How to Cook Thin Cut Beef Eye of Round Steak to Perfection

Beef eye of round steak can be an affordable yet tasty cut of beef, as long as you know how to prepare it right. This extra lean cut needs special attention when cooking especially if you have thin cuts. With the proper techniques you can turn inexpensive thin slices of eye round into a mouthwatering, tender steak dinner.

In this detailed guide, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know to cook thin cut eye of round steaks, from selecting the best steaks to cooking methods and serving ideas. You’ll learn how to bring out the best in this budget-friendly cut, so you can enjoy delicious steaks without breaking the bank.

What is Eye of Round Steak?

The eye of round is a cut of beef taken from the hindquarter, specifically the rear leg. It’s a small, cylindrical roast nestled right next to the round tip roast. When sliced into steaks, it becomes the eye of round steak.

This is an extra lean cut since it comes from a working muscle group of the cow. With little marbling or intra-muscular fat, eye of round steak can turn out tough if not prepared properly. But it makes up for this with its affordability and versatility.

Thin cuts of eye round steak are ideal for quick-cooking dishes like stir fries or chicken fried steak. You typically won’t see these steaks sold individually. More often thin eye round steaks come stacked together in cryovac packages.

Choosing the Best Thin Eye Round Steaks

Shopping for thin cut eye of round steak isn’t too different from picking any other cut of steak. Here are a few tips to select the best steaks:

  • Check the color – You want steaks with a bright red color without any grayish brown spots This indicates freshness,

  • See the marbling – While you won’t see much, some visible thin lines of fat marbling are good. This provides flavor and moisture.

  • ** Feel the texture** – Thin steaks should still feel firm and not mushy. Make sure the cut surfaces are smooth and not jagged.

  • ** Pick uniform thickness** – For even cooking, choose packs where the steaks look similar in thickness.

  • Go for deals – Since these are budget-friendly steaks, take advantage of any discounts or marked down packages. Just make sure they still look fresh.

Getting thinner cuts also allows you to buy larger quantities at once for batch cooking. Freezing extras will give you quick access to steaks anytime.

Best Cooking Methods for Thin Eye Round Steak

The ideal doneness for eye of round steak is medium-rare, which preserves as much tenderness as possible. With thin cuts, quick cooking is key. These methods yield tender, juicy results without overcooking the lean steaks.

Pan Sear

A hot pan gives thin steaks a nice browned crust while cooking them through. Use a heavy skillet and minimal oil to avoid steaming. Cook for just 1-2 minutes per side. Spoon any pan juices over the top when serving.

Stir Fry

Cut steaks into thin slices then stir fry with your choice of vegetables and sauce. Maintain high heat and keep everything moving. Slice steak across the grain after cooking for more tender bites.

Chicken Fried

Tenderize thin steaks with meat mallets, then coat in seasoned flour. Pan fry until golden and crispy. Round out the meal with mashed potatoes, gravy, and veggies for a comforting chicken fried steak dinner.


If you have a grill pan or foreman-style grill, use it to cook eye round steaks quickly with nice grill marks. Apply a light coating of oil before heating. Grill a few minutes on each side. Let rest before slicing and serving.

Handy Tips for Cooking Thin Sliced Eye Round

Keep these tips in mind when preparing thin eye of round steaks to ensure tender, juicy results:

  • Always thaw steaks properly in the fridge before cooking. Microwaving can toughen the meat.
  • Use a meat mallet or tenderizer to gently pound the steaks before cooking. This helps break down tough muscle fibers.
  • Marinate the steaks for extra flavor and moisture. Acidic marinades also tenderize the meat.
  • Pat steaks dry before cooking. Excess moisture can hamper browning and create steam.
  • Use high heat for fast cooking. This gives a nice sear while keeping the interior pink.
  • Don’t overcook! Cook just until medium rare or the steaks will be tough.
  • Let steaks rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing to allow juices to redistribute.
  • Always slice eye round steak thinly across the grain. This shortens the muscle fibers for tender bites.

