What is the Cooking Time and Temperature for Roast Beef?

Roast beef is a classic main dish for holidays, dinner parties, and Sunday family dinners. When roasted properly, it emerges from the oven tender, juicy and full of flavor. However, achieving roast beef perfection depends greatly on using the right cooking times and temperatures. This article will provide guidelines on how long to roast different cuts of beef and at what oven temperature for the best results.

Factors that Affect Roast Beef Cooking Time

Several factors impact total cooking time:

  • Weight/size of the roast: A 5 lb roast takes longer than a 3 lb roast. Allow approx. 15-20 minutes per pound.

  • Oven temperature: Higher heat cooks faster but can dry out the meat. Lower temps take longer but keep the meat juicy.

  • Meat thickness: Thicker roasts need more time than thinner, uniform roasts.

  • Bone-in vs boneless: Bone-in roasts cook slower since the bones insulate the meat.

  • Doneness level: Rare roast beef cooks faster than well-done.

  • Meat temperature: Meat at fridge temperature takes longer than meat at room temp.

  • Opening the oven: Heat is lost every time the oven is opened.

An instant-read meat thermometer takes the guesswork out and ensures the beef is cooked to the perfect internal temperature.

Oven Temperature Guidelines

  • For most roasts under 4-5 lbs, preheat the oven to 425°F.

  • For larger roasts and prime rib, preheat to 450°F for the first 15-20 minutes to sear the exterior.

  • Then reduce heat to 300-325°F for the remainder of cooking.

  • Slow roasting at lower temps keeps the interior moist and tender.

  • 325°F is ideal for even cooking and maximal tenderness.

Cooking Times by Roast Beef Cut

Cooking times vary based on the particular roast cut. Here are guidelines for popular beef roasts:

Ribeye Roast

The prime rib roast contains ribs bones and a large eye of meat that is marbled, tender and flavorful.

  • Bone-in ribeye roast

    • 4 lb: 1 hr 45 min (rare)
    • 8 lb: 2 hr 10 min (rare)
  • Boneless ribeye roast

    • 4 lb: 1 hr 30 min (rare)
    • 8 lb: 1 hr 45 min (rare)

Tenderloin Roast

The tenderloin is the most tender cut of beef. It has very little fat and is delicate.

  • 3 lb: 25 min (rare)
  • 5 lb: 45 min (rare)

Top Sirloin Roast

Top sirloin is lean, tender and flavorful. It makes an easy weeknight roast.

  • 4 lb: 1 hr 10 min (rare)
  • 8 lb: 2 hr 10 min (rare)

Eye of Round Roast

The eye of round is a lean, economical cut best served rare or medium-rare.

  • 3 lb: 1 hr (rare)
  • 5 lb: 1 hr 15 min (rare)

Top Round Roast

Similar to eye of round, top round is lean and budget-friendly but needs long, slow roasting.

  • 5 lb: 1 hr 15 min (rare)
  • 8 lb: 2 hr 45 min (rare)

Checking for Doneness

Always use a meat thermometer to test for doneness, not cooking time. Insert into the thickest part without touching bone.

  • Rare: 120-125°F
  • Medium-rare: 130-135°F
  • Medium: 140-145°F
  • Medium-well: 150-155°F
  • Well-done: 160°F and above

Remove the roast from the oven when it registers 5°F below desired doneness to account for carryover cooking. The temperature will continue rising around 5-10°F during resting time.

Resting, Carving and Serving

Letting the roast rest is a crucial final step. The roast should rest at least 10-15 minutes, tented loosely with foil. During this time, the juices redistribute through the meat.

To carve, slice across the grain for tenderness. Cut into 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 inch thick slices. Serve topped with pan juices for added flavor and moisture.

Accompaniments like gravy, horseradish, and au jus pair nicely. Roast beef also makes amazing sandwiches the next day piled high on crusty bread.

Cooking Tips for Perfect Roast Beef

  • Choose a roast with generous marbling for flavor and tenderness.

  • Pat the roast dry and tie/truss it into a uniform shape to ensure even cooking.

  • Season well with salt, pepper and herbs. Sear all sides in a hot pan to start.

  • Use a meat thermometer for the most accurate doneness.

  • Roast fat side up which self-bastes the meat during cooking.

  • Let rest before slicing to maximize juiciness.

With the right time, temperature, and technique you can achieve a beautiful, tender and juicy roast beef using your oven at home. Enjoy this savory, celebratory centerpiece entrée.

Frequency of Entities:

roast: 28
beef: 24
temperature: 12
oven: 8
lb: 8
rare: 7
cook: 6
meat: 5

Perfect Roast Beef – Learn the ideal time & temperature for tender roast beef!


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.

What temperature do you cook a roast beef?

Brown at 375°F, then lower the heat to 225°F: Cook the roast initially at 375°F (190°C) for half an hour, to brown it. Then lower the heat to 225°F (107°C). The roast should take somewhere from 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours more to cook.

How long does it take to cook a roast beef in the oven at 350?

Type of roast
Oven temperature
Cooking time
Top sirloin roast Whole
12-15 mins / lb
Top sirloin roast Half
17-20 mins / lb
Stuffed roast Lamb, pork, beef, veal
20-25 mins / lb
Rack of lamb
25 mins

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