How to Cook a Top Round Roast

A top round roast is a relatively lean section of meat taken from the inside of a cow’s hind leg. Despite being an inexpensive slice of meat, it is lean and very flavorful. Like its name suggests, roasting is the most common way to cook a top round roast, although it can be incorporated into stews. Once the meat reaches the desired temperature, it can be eaten right away or even used as deli-style roast beef.[1]
1 top round roast

fresh parsley, chopped

Dijon mustard

olive oil

unsalted butter



1 shallot, minced

EditSeasoning the Roast
Defrost the roast for up to 2 days in the refrigerator. This process can take a while due to the size of the roast, so get started ahead of time. Leave the roast in its original packaging while it thaws. You will have an easier time rubbing in the spices and cooking the meat after it is unfrozen.[2]
If you’re in a hurry, you can try defrosting it in the microwave. Heat it at a low temperature until it is no longer frozen.

Another way to speed up defrosting is to submerge the meat under cold water. Do this only if your roast is in a watertight container. Change the water out as it warms.

Remove the roast from the refrigerator an hour ahead of time. The wait time brings the roast up to room temperature, causing it to cook more evenly. It won’t be out long enough to make bacteria an issue. You can vary the resting time between 30 minutes and 2 hours, depending on how much time you have available.[3]
If you need to get the roast in the oven right away, that is fine. It will still cook well and taste good.

Mix all ingredients besides the roast in a separate bowl. Choose a mixing bowl and pour of olive oil into it. Add of Dijon mustard along with of butter, of chopped parsley, and a minced shallot. Sprinkle in about of both salt and pepper before stirring the ingredients into a paste.[4]You can mix the ingredients 24 hours in advance and put them in a bag with the roast. The meat will absorb more of the flavors while the salt draws out flavor from the meat.

Experiment with your ingredients. For example, you can leave out the shallot and mustard. You can add other herbs and spices or make a balsamic glaze.

Rub the entire surface of the top round roast with the paste. If you have a basting brush, use it to easily coat the outer surface of your roast. A brush is helpful if your mixture is too liquid. You can also pour the paste onto the roast and try to spread it using a knife or other tool.[5]Dry rubs and pastes can usually be worked into the meat by hand. If you’re not shy about getting your hands dirty, you don’t need to reach for a brush.

EditRoasting the Meat
Preheat your oven to . Turn on your oven and give it a few minutes to get up to the proper temperature. Once it is heated, begin cooking the roast as soon as you can. You may see recipes using wildly different temperatures, and cooking the beef at a different temperature is fine if you want to experiment.[6]
Lower temperatures mean slower cooking, so adjust your timer accordingly.

Instead of using an oven, you can cook roasts in a dutch oven. Start by searing the meat in oil, then add beef stock and other ingredients. Put the dutch oven in your oven for 2 to 3 hours.[7]
Another option is a slow cooker. Sear the meat before adding all of your ingredients to the slow cooker. Cook for about 4 to 6 hours on high or 8 to 10 hours on low.

Place the roast in a roasting pan with the fat side up. Look for a layer of white fat on top of the red meat. This fatty end will usually appear rounded, while the opposite end is flatter and easier to rest against your roasting pan. Put the roast directly in the center of the pan.[8]You can also use a roasting rack. Fit it over a roasting pan or baking sheet, which will catch any dripping juices. If you use a slow cooker, don’t use a rack and instead cook the roast in the stock or other liquid you use.

Another option is an oven bag. Seal the roast in the bag, then set it in a pan. Cut a few vents in the top.

Multiply the weight of the roast by 21 minutes to find your cooking time. For example, a top round roast takes about 84 minutes, or 1 ¼ hours. Larger roasts take longer to cook than smaller roasts. Similarly, a cold roast takes a little longer to cook than one at room temperature. Keep a close eye on your roast and test it with a meat thermometer if you aren’t sure it is done.[9]
This is the average time to get your top round roast to medium rare. If you want it to be closer to well done, expect it take 30 to 35 minutes per pound. Roasts are best served medium rare, though.

The average roasting time can also vary depending on your oven and the heat setting you use.

Place the meat on a center rack in your oven. Position the meat, making sure it is in or over a pan that can catch any dripping juices. Close the door as soon as possible so the heat doesn’t escape. Then, set your timer as your roast begins to cook.
Cook the roast in the oven for about 1 ¼ hours. Leave the roast in the oven for the amount of time you calculated earlier. Don’t open the oven door if you can help it, since doing so lets out the heat. If you think the roast may be done before the time is up, you should definitely check it to avoid overcooking.[10]
You can start the roasting process at a higher temperature, then lower it after about 15 minutes. The high temperature can give the roast a nice, brown sear.

