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Air Fryer Roast Beef

This air fryer roast beef is simple to prepare, quick to cook, and results in tender and juicy beef with a beautifully caramelized crust. A quick rub of herbs and oil is all it needs. Rest, slice, and serve this showstopping beef – so easy yet so impressive!

Air fryer roast beef sliced on a wooden board.

Why you’ll love air fryer roast beef

This recipe takes the traditional roast beef and gives it a flavorful twist using an air fryer. The air fryer locks in the flavors and ensures even cooking, resulting in a perfectly cooked roast beef every time.

Air frying is a quick roasting method, so it’s ready in about half the time it would 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, keeping it tender and juicy.

Air fried beef joint in air fryer basket.

Scroll down for the recipe card for this air fryer beef roast recipe, or read on for all the details!

What do you need?

A flatlay photo of the ingredients for this roast beef air fryer recipe.

Beef roast

Air frying is a quick roasting method, so you need to be picky about the beef joint you use. Tougher cuts need a long roasting time to get really tender, so when air frying it is best to choose a more tender cut.

The following cuts of beef roast will work for this recipe:

  • Rib eye roast, prime rib roast. rolled rib roast,
  • Cube roll, scotch fillet roast
  • Sirloin roast, striploin, top butt, rostbiff, picanha, sirloin cap, tri-tip roast
  • Round roast, topside, eye of round, top round roast, London broil

Tougher cuts like bottom round, silverside, bolar, and chuck roast are generally best suited to slow roasting as they can be tough and need moisture and longer cooking times to get really tender.

These cuts are more suited to this air fryer pot roast recipe, which is cooked lower and slower, or try slow cooker beef pot roast or Instant Pot chuck roast.

>> See more: The Best Cuts of Beef for Roasting


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 half a teaspoon per pound/ 450g of beef.


I normally use light olive oil when cooking a roast in the air fryer, but you can use any cooking oil that you would usually use for a roast. Vegetable oil or avocado oil are good choices.


Choose a cooking oil with a high smoke point to reduce the chance of your air fryer smoking.

Onion (optional)

Another great way to add flavor to this dish is to add an onion to the air fryer basket with the beef. Cut it in half or into quarters.

How to roast beef in the air fryer

  1. Prepare and season beef roast. Pat the beef roast dry with paper towels before seasoning it. 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.
Beef joint being seasoned with herbs and oil.
  1. Sear the beef. To achieve a delicious crust, the beef roast needs to be cooked at a high temperature for around 5 minutes to sear the outside. Preheat the air fryer to 200°C/ 400°F, and then place the beef roast in the air fryer basket and cook for the first 5 minutes at this high temperature.
Uncooked roast beef in air fryer basket.
Preheat air fryer to 200°C/ 400°F, place beef roast in air fryer basket and air fry for 5 minutes.
  1. Air fry roast beef to cook it through. Lower the temperature of the air fryer to 180°C/ 360°F, and air fry beef roast for 30 minutes, or until it is cooked to your liking. See below for more details on cooking times and doneness.
Air fried roast beef in air fryer basket.
Lower temperature to 180°C/ 360°F, air fry beef roast for 30 minutes or until cooked to your liking.
  1. Rest the beef roast. When the beef has finished roasting, you will need to let it rest for at least 10 minutes. Just transfer it to a cutting board and cover it loosely with tinfoil. This allows the juices to reabsorb into the meat and keeps it succulent.

When you are ready to carve, make sure you use a very sharp chef’s knife or carving knife and cut thin slices against the grain.

Air fryer roast beef joint being sliced on a wooden board.

How long to cook roast beef in the air fryer

The exact cooking times for a beef joint in the air fryer depend on a few factors, including the exact size and shape of the beef joint you are using, as well as how efficient your air fryer is.

However, my rule of thumb to calculate beef roast air fryer cooking times is: 15 minutes per pound (450g) of beef for rare, then add five minutes for each degree of doneness that you like. Use this as a starting point, and monitor the internal temperature of the beef when it is close to the end of the cooking time until it is cooked to your liking.

Estimated roast beef air fryer cooking times

How well done?Time* (2lb roast)Internal Temp.
Rare30 mins52°C/ 125°F
Medium rare35 minutes57°C/ 135°F
Medium40 mins63°C/ 145°F
Medium well-done45 mins66°C/ 150°F
Well done50 mins71°C/ 160°F
*Including 5 minute sear
Estimated air fryer roast beef cooking times

These cook times are usually exactly right for my Philips Airfryer. If you have another powerful brand of air fryer like the Nuwave or a Ninja Foodi, then expect cook times to be similar.

