How to Cook Beef Eye Round Steak to Perfection

Beef eye round steak can be an incredibly versatile and budget-friendly cut of meat with the proper preparation and cooking techniques. While it may not be as naturally tender as pricier cuts like ribeye or tenderloin, there are plenty of methods to turn inexpensive eye round into a melt-in-your-mouth dinner.

Read on to learn all about how to select, prepare, and cook eye round steak using various methods like braising, grilling, pan searing, and more. We’ll also provide serving suggestions and side dish pairings to create a mouthwatering meal.

What is Eye Round Steak?

Beef eye round steak comes from the round primal located in the back leg or rump of the cow. This area gets a lot of movement and use, so the resulting meat tends to be lean and muscular with a lot of connective tissue.

While this can make eye round tougher and chewier than steaks from the loin or rib primal, it also makes it more budget-friendly. When prepared properly eye round can be just as tasty and tender at a fraction of the cost of pricier cuts.

Selecting Eye Round Steak at the Store

When choosing eye round steaks at the grocery store or butcher shop, look for uniform thickness and rich red lean meat with ample marbling throughout. The marrow in those thin veins of fat helps keep the steak juicy and flavorful as it cooks.

Look for steaks that are 1-1 1⁄2 inches thick for the best results. Thinner cuts can dry out and tougher cuts are harder to cook evenly. Aim for steaks that are around 3⁄4 to 1 pound each to serve 2 people.

Preparing Eye Round Steak for Cooking

Proper preparation is key to getting eye round steak tender and delicious. Here are some tips:

  • Trim excess fat and silverskin: Use a sharp knife to trim off any large chunks of exterior fat as well as the tough silverskin membrane. Leave a thin layer of fat for flavor and moisture.

  • Tenderize: Use a meat mallet, fork, or tenderizer tool to break down the steak’s tough muscle fibers. Don’t overdo it or the meat can get mushy.

  • Marinate: Soak steaks for 1-24 hours in an acidic marinade with oil and seasonings. This both tenderizes and infuses flavor.

  • Apply a rub: Coat steaks with spices, herbs, oil, and acidic ingredients like lemon juice before cooking. Let sit 15-30 minutes.

  • Salt ahead: Season steaks with coarse kosher salt at least 40 minutes before cooking for enhanced juiciness.

  • Bring to room temp: Take steaks out of fridge 30 minutes before cooking so they cook more evenly.

How to Cook Eye Round Steak

These are some top methods for cooking eye round steak while keeping it tender and juicy:

Pan Sear

This direct high-heat method works well for naturally tender cuts like tenderloin or strip steak, but eye round benefits from an extra step:

  • Sear over high heat 2-4 minutes per side to get a nice brown crust.

  • Finish cooking in a 300°F oven until it reaches your desired doneness, about 10 more minutes for medium-rare.


Use a two-zone fire and move steak every minute or so to prevent burning:

  • Sear over high direct heat for 2-3 minutes per side.

  • Move to indirect low heat to finish cooking, close grill lid.

  • Check often and remove at 125°F for medium-rare.


Low moist heat breaks down connective tissue in tougher cuts:

  • Brown steak all over in oil in a Dutch oven.

  • Add braising liquid like broth, wine or beer.

  • Simmer gently until fork tender, about 2 hours.


This dry-heat oven method works great if keeping steak whole:

  • Tie roast with butcher twine to keep shape.

  • Season well and roast in 300°F oven, about 1 hour for medium-rare.

Sous Vide

This precise low-temp water bath technique ensures perfect doneness:

  • Season steak and seal in a sous vide bag.

  • Cook in 130°F water 1-4 hours depending on thickness.

  • Quickly sear before serving for browning.

Slow Cooker

The moist gentle heat of a slow cooker tenderizes tough cuts:

  • Sear steak first for flavor (optional).

  • Cook on low 6-8 hours until fork tender.

  • Remove meat and reduce juices into a sauce.

Instant Pot

Pressure cooking retains moisture and accelerates cooking:

  • Sear if desired then place in Instant Pot insert.

  • Cook 15 minutes per pound on high pressure.

  • Use natural release and check doneness.

Doneness Guide

Getting the right level of doneness is crucial for eye round steak. These are guidelines for finished cooking temperatures:

  • Rare: 120-125°F
  • Medium rare: 130-135°F
  • Medium: 140-145°F
  • Medium well: 150-155°F
  • Well done: 160°F+

Let steak rest 5-10 minutes before slicing against the grain for tenderness.

Serving Suggestions

Eye round steak pairs well with all kinds of flavors. Consider serving it with:

  • Sauteed mushrooms & onions
  • Roasted or mashed potatoes
  • Fresh green salad
  • Rice, quinoa, or couscous
  • Sauteed or roasted vegetables
  • Pasta in a beefy red wine sauce
  • Horseradish cream sauce
  • Chimichurri or peppercorn sauce


Get answers to some common questions about cooking eye round steak:

How long does it take to cook eye round steak?

  • Stovetop or grilling method: 4-8 minutes per side
  • Oven roasted: 45-60 minutes at 300°F
  • Braised or slow cooked: 1 1⁄2 – 3 hours
  • Sous vide: 1-4 hours depending on thickness

Should you marinate eye round steak?

Marinating is highly recommended to tenderize and add flavor to naturally tough round steaks. Use an acidic marinade 6-24 hours.

What’s the best cut of round steak?

Top round or eye round are the most tender options. Bottom round is chewier while tip round is gristly. Avoid round cube steak.

Can you grill eye round steak?

Yes, grilling over high heat helps develop a nice char while cooking the interior evenly. See grilling directions above.

Is eye of round steak good for stir fry?

Thinly sliced eye round steak makes an excellent budget-friendly choice for stir fries with its lean meat and beefy flavor.

With the right prep and cooking method, inexpensive eye round steak can become a tender and mouthwatering meal. Follow these tips for serving up flavorful steaks that will please any crowd without breaking the bank.

How To Cook Pan Seared Eye Of Round Steak


What is the best cooking method for eye round steak?

Braising. This is a very popular method of preparing tough cuts of meat such as a whole eye round roast. This method gives them the advanced flavor profile of a seared steak while allowing them to cook slowly in a sauce.

What is the best way to cook round steak so it is tender?

The best way to cook Round Steak is with moisture, which makes this cut of meat much more tender. Moist cooking includes slow cooking and braising.

Is beef eye round a good steak?

Eye of round steak is a lean, boneless cut of beef from the back leg of the cow that is a great value for the money. It’s a versatile cut, most suitable for pot-roasting, slow-cooking, stewing or braising to ensure the beef becomes tender and juicy, with tons of flavor.

Can you fry eye of round steak?

Eye of round steak is an inexpensive boneless cut of beef that is also very low in fat and calories. The ideal way to cook this cut of steak to medium rare is by grilling, braising, pan broiling or frying in a skillet, according to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

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