What Is Top Round Steak?

Top round steak is one of the main subprimal cuts of the beef round primal steak cut. Simply put, it is one of the few inexpensive cuts that lack any actual marbling and tenderness. However, while not the first choice for many, there are still several reasons why this steak should be a mainstay on your menu.

This guide will tell you all you need to know, answering questions like what is top round steak, what it tastes like, and how to cook it?

What Exactly Is Top Round Steak?

Top round steak is a tough, very lean cut and one of the inexpensive cuts of beef available. Though it is a budget-friendly option, it is still relatively flavorful. It is lean enough to feel like a healthier option than some other cuts, while still flavorful enough to satisfy those looking for intense steak taste.

Other Names for Top Round Steak

There are three divisions of the round primal, namely the bottom, top, and inside rounds. Due to these divisions, this cut has several name variations. Since they are far too many to list, we thought we’d share a few of the more common ones:

  • Beef Round: A simple name denoting what top round steak is and from where it comes.
  • London Broil: Broiling is the cooking method many chefs prefer. Also, it has this name because it is a less tender and lean steak.
  • Family Steak: A name that denotes the steak’s popularity.

Where Does Top Round Steak Come from on the Cow?

The top round steak comes from the round primal, which got its name because it surrounds the femur, including the hips, buttocks, and rump. Specifically, it comes from the semimembranosus muscle on the round’s upper part, part of the pelvic muscle group.

What Does Top Round Steak Taste Like?

Despite its lack of fat, top round steak has a significant and juicy flavor. If prepared well, it will have medium tenderness while retaining its moistness with a firm chew. However, it can have an extra chewy texture if you cook top round steak slowly at low temperatures.

Where to Buy Top Round Steak Online

With top round steak being a low-budget cut, online sellers are somewhat limited. However, there are a few places you can buy it online, including Smiths and Target. Simply place your order and wait for your steak to arrive freshly frozen and vacuum-packed at your doorstep.

Cooking Methods

Top round can be tricky. Consider slow cooking your steak at low temperatures to ensure it comes out medium-rare and preserves the little tenderness it has. You can also fabricate it into steaks, marinate it, quickly grill it over high heat, and then thinly slice it against the grain.

Another cooking method is tenderizing it with a meat mallet before making Swiss steak, which is made by braising your top round.


The following is the nutritional value top round steak offers. We should note that these figures will vary depending on the cooking method and recipe youfollow.

  • Calories: 140
  • Saturated fat: 1.3g
  • Sodium: 65 mg
  • Protein: 25 g
  • Zinc: 4.3 mg
  • Iron: 2.7 mg

What Is Top Round Steak Good for?

Many people usually use top round steak as a lean beef cut for simple homemade dishes like chunky beef chili, stir fry with soy sauce, beef carnitas, or beef stew. The steak takes well to a liquid-based, saucy dish, since its lack of natural fat helps keep it moist.

Others use it as a lean cut for ground beef burgers, coupling it with bacon or pork meat to add fat and keep it from drying out.


Though the top round steak isn’t a bank-breaking favorite or an award winner, it makes up for this with its versatility. Having a few top round steaks on hand opens up a world of possibilities regarding the meals you can cook.

Hopefully, this guide on everything top round has launched you on the right path to discovering new culinary joys. Now, the next time someone asks you, “what is top round steak?” you can answer with confidence.

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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.