Off-Oven Roast Beef Recipe (2024)

By Sam Sifton

Off-Oven Roast Beef Recipe (1)

Total Time
2 hours 30 minutes
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Yield:4 to 6 main courses, with leftovers for sandwiches

  • 1beef roast, like top, eye or bottomround, approximately 3 pounds
  • 1tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1tablespoon freshly groundblack pepper
  • 3cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1tablespoon olive oil
  • Red-pepper flakes to taste

Ingredient Substitution Guide


  1. Step


    Remove roast from refrigerator. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

  2. Step


    In a small bowl, mix together salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil and red-pepper flakes to create a kind of paste. Rub this all over the roast. Place beef in a roasting pan or cast-iron skillet, fat-side up, and put in oven. Cook undisturbed for 5 minutes per pound.

  3. Step


    Turn off oven. Do not open oven door. Leave roast to continue cooking, undisturbed, for two hours.

  4. After two hours, remove roast from oven. Slice and serve alongside, ideally, a watercress salad, some skillet-fried potatoes and a small tureen of Henry Bain sauce.



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Cooking Notes


We like our roast beef rare so I left in the oven for one hour instead of two. Perfect!


I call this Magic Meat and make it almost every week. (In fact, I made it just last night). Here’s the trick: you must follow the recipe EXACTLY. Take the roast out of the fridge right before you turn on the oven. This means the roast is COLD when it goes in. (If you start with room-temp meat, it’ll be too done in the middle.) You roast at 500 for EXACTLY 5 minutes per pound. I ask Siri: “How much is 2.85 times 5?” Then I roast for 14.25 minutes, using a timer. Timer for the 2 hrs. oven off too!

Sam Sifton

Leave it off!


Have ruined two roasts now using this recipe, both to over cooking. Took it out half an hour earlier than recommended the 2nd time, and it was still medium in the middle, medium-well at the ends.


Thank you. This is my first time with this recipe, and Sam got it wrong. Thanks to you, I checked my 3 lb. roast at 75 minutes and it was right on 140-145. Just right.


I've followed this recipe at least a dozen times and my roast has always come out medium rare to blood rare. So I don't understand the complaints about well done roasts. Either people aren't following the recipe, or perhaps it doesn't work as well with small roasts. (I tend to make roasts in the 5-7 pound range.) I do exactly as instructed--5 minutes per pound at 500 degrees, then turn off the oven without opening the door. I leave it in the turned-off oven for 2 hours.


I found it helpful to use my oven's temperature probe. What I had to do was insert it when I put the meat in the oven. Turning off my oven also turns off my temperature probe, but if I turned the oven back on about 20 minutes before I thought the roast was done, I got a new read on the temperature of the meat. If the meat wasn't done, I turned the oven off again and checked 10 minutes later. It saved me from cooking too long and having the roast well done instead of medium rare.

Mary from Terry, MS

I have been cooking eye of round this way for 40 years and it always comes out perfect. My grandmother and mother made Sunday roast in this manner for 40 years before me. They'd put in the roast in the oven for the required time per pound and then turn off the oven while they went to Sunday School and church. When they returned home, the roast was perfectly cooked and served for lunch, along with rice, gravy, and seasonal fresh vegetables. Delicious and so easy!


Best Roast Beef I've ever made...don't rely on time. Use a thermometer. I pulled it at 130 degrees and rested it for about a half hour. Perfect.


Works every time! You must have to believe and follow the directions.


This is a magical recipe for eye of the round!! For 1.75 lb., I roasted for 10 minutes at 475, turned the oven off, and pulled it out after 1 hour. So perfectly medium rare. Thanks, Sam.

Evanston Ed

I cannot imagine how anyone following the recipie closely could produce a medium roast, but all that aside, the sauce is incomparable. This demonstrates how commercial products can be artfully combined to produce...BEAUTY!


DO NOT let anyone tell you different, low and slow is the ONLY way to roast beef consistently the way you want it. Place the prepped roast in the HOT (approx 475F) oven to brown for only 10-15 mins max. Reduce temp to as close to 175F as your oven will go, opening the oven door to cool down hot oven as quickly as possible. To achieve med rare, roast to an internal temp of about 118F, then let rest 25-30mins to finish. Perfection, regardless of roast weight/shape variation.

