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Dec 19, 2012 03:12 PM

Brined/Slow Roasted Top Round. After reading all the threads, am I doing it right?

After reading three weeks of threads, I just purchased a 15 lb top round roast that I'm preparing. Since I haven't done one of this size before, nor ever tried a dry brine, I was wondering if anyone could take a look at my plans and give me some opinions.

Day 1 - Dry brine with 1/2 to 3/4 cups of Kosher salt. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 3 days.

Day 4 - Remove, rinse and pat dry. Leave out for 3 hours to warm to room temperature.

Season with Kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder and rosemary.

Roast on a rack at 225 degrees until internal temperature reaches 118 to 120 degrees. Remove and let sit for 2 hours.

Coat the exterior with olive oil and sear under the broiler.

I would be happy to get any advice to method, times or temperatures as this is my first attempt this way. Will be sure to share photos and a review after it's done!

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  1. Your plan sounds fine to me....but you may want to consider roasting at a lower temperature of 200* if you have the time.

    You could consider not to wrap the roast when salting. this way, some of the moisture will air dry to concentrate the beef flavor a bit more.

    When you place the roast in the oven, I would brown for first 15-20 minutes at 450-500*. I would also flip, and or rotate the roast after 2 hours. For a Top round, I think you should also take the meat to 125-130 for Medium-Rare temperature. I don't find the cut does well when on the high end of rare/low end of medium-rare. I would simply hold the roast in the oven at 140* uncovered......when the roast is finished, just open the oven door to let the heat escape. If your oven only goes down to 170*, you can crack and leave the oven door open.

    As for how long it will take, measure the height and length of the roast to see the shape and size. These variables are sometimes of more relevant concern in determining the amount of time it will spend in the oven to finish to temperature. If the shape is large and round, you may want to consider splitting it down the middle lengthwise, or parallel to the ground (horizontal cut). You will save considerable time in roasting. In general, you are looking at 40-50 minutes per pound by typical roasting guidelines....So expect a minimum 5-6 hours depending on the thermostat temperature setting used.

    btw.....if you can post a picture of the roast, it would help others, and myself, get a handle on what you are dealing with.

    1. Don't wrap in plastic. Why? 3/4 cup is 12 Tablespoons, sounds like way too much. 1 teaspoon kosher salt per pound is a good starting point, so try 1/3 cup salt.

      Why rinse and pat dry, if you use the right amount of salt to begin with?

      Season with the pepper, garlic, and rosemary on day 1.

      I'm not really sure how much a 14# roast is going to warm up in 2 hrs, anyway, so I would just put the whole thing into the oven straight from the fridge. These large roasts are good candidates for reverse searing; after the roast has been in the oven for hours, it will have driven off the moisture from the outside of the meat, making searing at the end ideal.

      1. Thanks for the information! I didn't wrap in plastic and only left it in the refrigerator for a little over 48 hours. It is now sitting in the oven to warm to room temperature. (Leaving it on the counter would make a couple of happy kittens!)

        I have read so much about brinning recently and it seems to work bes,t according to studies, at 225 degrees. Something to do with the heat as part of the process.

        I am going to cook it on a rack over a roasting pan and I love the idea of flipping it after 2 hours! Never even crossed my mind that it would work. I have all day to cook this. I will post pictures later today if I don't pass out from the wonderful smells! ;)

        1. Came out perfect!! I basically salted it like a light snow and refrigerated it without wrapping. About six hours later, I again salted it, just a little lighter.

          I researched the information on my Big George Foreman rotissire and found that the low temperature is 225 degrees so decided to go that direction.

          I kept it in probably between 4 and 5 hours to get to 125. We like our meat more on the rare side. So tender and melted like butter. For this 15 lb roast, I'd probably use a little more salt and even go another 12 hours of brine without worrying about anything. Not a salty taste at all.

          Here's a photo!

          1. I think 4 days of salting is too makes the meat mushy and gives it a strange texture. You also don't need to salt again.

            Otherwise everything else should be pretty spot on. No need to let it sit for 2 hours though, 20 minutes should be fine.

            2 Replies
            1. re: joonjoon

              Thanks! Since this was my first big roast with a dry brine, I was afraid to use too much Kosher. After a few hours, I threw some more on. I know I didn't come anywhere near to a 1/3 of a cup.

              I'm sure as I continue to experiment, I will end up with something too salty and know that I have reached my limit. ;)

              The only thing I missed with this roast was the absence of juices for a gravy, but thanks to this forum, I got some Better than Bullion and it made an awesome au jus with just adding a can (yuck, right?) of Campbell's French Onion soup.

              1. re: joonjoon

                No need to let it sit for 2 hours though, 20 minutes should be fine.
                Them's fighting words....pardner.! ! !