The Best Cuts of Beef for a Perfect Christmas Dinner

Christmas dinner is one of the most anticipated meals of the year. When choosing the centerpiece for your holiday table, you’ll want a cut of beef that is both impressive and delicious. The good news is you have lots of excellent options! Here’s a guide to the best cuts of beef to serve for Christmas dinner along with tips for preparing them to perfection.

Prime Rib

Hands down, prime rib is one of the most classic and popular cuts of beef for Christmas. Also known as a standing rib roast, prime rib comes from the primal rib section. It consists of the ribs 6 through 12 with the meat attached.

Here’s why prime rib makes such a stellar Christmas dinner:

  • Tender and flavorful – The rib section offers the perfect balance of tenderness and beefy flavor. The marbling provides tons of juice and flavor as well.

  • Special occasion cut – Prime rib just feels extra special and celebratory, perfect for Christmas.

  • Easy to prepare – Simple seasoning and roasting lets the flavor shine.

  • Impressive presentation – The big beautiful roast wows guests and looks gorgeous on the table.

For prime rib, figure around 1 pound of bone-in roast per person. Season it simply with salt, pepper and herbs and roast in a low oven until it reaches the desired doneness. Let it rest before slicing into juicy, beefy perfection.

Beef Tenderloin

Butter-knife tender beef tenderloin also ranks high on the list of stellar cuts for Christmas dinner. Taken from the short loin, it offers these advantages:

  • Extremely tender – The tenderloin does the least work of any beef cut, making it melt-in-your-mouth tender.

  • Subtle flavor – While not as robust as prime rib, the tenderloin has a mild, elegant flavor.

  • Quick cooking – The tenderloin cooks more quickly than many cuts since it’s so lean.

  • Festive presentation – Whole tenderloins look beautiful on the table with their rich mahogany color.

Plan for around 1/2 pound per person. Elegant seasoning like fresh herbs and peppercorns suits the refined flavor. Roast to medium rare for the best texture.

Tri-Tip Roast

The tri-tip is a small, flavorful roast cut from the bottom sirloin. It offers several advantages for Christmas dinner:

  • Budget-friendly – Tri-tip is significantly cheaper than prime rib.

  • Tender and tasty – While lean, it has good marbling for juiciness and flavor.

  • Portion control – The small 2-3 pound size feeds about 6-8 people, perfect for smaller gatherings.

  • Quick cooking – Tri-tip roasts cook more rapidly than larger cuts.

Season the tri-tip with bold spices like garlic, pepper and chili powder. Grill, broil or roast it whole then slice across the grain. This West Coast cut is a Christmas revelation!

Ribeye Roast

For another excellent prime rib alternative, consider a ribeye roast. It comes from the rib primal further back than prime rib. Benefits include:

  • Great flavor – With generous marbling, ribeyes pack a flavor punch.

  • Cost effective – More budget-friendly than prime rib, but still a special occasion cut.

  • Flexible size – Ribeye roasts can be purchased in a range of sizes to suit any gathering.

  • Quick prep – Just rub with seasoning and pop it in the oven.

For a 4-5 pound roast, figure around 1/2 pound per person. Crust it with cracked peppercorns and garlic for fabulous flavor. Roast to medium rare for the perfect Christmas main course.

Beef Wellington

For an extravagant dish, consider Beef Wellington. This elegant entree features tenderloin coated in liver pâté and duxelles, then wrapped in puff pastry and baked. Here’s how it shines for Christmas:

  • Luxurious flavors – The layering of flavors is absolutely decadent.

  • Impressive presentation – When sliced at the table, the flaky pastry reveals the perfect pink center.

  • Special occasion fare – Beef Wellington just screams special occasion.

  • Prep ahead – You can assemble the Wellington ahead of time for an easier Christmas day.

While labor intensive, Beef Wellington is a showstopper. Use high quality tenderloin and puff pastry. Follow a recipe carefully for perfect results.

Standing Rib Roast

Essentially just another name for prime rib, a standing rib roast makes a spectacular and memorable Christmas dinner. It contains ribs 6-12 like prime rib, offering these benefits:

  • Tender and juicy – When roasted properly, this cut is hard to beat.

  • Gorgeous presentation – The giant roast is truly a sight to behold on the table.

  • Quintessential Christmas fare – It just feels like Christmas when carving a big beautiful rib roast.

  • Simple but special – No tricky cooking techniques needed, just good old fashioned roasting.