Another option for browning is to heat olive oil in a pan, then sear the meat about 2 minutes per side. Put the roast in the oven when you are done.

Use a thermometer to test the roast for a temperature of . Slide the thermometer’s tip into the center of the roast about 30 minutes before the cooking time is up. A temperature of indicates a medium-rare roast, but you should remove the roast before it reaches this level of doneness.[11]
A rare roast has a temperature between when it is done.

A medium roast reaches , while a well done roast reaches .

EditServing the Meat
Take the roast out of the oven before it finishes cooking. The meat gets hot enough that it continues cooking even after it is taken out of the oven. Plan on taking it out when it is 5 to 10 degrees below the desired internal temperature. This way, you get the exact doneness you want in your meat.[12]For example, if you want a medium-rare roast, remove the roast from the oven at the mark.

Tent the roast in foil and leave it on your counter. Move the pan to a safe location, such as a counter or your stovetop. To tent the roast, wrap a piece of aluminum foil over the top of the pan. The foil seals in the heat, allowing the roast to finish cooking to its final temperature. You do not have to remove your thermometer if you used it to test the meat earlier.[13]If you have the roast on a rack, take it off the rack and wrap it loosely in foil. Be careful not to burn your fingers!

Allow the roast to rest for 15 minutes before carving. The additional waiting time is needed for the roast to cook up to the proper temperature. It also allows the juices to seal inside the meat. Instead of getting a bloody mess, you get a juicier piece of meat when you finally cut the roast.[14]

Cut the meat into thick slices against the grain. Unwrap the roast and look closely at its surface. You should be able to see lines running across it, which are the meat’s muscle fibers. Instead of cutting along those lines, cut across them. The exact size of cuts doesn’t matter, but try slicing the beef as thinly as possible for lots of flavor with a minimal amount of chewing.[15]Use a sharp knife to ensure the meat cuts cleanly.

Cutting the meat against the grain leads to delicious, tender pieces that are easier to chew.

Store leftovers in airtight containers in the refrigerator or freezer. You can wrap the beef tightly in plastic or foil if you don’t have a container big enough. Also consider cutting the beef into multiple chunks in order to make storage easier. Keep it in the refrigerator if you plan on using it right away or make use of the freezer for long-term storage.[16]The beef should last up to 4 days in the refrigerator. If it looks slimy or smells bad, throw it away.

Beef stored in the freezer will last up to 3 months. You can defrost it as needed before storing it in the refrigerator.

Consider making gravy with the drippings from the roasting pan. Drain excess fat, then combine the remainder with a mixture of milk and water boiled over medium heat.

Increase the amount of olive oil you use in your rub if the roast is very lean. The oil’s fat is essential in keeping the meat moist while it roasts.

Top round roasts can also be braised in sauces in a slow cooker or Dutch oven, although roasting is more common with top round roasts.

EditThings You’ll Need
Roasting pan

Mixing bowl

Measuring spoons


Meat thermometer

Aluminum foil

Sharp knife

EditRelated wikiHows
Marinate a Pot Roast

Cook Eye of Round Roast

Cook a Roast in a Crock Pot

Prepare and Serve Different Cuts of Beef

Make a Gravy for Roast Beef

EditSources and Citations
EditQuick Summary
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Today in History for 8th January 2019

Historical Events

1297 – Monaco gains its independence.
1708 – Spanish armada headed by the San Jose and loaded with gold sunk after British squadron attacks off coast of Colombia (rediscovered 2015)
1902 – The United Irish League, a leading force for unification in all Ireland and independence from Britain, holds its convention in Dublin
1966 – Georges Pompidou re-appointed French Prime Minister and forms new government
2004 – The RMS Queen Mary 2, the largest passenger ship ever built, is christened by her namesake’s granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II.
2011 – Attempted assassination of Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and subsequent shooting in Casas Adobes, Arizona at a Safeway grocery store kills 6 and wounds 13, including Giffords

More Historical Events »

Famous Birthdays

1836 – Fannie M Jackson, pioneer and educator, 1st US African American woman college grad
1852 – James Milton Carroll, American pastor and author (d. 1931)
1924 – Benjamin Lees [Lysniansky], American composer, born in Harbin, China (d. 2010)
1942 – Stephen Hawking, English physicist (Black Holes and Baby Universes), born in Oxford, England (d. 2018)
1943 – Lee Jackson, English bass guitarist and singer-songwriter (Nice), born in Newcastle upon Tyne, England
1979 – Stipe Pletikosa, Croatian footballer, born in Split, Croatia

More Famous Birthdays »

