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Air Fryer Roast Beef

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Whether you’re preparing for the holidays or just want to treat the family to something amazing, this easy air fryer roast beef turns out so tender and juicy every time!

Air Fryer Roast beef cooked to medium rare with pink in the middle with half cut into slices on a serving platter

Does anything say “special occasion” quite like a roast? From holiday celebrations to family get-togethers, it’s the kind of dish that can feed a crowd and, when done properly, impress everyone.

But if you’re looking for a foolproof recipe that won’t turn out dry or overdone, then you have to try air fryer roast beef!

This easy recipe only requires a few minutes of actual prep time, and the result is tender juicy perfection. Plus, cooking the roast in the air fryer takes a fraction of the time it normally takes in the oven!

Here’s what I’m going to teach you in this post:

  • How to make roast beef in the air fryer
  • The best type of beef to use for your air fryer roast
  • How to cook your beef roast in the air fryer from frozen
  • What delicious sides to serve with this dish

This recipe is one you simply have to save for holidays and special occasions… and seeing a beautiful cut of beef on sale absolutely counts as a “special occasion,” if you ask me! 

I made this recipe using the 5.8 QT Cosori Air Fryer. Its square basket makes it the perfect size for our family of 4.

Roast beef with oil, salt, and pepper in bowls

How To Make Air Fryer Roast Beef

A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.

STEP ONE: Take the beef roast out of the fridge. Baste the roast in oil, then season with salt and pepper.

STEP TWO: Let the beef roast sit out for about 30 minutes or until it reaches room temperature.

Roast beef sitting to room temperature with salt, pepper, and oil on it

STEP THREE: Preheat your air fryer to 380 degrees F.

STEP FOUR: Place the roast beef in the air fryer and cook for 40 to 42 minutes, flipping at the halfway mark.

Raw roast beef in the air fryer

STEP FIVE: Remove the roast beef from the air fryer when the internal temperature hits 140 degrees F. 

STEP SIX: Let the meat rest for at least 10 minutes, then enjoy!

Why Pull Roast Beef Out at 140 Degrees if It’s Done at 145 Degrees?

The roast beef will continue cooking even after being taken out of the air fryer. Letting the beef sit for 10 minutes will allow it to come to 145 degrees making it safe to eat.

If you let it cook to 145 degrees in the air fryer, it will cook to more of a medium temperature than medium-rare.

Cooked roast beef in air fryer

What is the Best Type of Beef to Use to Cook Roast Beef in the Air Fryer?

For this recipe, I recommend a less fatty type of beef. You’ll want to stay away from cuts like chuck roast that are better suited for cooking slowly.

When I make this dish, I like to use top roast, but the following other types of beef roast cuts will work too!

  • Eye round
  • Bottom round
  • Ribeye
  • Rump roast
Closeup of medium rare air fryer roast beef sliced with fork in it

Why Use Just Simple Seasonings?

Do not underestimate the power of salt. It’s the hero of the seasoning world!

Salt is amazing for enhancing taste in so many recipes. In this instance, it completely enhances the natural flavors of roast beef.

However, if you do want to add a few different seasonings, that’s entirely up to you. A few to consider would be:

  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Smoked paprika
  • Dried thyme
  • Dried parsley

Do I Need to Let the Roast Beef Come to Room Temperature Before Cooking?

I highly recommend letting the roast beef come to room temperature to get the juiciest and evenly cooked roast.

You can choose to cook cold beef if in a time pinch (such as cooking it from frozen with the directions below), but room temperature roast beef will always taste best.

Plus that extra time with the seasoning on the skin will do wonders for the taste too!

Roast beef on a serving platter sliced

How to Cut Roast Beef

You always want to cut meat like this against the grain. This maximizes the tenderness of the beef.

To identify the grain, just look for the muscle fibers running parallel through the meat. You want to cut your slices perpendicular to those lines.

How Do I Cook Beef Roast Without Drying It Out?

Nobody wants a dry roast. Anybody that’s ever eaten an overdone roast knows that it can be pretty disappointing.

This recipe uses two simple tricks to ensure the roast comes out tender and juicy.

First, the air fryer gives us a big advantage because it only takes about half the time compared to roasting in the oven. That’s the magic of the air fryer!

Second, we’ll take the roast out when the internal temperature is 5 degrees lower than we want. We know the temperature will keep rising as the meat rests, so this prevents the roast from overcooking.

Closeup of sliced air fryer roast beef on a serving platter

Why Do You Need to Let the Air Fryer Beef Roast Rest Before Slicing?

You ALWAYS want to let meat rest before you slice into it! This is true for a beef roast as well as other large cuts of meat.

As meat cooks, the fibers contract and squeeze out liquid. So if you slice too early, you risk losing all those wonderful juices.

On the other hand, when we let the meat rest, those fibers relax and reabsorb some of the liquid.

What to Serve with Air Fryer Roast Beef

Overhead view looking at air fryer roast beef with half sliced on a serving platter

How to Cook Frozen Roast Beef in the Air Fryer

I used a 2 1/2 pound frozen roast beef for these directions, so a smaller or larger roast beef may require more or less time. Make sure to choose a roast beef that is small enough for your air fryer and will not tip and hit the top burner on the appliance.

  1. Place the frozen roast beef inside the air fryer and turn to 330 degrees. I find very thick meats like this do not need to be preheated.
  2. Cook the beef roast for about 75 minutes, flipping and seasoning with a good amount of salt and some pepper on both sides when flipping.
  3. Remove the roast beef from the air fryer when the internal temperature hits 140 degrees F (medium rare).
  4. Let the meat rest for at least 10 minutes, then enjoy!

NOTE: While cooking frozen roast beef in the air fryer is completely possible, I found that cooking it from thawed room temperature resulted in the juiciest result.

PRO TIP: You MUST use an Instant-Read Thermometer when cooking frozen roast beef in the air fryer to get right into the middle of the beef. The outside will look cooked about halfway through while the middle can still be completely frozen solid.

How to Reheat Roast Beef in the Air Fryer

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place the leftover roast beef slices in the air fryer.
  3. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until warmed through.

Other Air Fryer Recipes You’ll Love:

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Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Air Fryer Roast Beef

Air Fryer Roast beef cooked to medium rare with pink in the middle with half cut into slices on a serving platter

Easy air fryer roast beef only takes minutes to prep for a tender, juicy dish that’s sure to impress! Perfect for holidays, special occasions, or just because.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds roast beef (top roast)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper

Instructions

  1. Take the beef roast out of the fridge then baste the oil on the beef roast and cover it with salt and pepper.
  2. Let the beef roast sit out for about 30 minutes until it reaches room temperature.
  3. Preheat your air fryer to 380 degrees.
  4. Place the roast beef in the air fryer and cook for 40 to 42 minutes, flipping with about 15 minutes into cooking.
  5. Remove the roast beef from the air fryer when it hits 5 degrees under needed temperature, let sit for at least 10 minutes, then enjoy!




Notes

How to Cook Frozen Roast Beef in the Air Fryer (I used 2 1/2 pounds):

1. Place the frozen roast beef in the air fryer and turn it to 330 degrees.

2. Cook the beef for 70 to 75 minutes until the roast beef hits 140 degrees at the very middle, flipping halfway and seasoning with salt and pepper when flipping.

3. Remove the roast beef from the air fryer, let sit for 10 minutes, then enjoy!

How to Reheat Roast Beef in the Air Fryer:

1. Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees.

2. Place the leftover roast beef slices in the air fryer and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until warmed thoroughly.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 196Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 77mgSodium: 1995mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 28g

This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.

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