Achieving Perfect Medium Rare Roast Beef – The Internal Temperature You Need

Roast beef is a classic main dish that can be the star of any holiday feast or Sunday dinner. When cooking roast beef getting the doneness just right is essential. While preferences vary many agree that medium rare delivers the ideal balance of juicy, tender beef with a touch of pink in the middle. But what temperature corresponds to medium rare for roast beef? Read on for a detailed guide to nailing medium rare roast beef along with tips, tricks, and timings.

What is Medium Rare Roast Beef?

Medium rare roast beef has a reddish-pink center that is warm but not completely cooked through. The interior of the meat should reach an internal temperature between 130-135°F to be considered medium rare. At this stage, the roast beef retains a good amount of its natural juices and is tender enough to cut with a fork. The meat should have a bright, fresh beef flavor.

Medium rare roast beef is a popular doneness for several cuts like rib roast, sirloin tip, and eye of round since it highlights their tenderness Leaner cuts also benefit from not being cooked beyond medium rare to prevent them from drying out.

Why 130-135°F for Medium Rare?

The safe minimum internal temperature for beef, as recommended by the USDA, is 145°F to kill any potential bacteria and pathogens. However, taking lean roasts like top round or eye of round to 145°F will lead to an overcooked, dried out result.

Cooking medium rare roast beef to only 130-135°F is considered safe because the meat continues to cook as it rests. The internal temperature will rise about 5-10°F after removing the roast from the oven. So pulling it at 130-135°F will end up in the food safe 140-145°F zone after resting.

For cuts with more marbling and intra-muscular fat like ribeye, cooking to 130-135°F allows that fat to start rendering while still having that red, juicy center.

Tips for Cooking Medium Rare Roast Beef

  • Start with a thick, evenly shaped roast. Thinner cuts will overcook. Look for a roast that is 2-3 inches thick if possible.

  • Bring meat to room temp before cooking. This helps the roast cook more evenly. Leave on the counter for 30 mins – 1 hour.

  • Season simply with salt, pepper, garlic, herbs. Avoid sugar-based rubs which can burn.

  • Use a meat thermometer for accuracy. Monitor the temp periodically without opening the oven door too much.

  • Cook at a high temp (325-500°F) to sear. Then reduce heat to 300°F to finish cooking more gently.

  • Let rest before slicing. The internal temp will continue rising about 5-10° as it rests. Don’t skip this step.

Oven Roasting Times and Temperatures

To gauge the approximate roasting times needed to reach 130-135°F for medium rare, refer to the oven roasting time guidelines below for various beef roast sizes. Bear in mind that oven temperatures can vary so use these as general estimates and always rely on a meat thermometer for doneness.


Roast Type       Weight   Oven Temp   Time for Medium RareEye of Round     2-3 lbs   325°F       1-1.5 hoursSirloin Tip      3-4 lbs   325°F       1.75-2 hours   Rib Roast        3-4 lbs   350°F       1.5-2 hoursTenderloin       2-3 lbs   425°F       35-45 minutesStrip Roast      3-4 lbs   325°F       1.25-1.5 hoursTri-Tip          1.5-2 lbs 425°F       30-40 minutes

For bone-in rib roasts, add about 15 minutes more cook time than a boneless roast. For beef roasts over 5 lbs, increase time to around 2.5-3 hours for medium rare.

Step-by-Step Method

Follow these simple steps for perfectly medium rare roast beef every time:

  1. Take roast out of fridge and let sit at room temp for 30 mins – 1 hour.

  2. Preheat oven to 500°F.

  3. Pat roast dry and season all over with salt, pepper, garlic, herbs.

  4. Place roast on a wire rack in a roasting pan. Insert meat thermometer.

  5. Once oven is 500°F, put roast in and immediately reduce temp to 300-325°F.

  6. Roast until the thermometer reaches 130-135°F for medium rare, checking periodically. See above chart for approximate roasting times.

  7. Once roast reaches 130-135°F, remove from oven and tent loosely with foil. Let rest 15-20 minutes.

  8. The temperature will rise 5-10°F as it rests. Slice roast and serve warm.

Common Roasting Problems and Solutions

Having trouble getting your roast beef just right? Here are some common issues and how to fix them:

  • Overcooked, dry meat – Roast was left in oven too long. Use a meat thermometer and don’t rely solely on time. 130-135°F is target temp.

  • Undercooked interior – Roast did not roast long enough to reach 130-135°F internally. Check temp sooner and return to oven if needed.

  • Burnt outside, undercooked inside – Oven temp too high. Start at 500°F to sear then immediately reduce to 300°F.

  • Takes too long to reach temp – Roasts under 2 lbs or thinner than 2 inches will cook unevenly. Choose a thicker, evenly shaped roast.

  • Uneven doneness – Meat was not at room temp before cooking. Let sit out 30 mins – 1 hour before roasting.

The Takeaway on Medium Rare Roast Beef

Roasting beef to medium rare means bringing the internal temperature to 130-135°F and allowing the roast to rest so it rises another 5-10°F. Use a meat thermometer to track doneness and remove roast from oven when it hits 130-135°F. Resting and carrying over cooking will bring it to a food-safe 140-145°F. Aim for roasts at least 2-3 inches thick for best results. For most 3-4 lb roasts, plan on roasting times between 1.5-2 hours. Follow the recipe tips above and you’ll achieve perfect medium rare roast beef worth bragging about!

The Perfect Roast Beef – Medium Rare


What temperature should a medium rare roast beef roast be?

If you’re able to get a temperature reading as it cooks: Let the beef sit in the oven, undisturbed until it reaches 135°F for medium-rare (145- 150°F for medium), there will be little to no carry-over cooking once you remove it), this took about 45 minutes (in my oven) but it can take up to 1 1/2 hours, depending on …

Do you 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.

What temperature to cook roast beef?

Roast beef cooking time: 50 minutes to 1 hour 20, depending on how well done you like it. Roast beef temperature: Heat the oven to 240C/220C fan/gas 9 for the first 20 minutes of cooking, then lower it to 190C/170C fan/gas 5 for the remainder.

How long to cook a 2 lb medium rare roast?

Medium-Rare Roast Beef Rub with olive oil and sprinkle again with salt and ground black pepper. Roast for between 12 and 15 minutes per pound, then check the temperature. For medium-rare beef, the temp will be around 125°F to 130°F. Rest the roast for 30 minutes.

What temperature should roast beef be cooked at?

Let’s delve into the specifics and explore a few related frequently asked questions. **The ideal temperature for medium rare roast beef is between 130°F and 135°F (54°C and 57°C).** At this temperature range, the beef will have an evenly pinkish-red center, tender texture, and optimal juiciness.

What temperature should a roast be cooked to?

Cook your roast longer. For beef cooked to medium, remove it from the oven when the thermometer probe reads 145°F to 150°F. Pair roast beef with mashed potatoes, roasted red potatoes or a baked potato and a green veggie, like roasted green beans or Brussels sprouts.

What temperature should ground beef be cooked at?

Check the meat with a thermometer to make sure it is the temperature you want it: 145°F for medium rare, 160°F for medium. Remember, the meat will continue to cook as it rests, so remove it from the oven when it is about 5°F below the temperature you want it to be. Related: 150 + Ground Beef Recipes to Make Dinner a Whole Lot Easier

How do you cook a medium rare roast?

For medium-rare, opt for a cut with good marbling and a tender texture, such as: Seasoning your roast generously enhances its flavor. Rub a mixture of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and your favorite herbs and spices all over the meat. Allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to penetrate. 1.

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