacks the fat that keeps meat tender and moist, so low and slow roasting is key. A marinade injects extra flavor.

Cook eye of round roast in a 275°F oven until it reaches 135°F. Rest, then slice very thinly against the grain. It’s perfect for roast beef sandwiches.

Chuck Roast

Chuck roast comes from the shoulder, so it’s economical but packed with collagen. The connective tissue breaks down into succulent gelatin with wet cooking methods like braising.

For pot roast, brown the chuck roast then braise it in liquid for 2-3 hours until fork tender. The melted collagen gives the meat a velvety texture.


Brisket is another nicely marbled cut that excels with slow, moist heat. The fat helps keep it tender. Look for a whole brisket with the deckle, or point, attached.

Low and slow smoking or baking at 225°F for 8-12 hours is ideal. When properly cooked, brisket pulls apart easily. It makes amazing shredded beef.

Short Plate

Part of the underappreciated short plate primal, the short plate cut makes a wonderfully beefy and inexpensive roast. It contains a hearty fat cap and plenty of collagen.

Short plate benefits from braising for ultimate tenderness. Brown it first to develop a crust, then braise it in broth at 300°F for 2-3 hours.

Bottom Round Roast

Bottom round comes from the cow’s legs, so it’s lean yet still fairly tender when roasted properly. Look for bottom round rump roast, perfect for budget-friendly roast beef.

Season well and roast at 275°F, pulling it at 135°F for medium-rare to prevent overcooking the lean meat. Slice very thin against the grain.

Osso Buco

Osso buco isn’t roast beef, but rather a cross-cut veal shank. However, when braised correctly, the meat pulls away from the bone in succulent strands reminiscent of roast beef.

Braise osso buco low and slow in a flavorful liquid until very tender. Enjoy the unctuous meat and sauce served over risotto.


The tenderloin is considered the most tender cut of beef. When roasted, it offers a buttery smooth texture and mild flavor. It makes for lean, elegant roast beef.

Roast tenderloin at a high temperature just until it reaches 125°F at the thickest point for perfect medium-rare doneness. A flavorful crust is key.

Shoulder Tender

Also called the teres major, this little known cut comes from the chuck shoulder. It offers an impressive tenderness that rivals tenderloin at a fraction of the price.

Quick roasting at high heat ensures a juicy, tender shoulder tender roast. Don’t cook past medium for optimal texture.

Sirloin Tip Roast

Sirloin tip roast comes from the round primal. It has a loose texture but intense beefiness. When roasted properly, it can be very tender at a budget price point.

Cook sirloin tip roast slowly in a 275°F oven until it reaches 135°F. Slice thinly across the grain. It also does well braised.

Top Round Roast

Top round roast is another lean, inexpensive cut from the leg section. It is the traditional choice for Italian beef sandwiches, becoming tender when cooked low and slow.

Roast top round at 300°F until it hits 140°F. After resting, slice paper thin across the grain for sandwiches.

Beef Cheeks

Beef cheek may seem like an odd cut for roast beef. However, when braised long enough, the meat becomes incredibly tender with a melt-in-your-mouth texture.

Brown beef cheek first to develop flavor then braise for at least 2-3 hours until fork tender. The gelatinous sauce is divine.

Beef Shank Roast

Cross-cut beef shanks contain lots of collagen and marrow. Low, moist heat transforms these tough cuts into succulent roast beef that pulls away from the bone.

Braise beef shank for 2-3 hours in flavorful liquid. The cooked collagen delivers rich body and sliceable tender meat.


Oxtail is another cut that requires lengthy braising, but rewards you with meat so tender it falls off the bone. The name comes from the cut being taken from a cow’s tail.

Slow cook oxtail for 3-4 hours until very tender, then remove the meat from the bones. The oxtail meat makes incredibly rich roast beef.

Bottom Sirloin Roast

The bottom sirloin is closer to the round section, so it’s leaner than top sirloin roast. However, it still has decent marbling for flavor and tenderness.

Bring bottom sirloin to room temperature before roasting it to medium-rare. Be careful not to overcook this leaner cut.

Rump Roast

Rump roast comes from the round primal cut near the sirloin. It’s lean and moderately tender, especially when sliced thinly against the grain after roasting.

Cook rump roasts at 300°F to an internal temperature of 145°F max for ideal medium doneness. Rest before carving.

Petite Tender

Also called the teres major, the petite tender is a small, little known muscle that offers impressive tenderness. It resembles tenderloin at a lower cost.

Quick roast petite tender to medium-rare for melt-in-your-mouth texture. Add a flavorful rub before cooking for more impact.

London Broil

London broil isn’t a cut but a cooking method. It involves marinating then broiling a flank steak, which can then be sliced across the grain like roast beef.

Marinate a flank steak in a flavorful marinade, then broil to medium-rare. After resting, slice very thinly on the bias.

Bottom Round

Bottom round comes from the back legs, so it’s lean yet fairly tender. Look for a bottom round rump roast for an inexpensive, lean roast beef.

Cook bottom round at 275°F to 135°F. Allow to rest before slicing very thin against the grain for tenderness.

The Best Cuts Of Beef For Roasting – Teys Certified Angus Premium Beef


What cut of beef makes the most tender roast beef?

The Chateaubriand beef tenderloin roast is considered to be the most tender cut of beef for a roast. This cut of beef comes from the loin area of the cow, which is right below the backbone, behind the rib section and in front of the sirloin section.

What cut of beef is best for Sunday roast?

A topside of beef is an incredibly popular choice for oven roasting. Topside beef is a lean cut which not only tastes good but is a great source of protein, making it the perfect addition to a roast beef dinner. Topside beef comes from the hindquarter and is more tender than silverside, as well as affordable to buy.

What is the best type of meat for a roast?

The best meat for pot roast is a beef cut with abundant connective tissue, like chuck roast, beef brisket or bottom round roast. This connective tissue called collagen is what makes pot roast melt-in-your-mouth tender.

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