Slow-baked roast beef


To get nice roast beef, you need to start with a good cut of meat with little fat and the least possible visible gristle. Top round is usually a good choice. This was a 2" thick top round London broil that I roasted for later use as sandwich meat. I prefer my roast beef quite red and still juicy. I have not made roast beef very often before this because I could never seem to get it right: it either ended up half raw or tougher than shoe leather.

Low-temperature cooking bypasses such problems completely. It makes for the best roast beef ever: tender, juicy and full of flavor every time. Of course, this does require much longer cooking times.

The lowest temperature I can get on my oven is 170 ºF. That's not anywhere near the 132 ºF of the sous-vide bath, and higher than the 165 ºF 'well-done' mark for beef on a meat thermometer. That means you can't afford to forget you have a roast in the oven. Even that temperate will give you shoe leather for dinner. But you probably don't want to go that low anyway, because it would take several hours to cook a 3 lb. roast. At 225 ºF, you can get it done in 90 minutes. You can do it a lot faster at higher temperatures; but remember that it is a trade-off. The higher the temp, the more pronounced the donut effect will be.

If you have refrigerated air conditioning, your A/C unit will have to remove all that extra heat again. On the other hand, modern ovens are pretty well insulated and can keep their temperature for a long time. Especially on hot days, I will switch off the burners at quarter of half-time and just leave the roast in the hot oven. As long as you don't open the oven door, the oven temperature 30 to 60 minutes later should still be high enough to cook meat. You may have to keep that roast a little while longer in the oven, but switching off the oven early and sparing your A/C unit the extra work will reduce your energy bill.


This is what you need for 6-8 servings:

  • 3 lbs. top round London broil roast
  • S&P, spices
Pic1: lower-temp oven-baked roast beef