For impressive holiday dining, a standing rib roast is a prime choice. Season with salt, pepper and herbs and roast low and slow. Let rest before slicing for juicy perfection.

Filet Mignon Roast

Cut from the beef tenderloin, a filet mignon roast provides incredibly tender and elegant Christmas fare. Consider it for:

  • Buttery texture – Filet roasts are incredibly tender since they’re so lean.

  • Mild flavor – Subtler tasting than rib roasts, but very refined.

  • Quick cooking – No need for hours in the oven; filets cook relatively quickly.

  • Festive and elegant – Perfect for a sophisticated holiday meal.

Choose a center-cut roast for the most uniform shape. Crust it with cracked pepper and roast to medium rare doneness for a real holiday treat.

Beef Brisket

For those who love the flavors of barbecue, a smoked brisket makes a fantastic Christmas entree. Here’s how it performs for the holidays:

  • Incredibly flavorful – Slow smoked brisket is packed with smoky, beefy flavor.

  • Festive and fun – A nice change of pace from traditional roasts.

  • Lower cost – Brisket costs a fraction of what beef tenderloin or prime rib runs.

  • Make ahead – Brisket benefits from making a day or two ahead.

Allow 1/3 to 1/2 pound per person. Smoke with hickory, oak or pecan wood for 8-12 hours until fall apart tender. It’s holiday perfection for barbecue fans!

Petite Beef Tenderloin Roast

A petite roast cut from the beef tenderloin offers another stellar option for smaller Christmas gatherings. Benefits include:

  • Super tender – Retains the same tender texture as a full tenderloin roast.

  • Smaller size – Feeds 8-10 people, ideal for more intimate gatherings.

  • Lower cost – A fraction of the price of a large full tenderloin.

  • Quick cooking – Cooks more rapidly than bigger roasts.

Choose a roast about 3 pounds in size and crust with pepper or fresh herbs. Roast to medium rare for a real holiday treat on a budget.

Bottom Round Roast

For a very budget-friendly Christmas roast, opt for a bottom round roast. Taken from the round primal, it offers:

  • Great value – One of the most affordable roasts available.

  • Lean and tasty – When roasted properly, it can be very flavorsome.

  • Good size – Roasts are around 3-5 pounds, serving 6-10.

  • Easy prep – Just season and pop in the oven or slow cooker.

Season a bottom round roast generously and roast low and slow or simmer in a slow cooker until very tender. Slice thin against the grain for a delicious and wallet-friendly Christmas dinner.

Tips for Preparing the Perfect Christmas Beef

No matter which cut of beef you choose, follow these tips to ensure it’s holiday perfection:

  • Select a roast size that suits your number of guests, allowing at least 1/2 pound per person.

  • Bring roasts to room temperature before cooking for more even cooking.

  • Season beef generously with salt, pepper and any other spices or herbs. Garlic, rosemary, thyme and sage are all excellent.

  • Use a low roasting temperature, around 250°F. This yields incredibly tender, juicy beef.

  • Roast to 5°F below your desired doneness to account for carryover cooking during resting.

  • Always let roasts rest at least 15-20 minutes before slicing to allow juices to redistribute.

  • Slice with a sharp knife across the grain of the meat for the most tender slices.

  • Include a good meat thermometer to check doneness, especially for larger cuts.

With so many excellent cuts available, you’re bound to find the perfect beef centerpiece for your Christmas table. Serve your spectacular roast beef with classic holiday side dishes, carve at the table for an impressive presentation, and get ready for beefy holiday magic!

Frequency of Entities:
what is the best cut of beef for christmas dinner – 18
beef – 58
christmas dinner – 20
cuts – 17

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


What is a good beef for Christmas dinner?

Make your dinner a celebration to look forward to this holiday season. For Hanukkah or Christmas dinner, stick with delicious classics like Prime Rib, Beef Wellington or a savory Brisket.

What is the best cut of beef for a roast?

For roasts, the best cuts include rib (on the bone or boned and rolled), sirloin, top rump and fillet. For quick cooking, try fillet, entrecôte, rib eye, sirloin or rump steaks. Brisket, topside and silverside are good for pot roasts, and stewing and braising steak are good for stews and casseroles.

What meat is common for Christmas?

Traditional Christmas dinner features turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, and vegetables. Other types of poultry, roast beef, or ham, are also used.

Leave a Comment