What Is The Best Cut Of Beef For A Roast?

There are few dinners you’ll enjoy more than the mighty pot roast in the dead of winter, when every morning calls for a pair of thick gloves and a sturdy snow shovel. And typically, making a fantastic pot roast isn’t too difficult: you just need a big pot (typically a Dutch oven), some diced potatoes, carrots, and other winter vegetables, and beef that has been braised in red wine or another savory liquid. It is straightforward to prepare and pairs well with other hearty sides like mashed potatoes or thick egg noodles.

But you should be aware that, just like with any meat recipe, some cuts of beef are better suited to the dish than others before you throw any old cut of beef into your pot. In fact, you can braise a variety of beef cuts to make pot roast, and the tougher the meat, the better it will take to this low-and-slow cooking technique. Continue reading to learn which cuts make the best pot roast.

Best Beef Cuts for Oven Roasting
  • Tenderloin Roast. The most tender beef roast that is well known for being lean and succulent. …
  • Tri-Tip Roast. Boneless and fairly tender with full flavor. …
  • Top Sirloin Petite Roast. …
  • Bottom Round Roast. …
  • Eye of Round Roast. …
  • Sirloin Tip Roast. …
  • Top Round Roast. …
  • Ribeye Roast.

Eye of round roast

If youre looking for a lean cut for roast beef on the more inexpensive side, the cylindrical eye of round roast is a delicious choice. Like all round cuts, it comes from the round primal, which is cut from the well-exercised rump and rear leg muscles. Its a lean choice, too, since this cut contains just 3.2 grams of fat per three ounces of meat per BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com.

To make up for the intramuscular fat that this potential roast beef cut lacks, a punchy marinade or flavorful rub will help accent the lighter beef flavor characteristic of this cut. Another key to building flavor in an eye of round roast is browning all sides on the stovetop before oven-roasting it slowly at a lower temperature. How its cut is also important. Slice the eye of round roast thinly against the grain to ensure it isnt chewy and tough.

Top round roast is another lean cut that works well for making tasty, thinly sliced roast beef. In fact, its the preferred cut for making the meat for a Chicago-style Italian beef sandwich.

This cut of beef comes from the same beef primal section in the rump and rear legs as the bottom round and eye of round cuts. Its called top round because it sits on top of those pieces of meat, according to BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com. It has a similarly low-fat content like those cuts as well, making this a leaner and healthier choice compared to other beef cuts.

Like other round cuts, the top round roast should be cooked low and slow and sliced across the grain. This cut of meat is best cooked to a medium-rare temperature and is regularly used to make the roast beef deli meat youre familiar with, per Masterclass.

Chef Rose says sirloin tip roast is a great and tasty budget cut with the intensely beefy flavor of a pricier tenderloin roast at a much lower cost. According to BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com, this delicious cut is named after the fact that it is next to the tip of the sirloin. Similar to other lean and inexpensive cuts like the top and bottom round roasts, the sirloin tip roast comes from the round primal.

This inexpensive cut makes great roast beef because it contains a lot of connective tissues like collagen that create a velvety mouthfeel — without the fat. These tough tissues break down with a low and slow cooking method like braising. Rose warns that while this cut has great depth of flavor, it can make for a dry roast beef if you dont allow enough cooking time for the connective tissues to fully break down.

Prime rib roast is Chef Roses’ preferred splurge cut for roast beef. He claims it has a “jaw-dropping presence” and “well-marbled intramuscular fat that renders into the roast for the perfect bite.” He emphasizes that the key to this roast beef preparation is trimming the fat. Although this cut is more expensive, the intramuscular fat of this cut also enables prime rib roast to be cooked to a slightly higher internal temperature without sacrificing tenderness.

We advise letting the meat warm up to closer to room temperature before cooking and seasoning the meat liberally for the most luscious prime rib roast possible. If you don’t take the time to trim it properly, Rose notes that this cut may be too fatty.

While many roast beef recipes call for cooking roasts low and slow, you can create a succulent prime rib roast by searing the meat on the stovetop or in a hot oven before cooking it for 20 minutes per pound at a temperature of 350 F. Aim to cook the roast to an internal temperature of 115 F for a rare roast with a cool, red center or between 120 and 135 F for a medium-rare level of doneness with a pink center and tender bite.

