Top Round Roast Beef
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This Top Round Roast is a delicious beef dinner that’s lean and flavorful. This budget-friendly cut is easy to prepare in the oven or crockpot using a few simple tips.
When you want to feed a crowd on a budget, top round is a great choice. With a few tips and tricks, you can have it turn out tender and flavorful.
To make a complete meal, pair with mashed potatoes (or roast potatoes or rice) along with veggies like carrots, broccoli, green beans or Brussel sprouts. Another option is simply to serve with a green salad.
Beef Top Round Roast
Top round (also called inside round) is an inexpensive cut of beef coming from the inside of the hind leg in the round primal. As these muscles get some exercise, the meat tends to be flavorful and lean.
How to Cook a Top Round Roast
This lean cut is well-suited to slow cooking methods such as oven roasting and braising in a crock pot or Dutch oven. It also works well for sous-vide and smoking.
Here are some tips to get it as tender as possible:
- Remove the roast from the fridge an hour ahead of time to reduce time in the oven while promoting even cooking.
- Right before cooking, rub with oil, salt and seasonings to help tenderize the meat.
- Cook it no more than medium-rare, or an internal temperature of 125°F before resting. Use an instant-read meat thermometer to check doneness.
- Rest the roast covered with foil for 10 minutes or more to allow the juices to redistribute through the meat.
- Avoid piercing or cutting into the meat during cooking or resting, as valuable juices will escape making the meat tougher.
- When serving, slice thinly against the grain and spoon juices on top.
Slow Cooker Method
The crock pot is one of the best ways to cook top round. The low temperature and steam circulation braises the meat, breaking down tough connective tissues. Plus, you get au jus gravy to serve with the roast! Here’s what to do:
- Brown the meat in a skillet over medium-high heat for 5 minutes before placing in the crock pot.
- Add salt, pepper and your favorite seasonings (or gravy mix) on top to help tenderize the meat.
- Cook on a Low setting for 6-8 hours.
- Slice thinly to serve with gravy from the crock pot.
Make sure you have a sharp carving knife handy, as top round will not normally fall apart like a chuck roast or brisket.
How Long to Cook a Top Round Roast
Cooking time depends on the size of your top round roast, with the general rule being 20 minutes per pound.
Here’s how long it takes in a 325°F oven to reach the recommended medium-rare doneness:
|Weight||Oven Cook Time (approx.)|
|3 lb||50 min|
|4 lb||60 min|
|5 lb||1 hr 10 min|
|6 lb||1 hr 30 min|
|8 lb||2 hr 45 min|
Since there’s variation between ovens, use an instant-read or dual-probe thermometer to check doneness. We recommend 125°F out of the oven for medium rare doneness, with the temperature rising to 130-135°F during resting.
More Beef Roast Recipes:
View all beef recipes
Top Round Roast
- 4 pounds top round roast
- 1 tablespoon oil, high-temperature oil such as canola oil, refined olive oil
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- 1 teaspoon paprika, optional
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder, optional
- Optional: Remove the beef from the fridge an hour ahead of time. This promotes even cooking for more tender meat.
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Fit a shallow roasting pan with an ovenproof wire rack and set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix the salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder.
- Pat dry the meat with paper towels. Rub it on all sides with oil. Then rub the seasoning mix all over.
- Put the top round in the prepared pan and insert a wireless thermometer if you're using one.
- Place the pan in the preheated oven and roast for 10 minutes. Then lower the heat to 325°F.
- Roast for 50-60 minutes more or the meat reaches an internal temperature of 125°F or medium rare (see note). Optional: halfway through baste the meat by spooning the pan juices onto the meat.
- Remove from the oven and tent with aluminum foil. Rest for 10-15 minutes to let the juices redistribute through the meat. (During this time, you can collect the pan drippings and make gravy.)
- To serve, slice thinly against the grain and drizzle juices/gravy on top.
- Beef: Sirloin tip is a good substitute when you can’t find top round.
- Doneness: Medium rare is the recommended for top round, as cooking longer runs the risk of getting tough meat.
- Slow Cooker Method: Follow steps 1-4 above. Then place in the slow cooker on “Low” for 8-10 hours or until tender.
- Leftovers: Use leftover top round to make roast beef sandwiches or beef vegetable soup. Note: this cut can become tough when reheated.
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