What Temperature to Cook Roast Beef for Perfect Results Every Time

Roast beef is a timeless centerpiece for holidays, dinner parties or cozy family meals. When seasoned and cooked properly, few dishes can match the simple elegance of tender, juicy slices of roast beef served alongside horseradish sauce, pan gravy and roasted vegetables.

However, achieving roast beef cooked to the ideal level of doneness for your taste requires careful monitoring of the oven temperature. This guide will explore everything you need to know about cooking roast beef at the right temperature, including tips on choosing the best oven temp for searing, finishing and more.

Why Temperature Control Matters for Roast Beef

Controlling the oven temperature is crucial when roasting beef to:

  • Achieve a well-browned, flavorful exterior crust
  • Cook the interior to the desired doneness without overcooking
  • Allow for carryover cooking and ample resting time

Don’t rely solely on roasting times in recipes as guidance. The shape, thickness and initial temperature of your roast will affect total cooking time. Monitoring the oven temp and using a meat thermometer are key.

Oven Temperatures for Different Stages of Roasting Beef

There are three basic phases when oven-roasting beef. The target oven temp varies for each stage:

1. Searing – 375°F to 425°F

  • High heat at the beginning helps develop a well-browned crust through the Maillard reaction.

  • Remove roast from fridge 30-60 minutes before cooking. Dry exterior aids browning.

  • Leave roast uncovered and place it directly on oven rack with pan below to catch drippings.

  • Sear for 15-30 minutes depending on size of roast.

2. Slow Roasting – 225°F to 250°F

  • Lower heat after searing to gently finish cooking the interior without overcooking outer layers.

  • For medium rare, target 225°F. For more well-done, use 250°F.

  • Cook times vary greatly. Use a meat thermometer to judge doneness, not only time.

  • Roasting can take 1-4 hours depending on multiple factors like thickness and bone-in vs. boneless.

3. Resting – Turn oven off, keeping door closed

  • Let roast rest 20-30 minutes tented loosely in foil before carving. Crucial for evenly cooked, juicy meat.

  • The carryover cooking during resting will raise the internal temp about 5-10°F.

  • Keep roast in turned-off oven so it stays warm for best texture.

What Internal Temp Produces Which Level of Doneness?

An instant-read digital meat thermometer takes the guesswork out of determining doneness. Target these internal temps:

  • Rare: 120°F – 125°F

  • Medium rare: 130°F – 135°F

  • Medium: 140°F – 145°F

  • Medium well: 150°F – 155°F

  • Well done: 160°F+

Keep in mind that the temp will rise further during resting, so pull roast when it’s 5°F below your target temp. The USDA recommends cooking beef to at least 145°F for food safety.

Roasting Tips to Remember

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

  • Use a meat thermometer for accuracy – appearance alone can mislead.

  • Let roast rest before slicing to retain juices.

  • Add broth, wine or water to pan drippings to make gravy.

  • Cook bone-in roasts and thicker cuts at lower end of temp ranges.

  • Tie roast with twine for uniform shape and even cooking.

  • Rub seasoning over entire roast or insert slivers of garlic or herbs.

With the right oven temperatures for searing, roasting and resting, you’ll be rewarded with perfectly cooked roast beef every time. Take the guesswork out of achieving your ideal doneness and let temperature control lead to delicious roasts worth celebrating.

The Secret to Perfectly Cooked Roast Beef


Do you 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 should a beef roast be cooked to?

Cook all raw beef steaks and roasts to a minimum internal temperature of 145 °F (62.8 °C) as measured with a food thermometer before removing meat from the heat source. For safety and quality, allow meat to rest for at least three minutes before carving or consuming.

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

Do you cook roast beef covered or uncovered?

When cooking a roast in the oven, keep it uncovered until roasted to the desired doneness. After removing from the oven, tent with foil and let stand 15 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute, preventing them from draining out during carving—and preventing dry, disappointing meat.

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