Air fryer roast beef is simple to cook, but also tender and flavorsome. This recipe uses rosemary, thyme, salt, and a little olive oil, for perfect classic roast beef.
HOW TO ROAST BEEF IN AN AIR FRYER
You might think of roast beef as a fancy, complicated dish to cook, but it’s actually very simple! Especially air fryer roast beef.
Air frying is a quick roasting method, so it’s ready in about half the time it would normally take in a regular oven.
This stops the meat from drying out, and because the meat sits in a basket rather than in a pan of oil it absorbs less oil, but still retains the moisture making it tender and juicy.
This air fryer roast is one of my favorites to serve, especially for a Sunday roast or a holiday dinner. If you like this recipe you should also try my recipe to roast lamb in an air fryer, and also my recipe for pork roast in an air fryer (especially if is has crackling as the hot air gets it super crispy!).
Scroll down for the recipe card for this air fryer beef roast recipe, or read on for all the details!
What cut of beef to use
Because air frying is a quick roasting method, you are going to want to be picky about the cut you get.
Tougher cuts need a long roasting time to get really tender, so when air frying it is best to choose a more tender cut.
I have had good results air frying the following cuts of beef roast:
- Rolled rib roast
- Prime rib roast
- Sirloin roast
- Eye of round roast
- Tri tip roast
Beef tenderloin is also great to air fry. The cooking times need to be halved due to the shape of this cut. For more details see my recipe: Air fryer beef tenderloin.
Rump roast and chuck roast are generally best suited to slow roasting as they can be tough and need the longer cooking times to get really tender.
These cuts are also perfect for making slow cooker beef pot roast or Instant Pot chuck roast. Or try making air fryer beef jerky.
Rump and chuck can still be air fried but will need to be sliced thinly against the grain for best results.
The recipe below calls for rosemary and thyme, but you can go ahead and switch in any other herbs you like (try oregano, sage, parsley).
Fresh or dried herbs will work. If you are using fresh rosemary, pick the leaves off and chop them up quite finely before using.
It is also important to season the beef with salt to bring out the flavor of the meat. I prefer flaked salt or kosher salt. Use approximately a half teaspoon per pound of beef.
I normally use light olive oil when cooking a roast in my air fryer, but you can use any cooking oil that you would usually use for a roast.
Choose one with a high smoke point to prevent your air fryer from smoking during cooking. Vegetable oil or avocado oil are both good options.
Prepare and season beef roast
Pat the beef roast dry with paper towels before seasoning it. It will only start browning after all the moisture has evaporated from the outer surface.
This is why it is really important to get the beef as dry as possible before starting cooking, so that this process can begin as soon as possible. It really helps that tasty crust to develop.
To season the roast, mix all the herbs and salt together with the oil on a plate and roll the beef in it. I find this helps to get it evenly covered with the seasoning.
- 2lb/ 900g beef roast
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion (optional)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons rosemary and thyme (fresh or dried)
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- Preheat air fryer to 400°F/ 200°C.
- Mix sea salt, rosemary and oil on a plate.
- Pat the beef roast dry with paper towels. Place beef roast on plate and turn so that the oil-herb mix coats the outside of the beef.
- If using, peel onion and cut it in half, place onion halves in the air fryer basket.
- Place beef roast in the air fryer basket.
- Set to air fry beef for 5 minutes.
- When the time is up, change the temperature to 360°F/ 180°C. Flip the beef roast over half way through the cooking time if required by your air fryer [Note 1].
- Set the beef to cook for an additional 30 minutes. This should give you medium-rare beef. Though is best to monitor the temperature with a meat thermometer to ensure that it is cooked to your liking. Check it early, and cook for additional 5 minute intervals if you prefer it more well done.
- Remove roast beef from air fryer, cover with kitchen foil and leave to rest for at least ten minutes before serving. This allows the meat to finish cooking and the juices to reabsorb into the meat.
- Carve the roast beef thinly against the grain and serve with roasted or steamed vegetables, wholegrain mustard, and gravy.
- Some air fryers require food to be turned over during cooking, some don’t. Check your manual if you are unsure if this is required for your air fryer.