This Eye of Round Roast Beef is perfectly seasoned with a homemade steak dry rub and then roasted in the oven until the meat is tender and succulent. This is the perfect main dish centerpiece for the holidays, Christmas, or any occasion. We walk you through our simple and easy recipe that is foolproof every time.
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What is Roast Beef
Roast beef is a dish made from a cut of beef that is roasted in an oven or on a grill. It’s a popular and classic preparation that involves cooking a large piece of beef until it’s tender, flavorful, and often served as a main course.
Roast beef can be served in various ways, such as as a centerpiece for a hearty meal, as a filling for sandwiches, or as an ingredient in other dishes. It’s a versatile dish that can be customized with different seasonings and accompaniments to suit a wide range of tastes.
What is Eye of Round Roast
The eye of round roast is a cut of beef that comes from the hindquarter of the animal, specifically from the round primal cut. It’s a lean and relatively tough cut of meat that is often used for roasting or braising. Because it is quite lean, it can become dry and tough if not cooked properly.
The eye of round roast is elongated and cylindrical in shape, and it’s known for its mild flavor. While it’s not as tender as some other cuts of beef, when prepared correctly, the eye of round roast can yield a flavorful and satisfying meal.
I like to use my Homemade Steak Dry Rub Seasoning for this dish. It’s a combination of the following:
How to Shop for the Meat
It’s important to consider factors such as quality, appearance, and freshness. Costco is my favorite place to shop for specialty cuts like these. Here are some tips:
- Inspect Appearance: Look for cuts that are deep red in color. The meat should appear moist and free from any discoloration, such as brown or gray patches.
- Check for Marbling: While eye of round is a lean cut, a little marbling (thin streaks of fat within the meat) will add flavor and tenderness.
- Thickness and Size: Choose a cut that suits your cooking preferences and needs. On average, you can estimate about 4 to 6 ounces of cooked meat per person. Consider how many people you’ll be serving and calculate the total weight accordingly.
- Ask the Butcher: Don’t hesitate to ask the butcher for assistance. They can help you select the right cut, provide cooking recommendations, and even trim the meat if needed.
Other Cuts of Meat You Can Use in the Recipe
When selecting a cut of beef, consider the balance between tenderness, flavor, and your budget. Different cuts may require slightly different cooking methods and techniques to achieve the desired level of tenderness and taste.
- Top Round Roast: This is sometimes called “round roast,” is a lean cut of beef taken from the hind leg of the cow. It’s commonly used for roast beef because it’s relatively affordable and can yield flavorful results when properly cooked and sliced thinly against the grain.
- Sirloin Roast: The sirloin is located towards the rear of the cow and is known for its balance of tenderness and flavor. While it may not be as tender as cuts from the rib section, a well-cooked sirloin roast can still result in delicious roast beef.
- Tenderloin Roast: The tenderloin is the most tender cut of beef, and it’s commonly used to make filet mignon steaks. While it’s not as commonly used for roast beef due to its premium price, a whole tenderloin can be roasted to create a luxurious and tender roast.
How to Cook Eye of Round Roast Beef
Detailed measurements and full instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Pat the roast dry and drizzle all sides of the roast with olive oil. Sprinkle the homemade steak rub throughout and rub the spices into the meat.
- Place the roast fat cap-side up in a cast iron skillet or roasting pan with rack.
- Sear the roast and then bake.
- Rest before slicing.
Do You Have to Marinate
Marinating an eye of round roast beef can be beneficial, but it’s not always necessary. The eye of round roast is a lean and relatively tough cut of beef. Marinating can help add flavor and potentially assist in tenderizing the meat.
If you plan to marinate it, one method is to simply salt the roast the night before cooking. Sprinkle salt all over the roast and place it in the fridge for the salt to penetrate the meat overnight.
Another method is to drizzle the roast with soy sauce (enough to fully coat the meat) and allow it to penetrate in the fridge overnight. Soy sauce is a tenderizer.
Room Temperature Meat
When cooking beef (pretty much any meat, including salmon!), you need to allow the meat to come to room temperature before you cook it. Don’t take cold meat straight from the fridge and cook it. Allow 2-3 hours for the meat to come to room temperature. The time will vary based on the size roast you have.
- Even Cooking: Cooking a cold piece of meat straight from the refrigerator will result in uneven cooking. The exterior might overcook while the center remains undercooked.
- Tenderness: When meat comes to room temperature, the muscle fibers relax slightly, making the meat more tender when cooked.
- Improved Flavor: Allowing the meat to warm up a bit will enhance the development of flavors during cooking. The even browning of crust and the creation of complex flavors occur more effectively when the meat is at room temperature.
Sear the Roast
I like to accomplish a sear the easy way and that’s by using high temperature in the oven and I use a cast iron which is perfect for searing. Bake the roast at 450 degrees for 15 minutes to create an outer layer crust, then adjust the temperature down to 325 degrees so the meat cooks low and slow.
What Type of Pan to Use
I use a 10 inch cast iron skillet for 3-4 pounds of meat. You may need a 12 inch skillet for large cuts of meat. Here are options:
- Cast Iron Skillet or Pan: Cast iron is excellent for retaining and distributing heat evenly, which contributes to a well-cooked roast.
- Roasting Pan: A roasting pan is a versatile choice and it typically comes with a rack that elevates the meat off the bottom of the pan, allowing air to circulate for even cooking. Roasting pans are often made of heavy-duty materials like stainless steel or aluminum, which helps distribute heat evenly.
- Oven-Safe Skillet: If you have a heavy-duty oven-safe skillet, it can work well for searing and roasting.
