This is an easy, fail-proof way to make a classic roast beef in the oven. It's simple to make with only 4 ingredients but always looks and tastes impressive!
Here's what you'll need to make this recipe. The full recipe card and ingredient list can be found at the bottom of the page.
- 3 ½ - 4 pound boneless roast
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Step 1: Bring roast to room temperature
Let the roast sit uncovered at room temperature for 1 to 1 ½ hours.
Step 2: Preheat Oven
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Step 3: Make salt and pepper rub
In a small bowl, combine oil, salt, pepper. Rub on all sides of the roast except for bottom.
Step 4: Tie the roast
Optionally, use twine to tie the roast. This is optional but helps the roast keep its shape. See notes for a quick video of how to do this.
Step 5: Place on pan or rack
Place the roast in a roasting pan fitted with a roasting rack. Or place it directly on your oven rack with a pan beneath to catch drippings. If your roast has a fat strip it should be on top.
Step 6: Roast at high heat
Roast for 15 minutes at 450°F. Do not cover while roasting.
Step 7: Roast at reduced heat
Reduce the heat to 325°F. If your roast is 4 pounds, roast it for 1 hours 45 minutes more for medium, or 2 hours for medium well done.
If your roast is more or less than 4 pounds, roast it for approximately 25 to 30 minutes per pound for a medium roast. The temperature for a medium roast (pink all the way through) is 135°F - 145°F; the temperature for a medium well roast (tan with some pink) is 145°F - 155°F.
Step 8: Remove
Remove the roast when it is about 5 - 10 degrees below your desired temperature because it will continue to cook as it rests.
Step 9: Rest
Let your roast rest 15 to 30 minutes before serving. Tent with foil to keep warm.
Step 10: Serve
Cut the roast into slices and serve, optionally with a side of gravy. For leaner cuts of meat, slice thinner.
Cuts of Beef to Use
Roast beef can be made with a variety of cuts of beef. You can pick which cut you want to use depending on budget and what's available at your grocery store.
Here are some popular cuts of meat to use:
- Rump Roast
- Top or Bottom Round Roast
- Eye of Round
- Prime rib (more expensive)
- Beef tenderloin (more expensive)
This recipe calls for a 3 ½ - 4 pound cut of meat; but you can also use a cut larger or smaller than this — just follow the recipe's instructions on how to cook per pound of meat.
Roast Beef Cooking Time
This roast cooks at 450°F for 15 minutes and then 25 - 30 minutes per pound at 325°F for a boneless, medium cooked roast. For a 4 pound roast, this is 1 hours 45 minutes for medium, or 2 hours for medium well done.
Roast Beef Temperatures
Most traditionally, roast beef is cooked to medium doneness (pink all the way through).
Use a thermometer to tell when your beef is cooked to your preferred doneness:
- Medium (pink all the way through): 135°F - 145°F
- Medium Well (pink with some tan): 145°F - 155°F
- Well Done (little to no pink): 155°F - 165°F
NOTE: You'll want to remove your roast 5 - 10 degrees before your desired temperature because it will continue to cook as it rests.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, you do not need to cover the roast while it is in the oven.
A roasting pan and roasting rack are convenient but not needed! You can place the roast directly on your oven rack with a pan/baking sheet beneath it to catch any drippings instead.
These are all optional but make cooking a roast easier:
- Butcher's twine (to tie the roast before cooking)
- Roasting pan (to catch any drippings)
- Instant read thermometer (to tell when the roast is done)