Eye of Round Steak (What it is + 4 Ways to Cook it)

raw cuts of eye of round steaks

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In the world of steaks, not all steak cuts are created equal. Some can be tough and chewy, fatty or lean, and low-priced, while others can break the bank. This is where the eye of round steak comes in. Called the “inexpensive cuts” of meat that are packed with juice and flavor, but only if cooked properly.

What is Eye of Round Steak?

The eye of round steak is a lean cut of beef that comes from the rump and hind legs of a cow. Since both the rump and hips are muscles that are worked hard by the cow, the eye of round is a lean piece of steak that’s tougher than the cuts you’re probably used to. You will typically see each cut around 1 inch thick and an average of 8 ounces.

picture of how and the steak cuts of meat

How Do You Prepare Eye of Round Steak?

Start by properly tenderizing the meat beforehand. I’m a big fan of tenderizing so get that mallet out and wack that steak. Once your steak is beaten up let’s talk marinade.

Using an acidic-based marinade can create a more tender steak. This helps to deconstruct the meat’s connective tissue and lends the steak a more tender texture rather than a tough one. Let the marinade sit for a minimum of 4 hours but up to 24 hours. The longer the better!

Here is our favorite homemade marinade blend:

  • 4 tbsp lime juice

  • 2 tsp garlic powder

  • 2 tsp onion powder

  • 2 tsp cumin

  • 2 tsp coriander

  • pinch of kosher salt and pepper

  • 2 8oz Eye of Round Steaks

    *Use this blend for all of your round steak recipes

Ways To Cook Eye Of Round Steak

This requires some knowledge to achieve the desired result. Experts too may encounter challenges when cooking eye of round steak.

What we have found is our tenderizing and marinating method listed above plus the proper cooking technique can help you achieve the most tender and juicy eye of round steak in town.

Here are the methods we recommend with eye of round recipes:

1. Grill

It’s important to look for eye of round steaks that are at least 1 inch thick. This will ensure that the steak will cook evenly and not dry out too quickly. You’ll want to tenderize the steak with a mallet. Do not skip this step. Since this particular cut of meat is lean and tough, breaking up the connective tissue is mandatory.

Marinating can help tenderize and infuse it with flavor. Season with salt and pepper and/or your favorite dry rub or seasoning blend.

Grill the steak for about 4-6 minutes per side on medium heat for medium-rare, or until the internal temperature reaches 135°F. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature and avoid overcooking the steak. You can leave it on longer if you want a more well-done steak however our preferred way to eat is medium rare.

2. Sous Vide

While not difficult, this method requires more specialized equipment and time, but it results in a perfectly cooked roast every time.

This cooking method involves vacuum-sealing the steaks in a plastic bag and cooking them in a temperature-controlled water bath. The vacuum-sealed bag also helps to lock in the flavors and juices of the meat (use that marinade we talked about above).

vacuum sealed steaks for sous vide

Once the steaks have been cooked to the desired level of doneness, they can be seared in a hot skillet or roasted in the oven for a few minutes. This will give a nice brown crust on the exterior with flavor and juice on the inside.

3. Bake

Who doesn’t love a classic way to cook beef? With just a few ingredients, you can have the best-tasting steak.

First, you’ll need to tenderize and season the steaks. Next, sear in a cast iron skillet or saute pan with olive oil (you can also add a little unsalted butter) on medium-high heat for about 2 minutes on each side. This will give a crusty outer layer before cooking the inside. Last, place them in a roasting pan and bake in the oven at 350°F (175°C).

We highly recommend using a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature to ensure it’s cooked to your liking. For medium-rare doneness, the internal temperature should be about 135°F (57°C).

Once they’re cooked, remove them from the oven and let them rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, so you’ll end with a tender and juicy steak.

