Eye Of Round Steak Guide

Raw Beef Eye Round Steaks With Spices And Rosemary

Ever bought an eye of round steak on sale, seared them just like any other steak, and ended up with the toughest steak on the planet. No one enjoys eating a tough, chewy steak. It ruins the steak experience.

The problem is most people assume all steaks are equal, however, no two steaks are identical.

They have varying degrees of tenderness. Furthermore, some cuts are more expensive than others, and they are priced differently.

Unlike the tenderloin, ribeye, and sirloin steaks, the eye of round steak is an affordable steak. Most steak enthusiasts will agree that an inexpensive steak is not always worthy of being called dinner.

Case in point, an eye of round steak is only compatible with specific cooking methods. If you use the wrong cooking method, you could end up with a tough, chewy, overcooked steak rather than a tender steak. Tender steaks are worthy of being called dinner. Overcooked steaks will ruin your dinner.

What Is Eye Of Round Steak?

The eye of round steak is a circular cut sliced from the primal cut known as the round. The round is found in the posterior region of the animal.

As you can imagine, the animal uses the rump muscles quite a bit. Therefore, the eye of round steak is a tough and chewy cut of meat. This is also the reason why it is so inexpensive since most people overlook this flavorful cut of meat.

Generally, due to its toughness eye of round steak cannot be prepared like other steaks. Most steak experts recommend marinating your eye of round steaks to relax the meat and yield a tender product. 

Nutritional Profile 

Like most inexpensive cuts of beef, the eye of round steaks is perfect for health-conscious individuals. Unlike tender steaks, which usually contain a lot of intramuscular fat, eye of round steaks has minimal amounts of marbling. It is perfect if you want to decrease your fat consumption.

A four-ounce portion of eye of round steak contains 23 grams of protein and 1 gram of saturated fat. In total, you would be consuming 131 calories per portion.

How To Prepare Eye of Round Steak 

Though it is easy to prepare, an eye of round requires more prep work than a ribeye or filet mignon. Since it is tougher to chew, the best way to create a tender round steak is to marinate it before you cook it. However, before you make your marinade, there are a few essential ingredients every marinade should have.

Every marinade must have an acid such as vinegar or citrus juice. Acids break down the connective tissues within the eye of round steak that is responsible for its chewy nature.

However, it is paramount to remember that less is more when it comes to acids for a marinade. Too much acid will neutralize the other flavors in the marinade.

Fats, such as oils, are also essential to marinades. Fat serves two purposes in a marinade. They allow the flavors to penetrate the meat and lock in moisture, giving you a tender eye of round steak.

Sweeteners such as honey and brown sugar help balance the robust acidic flavor of citrus juices, vinegar, and yogurt. The final ingredients every marinade must have are herbs and spices. These are the flavorings that will seep into the meat and make your steak taste irresistible.

Hot Tip
There are several kinds of marinades you can use. However, it is best to use a tenderizing marinade for eye of round steak. Additionally, refrigerate your steak overnight before you cook it.

How to Cook Eye of Round Steak

Even though it is tougher, eye of round steak is a versatile cut of beef. You can prepare it in several ways. These are the most popular cooking methods used to cook eye of round steak. Additionally, you can also use eye of round steak in a stir-fry, stew, or in a steak salad or sandwich.

Grilled Eye Of Round Steak 

Most people assume because eye of round steak is tough, it cannot be grilled. However, it can be grilled. The trick is to marinate it and cook to a specific temperature range.

Marinating eye of round steak will tenderize the meat. Furthermore, you should only cook your eye of round steak to medium-rare. If you cook it above medium, rare, the steak may become tough and chewy.

Remember, medium rare will yield a tender and flavorful eye of round steak.

Sous Vide Eye Of Round Steak

Sous vide is a popular cooking method that requires minimal amounts of effort. Sous vide cooking is perfect for tougher cuts of meat like eye of round steak. The sous vide technique seals and cooks the food in a vacuum sealer bag.

The vacuum bag seals in the flavors as well as the meat’s natural juices, keeping it moist and juicy. The sealed bag is placed in a temperature-controlled liquid to prevent it from overcooking and trying out.

Sous vide cooking allows the round steak to cook evenly, as though it were cooked in the oven without being exposed to air.

Slow Cooker Eye Of Round Steak

Slow cooking is a convenient, easy, and effortless way to prepare eye of round steak. Your steak will be tender in a matter of hours. Best of all, you can place your eye of round steak into the crockpot with beef or chicken broth and vegetables to make a stew and walk away.

Air Fryer Eye of Round Steak

Air fryers have risen to mass popularity and with good reason. You can literally cook anything in the air fryer, including eye of round steak. You can cook an eye of round steak in less than 20 minutes.

Air frying is a healthier alternative method of preparing steaks. The biggest benefit is you don’t need to use a lot of oil. Pan-frying can take up to 4 tablespoons or more of oil, decreasing the nutritional value of the meat.

Additionally, cooking eye of round steak in an air fryer yields a tender, flavorful steak. The trick is to season it in advance with a little olive oil and your preferred herbs and spices. Turn your eye of round steak over mid-way through the cooking process, and you will have a tender steak that is crispy on all sides.

Broiled Eye Of Round Steak

Broiling is a popular and effective method for cooking steaks. To broil your eye of round steak, ensure you trim fat from steak if there is any present. Additionally, use a marinade, massage it into the meat and refrigerate it overnight.

Remove your eye of round steak from the fridge an hour in advance and allow it to come to room temperature. Broil your eye of round steak for 4-5 minutes. Turn it over and cook it for an additional 4-5 minutes until it reaches 135°F, which is medium-rare.

Braised Eye Of Round Steak

Braising is another popular cooking method for tougher cuts of meat. It involves cooking meat in a small amount of liquid to provide it with moisture as it cooks.

For added flavor, you can sear your steaks until they develop a rich crispy crust, then transfer it to a Dutch oven on a lidded baking dish along with beef or chicken broth, water, and pan sauce, cover it and bake your steak until it is tender.

Additionally, you can also add your favorite vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, or another root vegetable to add even more flavor to your eye of round steak.

Fried Eye of Round Steak

Who doesn’t love a crispy fried steak? I know I do. Best of all, there are two techniques you can use to fry eye of round steak.

One of these methods includes pan-frying. Pan-frying is a popular method, especially in the steak world that involves searing meat until a rich brown crust develops on both sides of the steak. Additionally, you can also sear your eye of round steak and finish it in the oven.

Alternatively, you can also make country-fried steak with this cut of meat. Though this method requires dredging the meat in flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs, the end result is a deliciously juicy steak with a crispy, crunchy crust.

Bottom Line
Truthfully, both cooking methods produce very different results. However, they will yield equally delicious steaks.

Final Thoughts 

Like most tough cuts, eye of round roast does not get the attention it deserves. However, with a little bit of work and a few tips and tricks, it is very easy to produce a tender cut of meat. You don’t even need a marinade to achieve maximum tenderness.

If you are using a dry fast cooking method such as grilling, broiling, or frying, ensure you do not move the steak too much, and you do not cook your steak above medium-rare.

Overall, an eye of round steak equals minimal effort and excellent tender results. Best of all, if this is your first time preparing a steak, eye of round steak is the perfect meat to launch your steak journey!

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