Norah Robb

Oven temperatures vary. Know your oven and adjust accordingly. Remember to start with meat at room temperature.

Janet MacNab

I did the recipe as directed and thought it turned out good. We like out meat medium rare. I am doing it again and will cut cooking time down and perhaps the oven sitting time too. We loved it for left overs as snacks and sandwiches.

Susie Fitzer

Perfect every time. Made it with 3 lb. roasts and with 6 lb roasts.


Like many people I was sceptical that this would work, but it did! I had a 1.5kg topside roast and I could have probably taken it out 20 mins sooner. I was so worried it would be raw or rare, but it was lovely. Even at medium-well done the meat was tender and sliced beautifully. The only problem is you can use your oven for any side dishes, but I took the suggestion and made skillet fried potatoes, steamed some green beans and made a brown onion gravy. Will definitely make again.


This method did not work for our 4 1/2 lb. boneless ribeye roast. An hour after turning off the heat, the oven was barely warm - it was clear that no more cooking was going to be happening at that temp, and the roast was raw. It took at least another 45 minutes at 350 to get it to rare/medium rare.


This method does not work in self cooling ovens. Some have an automatic fan to cool the oven when it’s turned off - which pulls all of the residual heat out of the oven.


Yes and no. The roasting method works great. Used a 3 lb sirloin tip roast because that's what we had, not as tender as some others but great flavor. Two hours off was too long--cut the in-oven time by 35 minutes and it was still well done--which pleased my spouse. But a tablespoon of salt in the rub was too much! Had to brainstorm on how to reduce the saltiness of the drippings, to make a sauce from all that long-roasted flavor. Reduce the salt by half.


The roast was done to medium rare in less than two hours.


I had a 4.84 lb eye round and this formula still worked perfectly. It was even a bit forgiving - I looked through the window of the oven and saw it had rolled onto it's side so I opened the oven to roll the fat on to the top. I had to do this twice during the oven on time. I just added 1 minute before turning off the heat and it was still perfect. Took the time to tie it 1 inch apart and used a probe to avoid any surprises, which I recommend.


We've made a roast for Christmas for years and this was the first time utilizing this method. It was perfection. 10lb in for 55min and then off for 2 hours 45 minutes. We were sweating and worried we'd be eating at midnight but it was incredible and so tender and the most beautiful roast we've ever made.


I have made this many times but have never followed step 4 to the letter. I always use a probe thermometer set at 125 and take it out when it reaches that. I also sear each side on the stovetop first for a few minutes each for texture. Always turns out perfect.


Didn’t this have an au jus recipe before at the end?


Cooked as directed and it came out great!


We have a family of tender mouths, so the amount of black pepper was a bit much for some younger ones (even left out the red pepper!). This time making it with just a teaspoon of black pepper and substituting onion powder for the rest to flavor it. Even with the spice, it still got rave reviews! And leave the oven off! Time it exactly! Has never gone wrong and turns out juicy and med-rare every time. Try with Yorkshire puddings for a proper roast dinner!

Jo Henderson

I have made this version of roast beef many times and it has never steered me wrong. I shared this recipe with a friend a few years ago and she told me it didn't work for her as the meat was totally rare when she carved into it. She neglected to tell me that she was cooking a bone-in roast that is not the cut of beef I usually use for this recipe.

DeWil from Ohio

This was the first time I've made a roast this way and it turned out great. It was a small enexpensive Bottom Round Roast just 2.25 lb. I opened the door after one hour and checked the temp. It was not quite done. Opening the door cooled the oven so much that I had to turn the oven back on; 300° for 15 minutes. My spouse said it was perfect. I prefer mine just a little more cooked, but it was one of the best roasts I have ever made at any price.


Did this with a 2.5 lb Pork Sirloin Tip roast from Costco. Used the spice rub from the Weekend Roast recipe by Sam. Cooked 13 minutes, turned oven off. Used a probe thermometer and it took exactly an hour to come to 145. So moist and delicious! What a happy find!

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Off-Oven Roast Beef Recipe (2024)
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