4. Slow Cook

Using a slow cooker can be beneficial for a few reasons. This cut of meat is known for being lean and relatively tough. Just like beef stew, slow cooking allows the meat fibers to break down slowly and become more tender. It can also enhance the meat with flavor. You can add herbs and spices to the cooking liquid.

This method tends to be the most convenient way to cook. Make sure you tenderize the meat prior to cooking and I always like to give a quick sear on the outside before adding to my crock pot. Using beef broth and little beef stock adds a ton of flavor. Once it’s prepared, there’s very little to worry about. Make sure to add veggies and serve with mashed potatoes. You can pour the amazing juice over them and enjoy!

*You can also use this method and cook in a Dutch oven.

Is Eye of Round Steak and Roast the same?

So the beef is from the same part of the cow, but they are not the same cut. The eye of round steak is thinly sliced (1 inch thick), lean, and tough. The eye of round roast is a larger cut of meat(3-4 inches thick) and has less fat than other beef roasts, but is still lean and a bit tough. I promise though, when prepared and cooked properly both can be amazing!

How Do You Tenderize an Eye of Round Steak?

Tough cuts of meat have a lot of connective tissue that can make them chewy and difficult to eat. Tenderizing the meat can break down this tissue, making the meat more tender.

When you tenderize meat, you create small channels in the meat that can help to distribute seasoning and marinades throughout the meat. 

Here are the steps on how to tenderize steak:

  1. Place the steak on a cutting board and cover it with plastic wrap to prevent it from tearing.

  2. Using a meat mallet, gently pound the steak with the flat side of the mallet. Start at the center of the steak and work your way out to the edges.

  3. Avoid pounding the steak too hard, as this can cause the meat to become too thin and lose its shape.

  4. Flip the steak over and repeat on the other side.

Does Eye Of Round Steak Go By Other Names?

Almost every cut from the round primal will have ‘round’ in the name, which can make things quite confusing. There are a few different names commonly used to describe the eye of round steak.

These names include:

  • beef round

  • beef eye

  • round steak

  • beef round

  • steak boneless

Other Cuts Similar to the Eye of Round Steak

Here are a few other lean cuts of beef that come from the hindquarters of the cow. Just like eye of round, they are a tougher cut of meat.

  • Bottom Round

  • Top round

  • Sirloin tip

  • Flank steak (comes from the lower abdominal area or flank of the cow)

Where Can You Buy Eye of Round Steaks?

  • Most supermarkets carry eye of round steaks in an affordable pack, usually containing three or four thinly sliced steaks. For thicker cuts that you’re looking to grill, you’ll probably be better checking at the meat counter or at a butcher.

Do You Have a Favorite Eye of Round Steak Recipe?

It’s tough to determine the “best” eye of round steak recipe since personal preferences and tastes can vary. We are happy to share our simple and flavorful round steak recipe that’s our “go-to” when cooking.


  • 1 pound eye of round steak

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


    1. Preheat the grill to high heat.

    2. Using a mallet, smack the meat to tenderize, about 15 seconds on each side.

    3. In a small bowl, mix together olive oil, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, salt, and pepper.

    4. Brush the seasoning mixture onto both sides of the steak.

    5. Place the steak on the grill and cook for 5-6 minutes on each side or until desired doneness is reached.

    6. Remove from the grill and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Other Steak Cuts for Home Grilling

Here are a few more of our favorite steaks and how to grill them:

How to Reverse Sear a T-Bone

How to Grill the Perfect New York Strip

Kobe Beef Cooked at Home

Top Takeaways for Eye Of Round Steak

  • Comes from the rump and hind legs of a cow.

  • Is a leaner tougher cut that should be tenderized and marinated prior to cooking.

  • The top ways to cook are to grill, sous vide, bake, or slow cook.

  • A round steak and round roast come from the same part of the cow but they are not the same cut.

  • Similar cuts of meat are bottom round, top round, and sirloin tips.

  • Most supermarkets carry the eye of round steaks and roasts. If not check with a local butcher.



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