Famous Deaths

1864 – Victor-Charles-Paul Dourlen, composer, dies at 83
1950 – Joseph A Schumpeter, Aus/US economist/Minister of Finance, dies at 66
1979 – Sara Carter, American country musician, songwriter and vocalist (Carter Family), dies at 81
1986 – Mansel Treharne Thomas, Welsh composer, dies at 76
2008 – Clyde Otis, American song writer and music producer (b. c. 1924)
2015 – Curtis Lee, American singer (Pretty Little Angel Eyes), dies at 75

More Famous Deaths »

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How to Learn Basic Ballet Moves

Ballet is an art that helps you express yourself through movement. It’s also a technical form of dance that builds on the basics. If you’re interested in ballet, start by learning the 5 basic foot and arm positions. After those, you can progress onto moves like plié and relevé. Take a beginner’s class to make sure you’re learning good form and technique, and practice at home so that you can master the basics.

EditMastering the Basic Positions
Start with first position. First position is arguably the easiest basic ballet position. Stand with your feet together, ensuring your heels touch. Then, turn each leg outward so your feet are perpendicular to your torso. Keep your heels together, but allow your feet, calves, and thighs pivot until your feet form a straight line parallel with your shoulders. The end stance is first position.[1]
Your whole leg from your thigh to your feet be turned outward. The end result will turn your feet in a straight line on the floor, with your heels in the middle.

First position for the arms looks like you’re holding a beach ball in the middle of your stomach. Keep your fingers about apart, and tilt your hands just slightly toward your face.

Move into second position. Second position is similar to first. Instead of your heels touching, though, move your feet about hip distance apart. Make sure your feet still face opposite directions, and that your legs turn out along with your feet.[2]
Second position for the arms is like the first position arms, but open. Take your first position arms and open them at the elbows to about the width of your feet. Tilt your palms slightly toward you.

Transition to third position. For third position, start in first position. With your feet still facing opposite directions, slide one foot directly in front of the other. Touch the heel of your front foot to the instep of your back foot, and bring your front calf directly in front of your back calf.[3]
Third position arms can best be thought of as a combination of first and second position. Start with your arms in first position. Open just one arm up to second position, leaving the other arm in first position.

Open to fourth position. Begin in first position, then bring one foot in front of the other, making sure the toes on each foot still point in opposite directions. Position your forward foot about in front of your back foot, and line the heel of the forward foot up with the toes of the back foot.[4]
Unlike in other positions, your feet do not touch in fourth position. Getting your spacing right can be tricky. Look up pictures of fourth position online and watch video tutorials to give you an idea of how your feet should be positioned.

For fourth position arms, start with your arms in first position. Bring one arm up above your head, maintaining the bend at the elbow. Face the palm of your raised arm downward and hold it just in front of your head.

Finish in fifth position. Fifth position uses the same foot directions as fourth, but your feet are positioned much closer together. Start in fourth position and bring your feet in close together, stopping when they are about 1-2 finger widths apart.[5]
As with fourth position, turn your legs out along with your feet. Avoid bending them at the knee. Hold them as tall and straight as possible.

Fifth position arms are an extension of fourth position, as well. Bring your arms into fourth position. Then, bring your lower arm up above your head to meet your raised arm. Make sure to leave just enough space between your fingers so that they don’t touch.

EditLearning Additional Moves
Add movement to first position with a plié. A plié is one of the most basic moves in ballet. Start in first position. Then, slowly bend your knees until they are about as wide apart as your big toes. Hold this position for a second before using your legs to quickly and gracefully push your torso back up. Finish back in first position.[6]
As you plié, pay close attention to your form. Keep your back straight and tall, and your heels planted on the floor. This movement will engage your quadriceps on the way down, and your knees and glutes on the way up.

A plié is the starting and finishing motion for many jumps. That’s why you don’t just straighten your legs when coming out of one. The force that you use to drive up your upper body will eventually drive your jumps and pirouettes.

There are two types of pliés. Beginners should start with a demi plié as described. As you master your craft, though, you’ll move onto the grand plié, where you bend until your thighs are parallel with the floor.[7]

Use a tendu to transition between positions. A tendu, or battement tendu, is a stretch that helps you move from one position to another. Start in fifth position with your legs straight and your muscles pulled up. Take your front foot and push it into the floor, then immediately slide out to the front before bringing it back to fifth position.[8]
Once your foot is back in fifth position, push it back into the floor, then slide it out to the side. Make sure your knee does not bend through this process. As you bring your foot back in, place it in fifth position behind your stationary foot.

Complete the tendu by pushing your foot into the ground then sliding it back behind you. Bring your feet back to fifth position. Your stationary foot will now be in front, allowing you to switch feet and practice the tendu flow on your other foot.

