How Long to Cook a 4-5 lb Roast Beef for Maximum Tenderness and Flavor

Roast beef is a delicious and impressive centrepiece for holidays, dinner parties, and Sunday family dinners. When cooked properly, roast beef is melt-in-your-mouth tender and full of rich, beefy flavor. The key is selecting the right cut of beef, seasoning it well, and roasting it for the perfect amount of time.

For most home cooks, a 4-5 lb roast is a good size for feeding a crowd But how long should you cook a 4-5 lb roast beef to get it just right? Read on for tips on selecting, prepping, and roasting beef to get amazing results every time

Choosing the Right Cut for Roast Beef

There are a few cuts of beef that are ideal for roasting:

  • Rib Roast: This is cut from the ribs and has excellent marbling which keeps it tender and flavorful. The standing rib roast is one of the most expensive roasting cuts.

  • Top Sirloin Taken from the hip/rear end, top sirloin is budget-friendly but still fairly tender It can be tougher than other roasting cuts so requires careful cooking.

  • Eye of Round: This is a lean, inexpensive cut from the back leg/rump of the cow. It requires long, slow roasting to become tender but offers great flavor.

  • Tri-Tip Roast: From the bottom sirloin, this is a small triangular roast. It has good marbling for tenderness and nice beefy flavor.

For a 4-5 lb roast, an eye of round, top sirloin, or tri-tip are good options. The rib roast can get quite pricey at this size. Keep in mind the eye of round requires more attention when cooking to break down the toughness.

Seasoning Your Roast for Maximum Flavor

Seasoning is key for making roast beef taste incredible. Here are some tips:

  • Salt generously. Kosher salt is best as the large grains distribute nicely over the roast. Salt enhances flavor and helps tenderize the meat.

  • Try a rub. Coat the roast in olive oil then sprinkle on spices like garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, dried rosemary, black pepper, and paprika. Gently pat the rub into the meat.

  • Let it sit. After seasoning, let the meat rest for 30-60 minutes before roasting. This allows the salt and spices to fully penetrate.

  • Get smoky. Rub the seasoned roast with a little smoked paprika for a delicious smoky flavor.

  • Fresh herbs. Stud the roast with sprigs of fresh thyme, sage, and rosemary during roasting for tons of flavor.

Determining Cook Time for a 4-5 lb Roast Beef

The general rule of thumb for roast beef is to cook it approximately 1 hour per pound of meat at 325°F.

So for a 4 lb roast, cook it for around 4 hours. And for a 5 lb roast, cook it for around 5 hours.

However, cook time can vary a bit depending on factors like:

  • Cut of beef: Tougher cuts like eye of round require longer cooking than tender cuts like rib roast. Add 30 mins to the cook time for very tough cuts.

  • Size and shape: Larger, thicker roasts need more time than smaller, thinner ones.

  • Bone-in or boneless: Bone-in roasts cook slower than boneless. Add 20-30 mins for bone-in.

  • Oven temperature: Cooking at a lower temp (250°F) increases cook time. Higher temp (350°F) reduces it slightly.

  • Prefered doneness: Pink roasts are cooked less than well-done roasts.

Use the 1 hour per pound as a starting point, but always rely on a meat thermometer to gauge doneness rather than cook time alone.

How to Tell When Roast Beef is Done

Checking temperature with a meat thermometer is the most reliable way to know when your roast beef is cooked to perfection.

  • For medium-rare: 135°F
  • For medium: 145°F
  • For well-done: 160°F

The roast will continue cooking slightly after removed from the oven. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing.

Additional signs your roast beef is fully cooked:

  • The meat fibers easily separate when prodded with a fork.
  • The center no longer looks raw or pink.
  • The juices run clear, not bloody.

If unsure, make small slices to visually inspect the center and ensure it’s reached your desired degree of doneness.

