What is Beef Eye of Round Roast? A Complete Guide

Beef eye of round roast is an economical, lean, and flavorful cut of beef that comes from the round primal. It can be an excellent choice for everyday family meals. This guide will cover everything you need to know about eye of round roast, from where it comes from on the cow, to how to cook it for maximum tenderness and flavor.

Where Eye of Round Roast Comes From on the Cow

  • The eye of round roast is cut from the round primal, which is located in the back leg or rump of the cow.

  • More specifically, it comes from the center of the round primal, from the muscle group called the semitendinosus.

  • This is a lean, tough muscle that the cow uses for movement. Since leg muscles get exercised frequently, they tend to be leaner and less marbled than other cuts.

  • The eye of round is situated between the top round, outside round, and heel meat. It’s essentially the center portion of the round primal.

  • When separated from the primal and tied into a roast, it is referred to as the eye of round roast.

Characteristics of Eye of Round Roast

  • Extremely lean and affordable cut

  • Uniform shape well-suited for roasting

  • Tends to be less tender due to leanness and muscle use

  • Has good beefy flavor

  • Benefits from slow, moist cooking methods

  • Should be sliced very thinly across the grain after cooking

Nutrition Profile of Eye of Round Roast

  • Being an extra lean cut, eye of round roast is lower in total fat and calories than other beef cuts.

  • A 3 oz serving provides:

    • 140 calories

    • 25g protein

    • 1.2g saturated fat

    • 65mg cholesterol

  • It’s an excellent source of protein, vitamins B6 and B12, zinc, selenium and other nutrients.

  • The lean nature of this cut makes it easy to incorporate into a healthy diet.

How to Cook Eye of Round Roast

Eye of round roast requires slow, moist cooking to become tender. There are two main methods used:

Oven Roasting

  • Season roast all over with salt, pepper and other spices/herbs.

  • Place fatty side up on a rack in a roasting pan.

  • Roast at 300-325°F until it reaches desired doneness, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

  • Allow to rest 10-15 minutes before slicing thinly across the grain.


  • Brown roast all over in a Dutch oven with oil or other fat.

  • Add a small amount of liquid like broth or wine.

  • Cook covered on stove top or in oven at 300°F for 2-3 hours until very tender.

  • Slice thinly across the grain after cooking.

  • The braising liquid makes an excellent sauce or gravy for serving.

Tips for Maximizing Flavor and Tenderness

  • Marinate overnight in an acidic marinade to help tenderize.

  • Cook to medium or medium rare doneness instead of well done.

  • Let roast rest 10-15 minutes after cooking for juices to redistribute.

  • Always slice very thin against the grain of the meat.

  • Pound to an even thickness before cooking.

  • Add collagen-rich ingredients like gelatin, chicken feet or oxtails to braising liquid.

What Is the Difference Between Eye of Round and Top Round Roasts?

While both come from the round primal, there are a few differences:

  • Eye of round comes from the center of the primal, top round is above it.

  • Eye round is more uniformly shaped, top round is thicker on one end.

  • Eye round is slightly leaner with 25g protein per serving vs. 23g for top round.

  • Top round is easier to carve into steaks while eye round is best for roasting.

  • Eye round costs slightly less than top round roast per pound.

Either makes an affordable, lean roast but eye of round’s uniform shape makes it the better choice for roasting whole.

Common Questions

Is eye of round roast tough?

Yes, it tends to be tougher than other cuts due to its extra lean nature. But cooked properly with moist heat and sliced thinly, it can be quite tender and delicious.

Should I tenderize an eye round roast?

Tenderizing with a marinade, meat mallet or tenderizer can help break down those tough muscle fibers. But proper cooking and slicing are most important.

What is the best way to cook eye of round roast?

Low, moist heat like braising or oven roasting yields the most tender, flavorful results. Cook to medium rare or medium doneness and slice very thinly across the grain.

Can you grill eye of round?

It’s not ideal for grilling whole due to uneven shape. You can grill eye of round steaks thinly sliced across the grain. Keep a close eye to avoid overcooking.

Is eye of round good for stir fry?

Yes, it will work nicely sliced thinly across the grain then quickly stir-fried. Be sure to cut it thinly so it cooks fast. Velveting technique also helps tenderize.

What is the eye of round used for?

Most commonly it’s roasted whole or braised then sliced for roasts, sandwiches, salads and more. It can also be thinly sliced into round steaks or cubed for kabobs if properly tenderized.

Eye of round roast is an extremely versatile, budget-friendly cut that’s perfect for everyday family meals with its lean nutrition profile. While naturally tough, proper cooking and slicing makes it delectably tender. With the right techniques, it can be the star of roasted, braised, stir-fried and grilled dishes.

Eye of Round Roast | Delicious Rub Recipe


What is eye of round beef good for?

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.

What is another name for eye of round roast?

Eye Round Roast/Steak or Eye of the Round: A boneless roast that looks like tenderloin, but it is much tougher. Used as a roast or cut into steaks. Steaks cut from the roast are used in stews or processed into cube steak. Also called breakfast steak, wafer steak, sandiwch steak, minute steak.

Is beef eye round roast the same as chuck roast?

Chuck pot roasts have more fat, and therefore more flavor, than those from the round. Beef round roasts suitable for pot roasting are round tip, round rump, bottom round and eye round roasts. Most beef round and chuck pot roasts can be used interchangeably, with only slight adjustments in cooking time.

Leave a Comment