Learn how to prepare and cook this fantastic 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 delivers outstanding leftovers, provided you even have leftovers.
And the good news is, it's really a simple main 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 bottom round roast 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
My secret for lean round roasts is cooking low and slow in the oven, making the roast tender and juicy. This method is well known in BBQ, where meat is cooked for 24-72 hours at low temps, resulting in drool-worthy beef.
As a home cook, you're likely familiar with meat like chuck roast, rump roast, and pot roast. Learn more about the best cuts for roast beef and which roast works best depending on the occasion.
Round roasts like bottom round, inside round, or outside round are often found for about $5 per pound. Saving money on beef makes sense for family dinners in today's market, and the leftovers are fantastic.
Today, you'll learn to cook this amazing bottom round roast in the oven on low heat between 150 - 170°F (65 - 76°C) for approximately 3 - 6 hours.
🍽 Ingredients You'll Need
Ingredients for this bottom round roast recipe are easy to find and outlined in the image below. Whenever possible, opt for a USDA prime roast for the best result. Ingredient quantities are available in the recipe card below.
Depending on the butcher, bottom round roasts are labeled differently and may include:
- beef bottom round roast
- bottom round oven roast
- bottom round pot roast
- round rump roast
- beef round roast
Any round roasts above will work; just grab the best roast.
Bottom round roast's come in various qualities and sizes. I'm using a 4-pound bottom round roast in the ingredients list above that cost $20. This is enough to feed a family of 4 with leftovers or family events with up to 8 people.
Not sure which roast to buy? Check out the 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 flavor of the roast. I really love thyme, basil, and parsley in this recipe, and tie it all together with olive oil and fresh garlic.
Small Roast Under 3 pounds
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Fahrenheit (65 degrees Celsius). Try my 2-pound eye of round roast recipe with chimichurri for smaller roasts.
Large Roast Over 3 Pounds
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Fahrenheit (76 degrees Celsius). I use the center oven rack for smaller roasts and one position down for larger roasts.
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 this 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 thaw naturally before cooking. Do not defrost a roast in your microwave!
If you have an extra day, season 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 thawed 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. You can let it sit for up to 30 minutes at room temperature for larger roasts.
Pat the meat's surface with a paper towel to absorb residual moisture. This helps the seasoning stick 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.
Combine all 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 it 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 low and slow, but keep in mind that it may be prepared in various ways.
If you're in a rush or just hungry, you can cook roast beef in the oven for about an hour on high heat.
Just note for lean cuts of beef, low and slow is the best cooking method by far.
Cooking a Bottom Round Roast
The secret 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 a wireless or wired meat probe, insert it into the thickest part of the meat. If you do not have one, add it to your shopping list. Even the most experienced chefs and cooks use a meat thermometer to monitor and check for doneness.
Position the roast in the center of your roasting pan. I prefer a vrack vs. flat rack as it holds the roast in place and find air circulates the roast better. These alternative roasting pans will certainly work if you're in a pinch, like a large dutch oven.
If your roast has the fat cap, place the fattier side on top.
Place the roast in the oven, and when it reaches an internal temperature of 125°F (52°C), it is medium-rare. This is known as the pull temperature!
Bottom Round Roast Cooking Time Chart
The two most popular ways to cook a bottom round roast in the oven are low and slow and high-heat. Here are the key differences:
|Bottom Round Roast||4 pounds||4 pounds|
|Cooking Time Minutes / Lbs.||120||18-22|
|Resting Time Minutes||10-120||10-120|
|Tips||Reverse Sear||Reverse Sear|
If you have time to spare, low and slow is the best way to cook lean cuts of meat in the oven.
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.
As soon as you're ready to eat, you'll want to reverse sear your roast. Preheat oven as high as possible, 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, remove the foil, pop the roast in the oven, and let it cook for 10 minutes or until it's nice and crisp and browned on the outside.
Reverse seared bottom round roast perfectly cooked to medium-rare that is flavorful, delicious, and easy to make.
Carve and Serve
Remove from the oven and transfer roast onto the carving board. 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.
But of course, if you want a wonderful sauce, a red wine au jus or horseradish cream sauce would be amazing.
For the perfect bottom round roast, 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, essential for a lean cut of meat.
When cooking roasts, we want that gloriously browned exterior, the crust, but still moist and juicy 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).
When it comes to gravy, these are the best brown gravy recipes I've come across. Beef gravy is divine and delicious, slathered on beef and potatoes.
Grass-fed USDA prime roast, only slightly more expensive, has improved fat marbling and deeper beef flavor. Potentially an excellent option for Sunday dinner or even a nice holiday dinner. If you are not sure which roast to buy, check out the best 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.
- ½ cup of sour cream
- ⅛ cup of horseradish
- ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
Combine thoroughly and serve!
For a simple yet fantastic beef gravy, deglaze the pan with beef broth or beef stock and red wine. In a small bowl, combine flour and butter to form a paste and add it to the pan. Whisk until combined, then bring to a boil to thicken the gravy. Add salt, taste, and adjust as needed.
🌡️ Internal Temperature Guide
About halfway through, you should monitor your roast 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.
Oven temperature can vary. You'll have a perfect roast every time as long as you roast at a low temperature and monitor with a meat thermometer.
The biggest mistake people make with roasts is not factoring 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 internal temperature and doneness.
Add 10 °F to your final temperature to account for resting and reverse sear. For more detail, read the 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.
🙋 Frequently Asked Questions
What is Bottom Round Roast?
The bottom round roast is a cut of beef from the rear leg of a cow. The butt of the cow, if you will, or beef bottom. Butchers know this cut as the outside muscle of the upper leg and from the round primal.
What is a bottom round roast good for?
The bottom round roasts are great roasted in the oven and produce great leftover roast beef for sandwiches, tacos, nachos, and tasty beef jerky. This lean cut is affordable, and a popular option for pot roasts prepared in a slow cooker, crock pot, or dutch oven.
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
Is Bottom Round Roast Tough?
Yes, this is a tough cut of meat. Like the bottom round roast, lean cuts are naturally tough due to their low-fat content and low marbling. As a result, this is a budget-friendly roast with a low price tag. And when cooked properly can be juicy and tender.
🗃️ More Roasts to Try
Try one of these fantastic roast recipes for your next dinner meal. Including my collection of top round roast recipes.
🌟 Leftover Roast Beef Ideas
There is nothing better than delicious leftover roast beef. I'm undoubtedly guilty of gobbling it up the next day and love these recipes.
One Amazing "Bottom Round Roast" Recipe
- Roasting Pan
- Large Cutting Board
- Carving knife or chef's knife
- Internal meat thermometer (see notes)
- 3-4 pounds bottom round roast - or outside round, rump roast, eye of round
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme - or dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt - sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 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!