Step-by-Step Method for Roasting Beef

Follow these simple steps for tender, juicy roast beef every time:

  1. Select a 4-5 lb roast such as eye of round, sirloin, or tri-tip. Rinse and pat dry.

  2. Generously season all over with salt, pepper, garlic powder, dried herbs, etc. Massage seasonings into meat.

  3. Allow roast to sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes post-seasoning.

  4. Preheat oven to 325°F. Heat oil in a skillet or pan.

  5. Sear roast on all sides until nicely browned, about 2-3 minutes per side.

  6. Place roast in a roasting pan and insert meat thermometer.

  7. Roast for calculated time based on size. Start checking temperature 30 mins before target time.

  8. Once temperature is reached, remove roast from oven. Tent with foil and allow to rest 10-15 minutes.

  9. Slice roast against the grain and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Serving Suggestions for Perfect Roast Beef

Roast beef tastes amazing on its own but also pairs nicely with various sides and sauces:

  • Yorkshire pudding – The classic pairing for roast beef! Fluffy, oven-baked batter cakes.

  • Gravy – Made from the flavorful roast juices, gravy brings everything together.

  • Horseradish sauce – The perfect tangy condiment for rich beef.

  • Wine reduction – Deglaze the pan with red wine after removing roast for an amazing sauce.

  • Mashed potatoes – Creamy, smooth potatoes are a perfect roast beef companion.

  • Roasted vegetables – Potatoes, carrots, parsnips baked in the oven.

  • Green beans – Fresh green beans sauteed with garlic and olive oil.

  • Salad – Crisp lettuce, tomato, cucumber with vinegar dressing.

With the right cut, prep, cook time, and sides, you can make a mouthwatering roast beef any night of the week. Just follow these helpful tips for fork-tender, flavorful results. Your family and guests will be thoroughly impressed with your roast beef mastery.

The Perfect Roast Beef – Medium Rare


How many hours does it take to cook a 5 lb roast?

Approx weight
Rare (125 °F)
Medium (145 °F)
4 lb
1 hr 28 min
1 hr 53 min
5 lb
1 hr 32 min
2 hr
6 lb
1 hr 36 min
2 hr 4 min
7 lb
1 hr 40 min
2 hr 9 min

Is it better to cook a roast at 325 or 350?

When roasting meat and poultry, set the oven temperature to 325°F (163°C) or higher. Explore the charts below to learn how to get great results every time you cook.

How long do you cook a 4 lb roast at 325 degrees?

Roast at reduced heat: reduce the heat to 325°F. If your roast is 4 pounds, roast it for 1 hours 45 minutes more for medium, or 2 hours for medium well done. If your roast is more or less than 4 pounds, roast it for approximately 25 to 30 minutes per pound for a medium roast.

What is the cooking time and temperature for roast beef?

Preheat Oven to…
Roast For…
Premium oven roast (prime rib, sirloin, tenderloin)
425°F (220°C)
30 min.; reduce heat to 300°F (150°C) and cook 2-2 ½ hours.
Oven roast (inside round, outside round, sirloin tip, cross rib)
425°F (220°C)
40-50 min. (20 min per lb)

How long to cook roast beef per pound?

Regardless of the size of your roast, aim for cooking at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C), for 20 minutes per pound. After resting for 15 to 20 minutes your roast should reach its final internal temperature, which could be 5 to 15 degrees higher than when removed from the oven.

How long do you cook a beef roast in the oven?

There are various techniques for cooking beef roast in the oven, such as roasting, braising, or searing. Roasting is the most common technique for cooking beef roast in the oven. The general rule of thumb is to cook the roast 15 minutes per pound of meat for medium-rare and 20 minutes per pound for medium.

How do you cook a 4.5 lb roast beef?

Before you start cooking your 4.5 lb roast beef, there are a few steps you should take to prep the meat. First, remove the roast from the refrigerator at least 60 minutes before cooking. This will allow the roast to come to room temperature, which will help it cook more evenly. Next, preheat your oven to 325°F.

How long do you cook a 3 lb roast?

Roast the beef for around 20 minutes per pound if you want it rare. Therefore, a 3-lb roast will take roughly an hour to reach rare doneness. Following roasting, loosely tent the roast with foil and allow it to stand for 15 to 20 minutes before slicing. How Long Do You Cook a Roast at 350 Degrees? First, preheat the oven to 350°F.

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