What Cut of Meat is Roast Beef?

Christine Albury

Need to know what cut of meat is roast beef? Here we take a look at some of the cuts you can use, with a few tips for good results

If you have been wondering what cut of meat is roast beef, then you might be surprised to discover that there isn't just one particular cut you can use. 

You have a few different choices and your decision really comes down to a matter of cost, and the kind of texture you want from your meat.

Prime Rib Photo

For the most tender, delicious roast beef possible you really need to choose the finest quality meat. Of course, this comes at a price and the best cuts will also be the most expensive. 

So you also need to consider the exact method you will be using to cook it - roasting doesn't mean the same thing to everyone.

For example, some people may be looking for beef to make a pot roast, whereas others might want to make a quicker roast in the oven. It would be a waste of money to use a really expensive cut in a pot roast - but for a quick oven roast, a more expensive cut would be necessary for tender results.

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Here is a look at some different types of cuts and what they would be best for.

Chuck roast

This is cut from the shoulder, a part of the cow's body that receives a lot of exercise! That means it is quite a tough cut and not ideal for a quick roast, although it could be used in a pot roast. Chuck roast is often ground to produce hamburger.

Round tip roast

Sometimes known as sirloin tip roast, this is cut from the hinquarters. Although it is very tasty, it is also very lean - so it can be tough. It is better suited to pot roasts than to quicker oven roasts.

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Eye of round roast

This is cut from the rear leg and is quite lean, so it can be tough. On the other hand, it is quite an economical cut and could be used for a quick oven roast if you carve it thinly across the grain, giving it a more tender mouth feel.

Top round roast

Because this cut comes from a less heavily worked area in the upper thigh of the cow's hindquarters, this cut can be more tender than other cuts. It is also very tasty and is idea for quick roast beef cooked in the oven.

Rib roast 

As its name suggests, this is cut from the rib section. There are 3 main rib cuts - ribeye roast, rolled rib roast and standing rib roast.

The ribeye is the best cut for delicious roast beef - it is tasty, with good marbling for tenderness. Unsurprisingly, it's also the most expensive!

Prime Rib Pic

Top tip for juicy roast beef

The biggest mistake people make when cooking roast beef is slicing it too soon after taking it out of the oven.

Cooked roast beef should be allowed to rest for a full 30 minutes before carving. This gives the meat time to reabsorb all the cooking juices.

Cut it any sooner and you will watch all those juices flood your chopping board instead - leaving your beef tough and dry!

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Christine Albury

About Christine

I'm a mom of 5 and love making healthy baby food with wholesome, natural ingredients. In 2005 I started the Homemade Baby Food Recipes website, sharing recipes for everything from simple fruit purees to gourmet curries for the baby food connoisseur! You'll also find plenty of tried and tested tips to help encourage even the most reluctant diner to enjoy a wide range of nutritious new foods. If you enjoy cooking, then you will LOVE learning to become head chef for a very special little customer!