Cooking Time Chart
The cook time can vary based on factors such as the size of the roast, the cooking temperature, and whether you prefer your meat rare, medium-rare, or well-done. Here’s a general cooking time chart to give you an idea of the approximate cooking times at different temperatures.
Keep in mind that these are estimated times and should be used as a guide. It’s crucial to use a meat thermometer to ensure your eye of round is cooked to your desired level of doneness.
- Rare: 15-17 minutes per pound
- Medium-Rare: 18-20 minutes per pound
- Medium: 20-22 minutes per pound
- Well-Done: 22-25 minutes per pound
Always use a meat thermometer to test when the roast beef is done. Take the beef out of the oven a few degrees before it reaches the desired internal temperature due to carryover cooking. When you remove the roast from the oven, its internal temperature will continue to rise by a few degrees due to the residual heat within the meat.
|Doneness||Remove From The Oven Temp||Final Temp||Notes|
|Rare||113-120 degrees||120-129 degrees||Bright red center, lukewarm.|
|Medium Rare||123-127 degrees||130-134 degrees||Bright red center, pink edges, warm.|
|Medium||128-135 degrees||135-144 degrees||Pink and warm throughout.|
|Medium Well||138-145 degrees||145-154 degrees||Slightly pink center and warm throughout.|
|Well Done||148-155 degrees||155-164 degrees||Little to no pink.|
Allow the Meat to Rest
After removing the eye of round from the oven, you should allow it to rest for about 20 minutes to an hour before carving. During this resting period, the internal temperature will continue to rise, and the juices within the meat will redistribute, resulting in a juicier and more flavorful roast.
How to Carve
You will need a sharp knife and a cutting board.
- Place the roast beef on the cutting board with the fatty side facing up. This allows you to easily see the grain of the meat.
- Locate the Grain: Identify the direction of the muscle fibers (grain) in the roast. The goal is to carve against the grain, which will help ensure tenderness in each slice.
- Start with the Ends: Begin carving by slicing a thin piece off one end of the roast. This helps expose the interior and provides a flat surface for stability.
- Carving Slices: Use your carving knife to slice pieces of roast beef against the grain. Hold the knife at a slight angle to create wider slices. Carve consistently thin slices to maintain tenderness and make the meat easier to eat.
- Texture: Overcooked roast beef will have a dry and stringy texture. When you cut into the meat, it might be difficult to slice cleanly, and the fibers might separate easily.
- Dryness: One of the most common signs of overcooking is dryness. If the roast lacks moisture and juiciness, it’s a clear indicator that it has been cooked for too long.
- Toughness: Overcooked meat is rubbery and tough to chew.
- Lack of Pinkness: While this depends on the desired level of doneness, if you were aiming for medium-rare or medium roast beef and the interior is uniformly brown without any pinkness, it might be overcooked.
- Loss of Flavor: Overcooked meat will lose some of its flavor due to the moisture loss that occurs during extended cooking times.
- High Internal Temperature: If you were using a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature and it’s significantly higher than your target temperature, your roast is likely overcooked.
How to Make Gravy/Au Jus Sauce
Keep those drippings from your pan! I add fresh herbs to the pan while the roast beef cooks because it will make for an amazing homemade gravy.
How to Store Leftovers
Sliced pieces are often easier to reheat and use in sandwiches or other dishes. Wrap the leftover meat tightly in plastic wrap, or aluminum foil, or use an airtight container. Ensure that it’s well-sealed to prevent exposure to air, which can cause the meat to dry out and absorb odors from the fridge. Leftover roast beef is best consumed within 3-4 days.
Use your leftovers to make our French Dip Sandwich with Au Jus recipe.
How to Reheat
My favorite way to reheat is in the air fryer at 350 degrees until warm. The stove also works well. Add butter, oil, or sauce/au just to the pan to keep the meat moist while you heat it up.
I don’t recommend the microwave. It can cause the beef to become unevenly reheated and potentially dry out. This method is best for small portions and should be used cautiously.
You can freeze the dish tightly covered and sealed up for to several months. Defrost overnight in the fridge.
Pair With These Recipes
More Main Dish Recipes
Eye of Round Roast Beef
- 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 3-6 3-6 fresh thyme sprigs
- Remove the roast from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature. This can take 2-3 hours depending on the size of the roast you have.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Pat the roast dry and drizzle all sides of the roast with olive oil. Sprinkle the spices throughout and rub the spices into the meat. Ensure the entire roast is seasoned and add additional spices if necessary.
- Add the optional rosemary and thyme to the pan.
- Place the roast fat cap-side up in a cast iron skillet or roasting pan with rack. Having the fat cap side (the thick layer of fat on the outside of the meat) on top allows the fat to melt down into the roast as cooks for extra flavor.
- Place the pan in the oven for 15 minutes or for however long it takes for the exterior meat to form a crust. It may take a few minutes longer.
- Adjust the heat on the oven to 325 degrees. Continue to cook the roast beef until it reaches your desired level of doneness. I cook mine until it reaches about 125 degrees, which is around an hour or a little more of cook time. Use a meat thermometer and remove the roast from the oven when it reaches the following:Rare: 113-120 degreesMedium Rare: 123-127 degreesMedium: 128-135 degreesMedium Well: 138-145 degreesWell Done: 148-155 degrees
- When you remove the roast from the oven, its internal temperature will continue to rise by a few degrees due to the residual heat within the meat.
- Allow the roast beef rest for at least 20 minutes prior to slicing. During this time, the internal temperature will continue to rise, and the juices within the meat will redistribute, resulting in a juicier and more flavorful roast. If you slice too soon you will likely end up with dry meat.