Perfectly Cooked Roast Beef Recipe

Here’s the simple, easy-to-remember formula to cook a beef roast, the result is a perfectly cooked roast beef, whether you want it cooked rare or medium rare or medium or well done. The choice is yours, the formula takes all the guesswork out of how long to cook roast beef. Better still? The hands-on time is five minutes. Still better? There’s no added fat, really letting good meat take center stage.

Perfectly Cooked Roast Beef

On a personal note, does this happen to others? All week long, I've been "cooking" with my mother. She's been gone for more than ten years now and I've never before felt her "sense" in the room. But perhaps it's because this recipe for Perfectly Cooked Roast Beef kicks off an entire menu, the one Mom so often chose for our Christmas dinner when my sister and I were growing up. It was her idea of a traditional English Christmas dinner, a tribute to her own English-born father. It would make for an easy festive New Years Eve menu, too! More recipes to come, all easy-easy!

A terse recipe caught my eye about five years ago. The technique was dead simple. “Cook the roast for 5 minutes per pound at 500F,” it read, “then turn off the oven and let the meat finish cooking for 2 hours.”

Trust me now, two hours is way too long unless you like meat beyond well-done. Still, the process works, you just have to trust it – and your meat thermometer!

ALANNA’s TIPS Don’t skip the rub, both for the sake of appearance (a thin crust, almost like having seared the meat in fat) and of flavor (seasoning). But if you want to make gravy with the meat juices, choose a rub that has minimal salt. After the oven’s been turned off for 30 minutes, either set the temperature alarm on the thermometer or check it every five minutes. The cooking process moves faster than you think and you really don’t want to overcook good meat. Your oven will be tied up so plan the rest of the meal accordingly.

PICTURED ROAST With my last roast, I kept track of the specifics, just to provide a guideline.

CUT – Boneless top sirloin
WEIGHT – 4-1/2 pounds
TIME AT 500F – 22 minutes, that's 4.5 pounds x 5 minutes per pound
ADDITIONAL TIME TO REACH 144F – 60 minutes (I was aiming for 135F but didn't watch carefully enough, gauge from the photos how "pink" the meat is at 144F)
TEMP AFTER 30-MINUTE REST – 140F, covered with foil in 70F kitchen
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite English Christmas recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!


Hands-on time: 5 minutes up front plus carving
Time to table: About 90 minutes for a 4-pound roast
Allow four servings per pound for light eaters, two or three for bigger appetites
  • 1 boneless beef roast, any size or a standing rib roast
  • Meat rub of choice (don’t skip)

Heat oven to 500F.

Weigh the roast, then place in a large roasting pan lined with foil for easy clean-up. Pat the meat dry, then pat with the meat rub, covering the entire roast. Insert a digital thermometer into the thickest part of the roast.

Roast at 500F for 5 minutes per pound.

Now turn the oven off, yes, you read that right – turn the oven OFF – no opening the oven door either. It’s hard but you can do it.

Let the roast sit in the oven until the meat reaches the desired temperature, 115F-120F for extra rare, 125F-130F for rare, 130F-140F for medium rare, 140F-150F for medium, 150F-155F for medium well, 160F-212F for well done.

Remove from oven and cover with foil for 5 – 30 minutes before slicing. It will drop a degree or two in temperature but won’t get cold.

Slice, serve and enjoy!

RECIPE in METRIC Roast at 260C for 5 minutes per 545 grams. Let the roast sit in the oven until the meat reaches the desired temperature, 46C-49C for extra rare, 52C-55C for rare, 55C-60C for medium rare, 60C-65C for medium, 65C-69C for medium well, 71C-100C for well done.

Per 4 ounces uncooked/3 ounces cooked: 148 Calories; 4g Tot Fat; 2g Sat Fat; 47mg Cholesterol; 63mg Sodium; 0g Carb; 0g Fiber; 0g Sugar; 25g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 3, WW PointsPlus 3.
Adapted from a church-style cookbook from Oklahoma, one returned to my friend Linda. Sorry, no more detail than that!

Perfectly Cooked Roast Beef

Perfectly Cooked Roast Beef

This roast weighed 4-1/2 pounds. So I cooked it at 500F for 22 minutes (five minutes per pound), then turned off the oven until the internal temperature temperature reached the desired doneness. I was shooting for 135F, medium rare, but lost track of the cooking progress and the temperature got up to 144F.

This Week, Years Past 2002 - 2012

Three Quick Appetizers Graham Cracker Toffee Date-Night Chicken Perfect M&M Cookies Eggnog French Toast with Apple Cranberry Compote Sesame Candy Colored Roll-Out Sugar Cookies Breakfast Casserole with Sausage, Apples & Caramelized Onions Christmas Trifle Overnight Coffeecake Bourbon Pralines

My Mom's Traditional English Christmas Dinner Menu

More Tradition Recipes for the Holidays

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Twice-Smoked Ham Finnish Meatballs Tiapinno (Ciopinno) - Italian Fish Stew

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Alanna I remember reading this someplace as well although I've never tried it. I do something similar with cheesecake and it comes out perfect. Your roast looks perfect. I will have to try this method.

    This time of year I always feel the presence of my dad and grandmother around. I like to think I'm cooking for my dad and with my grandmother - it's comforting. As much as I love the holidays I tend to feel blu and melancholy especially when I hear all the holiday songs. Sometimes I just have to turn them off.

    What a nice tribute to your mom. I'm sure she will be right there with you at the table.

    Happy Holidays!

  2. Thanks for the this great method!!! I was considering doing a prime rib for Christmas and this seems gfoof proof! How long did your roast take to come up to temp after shutting off the oven? Trying to estimate how long with a 8+ lbs roast.

  3. Hi Rita, That information was in the column but kinda buried in "ALANNA's TIPS" so I've pulled it out to make it more obvious. I think this is a perfect way to cook prime rib, in fact, it's on the list for New Years Eve, here! Merry Christmas!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna