What is the Correct Internal Temperature for Cooking Rare Beef Roasts?

When cooking beef roasts like prime rib or ribeye roast, using the proper internal temperature is key to achieving the perfect level of doneness, especially for rare roasts. Getting the temperature right ensures the roast is cooked through for food safety while still being tender and juicy.

What is Considered Rare?

Rare roast beef is cooked until it reaches an internal temperature between 125-135°F. At this stage, the interior of the beef will be bright red and cool in temperature. The meat fibers will be the most tender because rare beef is basically seared on the outside and warmed in the center rather than fully cooked through.

Rare beef is not recommended for ground beef, stew meat, or rolled roasts due to increased risk of bacteria. Whole cut roasts like prime rib or ribeyes are safer when cooked rare.

Why Cook Beef Roasts Rare?

Cooking beef roasts to rare doneness offers several advantages:

  • Maximum tenderness – Less time cooking means less toughness from collagen breakdown.

  • Most beefy flavor – Quick cooking preserves the natural beef flavors.

  • Easier to slice – Rare roast beef slices cleanly for beautiful presentation.

  • Appealing interior color – Bright red inside is visually appealing when sliced.

  • Juiciness – Less moisture loss since the meat is not cooked long.

For these reasons, roasts like prime rib and ribeye are best cooked rare to medium-rare to highlight their flavor and texture.

Correct Internal Temp for Rare Beef Roasts

To cook beef roasts like prime rib or ribeye roast to rare doneness:

  • Remove the roast from the oven when it reaches an internal temperature of 125°F.

  • Allow the roast to rest for 10-15 minutes. During this time, the internal temperature will continue rising to the final target temperature.

  • After resting, the temperature should reach the ideal rare roast beef temperature of 130-135°F.

If taking the temperature periodically with an instant-read thermometer, check the temp at around 110°F then frequently thereafter until 125°F. Oven roasting times will vary based on size.

Tips for Cooking Rare Roasts

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

  • Use a quality probe thermometer to monitor temp.

  • Position thermometer properly by inserting into the thickest part of the roast, avoiding bone.

  • For prime rib, stand the roast on the ribs for optimum cooking.

  • Cook in a low oven, around 250°F, to allow time for the interior to come to temperature before the outside overcooks.

  • Tent foil loosely over the roast to prevent excessive browning if needed.

  • Allow at least 10 minutes resting time before carving.

Is Rare Beef Safe?

Rare beef is safe when certain guidelines are followed:

  • Cook only whole muscle cuts like ribeye, tenderloin, sirloin. Avoid ground beef, stew meat, or rolled roasts.

  • Ensure the exterior reaches at least 145°F to kill any surface bacteria. Sear well before roasting.

  • Use freshly ground beef within 2 days of purchase.

  • Buy quality beef from reputable suppliers.

  • Follow kitchen safety guidelines to prevent cross-contamination.

When these precautions are taken, whole muscle cuts like prime rib and rib roasts can be safely enjoyed rare at 125-135°F internal temperature.

Use a reliable meat thermometer and trust the temperature rather than time guidelines for perfect results. For rare beef roasts, cook to 125°F and allow carryover cooking to 135°F for juicy, tender beef loaded with flavor.

Cooking 101: Proper cooking Temperatures to Ensure Safe Food – White Apron Catering, Lake Worth, Fl


What temperature should roast beef be for rare?

Choose how you want your beef cooked
Remove your beef from the oven when it reaches the following internal temperature (if you are going to eat it hot)
Medium Rare
Medium Well
Well Done

What is the internal safe cooking temperature of rare beef?

Rare (125°-130°F) The chef will season the steak and place it on the grill. The steak will become brown on the outside, but still remain very soft on the inside.

What are the temperatures of beef roasts?

Remove the roast from the oven when it reaches its finished temperature – 145ºF (63ºC) for medium-rare, 160ºF (71ºC) for medium or 170ºF (77ºC) for well done.

What is the degree of doneness for roast beef?

The USDA recommends steaks and roasts be cooked to 145°F and then rested for at least 3 minutes. To ensure food safety, ground beef should be cooked to a minimum 160°F.

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