Types of Beef Roasts

Every supermarket carries different types of beef roasts, and frequently the labelling can be confusing, especially if you do not know the guide from which the roast is cut. The following are the types of beef roasts you’ll often find in a market or butcher.

one of the types of beef roasts

Types of Beef Roasts

Chuck Roast

Chuck roast is cut from the cow’s shoulder. It is a heavily exercised muscle, which provides the beef excellent flavor but it also makes it tough. Chuck is often ground for hamburger since its high ratio of fat to meat (20% fat to 80% meat is considered most excellent for a hamburger). Chuck is used for a pot roast or, when cubed, stews, since the connective tissue melts as the chuck braises and self-bastes the beef, making it extremely tender. Other roasts cut from the chuck are Boston Cut and English Roast or Cross Cut.

Eye of Round Roast

The inexpensive eye of round roast is cut from the rear leg of the beef steer or heifer. It is comparable in appearance to the tenderloin, but since it is cut from a well-exercised muscle, the eye of round is lean and tough. Eye of round can be cooked with high-heat roasting and slow roasting, braising, simmering or poaching. On the other hand, since it is exceptionally flavorful, it can as well be cooked as roast beef. Like with other tough cuts, the eye of round has to always be thinly sliced next to the grain.

Rib Roast

A rib roast is cut from the rib section connecting the shoulder and the short loin (behind the ribs). The three most familiar rib roasts are Standing Rib Roast, Rolled Rib Roast and Rib-Eye Roast.

The Standing Rib Roast is one of the types of beef roasts that is cut with at least three ribs and up to seven ribs and roasted propped vertical on its ribs, which lets the meat to be self-basted as the roast’s top coating of fat melts.

Standing Rib Roast is frequently referred to mistakenly as Prime Rib Roast. The bulk of USDA Prime is bought by hotels and meat distributors, so cautiously examine the label to certify you’re buying true prime.

Rolled Rib Roast is the similar cut as the Standing Rib Roast but with its bones separated and the meat rolled and tied into a cylindrical shape.

The Rib-Eye Roast is the boneless center cut of the rib part. Extremely well-marbled, tender and flavorful, it is the most popular and the most costly of the types of beef roasts.

Top Round Roast

The top round roast is cut from the upper thigh of the rear of the beef cow. The top round is not a heavily worked muscle, which results in a roast that is extra tender and flavorful than other cuts from the round.

roast beef on the table

Top round is frequently mislabeled and sold in supermarkets as London broil, which is not a real cut of beef but a technique for cooking tough cuts. Top round roast can as well be braised, roasted, stewed or cooked in a slow cooker. You can even slice it for sandwiches.

Rump Roast

Rump roast is a triangular cut from the upper part of the round or the rear legs. Like other well-exercised muscles, the beef is lean and flavorful, but since it can be quite tough, the rump roast have to be cooked slowly at lower temperatures (such as the pictured pot roast), which let time for the cut’s connective tissue to lessen and melt. 

Sirloin Tip Roast

The sirloin tip roast (also known as round tip roast) is cut from the back, closest to the sirloin. The sirloin tip roast is flavorful, but like most lean cuts, it can be hard and should be braised or stewed. The sirloin tip roast can as well be used for kebabs or slowly oven-roasted at a low heat.