However, the best way to tell whether your beef roast is cooked is to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. For medium-done roast beef, it should be 63°C/ 145°F. Or, for medium-rare roast beef, with a little pink in the center, you are aiming for an internal temperature of about 57°C/ 135°F.


Remember that the temperature of the meat will continue to rise a few degrees while it rests.

Air fryer beef roast with potatoes peas and gravy.

Serving ideas

It’s hard to beat a classic British Sunday roast beef dinner with crispy roasted potatoes, fresh vegetables like carrots and peas, and rich brown gravy ladled over the top. But roast beef is also delicious served open-faced on fresh bread with horseradish sauce. Sliced thinly while still warm, it makes incredible sandwiches.

Here are some tasty side dishes that go well with this recipe:

Also want to air fry a side dish?

If you also want to cook side dishes in the air fryer, you can pre-cook them for part of the cooking time before the beef, then put them back in the air fryer to finish cooking for 10 minutes while the beef is resting. For more details, check out my guide on how to cook a meal in the air fryer here.

Air fryer roast beef sliced on a wooden board.

Air Fryer Roast Beef

4.5 from 621 votes
This air fryer roast beef is simple to prepare, quick to cook, and results in tender and juicy beef with a beautifully caramelized crust. A quick rub of herbs and oil is all it needs. Rest, slice, and serve this showstopping beef – so easy yet so impressive!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Serves6 Servings


  • 2 lb / 900 g beef roast
  • 1 tablespoon light olive oil
  • 1 medium onion optional
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons rosemary and thyme fresh or dried


  • Preheat air fryer to 200°C/ 400°F.
  • Mix 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, and set to air fry for 5 minutes at 200°C/ 400°F.
  • When the time is up, change the temperature to 180°C/ 360°F. Set the beef to cook for an additional 30 minutes [Note 1]. 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.


  1. Flip the beef roast over half way through the cooking time if required by your air fryer. Check your manual if you are unsure if this is required for your air fryer.


Calories: 212kcal  Carbohydrates: 2g  Protein: 33g  Fat: 7g  Saturated Fat: 2g  Cholesterol: 83mg  Sodium: 282mg  Fiber: 1g  Sugar: 1g

Nutrition information is an estimate and provided for informational purposes only.

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FAQs & Tips

What is the difference between roast and air fry?

Roasting is a way of cooking meat at high temperature. You can use an air fryer to roast meat and vegetables, or anything you might roast in an oven.
Some air fryers have different settings for air fry and roast. With some brands, there is no difference between the settings other than the starting temperature (which you can adjust), but with some air fryers the ‘roast’ setting operates the fan at a lower level which will require different cooking times. If in doubt, use the air fry setting for this recipe.

How long does it take to roast beef in an air fryer?

My rule of thumb for cooking beef is 15 minutes per lb, and then an additional 5 minutes for how well you want it done. Use the table above to estimate cooking times.

How do I cook roast beef without it drying out?

Roast beef needs to be cooked at a high temperature to get a tasty crust on the outside. To prevent it from getting dry on the outside before the center is cooked, I reduce the temperature to cook the beef through after the initial 5 minutes. This allows the outside to sear, so the moisture is retained while it cooks. It is also important to rest beef well after cooking to allow the moisture to reabsorb into the meat before you cut it.

Can you roast in an air fryer?

Roasting food means cooking at a high temperature, usually with oil. To roast in an air fryer I would recommend cooking at least 180°C/ 360°F. You can roast without oil, but I find you get tastier results if you use at least a spray of oil.

Air fryer roast beef with potatoes and spinach on a white plate


Sunday 11th of February 2024

this is the only way to roast beef. OMG So good.

inept cook

Friday 11th of March 2022

Absolutly wonderful!!!!! First thing I cooked in the Ninja Foodie Airfryer/Grill! With a friend helping me (since I'm not a cook) ... we stabbed the meat and added pieces of garlic cloves.

We both loved all of your awesome insights and cooking tips!!!


Saturday 22nd of January 2022

LOVE LOVE THIS!! Mine came out awesome last week! A definite keeper and will make again next week ❤ Thank you for sharing this!

Adam Baird Brown Rennie

Friday 24th of December 2021

Great advice and very helpful, especially when your oven decides to die the day before Christmas


Wednesday 22nd of December 2021

Great site for beginners who have bought an airfryer

Comments are closed.
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Welcome to Love Food Not Cooking!

I’m Eliza, busy mom, home cook, and blogger. My goal is to help everyone cook good food, whether you lack time, skills, or motivation, there is something here for you! We have dozens of quick and easy recipes made using everyday ingredients for delicious meals your family will love!
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