Oven Roast Beef – The Slow-Roast Method

The biggest reason for failing at an oven roast beef is being impatient.  We tend to equate “It takes so much work!” with “It takes so much time!” And the fact is, the two are not the same at all.

Yes, a tender, juicy roast beef takes a lot of time, but it does not take a lot of work.  Plan ahead one day for the salting, and the next day’s roasting will take almost no work at all!  But you’ll create a flavorful, tender roast that everyone will love.

What Cut is Used for Roast Beef?

Eye of Round Roast

The best cut of beef for a slice-able, flavorful roast is eye of round.  The problem here is that eye of round is also a very low-fat cut.  Fat can make meat tender and juicy.  Without it, the cut can be very dry, dry, dry.

Confused about which cut of beef to use for what type of dish? Here’s an article I found to be very helpful: Beef Cuts: Choosing the Best Beef for Recipes.

But you can avoid that by salting first, then roasting very slowly in a relatively cool oven.  The salting breaks down proteins in the beef, making it tender (but that takes time).  And the slow, low-temp roasting (also time) keeps the meat juicy and flavorful.

Oven Temperature is Critical

Read the notes carefully and test your oven temperature.  Many ovens are terribly inaccurate in their temps – so a good oven thermometer is a great investment! (See my article on calibrating your oven thermostat here.)

Don’t Have a Roasting Rack? Try This:

If you don’t have a roasting rack, you can suspend your roast out of the juices by creating your own:

Final Tips

Keep the oven closed! When using lower heat, losing the heat inside the oven will delay cooking time more than when cooking at high heat. So be patient and let your oven do the work. Play some Scrabble. Wash the dog. Whatevs.

Be sure to slice the meat as thinly as you can.  Again, we’re overcoming a normally tough cut here, so you want to serve it in thin slices.  And besides, you can save any leftovers for sandwiches later!

If you enjoy the flavor of roasting meat, you really have to try my London Broil recipe. Take an inexpensive piece of meat and turn it into a special treat your family will love!

Oven Roast Beef – The Long Cook Method

The best roast beef cannot be rushed.  The most common cut of beef for use in making a roast (not a pot roast, which is a totally different thing) is eye of round.  It’s a very lean cut of beef, which means anything but a long, low cooking process will produce a dry, tough roast.  Use this recipe for the best, most flavorful roast beef.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time2 hours 40 minutes
Salting1 day
Total Time3 hours
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: long cook roast beef
Servings: 8 Servings
Author: Don Herman


  • 4 lb Eye of Round Beef Roast
  • 4 tsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp Pepper

Horseradish Sauce

  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 cup Prepared Horseradish drained
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Pepper


  • For the best, sliceable roast beef, choose an eye of round roast.  This recipe will work for anything between 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 lb roast.
    Eye of Round Roast
  • Rub the salt over the surface of the beef and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.  Store in the refrigerator for at least 12, preferably 24 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 225F.  Dry the surface of the beef with paper towels, then rub with the vegetable oil.  Season with pepper.  Heat a frying pan with oil until it’s very hot, then sear ALL SIDES of the roast.  You can hold the ends up with a pair of tongs.  It should take about 10 minutes to get a good, hard sear on the meat.
  • Place the beef on a wire rack, set inside a baking pan – you want it elevated out of any juices.  
  • Roast the meat in the 225F oven for about 1 1/2 hours, then take an internal temperature with a meat thermometer.  For medium rare, you’ll need 115F; for medium you’ll need 125F.  Don’t go any higher, as this particular cut will be very tough beyond a medium roast.
  • Once it reaches your desired temperature, turn the oven off, but leave the roast in the oven for another 40 minutes.  
  • Transfer the meat to a cutting board to rest for 10 minutes before carving.  Carve very thin slices and serve with horseradish sauce.

Horseradish Sauce

  • Whisk cream until thickened, but not forming peaks.  Fold in remaining ingredients.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.


Eye of round is a cut that is very low in fat, so overcooking will result in a very tough piece of meat.  Medium is the maximum cook for this roast.
Salting overnight not only adds flavor, but breaks down the proteins a bit, for a tender cut.
When roasting at such a low temperature, you won’t generate a lot of browning.  The only browning will be from your initial sear, so sear it until you get the nice fully-browned roast you want to serve.
It’s important to keep the oven door closed as much as possible.  When taking an internal temp, remove the roast from the oven completely, keeping the door closed as much as you can.  

Every kitchen needs a high-quality roasting pan. Nothing too thin, or you’ll get uneven heating. Check out these selections:

Give it a try. You’ll love the results.

Recommended Articles