Can You Cook Roast Beef the Day Before? A Guide to Prepare Ahead

Roast beef is a timeless centerpiece for family meals and holiday dinners. But preparing a roast beef at the last minute can be stressful and leave you frantically racing against the clock. Wouldn’t it be easier if you could cook your roast a day in advance? The good news is – yes, you absolutely can prepare roast beef ahead of time!

Cooking roast beef the day before and reheating is completely doable with careful planning. In this comprehensive guide, I’ll share tips on selecting the right roast, cooking and cooling methods, storage, and reheating for delicious results.

Choosing the Best Roast for Cooking Ahead

When preparing roast beef in advance. opt for roasts that are

  • Uniformly shaped – Even shapes like round, sirloin tip, or tri-tip roast cook more evenly than uneven cuts.

  • On the smaller side – Aim for roasts around 2-3 lbs. Larger roasts won’t cool quickly enough

  • Leaner cuts – Fatty cuts like prime rib don’t reheat as well Go for top or bottom round roasts

  • Boneless – Bones conduct heat and will slow down cooling. Stick to boneless roasts.

With the right cut, you’ll be off to a good start for hassle-free cooking ahead.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Cooking and Cooling

Follow these steps for safely cooking roast beef in advance:

  1. Prep the roast – Trim excess fat and coat with your favorite seasonings. Bring to room temperature.

  2. Sear the roast – Brown the roast on all sides in a hot skillet to develop flavor.

  3. Roast at lower temp – Cook at 275°F until it reaches 5°F below your desired doneness, e.g. 125°F for medium rare.

  4. Rest and slice roast – Let roast rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing across the grain into portions.

  5. Cool quickly – Spread out portions on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and cool for 1-2 hours.

  6. Package for storage – Seal portions airtight in individual plastic bags or containers. Refrigerate.

Proper, controlled cooling is vital for food safety when cooking meats in advance. Never leave roast beef sitting out!

Storing Cooked Roast Beef Safely

Cooked roast beef will keep for 1-2 days when stored properly in the refrigerator. Here are some storage tips:

  • Place roast beef in coldest part of fridge, like bottom shelf at the back.

  • Ensure your fridge temperature is 40°F or below. Use a thermometer to verify.

  • Keep roast beef well-sealed in an airtight container or bag. Limit air exposure.

  • Avoid overcrowding fridge shelves to allow for cold air circulation.

  • Consume refrigerated roast beef within 1-2 days for best quality. Freeze for longer storage.

Following safe storage practices prevents harmful bacterial growth on cooked meats over time.

Reheating Roast Beef to Perfection

When ready to serve, reheating your cooked roast beef is simple. Just follow these steps:

  • Preheat oven to 300°F. Unwrap roast beef and place on a baking sheet.

  • Heat roast for 15-20 minutes until warmed through, reaching an internal temperature of at least 165°F.

  • Check for doneness with a meat thermometer to prevent overcooking.

  • Let rest 5 minutes before slicing if needed.

  • Alternatively, you can reheat roast beef slices immersed in broth, gravy, or au jus on the stovetop.

And your delicious roast beef is ready to enjoy and impress your guests!

Handy Tips for Success

Keep these tips in mind for hassle-free results:

  • Roast meats like beef and lamb only keep 1-2 days, while pork lasts 2-3 days.

  • Cook roast beef to 145°F before cooling for best reheating results.

  • Chill roast beef uncovered in the fridge until completely cold before sealing.

  • Slice roast beef before refrigerating for faster, more even cooling.

  • Bring roast beef to room temp before reheating for more thorough, even heating.

Answers to Common Questions

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about cooking roast beef ahead of time:

How far in advance can I cook roast beef?

Roast beef stays freshest when cooked 1 day in advance. For best quality, avoid cooking roast beef more than 2 days before serving.

Can I freeze roast beef after cooking?

Yes, cooked roast beef freezes well for 2-3 months. Let cool completely before freezing and wrap airtight.

Should roast beef be refrigerated hot or cold?

Roast beef must be chilled within 2 hours after cooking, ideally after fully cooling. Never refrigerate hot roast beef.

How long does cooked roast beef last in the fridge?

Cooked roast beef lasts 1-2 days maximum in the refrigerator when stored properly. Discard if meat odors or slime develop.

Can I reheat roast beef in the slow cooker or Instant Pot?

It’s best to avoid reheating roast beef using slow, moist heat methods. Reheat quickly in the oven or on the stovetop instead.

With smart planning and proper storage, preparing your roast beef ahead of time is absolutely doable. Follow the guidance in this article for safely cooking, cooling, storing, and reheating roast beef in advance for stress-free entertaining. Your guests will be impressed with your flavorful, tender roast beef, even when served a day later!

The Secret to Perfectly Cooked Roast Beef


Can roast beef be cooked ahead of time?

With this recipe, you can roast the meat a few hours ahead of time and store it in a cooler until you are ready to serve it. It will hold its temperature. This works great if you are entertaining and plan to serve dinner immediately following a church service or program.

Is it okay to cook beef the day before?

Information. Never brown or partially cook meat or poultry to refrigerate and finish later because any bacteria present would not have been destroyed. It is safe to partially cook meat and poultry in the microwave or on the stove only if the food is transferred immediately to the hot grill to finish cooking.

Can I cook a roast the day before serving?

TheSandgroper · Today 12:22You can roast the beef today or first thing tomorrow, allow to cool, slice and reheat in a little gravy. Works well.” Yes, it does. Remember to shorten cooking time a little if you like it rare as the hot gravy will cook a little more.

How to prepare roast beef the day before?

Roast in oven for 3 hours. Remove meat from gray and cool for 30 minutes. Cover both meat and gravy well and refrigerate overnight. The next day skim fat from gravy.

How long to roast beef?

Any leftovers can be sliced and chilled for cold cuts or a salad the next day. The easiest way to work out how long to roast beef for is to weigh it. The most straightforward roasting guide to follow is to turn the oven to 200°C (180°C fan) mark 6 and cook the joint for 25min per 450g (1lb) for medium meat.

How long do you cook a roast in the oven?

Put the roast in a very hot 500-degree oven for 5 minutes per pound, then turn it off, and leave it for about an 45 minutes to one hour. It comes out perfectly medium-rare every time (or cook it longer for your preferred doneness for roast beef). The simple seasoning (salt, pepper, rosemary, and garlic) makes this roast outstanding!

How do you cook roast beef in the oven?

It all depends on how you cooked your roast beef in the first place — and how you stored your delicious leftovers. And, surprisingly, it involves preheating your oven, then turning it off and using the residual heat. If your beef was cooked medium-rare, you’ll need to preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Can a pot roast be made 2 days ahead?

This recipe can be made up to 2 days ahead. Our recommended beef broth is Rachael Ray Stock-in-a-Box Beef Flavored Stock. Chilling the whole cooked pot roast overnight improves its flavor and makes it moister and easier to slice.

Leave a Comment