A beef inside round, also called a top round, is an affordable cut of beef with plenty of juiciness and flavor. With just 184 calories and 6 grams of fat in a 3-ounce serving, according to the USDA, this type of meat is among the leaner cuts, allowing you to enjoy the healthy benefits of red meat.
There's no one best way to cook inside round meat. Depending on the thickness of the cut, you can either quickly sear or slow roast an inside round with just a few seasonings and spices.
Season Your Beef Inside Round
Before you cook your inside round, season the meat to bring out additional flavor. If you're a purist, just rub a little salt and pepper on the meat. For more flavor, try using onion powder, garlic powder, dried oregano or soy sauce.
Be aware of the sodium content of your seasoning — especially if you're watching your salt intake. The American Heart Association recommends a daily intake of no more than 2,300 milligrams for healthy adults.
If you have fresh garlic, rub cut cloves on the meat. When roasting a round in the oven, cut small slits into the beef and stick a few halved garlic cloves in the slits.
Sear Both Sides
For thinner cuts of top round steak around 1 1/2 inches thick, sear the meat in a heavy skillet over high heat. Allow the skillet to heat up first, then add the beef and let it sizzle.
Sear each side for about six minutes. To check the meat, slice into the center. Remove the beef from the pan when it's just slightly less done than you prefer, as the meat will continue to cook a little after you remove it from the pan.
Cooking Larger Cuts
For a thicker top round roast, sear the outside for a few minutes in a large frying pan on the stove, then transfer the meat to a roasting pot or pan. Slow roast the meat in an oven preheated to 250 degrees Fahrenheit until the internal temperature reaches 110 F.
Use a meat thermometer to gauge the temperature, and begin checking the meat after about 45 minutes. Depending on the size of the cut, it could take as long as two hours.
After the temperature reaches 110 F, turn your oven up to 500 F and cook for approximately 15 to 20 more minutes, until the beef's internal temperature reaches at least 145 F — the minimum safe internal temperature for beef, according to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service.
Serve and Store Safely
Don't immediately cut into an inside round after cooking; instead, let it rest, covered in foil for three minutes. This will give the meat's juices time to settle through the meat.
When you're ready to slice into your beef, cut it across the grain. Try serving your beef inside round with a sauteed onion and red wine sauce and fresh vegetables on the side.
Save your leftovers for another delicious meal. However, to help prevent foodborne illness, discard any meat that has been at room temperature for more than two hours, as advised by the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service.
- USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service: "Leftovers and Food Safety"
- USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service: "Safe Minimum Internal Temperature Chart"
- American Heart Association: "How Much Sodium Should I Eat Per Day?"
- USDA FoodData Central: "Beef, Round, Top Round, Separable Lean and Fat, Trimmed to 0" Fat, Choice, Cooked, Braised"