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How to Cook Roast Beef on Medium Temperature

by M.T. Wroblewski, studioD

Like a certain tortoise who stuck to his guns and took the slow and steady route, you can create a winning roast beef by cooking it on a medium temperature. Yes, there are certain hares out there who espouse a quicker approach. A higher temperature, they say, will produce crispy and caramelized ridges -- the crowning touch to a juicy, tender roast. But with a detour to your skillet, you can create the same effect. Besides, hot ovens often burn the exterior of roasts and lead to an inconsistent interior, with patches of red, pink and white meat. To champion this contest, take a page out of the tortoise’s playbook and lower your oven temperature to a medium setting.

Secure your roast with cooking twine, spacing the segments relatively evenly across the roast. Whether you’re cooking a rib roast, rib eye roast, tenderloin or bottom round roast, trussing the roast will help preserve its juices, produce an evenly shaped roast and make slicing easier. Sprinkle the roast with kosher salt and let it sit out at room temperature for one hour to absorb the salt.

Cover the bottom of a hot skillet with olive oil or butter. Add some minced garlic, if you wish, for added flavor before searing the roast for about 5 minutes on each side. Browning your roast in a skillet creates a tasty, crispy edge that your oven will not produce at a medium temperature.

Set your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit, though for an extra-slow cook, you can set it as low as 250 F. Sprinkle the roast with more salt, some pepper and, if you like, herbs like oregano, thyme and parsley. Place the roast in a roasting pan.

Place an oven-safe meat thermometer in the roast. Most chefs recommend that roast beef be cooked medium rare, which translates to an internal temperature of 145 F. Cooking time varies with size, but you should plan on an average-size rib roast weighing about three pounds to take at least two hours to cook.

Remove the roast from the oven and cover it with aluminum foil. Let it rest and continue to cook in its juices for 15 minutes before slicing.

Items you will need
  •  Rib roast, rib eye roast, tenderloin or bottom round roast (cleaned and patted dry)
  •  Cooking twine
  •  Kosher salt
  •  Butter or olive oil
  •  Skillet
  •  Seasoning to taste
  •  Roasting pan
  •  Oven-safe meat thermometer
  •  Aluminum foil


  • Make a light red wine sauce for your roast while it's steaming and round out the meal with garlic mashed potatoes and a green bean and carrot medley.

About the Author

With education, health care and small business marketing as her core interests, M.T. Wroblewski has penned pieces for Woman's Day, Family Circle, Ladies Home Journal and many newspapers and magazines. She holds a master's degree in journalism from Northern Illinois University.

Photo Credits

  • Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images