Learn how to prepare and cook this melt-in-your-mouth bottom round roast recipe from start to finish. This affordable cut has a lot of potential as a family-friendly beef cut and holiday treat that tastes divine.
And the good news is, it's really a simple meat dish, it's foolproof if you follow the instructions, and there is no better way to prepare and cook a bottom round roast.
🌟 Why This Recipe Works
I love this recipe for a few key reasons:
- no additional resting, carve and serve
- meatier, beefier, and more succulent meat
- more consistent and easier to plan
- produces fantastic leftover roast beef
If you're a home cook, you're likely familiar with meat like cuts like chuck roast, rump roast, and pot roast. All equally delicious but with different textures, flavors, and price tags.
A boneless rib-eye costs around $15 per pound, whereas a bottom round roast may be purchased for about $5 per pound. This low-cost cut of beef is ideal for a family of 4 or 5 and makes fantastic dinner roasts.
Check out my cheap beef cuts guide to saving money on beef!
To clarify, this is not a slow cooker, instant pot, crockpot, or pot roast recipe. While these cooking methods produce equally delicious recipes. All three cooking methods steam the beef and result in a different texture, flavor and are never medium-rare. We want a perfectly cooked medium rare roast beef from edge to edge.
My secret for lean round roasts is cooking low and slow. This method is well known in BBQ, where meat is cooked for 24-72 hours at low temps, resulting in drool-worthy beef.
Today, you'll learn how to cook a perfect bottom round roast in your oven on low heat between 150 - 170°F (65 - 76°C) for approximately 3 - 6 hours.
🍽 Ingredients You'll Need
Here is a visual overview of the ingredients for this fantastic bottom round roast recipe. Scroll down to the recipe at the bottom for quantities.
Bottom round roast's come in various qualities and sizes. In the ingredients list above I'm using a 4 pound bottom round roast that cost $20. This is enough to feed a family of 4 with leftovers or family event up to 8 people.
If you haven't bought your roast yet, read best beef cuts for roast beef and buy a cut that works for you. Premium roasts for holidays and special occasions, mid-range roasts for the weekend, and inexpensive roasts for everyday meals.
Seasoning is important to enhance the roasts flavor. In this recipe I really love thyme, basil, and parsley and tie it all together with olive oil and fresh garlic.
Under 3 pounds
Preheat oven to 150 degrees Fahrenheit (65 degrees Celsius). Try my 2-pound eye of round roast recipe with chimichurri.
Over 3 pounds
Preheat oven to 170 degrees Fahrenheit (76 degrees Celsius).
Note: Some ovens may not go this low. Use the lowest available setting and monitor the internal temp with your meat probe.
🔪 How to Make This Recipe
Learn how to prepare and cook a bottom round roast recipe from start to finish. I always aim for medium-rare and find it's the best way to preserve the beef's tenderness and flavor. Of course, if you prefer medium, medium-well, or well done, check my temperature guide below.
Preparing bottom round beef is easy, but the steps are important. Prep time for this dish is about 15 minutes.
From store to Fridge
If you bought a roast on sale and want to eat it within three to five days, store it in the fridge.
If your roast is frozen, let it sit in the fridge overnight and unthaw naturally before cooking. Do not defrost a roast in your microwave!
If you have an extra day, seasoning the meat as mentioned below and refrigerate uncovered for another 24 hours. This will give the salt and seasoning time to brine the roast. And it's also going to give the meat's surface more time to dry out, which leads to better browning.
Cooking from the Fridge
Remove the unthawed roast from the fridge and place it next to your sink. Cut the packaging enough to allow the excess liquid to drain.
Transfer the meat to a large cutting board and let it sit for 10 minutes to remove the chill. For larger roasts, you can let it sit for up to 30 minutes.
Pat the meat's surface with a paper towel to absorb any residual moisture. This helps the seasoning stick to the roast and improves the browning process.
Seasoning the Roast
Ensure your meat is dry, and brush the entire surface of the meat with olive oil. If you do not have olive oil, you can use your oil of choice. I've even made this with grass-fed butter!
Combine all of the seasonings in a small bowl and distribute evenly on the roast.
Use your hands to ensure the seasoning really sticks to the red meat. You can even roll the meat to ensure the seasoning gets embedded into the roast. And feel free to substitute; sometimes, I'll use dried rosemary instead of thyme or both.
Another great option is overnight brine, marinade, or dry rub. Still, I'll cover both of these in more detail another day.
Let's move on to the cooking process now. We'll focus on cooking bottom round beef low and slow, but keep in mind that it may be prepared in various ways.
Cooking a Bottom Round Roast
The best part about cooking at low heat for a long period of time is that anyone can cook it. You do not need to be a professional chef to cook a flavorful, juicy, and perfectly cooked bottom round roast every time.
