The Best Cuts of Beef for Carving Stations and How to Cook Them

As a caterer who loves wowing guests with beautiful bountiful food displays, carving stations are one of my favorites. A glistening perfectly roasted piece of meat just waiting to be sliced – it doesn’t get much better! But with so many beef options out there, how do you choose the right cut for carving station success?

In this article, we’ll cover the best cuts of beef for impressive carving stations, plus tips on preparing them to juicy, fork-tender perfection. Let’s dive in!

Prime Rib

The king of carved roasts, prime rib is a go-to choice for many carving stations. These tender, well-marbled ribs are cut from the rib primal and Known for rich flavor and tenderness. A full prime rib roast can be expensive, but makes a stunning presentation at the carving station.

Cooking tips: Season well with salt, pepper and herbs. Roast in 300°F oven for 15 minutes per pound until it reaches 145°F for medium-rare. Rest at least 15 minutes before carving.

Ribeye Roast

For a smaller prime rib option, a ribeye roast is a great choice. Cut from the ribeye section of the rib primal, it has all the buttery flavor of prime rib in a more compact package. A boneless ribeye roast is easy to carve into perfect slices.

Cooking tips: Quickly sear all sides at high heat before roasting at 300°F to 125°F for medium-rare. Let rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing.

Beef Tenderloin

This tender lean cut is prized for its buttery texture that takes beautifully to carving. A whole tenderloin roast makes an elegant presentation. Or carve roasted tenderloin filets for more individual portions.

Cooking tips: Roast at 400°F for 30-45 minutes until it reaches 125°F for medium-rare. Rest at least 10 minutes before carving.

Tri-Tip Roast

Tri-tip is a flavorful cut from the bottom sirloin with moderate marbling. It roasts up nicely for carving station purposes. Opt for a whole tri-tip rather than individual steaks.

Cooking tips: Season with salt, pepper, garlic and paprika. Grill or roast at 400°F, until it reaches 130°F for medium-rare. Rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Top Round Roast

Top round is a leaner, budget-friendly cut from the round primal that can be roasted nicely for carving. Look for a top round roast without too much connective tissue for better slicing.

Cooking tips: Cook low and slow at 300°F until it reaches 145°F for medium. Rest at least 10 minutes before carving.

Boneless Leg of Lamb

For a change from beef, a roasted boneless leg of lamb makes a beautiful carving station centerpiece. The leg cooks evenly since it’s from a single muscle.

Cooking tips: Roast at 350°F until it reaches 135°F for medium-rare. Rest at least 15 minutes before carving against the grain into slices.

Carving Station Success Tips

  • Let roasted meat rest adequately before carving so juices can reabsorb. This makes for prettier, juicier slices.

  • Use an electric knife or very sharp chef’s knife for clean slicing.

  • Keep sliced meat warm in a chafing dish or warming tray as you carve.

  • Offer sauce options like au jus, chimichurri, or horseradish cream for guests to drizzle over carved meat.

  • Garnish your carving station with roasted veggies, pretty herbs, edible flowers, etc. for a festive look.

  • Carve to order in front of guests for an interactive chef experience they’ll love.

There you have my picks for the best beef and lamb roasts to showcase at your next carving station. With flavorful meat and beautiful presentation, your guests will be impressed with your carving skills. Now get out your chef’s knife and get carving!

Carving Stations


What is the best cut of beef for carving?

Topside, silverside and top rump These three prime cuts are all fantastic for roasting, as they are very tender and can be carved into large lean slices.

What cut of beef do Delis use for roast beef?

What beef to use for homemade deli roast beef? There is a little debate about the best cut for deli roast beef. The main contenders are top sirloin, the eye of round, and top loin (also called strip loin).

What is the best cut of meat for beef sandwiches?

The Best Cut for Deli Style Roast Beef My favorite cut and the one tested for this recipe is the eye of round roast. It is a lean, flavorful, and relatively inexpensive cut of beef.

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