Full-Proof Recipes for Thin Sliced Eye Round Steak

Now let’s get to the good stuff – recipes! Here are some of my go-to ideas for preparing thin cut eye of round steaks.

Easy Korean Bulgogi Eye Round Stir Fry

*Thinly sliced eye round steak
*1/4 cup soy sauce
*2 tablespoons sugar
*1 tablespoon sesame oil
*3 cloves garlic, minced
*1 teaspoon ginger, minced
*Stir fry vegetables like onion, carrots, peppers
*Cooked rice

  1. Mix together soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic and ginger in a bowl. Add steak strips and marinate 20-30 minutes.
  2. Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and stir fry marinated steak just until browned, about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Remove steak and keep warm.
  4. Add more oil to pan and stir fry vegetables until crisp-tender.
  5. Return steak and mix with vegetables.
  6. Serve stir fry over cooked rice.

Crispy Chicken Fried Eye Round Steak

*4 thin eye round steaks
*1/2 cup flour
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/4 teaspoon black pepper
*1/4 teaspoon paprika
*1 egg, beaten
*1/4 cup milk
*Vegetable oil for frying
*Mashed potatoes

  1. Pound steaks with meat mallet until about 1/4 inch thick.
  2. Mix flour and seasonings in shallow bowl. Whisk egg and milk in another bowl.
  3. Dredge steaks in flour mix, dip in egg wash, then again in flour.
  4. Heat 1/4 inch oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Fry steaks 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown.
  5. Drain on paper towel lined plate.
  6. Serve chicken fried steaks with mashed potatoes and gravy.

Grilled Eye Round Steaks with Chimichurri

*4 thin eye round steaks
*2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
*1 teaspoon dried oregano
*Salt and pepper
*Chimichurri Sauce

Chimichurri Sauce:
*1 cup packed parsley leaves
*3 garlic cloves
*1/4 cup olive oil
*3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
*1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
*1/4 teaspoon salt

  1. Combine parsley, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, red pepper and salt in a food processor. Blend until smooth.
  2. Brush steaks on both sides with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season with oregano, salt, and pepper.
  3. Heat grill or grill pan to high heat. Brush with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cook steaks 2-3 minutes on each side for medium rare.
  4. Let steaks rest 5 minutes then serve topped with chimichurri sauce.

Ready to Cook Eye Round Steaks Like a Pro?

With this complete guide, you have all the know-how to turn inexpensive thin cut eye of round steaks into tender and tasty meals.

The keys are using quick cooking methods like pan searing, stir frying or grilling. And always pay attention not to overcook these naturally lean steaks. With the right techniques, thin eye round steaks can become your new go-to affordable cut for easy dinners.

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What is the best cooking method for eye round steak?

This cut of beef is tougher than others, so following a steak recipe and using cooking methods that allow for long, slow cooking times work best for eye of round steak. Slow-cooking, braising, and cooking sous vide are some of the best cooking methods for eye of round steak.

What is thin eye of round steak good for?

The best ways to use eye of round steaks Since it is so lean and has less connective tissue than stringy cuts like brisket, eye of rounds are best cooked medium rare and sliced thinly, brought up slowly in a braise, and/or marinated in advance. Most people use eye of round for: Soups. Stews.

How do you tenderize thin eye of round steak?

Using a meat mallet (or kitchen mallet) to pound steaks helps soften and tenderize the meat. Simply place the meat in between pieces of plastic wrap or wax paper and pound it prior to cooking. If you don’t have a meat mallet, you can also use a heavy kitchen tool such as a skillet, saucepan or rolling pin.

How to cook thin cut steak?

Just lightly rub the steak with some cooking oil and then season it liberally with salt and pepper or your favorite steak seasoning. When the pan, or grill, is smoking hot, add your steak. Give it about two minutes to get a nice crust and then flip it and cook to the desired doneness. High heat is the key.

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