If you have an wireless or wired meat probe, insert it into the thickest part of the meat. If you do not have one, buy one. Even the most experienced chefs and cooks use a meat thermometer to monitor and check for doneness.
Place your bottom round beef in the center your roasting pan. If your roast has the fat cap, place the fattier side on top. Alternatively, use a roasting pan, dutch oven, or heavy-bottomed pan.
Put it in the oven and when your roast reaches an internal temperature of 125°F (52°C), it is med rare, and you can remove it from the oven. This is known as the pull temperature!
Let your roast rest
After that initial cook, you can let the beef rest at room temperature covered in foil for anywhere from 10 minutes up to 2 hours.
I typically use a foil tent and let it rest until I'm ready to reverse sear, carve, and serve. As soon as everything else is ready, I round up the family and settle in for dinner.
And a soon as you're ready to eat, you'll want to reverse sear your roast. Preheat your oven to as high as it'll possibly go, typically in a high heat range of 500-550°F (260-288°C).
The good news is that because of the long slow cook, the exterior of the roast will be pretty dry and is probably coated in a thin layer of rendered beef fat. Which is perfect for searing!
These are ideal conditions for fantastic browning. Once the oven is preheated, add the roast, and let it cook for 10 minutes or until it's nice and crisp and browned on the outside.
Carve and Serve
After the beef comes out of the oven, transfer roast onto the carving board. Yes, no additional resting is required because we already let the roast rest before the reverse sear. Fantastic right?
Sharpen your knife, and carve the roast against the grain. If you're unsure, look for the lines running in the same direction and cut against the lines, commonly known as against the grain.
I like to go about ½-inch thick per slice for dinner and slice any leftover roast beef as thinly as possible.
Check it out; almost all of the meat is perfectly med rare. This beef is so tasty that you don't even need a sauce.
But of course, if you want, a red wine au jus or horseradish cream sauce would be amazing.
For the perfect bottom round roast, you should cook with the fat side up. As the meat cooks, the fat melts and runs down the sides of the meat. This helps provide moisture and flavor, which are so important for these more affordable cuts of meat.
When cooking roasts, we want that gloriously browned exterior, the crust, but still moist inside. The rule of thumb for most roasts is to cook uncovered in a shallow pan. If your roast is on the smaller side, under 3 pounds, reduce the temperature to 150°F (66°C).
Learn how to save money on beef with my guide on cheap beef cuts. With rising nation beef prices, this is more important than ever.
Learn how to use a meat thermometer and why it's a life-changing experience. Cooking meat perfectly every time is easier than you think.
When preparing raw meat, safe handling is important! Check out this article on food safety to learn more.
You can try make gravy. However, I find bottom round roasts lack the fat content necessary to attempt gravy. Instead I save the left over beef broth in a container.
Grass-fed roast, only slightly more expensive, has improved marbling and deeper beef flavor. Potentially an excellent option for Sunday dinner or even a nice Christmas dinner. Not sure which roast to buy, check out my best beef cuts for roast beef for a complete list.
Fresh herbs are superior to dried herbs and smell fantastic. If you decide to use fresh, triple the measurements above. I love using herbs like rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano, and garlic cloves to tie everything together. And the aromatics of fresh herbs are fantastic.
🥗 What to Serve With
For a fantastic main dish like this, I think creamy mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, and a young, full-bodied red wine would be outstanding.
Since you've already made a juicy roast, why not take a few extra minutes to make a creamy horseradish sauce. All you need is ½ cup of sour cream, ⅛ cup of horseradish. ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. Combine thoroughly and serve!
🐢 Slow Cooking
The best way to cook any cut of meat that tends to be on the tough side like bottom round roasts is low and slow. You can prepare it with a marinade ahead of time or a dry rub before cooking.
New to this cooking method? Learn how to cook low and slow and turn any round oven roast, rump roast, or meat into a fantastic family-loved meal.
🥘 Roasting Pans
I'll use my 12" cast iron skillet for smaller roasts in the 2 pound range, and for anything over 4 pounds, I use a large roasting pan with vrack. I prefer a vrack vs. flat rack as it holds the roast in place and find air circulates the roast better.
Otherwise, check out my guide to 7 alternative roasting pans. One of these will certainly work if your in a pinch.
Larger roasts should be elevated so the fat can drip freely into the roasting pan. This allows the hot air to circulate around the meat while cooking.
🌡️ Internal Temperature Guide
About halfway through, you should monitor your meat temps closely. When cooking low and slow at 170°F (77°C), plan for 2 hours per pound. At high altitudes (5,000 ft or higher), plan for 2.5 hours per pound.
The biggest mistake people make with bottom round roasts is not factoring in that beef continues to cook while it rests. Commonly referred to as carry over cooking.
