Ah, bottom round roast. That super affordable cut of meat that you buy from the grocery store, cook it and find that it turned out about as tender as a shoe.
So what do you do? Well, you don’t have to stop buying bottom round roast, that’s for sure. You just have to learn to cook it right so it turns out tender instead of tough.
Keep reading to learn the ins and outs of how to cook the perfect bottom round roast, including a delicious recipe!
Table Of Contents
- Where does bottom round roast come from?
- How do you cook a bottom round roast?
- Should you bring your roast to room temperature?
- How long do you cook a bottom round roast in the oven?
- How do you Cook a Bottom Round Roast?
- Helpful Roasting Tips
- Bottom Round Roast Recipe
Where does bottom round roast come from?
Literally from the bottom of the cow. The butt if you will or beef bottom.
See that black shaded area there? That’s pretty much where the bottom round roast comes from.
This video explains a little bit about the bottom round cut.
But a bottom round roast is still beef, and if you cook it properly, it can taste delicious and fairly tender. Not as tender as a filet, I’m not going to lie to you, but not too terrible and certainly tender enough considering the affordable cost of round roast. As an economical cut, we can enjoy roast beef any day of the week, it stores well for easy meal prep like roast beef sandwiches and serves a crowd.
How do you cook a bottom round roast?
Do you know how to cook a bottom round roast, so it isn’t tough? I had very little knowledge about kitchen and cooking tips, but I am constantly learning and improving.
The best way to cook any cut of meat that has a tendency to be on the tough side is low and slow. You can prepare it with a marinade ahead of time or do a dry rub before cooking. If you are looking to slice it like roast beef, you must cook your roast in the oven. Please do not cook this delicious oven roast in a crockpot or instant pot.
I don’t recommend cooking a round roast in a slow cooker or crock pot unless you are looking for a roast that has more of a pot roast or pulled pork texture. Still delicious but a very different end result but nothing like an oven roast or delicious roast beef.
So, we are going to cook our roast in the oven low and slow, as I mentioned. You can use a Dutch oven or an oven-safe pan like a cast-iron skillet. You can sear the roast on the stove top or in the oven. I find searing on the stove to be messy, so I prefer to start it on high in the oven to cook the outside quickly and seal in the natural juices of the meat.
Should you bring your roast to room temperature?
Some people recommend letting beef come to room temperature before cooking. I don’t do this or like this theory (read why) so the longest I let the beef sit out is around 10 minutes. I open up the package, add a dry rub, and just let it sit for those few minutes so the Kosher salt in the dry rub can help brine the surface. You can also brine the roast in the fridge overnight. This is important to get that nice exterior crust that is packed with flavor.
How long do you cook a bottom round roast in the oven?
I really don’t like to give a flat-out time for cooking for a roast because so many factors will affect the cooking time. Your elevation, your oven (and if it is calibrated correctly or not), how thick your particular piece of meat is, and more.
For cooking “low and slow” a good rule of thumb for bottom round roast cooking time per pound is 2 hours per lb. This rule is more of a guide to help you prepare sides and effectively plan your dinner.
But this is just a guide to help you estimate cook time. You really need to be diligent about checking the internal temperature regularly to ensure you don’t over-cook your roast. Over-cooked meat of any type will be overly tough and dry. For that reason, I recommend using a good thermometer and check often. I usually start checking once I reach the “halfway” point of that rule of thumb time.
How do you Cook a Bottom Round Roast?
The instructions below tell you how to cook a bottom round roast medium rare. It’s the best way to preserve the tenderness and the flavor of the beef. If you don’t like to eat it medium-rare, you can always reheat the pieces of the roast in a small amount of beef broth. This helps retain the tenderness and ensures the roast does not dry out.
- Preheat oven.
- Remove the roast from the fridge and remove its packaging.
- Place the roast on a cutting board.
- Brush the entire surface of the bottom round roast with oil.
- Rub the entire roast with a dry rub (recipe below). Alternatively, you could use an overnight brine or marinade.
- Place the roast in a Dutch oven or cast iron skillet (or another oven-safe pan).
- Cook a short time to sear the outside.
- Reduce heat.
- Cook until it reaches your desired internal temperature.
- Slice and serve.
This will cook a bottom round roast to barely medium-rare. It should be flavorful and not tough. Again, it won’t be as tender as steaks or other cuts of beef, but it won’t be tough either. If you prefer a more medium or well-done cook to your roast, you can slice it, and warm it in beef broth until it reaches your preferred level of done.
Other common roasts include the outside round roast, rump roast, chuck roast, eye roast, top round, and tip roast. All of these make great oven roasts when combined with a savory dry rub. And when paired with mashed potatoes smothered in delicious pan gravy, this roast beef shines. The perfect family dinner recipe!
Bottom Round Roast Recipe
This recipe is naturally low carb, as are most roast or steak recipes. Seasonings have some small amount of carbs, but it’s really negligible. And outside of our beef roast, this recipe only uses a few key ingredients like garlic, thyme, and basil, which we all tend to have in our pantry. And instead of mashed potatoes, you can go low carb and pair this with a combination of oven-baked veggies like asparagus, carrots, and onion.
Helpful Roasting Tips
For the perfect bottom round roast, you should cook with the fat side up. As the roast 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 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, you should reduce the length of time on high heat from 20 minutes to 10 minutes.
Know Your Oven
This is so important for so many reasons! Every oven cooks a bit differently, and you must adjust accordingly. Gas, electric, and convection ovens all vary. While gas and electric have similar cooking times, convection times are often reduced by 25% or more. Worse, some ovens run hot, some run cold, and only a few report internal cooking temperatures accurately.
When preparing a roast recipe for the first time, you must make adjustments for your oven and for the weight of your roast. Every time I read a comment like, “I followed this recipe exactly”, my heart skips a beat. So on that note, if you own an oven, which I’m sure you do, buy a meat and oven thermometer.
Worried your roast will be done early?
Don’t fret, the first half goes by relatively fast. About halfway through, you should reach about 125 degrees (2.5-3.0 hrs), and what you’ll soon realize is it takes considerably longer to reach your final desired temperature. That last 10-15 degrees can easily take another 2-3 hours.
- 125° F (52° C) – Rare
- 135° F (57° C) – Medium Rare
- 145° F (63° C) – Medium
- 150° F (66° C) – MediumWell
- 160° F (71° C) – Well Done
Let your Roast Rest
Let your roast rest at least 10-15 minutes before serving. I typically use a foil tent, let it rest, and start on my gravy pan right away. Since everything else is ready, I round up the family and settle in for dinner.
Low Carb Garlic and Herb Bottom Round Roast
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Remove the fully thawed roast from the fridge and remove it from the packaging.
- Place the bottom round roast on a cutting board.
- Brush the entire surface of the roast with olive oil (you can use avocado oil as well).
- Combine all of the seasonings in a small bowl.
- Rub the seasonings over the entire surface of the roast - top, bottom and all sides.
- Place the roast in a cast iron skillet.
- Cook for 20 minutes at 450 degrees.
- Reduce heat to 170 degrees F and continue cooking.
- Cook the roast until the internal temperature reaches around 135-140 degrees (medium-rare is 145 degrees but the roast will cook as it is cooling).
- Slice and serve if you want to serve it medium-rare.
- If you want to serve it medium or medium-well, slice the roast in the cast iron pan, pour 2 cups of beef broth in and heat on the stove over low heat until the slices reach the desired level of done.
The Perfect Bottom Round Roast recipe originally published Feb. 2018. Updated with new content in Apr. 2020. No change to recipe, I wouldn’t dare! This has been one of the all time most popular recipes since I first published it!