Round steak comes from the hindquarter of the steer, a part of the animal that gets a lot of use. This makes round steak lean, with little marbling or fat to tenderize it during dry cooking — which can make it challenging to cook bottom or top round steak on the grill.
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Round steaks benefit from moist cooking methods such as braising and stewing, which involve slowly cooking the meat at a low temperature — it's best to cook bottom or top round steak in the oven.
This breaks down the collagen, leaving the meat moist and tender. You can cook a bottom or top round steak on the grill, but they will be tough and chewy unless you tenderize them with a marinade or break the meat fiber down by cubing it or pounding it with a meat mallet.
Preparation and Handling
Bottom/Top Round Steak Cooking
Step 1: Pan Fry on Medium
Turn down the heat to medium and continue to fry the steak, if you want to pan fry it. Fry it for an additional two to seven minutes per side, depending on your desired doneness.
Step 2: Cook in Slow Cooker
Preheat your slow cooker, as advised by the University of Minnesota Extension. This will minimize the risk of harmful bacteria growth.
Cook the steak in a slow cooker. Place the browned round steak, dry spices and broth or other flavored liquid, such as tomatoes, beer or wine into the slow cooker.
Cover it tightly and cook on high for five to six hours or on low for seven to eight hours.
Step 3: Grill Your Steak
Grill marinated round steak. Arrange the coals in your charcoal grill so you have a hot area and a medium hot area.
Sear both sides of the steak for two or three minutes over the hot area, and then move the steak, using tongs, to the medium hot area.
Cook with the lid closed, flipping the steak at least once, until it is the desired level of doneness. For gas grills, sear both sides over high heat, then turn the heat down to medium. Close the lid and cook to your desired doneness.
Step 4: Check the Temperature
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, beef should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, measured with an internal thermometer.
Allow your meat to rest for three minutes prior to serving, as advised by FoodSafety.gov.
Read more: How to Cook a Tender Steak on the Stove
Things You'll Need
2 to 3 pounds of round steak
Vegetables, spices and stew ingredients
Step 1: Pound the Meat
Pound both sides of the steak for several minutes, using a meat mallet to tenderize it. If you don't have a meat mallet, use the edge of a sturdy plate. Rub salt and pepper into the steak.
Step 2: Add Your Marinade
Marinate the steak in a tenderizing liquid for four to 18 hours in the refrigerator, if you are going to use a dry cooking method such as grilling or frying.
Use a marinade that tenderizes the steak, such as vinegar, lime or lemon juice, whiskey, wine, beer, salsa and tomato sauce.
Place the steak in a sealable bag along with the spices and bottom or top round steak marinade. Put the bag in the refrigerator. Every few hours, move the meat around in the bag to make sure the marinade gets to all portions of the steak.
Step 3: Pat Dry and Add Oil
Remove the steak from the refrigerator 20 minutes before cooking. Pat the steak dry with paper towels. Rub oil on both sides.
Step 4: Add Some Flour
Dredge the steak in flour, if you are going to cook it in the slow cooker or braise or stew it. Braising and stewing involves cooking the steak in a sauce or liquid. The flour thickens the sauce as it cooks.
Step 5: Sear Your Steak
Sear both sides of the round steak in a skillet over a high heat, unless you plan on grilling the steak. Searing creates a rich, flavorful crust. Heat a skillet over a medium-high heat until it is hot enough to cause a drop of water to sizzle.
Don't use a nonstick skillet. Spread 1 tbsp. of oil in the skillet and heat it until it begins to separate into droplets. Place the steak in the pan and sear it for two to three minutes per side, flipping it using tongs.