Christmas dinner is just around the corner … or maybe you’re planning a New Year’s celebration. You’ve decided on side dishes, dessert and drinks. Place settings have been counted, napkins folded, stemware polished. The only thing left to do is head to the grocery store to purchase ingredients. You’ve made your list and checked it twice, but there’s still a looming question in your mind:

How do I know which beef roast to buy?”

​Look for a roast with lots of white flecks, called marbling

The amount of marbling plays a huge role in flavor and tenderness. Marbling, the little white “flavor flecks” within the lean beef, are key to great taste. Those little flecks of fat melt during cooking, and in the process, they baste the beef on the inside.

Size matters. Base pounds of beef on number of people

When buying a roast, plan on one pound for every two guests, and a half-pound per two children. Then, add an extra pound just in case, and because leftover roast makes for delicious future meals!

Six adults (3lbs.) + four kids (1 lb.) + extra (1 lb.) = 5-lb. roast

Choose the right cut for your meal

We all have our favorite cuts of beef, but there are several that are ideal for special occasions. Others make superb everyday favorites due to size and cost. Try these roasts for special meals and weeknight dinners:

Special occasion roasts include:

  • Tenderloin (chateaubriand)
  • Rib Roast (prime rib, boneless rib roast, bone-in rib roast or standing rib roast)
  • Strip Roast (NY strip roast, Kansas City strip roast, top loin roast or split strip roast)

Family meals and Sunday dinner cuts include:

  • Tri-Tip Roast (bottom sirloin roast, triangle roast)
  • Top Round Roast (top round pot roast, top round London broil)

Find a complete list of roasting cuts here. For help preparing your roast, get the free Roast Perfect app.