What Is Eye Round Steak?

While the eye round steak has garnered a reputation for being one of the worst steaks to throw straight on an open grill, this lean cut can still be a flavorful, enjoyable meal with the proper preparation and cooking skills.

What Exactly Is Eye Round Steak?

The eye round steak is part of a team of overlooked and inexpensive cuts of steak. Why is the eye round steak unloved?

Many people don’t fancy the eye round steak because it comes from the leg and butt area, an area that, because it moves frequently, makes the cut leaner, tougher, and chewier. This is also why the steak is more affordable.

The steak usually weighs in at about six to eight ounces and comes as a perfectly round, four to six-inch cut roughly a half to one inch thick.

Other Names for Eye Round Steak

Since every cut from the round primal has the word round in it, it can be confusing to answer “what is eye round steak?”. If you have ever browsed the internet for recipes and tips on how to cook eye round, you have likely come across several variations of the name.

To help clear up any confusion, here are some of the other common names for eye round steak:

  • Beef round
  • Round Steak
  • Beef round steak boneless
  • Beef round eye

As you can see, all these names are simply variations on the standard eye round steak name.

What Part of the Cow Is Eye Round Steak?

The eye round steak comes from a cow’s hindquarters, also known as the round primal. These are the upper thigh and hip muscles that surround the femur bone. The muscles that eye round steak comes from are the semitendinosus, an extension of the hip.

What Does Eye Round Steak Taste Like?

When cooked incorrectly, eye round steak can be extremely tough with zero flavor and no redeeming qualities. However, if cooked well, the steak is firm and moist, with a medium amount of flavor. Tenderizing it correctly can further give it a pleasant texture.

Where to Buy Eye Round Steak Online

Several quality online meat markets are perfect for buying flavorful ground beef and cuts of meat. You can purchase eye round steak on supermarket-style online outlets like Dillon’s and Meijer. Alternatively, you could order the joint and cut your eye round steaks from it.

Cooking Methods

The steak’s toughness can make cooking it a challenge to most people. However, there are a few cooking methods you could turn to, depending on your desired end goal. These methods are those you’d typically use to cook the steak before using the meat in your preferred recipe, such as steak salad or stir-fry.

Some popular eye round steak cooking methods include:

  • Air fryer eye round steak
  • Sous vide round roast
  • Baked round roast
  • Slow cooker round roast

Nutrition & Calories

Though eye round steak’s nutritional value will vary depending on the recipe you use, here is what a three-ounce serving of the cut will offer:

  • Calories: 130
  • Sodium: 55mg
  • Iron: 1.6mg
  • Protein: 25g
  • Saturated fats: 1.2g
  • Zinc: 3.7mg

What Is Eye of Round Steak Good for?

Since eye round steak is naturally tougher than other cuts like sirloin or rib-eye, you cannot use it the same way you’d use other cuts. However, this doesn’t mean it isn’t good for anything.

Eye round steak is ideal for use as a roast. Keeping the meat intact enables its outer edges to crisp up while leaving its inside tender. Alternatively, you could use it as cubed beef for slow-cooking, mashed potatoes, and stew recipes.

Three Eye of Round Recipes from Around the Web

Having touched on the best way to cook this steak for ideal results, here are three recipes that promise to offer a flavorful meal:

  • Delish Easy Seared Round Steak: Beat the meat with a mallet before searing it, finishing it off with a butter bath.
  • President Ford’s Braised Eye Round Steak: An easy weeknight recipe needing just a few ingredients.
  • Food52’s Classic Swiss Steak: With a good Crockpot, you can execute this recipe on the stove, grill, or in the oven.

Conclusion

Despite its bad rep, eye-round steak can still make for an enjoyable meal. Thanks to this guide, you are one step closer to achieving precisely this.

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About the author

Adam can tell you the difference between a flank steak and skirt steak and any other cut of meat. He loves sharing his knowledge of steaks with everyone, ensuring you get the perfect steak every time.