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How to Cook a Tender Top Sirloin Roast

by Jon Mohrman

Top sirloin is a flavorful beef cut well suited to roasting. It's an economic alternative to tenderloin roasts, which are naturally more tender but notably more expensive. The most important aspect of keeping your top sirloin roast tender, juicy and delicious is not overcooking it; the longer the meat cooks, the more it dries out and toughens. Max out at medium doneness -- that's 140 degrees Fahrenheit -- but rare or medium-rare is better when tenderness is the goal. Choosing a prime cut and following proper beef roasting procedures will ensure a succulent dish.

Set the top sirloin roast out on the kitchen counter in the hour leading up to preparation. Allowing it to come to room temperature prevents the meat from seizing up and becoming tough upon encountering the extreme cooking heat.

Season the top sirloin roast to taste or by following the instructions in your recipe. At minimum, pat it with a bit of salt and black pepper. Dried thyme, oregano, rosemary or other herbs and spices are additional options.

Adjust your oven racks as needed to place the top sirloin in the center of the oven. Preheat to 450 F.

Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it's hot enough that you can flick in a bit of water and it immediately boils and evaporates, add enough cooking oil to coat the pan. Let the oil heat for about half a minute.

Place the roast in the skillet. Sear each side until it browns, which should take just a few minutes per side. Turn the meat with tongs, not a fork; poking holes in the meat allows juices to escape, yielding a considerably less tender result.

Transfer the top sirloin roast quickly into the oven. Keep it in the skillet if it's a cast iron or other oven-safe pan; otherwise, use a shallow roasting pan no more than two inches deep. Deeper roasting pans result in steamed meat overexposed to its own evaporating juices, making for a discolored, chewier finished product.

Cook for about 10 minutes per pound for medium-rare. Cooking times vary by a number of factors, so checking the internal temperature with a meat thermometer is the only reliable method for determining doneness. Remove the roast beef at 120 F for rare, 125 F for medium-rare or 130 F for medium.

Move the top sirloin onto a carving or serving tray, but don't cut into it yet. Let it sit first for about 15 minutes. During this resting period, the meat's temperature continues to rise and its juices redistribute. If you're worried about it cooling too much before serving, tent it with aluminum foil.

Items you will need
  • Salt, pepper and seasonings
  • Large skillet
  • Cooking oil
  • Shallow roasting pan
  • Meat thermometer
  • Tray
  • Aluminum foil

Warning

  • Don't cut into your top sirloin roast without fully resting it. Doing so allows the meat's juices, which provide much of the flavor and tenderness, to run out.

About the Author

Jon Mohrman has been a writer and editor for more than seven years. He specializes in food, travel and health topics. He attended the University of Pittsburgh for English literature and San Francisco State University for creative writing.

Photo Credits

  • Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images