While you may not have heard of a shoulder petite roast, this is a smaller cut of beef that makes extremely tender and flavorful roast beef. This relatively lean cut of meat, also known as the chuck shoulder tender, shoulder tender, and Teres major, comes from the shoulder area of the animal and has six grams of fat in three ounces of meat, according to BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com. According to Genesee Valley Ranch, it is also known as butchers steak because it can be difficult to remove properly.

Chef Rose claims that this cut can be succulent and comparable to a filet in flavor and texture, but at a price that is roughly half that of a filet. Due to its flavor, tenderness, and affordable price, it is frequently referred to as a “poor man’s filet mignon.” Avoiding overcooking, which can make the meat tough and dry, is the key to keeping this cut juicy and tender, advises Rose.

Chateaubriand beef tenderloin roast

A chateaubriand beef tenderloin roast is one of the most expensive choices for making roast beef. Fancy name aside, this is a delicious roast cut from the same piece of meat as filet mignon steaks. While filet mignons are cut from the tapered end of the whole tenderloin, the chateaubriand is cut from the thicker, center portion of the tenderloin, and its even thickness can make it easier to cook this pricier meat evenly.

Pronounced “shah-tow-bree-and,” this roast that only makes up about two to three percent of the cow also goes by a few other names you may be more familiar with, like beef tenderloin, tenderloin roast, and filet mignon roast, according to Omaha Steaks.

Due to its moistness, mild flavor, and leanness, Chef Rose claims that this incredibly tender cut makes great roast beef. He claims that if the meat is cooked past medium rare, the lack of intramuscular fat will cause the meat to dry out.

To make up for the lack of fat, we like to coat a chateaubriand beef tenderloin roast in flavor-enhanced butter — this is a splurge cut, after all. A two-pound roast should be cooked to medium rare (115 F) in a swift 30 to 45 minutes at 300 F, making this one of the faster ways to get your roast beef fix.

For those searching for an affordable roast beef that tastes like a Chateaubriand, Chef Rose suggests the strip loin roast. According to Rose, this short loin cut has a strong flavor of loin beef and a good amount of tenderness. Although it isn’t quite as tender as the chateaubriand, he claims it is also less expensive and a great affordable alternative.

While the strip loin roast is not typical in most grocery stores, you can ask your butcher to custom cut this well-marbled roast. This cut comes from the short loin and is more often seen cut into thick strip steaks, according to BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com. Strip loin roast is also considered a good substitute for prime rib due to its juicy, tender, and flavorful meat. Like strip steaks, strip loin roasts have a flavorful fat cap on one side that helps keep the meat moist during cooking.

If you won’t miss the more traditional rosy center that many people associate with the meat, brisket is a flavorful and delectable option for roast beef. It is best to roast or braise this cut of beef slowly and gently. It has a juicy and potent beefy flavor, claims Chef Rose. Brisket contains a lot of connective tissue because it comes from a heavily-worked muscle in the cow’s chest. This is why Rose says it needs enough time in the oven to cook through without the meat turning out dry and tough.

There are two cuts on a whole brisket: a flat cut and a point cut. We advise using the point cut for oven roasting because it has a fat cap that will prevent the meat from drying out while cooking and enhance the flavor of the meat. You might want to further trim some of this fat, depending on your butcher.

Ask the Test Kitchen: What’s the best affordable cut of beef to use for roast beef?


Which is cut better for a roast?

Beef becomes tougher and more flavorful when using more muscle. Muscles from well-known cuts like the chuck, brisket, and round are gathered around the steer’s shoulder, chest, belly, and hip. Unexpectedly, these cuts are excellent choices for a pot roast due to the tough connective tissues in them.

What cut of beef is best for Sunday roast?

The best cuts for roasts are the rib (either with the bone in or boned and rolled), sirloin, top rump, and fillet. Try fillet, entrecôte, rib eye, sirloin, or rump steaks for quick cooking.

What are the most tender cuts of beef?

Lean and renowned for their tender, butter-like texture and thick cut, tenderloin steaks are the most tender of all beef cuts. These tender, delectable steaks can be “cut with a butter knife.” Filets or filet mignon are common names for tenderloin steaks.

What is the most tender beef roast?

The most tender beef roast, known for being lean and succulent, is the Chateaubriand Tenderloin Roast. Easy to carve with its fine texture.

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