Come up on the balls of your feet for a relevé. A relevé is a basic move taught to most beginning ballet dancers. For a basic relevé, start with your feet in first position and one arm holding onto your barre. Use your calves to pull your heels upward until you’re standing on the balls of your feet. Then, slowly release your calves to bring your heels back to the floor.[9]
While relevé is used in pointe, beginners should not try going all the way onto their toes. Instead, support your weight with the balls of your feet. This is called a demi-pointe.

As you practice more, you can combine your plié and relevé. Start by going into your plié, then use the driving force as you come back up to bring you into relevé.

Try a basic sauté when you’re ready to learn jumps. A sauté is generally used as an exercise for beginners to help them master small, simple jumps. To sauté, start in first position. Bend into a plié, then push your legs into the ground as you come up, giving you lift enough to jump a little way off the ground. Straighten your legs as you jump, then bend softly back into a plié as you land.[10]
Often, as you practice, you will do several sautés in a row. Practice sautés in groups of at least 5 to help you master the flow of launching and landing in plié. Landing in plié is an important part of this jump, as it cushions and protects your knees.

Moving from plié to sauté will be similar to moving from plié to relevé, but with a bit more force as you come up. That added force is what will get you off the ground.

Sauté, literally translating to jump, is often combined with other positions to create specific jumps, such as sauté arabesque.

EditPracticing Your Ballet Skills
Buy or make a barre to practice at home. A barre is a simple rail to help you keep your balance when doing warming up and practicing new moves. Position the barre at a comfortable height, just at or above your waist. You can buy a barre online or from some sporting goods stores. You can also use PVC pipes to make a freestanding barre for your home.[11]
A sturdy barre will be necessary for most beginners to help them keep balance as they improve their technique and muscle memory.

A typical ballet barre has a lower and an upper barre attached to the same wall or frame. The lower barre is usually from the floor, and the upper barre is from the floor.

If you don’t want to invest in a home barre, talk to local dance studios to see if they have open hours. Often, you pay a small practice fee for open hours in exchange for free time to use the shared studio space and equipment, including their barre.

Go over the port de bras basics each day. Mastering the position and movement of your arms, known in ballet as port de bras, is often the first exercise for beginners. Take some time each day to flow through the basic arm positions. These include not only the arms complimenting each foot position, but also:[12]
En avant (forward). For this, hold your arms out directly in front of your torso, bending them at the elbows to round them slightly. Face your palms in toward your body, and keep your fingers close but not so close that they touch.

En haut (high up). Bring your arms up from en avant and hold them above your head, keeping your shoulders flat. Keep your elbows round and your fingers just slightly apart.

En bas (below). Carefully and intentionally bring your arms down directly in front of your hips from en haut. Face your palms inward toward your legs, keep your elbows round, and maintain spacing between your fingers. Then, bring your arms back up to en avant and repeat the flow for at least 5 or so minutes.

Practice your basic foot positions every day after doing port de bras. Whether you’re taking classes or just exploring your interest in ballet, practicing the basic positions is essential. Set aside at least 15 minutes every day to practice your positions in front of a mirror. [13]
Hold each position for a few seconds at a time to evaluate your form and correct your stance, if necessary.

Don’t get discouraged if your positions aren’t perfect at first. These take a lot of time to learn and even longer to perfect. Keep practicing, though, since these positions serve as the starting point for many basic moves.

Attend a beginners ballet class to ensure you have the correct form. Whether you hope to become a prima ballerina/ballerino or you’re just dancing for fun, an instructor is a necessity for a ballet beginner. Home practice is important, but only a teacher can build your correct your technique and help you move past basic skills.[14]
Attend open houses at local dance studios to get a feel for different teachers and their different styles.

Keep looking until you find a teacher with whom you click. Ballet is a difficult art to master, so you may be with your instructor for a long time. Look for someone who will both nurture and challenge you.

Even if you have experience in other forms of dance, you should start with a beginner ballet class. Ballet is highly technical, and other forms of dance may not fully prepare you. Your instructor will let you know if they think you’re prepared for a more advanced class.

In addition to practicing moves, learn about ballet through reading and watching videos. The more you understand about the technique and theory behind each movement, the better you will be able to perform it.

Don’t give up. Becoming a ballerina/ballerino is a very long process, so don’t expect to be perfect from the start.

Do not try pointe or use pointe shoes as a beginner. Pointe can be dangerous for the inexperienced dancer. Your ballet instructor will let you know when you are ready for pointe.

Do not force your body into a position it cannot hold. It takes time to build the strength and flexibility for certain moves and positions. Allow yourself to build up the muscle memory gradually or you could risk hurting yourself.

EditRelated wikiHows
Do a Pirouette

Do The Box (Front) Splits

Ballet Dance

Do Well in a Ballet Audition

Learn Body Positions for Advanced Ballet

EditSources and Citations
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