How to pick the right roast, and tips & tricks on cooking it

August 21, 2020

Round, sirloin tip, chuck, where to start? You know you want a roast, you know how you want to cook it, but how do you know which cut is going to give you the best results? That's where we come in.

This is a tri tip roast we cooked on the smoker and finished with a sear in a cast iron pan.

Oven Roast

Ahhh, the classic oven roast. It really can't be beat. To get the best results of an oven roast, you want to pick a cut that is tender and well marbled. A sirloin tip or a cross rib will give you tons of flavour and moderate tenderness. Round roasts make good oven roasts too but these roasts are very lean, meaning that they dry out easily if cooked past medium well. And of course, the crown jewel: the prime rib. Loads of marbling, tenderness and flavour! But prime rib isn't something we ordinarily stock (instead we cut these into ribeye steaks), so you'll have to get in on the next bulk beef order, as a prime rib is only available in custom half or whole beef. Sometimes it works out that we can make a special request at the butcher if you order far enough in advance. And don't forget the diamond in the rough - the tri tip. A tri tip is not one of the most well known cuts, but man does it pack the flavour. It's also thinner so it's great if you need it to cook fast, or if you want that extra surface area for your favourite rub. For the best result - cook oven roasts on a rack in a roaster, uncovered. This let's the heat get at all surfaces of the roast. Try a hot oven for the first 10-15 minutes and then reduce the heat to 200-300°F for a low and slow cook to maximize tenderness. And always, always, always rest your roasts for a minimum of 20 minutes before slicing!

Make sure to always slice a roast across the grain to maximize tenderness! Sirloin tip, cross rib and round should be sliced thin for a better eating experience. And if you want to take your sandwich game to the next level, check out this simple, tasty recipe for hot sandwiches as an easy way to use up the leftovers.

Pro Tip: Get a meat thermometer! Seriously, this will be your best friend when you're trying to nail an oven roast when you have guests over. No matter if you pick the best, most tender roast, if you overcook it you could still end up with a tough roast. Everyone has their own preferences, but don't say we didn't warn you! Beef is supposed to be juicy, so take it from us - a medium rare to medium well roast is the best roast.

Summer Hack: You can get that oven roast bliss without heating up the house! Not that this seems to be an issue this year...come onnnnn sunshine. If you're looking for a good reason to fire up the grill, hop over to this blog post for the scoop on how to cook a roast on the BBQ (plus a divine brown sugar rub!).

Slow Cooker/Pot Roast

Who doesn't love beef dip? No one, that's who. Tender, juicy beef on a soft bun...heaven. And Sunday dinner pot roasts are the definition of comfort food. A chuck roast will be your shining star here. It is beautiful for doing pulled beef, as it is really consistent and fall-apart tender when slow cooked. A cross rib or round roast will hold together a bit better than the chuck, making it great for beef dip, or leftover in sandwiches. Since the round is so lean it is recommended to cook it with some added fat so it doesn't dry out (hello bacon!). The basics of cooking a pot roast are: 1) keep it covered; 2) add desired liquid, veggies and seasonings; 3) cook until fork tender.

Bonus - a pot roast like a chuck roast has a lot of natural collagen in it which is great for you!

Smoked Roast

If you haven't tried a roast on the smoker, let me tell you: unbelievable. That smoke flavour and the tenderness that comes from slow cooking is amazing. Nearly any cut will do well on a smoker: round, sirloin tip and tri tip are all shining stars.

Even a chuck roast turns out amazing! Instead of pulling this roast at medium, we take it all the way to 190°F and then cube the roast for burnt ends or take it to 205-210°F when its fall-apart-tender for pulled beef. Yumm!

Now you tell us! What's your favourite cut and how do you cook it? Drop it in the comments below!

Jolene Noble

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