When you take the roast out of the oven!
- 120-125 °F (49-52° C) - Rare
- 125-130 °F (52-54° C) - Medium Rare
- 130-135 °F (54-57° C) - Medium
- 135-140 °F (57-60° C) - Medium Well
- 140 °F+ (60° C+) - Well Done
Remove when you reach your desired temperature and doneness.
Add 10 °F to your final pull temperature to account for resting and reverse sear. For more detail read internal temp of beef: degree of doneness for images and temps explained.
Buy a meat thermometer! Preferably a wireless or cabled meat thermometer that can support dual meat probes. You can pick one of these up for under $30. There is absolutely no excuse for an overdone roast. Here are two great options:
🙋 Recipe FAQ's And Expert Tips
What is Bottom Round Roast?
Bottom round roast is a cut of beef from the rear leg of a cow. The butt, if you will, or beef bottom. Butchers know this cut as the outside muscle of the upper leg and from the round primal.
The round primal cut of the rear hind legs consists of eye round, top round, and bottom round cut. The video below explains a bit of the bottom round, outside round, rump, and hind legs.
Should you bring your roast to room temperature?
No, you should not let your roast come to room temperature! Leaving a large roast to sit at room temperature for 4-8 hours is unsafe as surface bacteria double every 30 minutes. Instead allow your roast to rest for 10 - 30 minutes or enough time to remove the chill from the surface of your roast.
Should I reverse sear a roast?
Yes, reverse searing steaks and roasts thicker than 1.5-inches has several key benefits.
1. reduces overcooking
2. produces consistent results
3. less moisture is lost from start to finish
4. searing and browning is evenly distributed
5. rest, reverse sear, and serve
How long do you cook a roast?
It varies depending on the cooking method. The two most common methods are high-heat and low and slow. It is common to cook premium cuts with generous marbling at 350 °F for 25 minutes per pound. While lean cuts from the round primal are cooked low and slow at 170 °F for 2 hours per pound.
"Roasting slowly is where all the good stuff happens," says Jim Swenson, who has been executive chef at the National Press Club in Washington for 17 years.
🗃️ Related Recipes
Try one of these fantastic beef recipes for your next dinner meal.
🌟 Fantastic Leftover Recipes
There is nothing better than delicious leftover roast beef. I'm undoubtedly guilty of gobbling it up the next day. Only to hear someone in the kitchen cry, "Who at all the roast beef?"
My go-to roast beef sandwich recipe is thinly sliced leftover roast beef on a lightly toasted bun or bread. Topped with a layer of creamy horseradish sauce and caramelized onions.
Optionally a nice parmesan or brie cheese would be excellent. Whatever your decide, here are 25 proven leftover roast beef recipes that'll transfer your leftovers.
Love this dinner recipe? Please leave a 5-star 🌟rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page.
Try one of my quick, easy, and affordable dinner recipes for your next family meal! And if you have any questions, I'm here to help!
Ultimate "Bottom Round Roast" Recipe
- Roasting Pan
- Large Cutting Board
- Carving knife or chef's knife
- Internal meat thermometer (see notes)
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Fahrenheit (77 degrees Celsius).
- Remove the fully thawed roast from the fridge and remove it from the packaging.
- Place the bottom round roast on a cutting board and let it rest for 10 - 30 minutes.
- Brush the entire surface of the roast with olive oil or your choice of oil.
- Combine all of the seasonings in a small bowl.
- Rub the seasonings over the entire surface of the roast - top, bottom and all sides.
- Insert meat probe into the thickest part of the roast.
- Place the roast in the center of a roasting pan with the fat side up.
- Cook for 2 hours per pound until you reach your desired internal temperature. When the internal temperature reaches around 125-130 degrees Fahrenheit (you've hit medium rare).
- Remove the roast, tent with foil and rest for at least 10 minutes and up to 2 hours before you reverse sear.
- About 20 minutes before your ready to eat, preheat your oven to 500-550 degrees Fahrenheit.
- When your oven reaches the above temperature, remove the foil and place your roast in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Or when your roast is crisp and golden brown.
- Remove from the oven, slice and serve it medium-rare. You do not need to let the roast rest when reverse searing.
- 120-125° F (49-52° C) - Rare
- 125-130° F (52-54° C) - Medium Rare
- 130-135° F (54-57° C) - Medium
- 135-140° F (57-60° C) - Medium Well
- 140° F+ (60° C+) - Well Done
- no additional resting, carve and serve
- meatier, beefier, and more succulent meat
- more consistent and easier to plan
The Perfect Bottom Round Roast recipe originally published Feb. 2018. Updated with new content in May. 2021. No change to recipe, I wouldn’t dare! This has been one of the all time most popular recipes since I first published it!