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What is Eye Round Steak? Raising the Steaks

Mehgan Zheng
three raw eye round steaks with a sprig of rosemary to answer what is eye round steak

By now we are all aware that the value cuts come with the extra chewiness and insanely long preparation times attached to them. Apart from this slight downside, there’s no other reason to pass up on these steaks. After all, it makes no sense to get a premium cut only to shred it up for a pot roast. That’s where pieces like the eye of round steaks shine. They are perfect for throwing together an inexpensive meal that calls for some beefy chunks.

What is Eye Round Steak?

The eye round steak is part of the round primal cut. It's located closer to the rear of the cow. For more detailed information, you can read our complete guide to beef cuts. The round primal cut of the cow is used for locomotive and support purposes. Consequently, it produces meats that are tough, chewy, and prone to drying out during preparation.

These steaks need a lot of skill and patience to prepare; they are tough and have little to no more marbling to assist in retaining moisture. If you’re looking to prepare a steak within a few minutes, the eye of round steak is not your friend. If you’re a grill master looking to enjoy a steak over a few beers, you might as well shelf the ideathe eye round steak could end your reputation as a pro.

However, if you're looking for an affordable protein to add to your family dinner, look no further than the eye round steak.

Tenderizing an Eye Round Steak

meat tenderizer beating on a piece of meat

Tough steaks with no marbling need all the help they can get. Long before they start cooking, you need to prevent the disaster that would be a pot full of overcooked, dry pieces. It always seems like a great idea to leave the meat on a little longer to allow it to soften. However, some pieces just never get soft.

Fortunately, there are a few ways you can prepare your meat to make it easier to cook; 


Marinating meat should be in every home cook's rule book for adding exquisite flavor. Besides, a marinade is a great way to soften an eye round steak. A marinade with an acidic or alcoholic base can help break down the muscles and make the meat a little softer. The meat is also able to absorb moisture from the marinade which increases its moisture content and prevents it from drying out quickly. Leaving the steak in a potent marinade for 24 hours will make it tender and less likely to be difficult in the pot.


Salting is an ancient and easy way to soften the toughest of meats. The method uses the science of osmosis to draw out moisture from the steak, allow the liquid to dissolve in the salt, and then get reabsorbed into the steak. This salty liquid helps break down the tough protein in the meat eventually softening your eye round steak.

Using a mallet

mallet beating a eye round steak

This method may be well past its prime, but it was popular because it worked. If you have a spacious counter and no close neighbors that could be bothered by your meat pounding, using a meat mallet isn’t too bad. The pounding breaks down the fibers of the meat and makes it easier to cook. Moreover, this is a great method if you don’t have time for dry brining or marinating.

Cooking an Eye Round Steak

This steak is best cooked on low heat over long periods in a reduced liquid to allow the meat to cook through without drying. Similar to crunchy flank, it is also popular for making Pho noodle soup - it is typically thinly sliced as-is when served with Pho.

What's more, there are a few other methods of preparing this steak. Stick around because we’ve dropped in a Michelin star method below.

Thin Sliced

thinly sliced eye round steak in pho noodle soup

Thinly sliced eye-round steak is by far, the most popular meat on any Vietnamese Pho noodle soup restaurant. If you've ever wondered what that thin meat is on your Pho, now you know! Might we suggest a side of lime and hoisin sauce, and a drizzle of sriracha?!


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. Here is a short guide on how to braise an eye round steak.

  • Heat a Dutch oven
  • Pour oil into the Dutch oven and let it heat up.
  • Add your steak into the oil after carefully tapping dry the excess marinade and allow your meat to brown
  • Remove your steak from the pot and make a red wine sauce or other sauce of preference.
  • Add your meat back into the pot and allow it to boil.
  • Reduce the heat and cook on low until half the liquid has evaporated.
  • Add stock and allow it to boil.
  • Cover your Dutch oven and cook the meat in the oven for 2-3 hours.

 dutch oven cast iron over fire

Slow Cooking

Slow cooking may take a little longer, but the results are always worth the wait. Here is how to go about it.

  • Heat a skillet.
  • Add oil and place your dry meat on the pan to sear both sides
  • To your slow cooker, add broth, seasoning, and your excess marinade for an oomph of flavor.
  •  Add your meat and leave it in the slow cooker for at least 6 hours.


Sous Vide

sous vide steak with slices of lime and some herbs

This is an advanced technique that involves cooking your meat in a vacuum-sealed bag immersed in a temperature controlled water bath. This method delivers consistent results each time. Previously, this method was reserved for restaurants. However, Sous Vide machines have recently become popular in the consumer market. Furthermore, if there’s anything that could save an eye round steak, it has to be one of these.

Cooking with a sous vide machine gives you ample time to work on your sides without the stress of burning your steak. Equally important, you can make your preparation much easier by using the best kind of cutting board. For an eye round steak, we recommend a medium walnut wood cutting board.


top view of a preseasoned walnut wood cutting board

The eye of the rib may not be the first choice on your grocery list, but it’s definitely worth giving a try. It’s a good value piece that can make an appearance every other day without straining your pockets. If you don’t mind the extra prep and cook time, you are well on your way to discovering the joy of enjoying a good steak on a budget.


View our entire collection of dark wood walnut reversible boards - there are many shapes and sizes to choose from. Find your perfect board for your next steak, bbq, stew, or smoked meat!


wood cutting boards

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