Timothy Woods
Published by Timothy Woods
Last Updated On: August 18, 2022

If you’ve tried to cook up a top-round steak and it turned out dry and tough, you’re not the only one.

It took me a good few fails before I perfected the process, and I can now whip up a delicious top round. I’m going to share my tips and tricks with you, along with some guidance from expert chefs.

Summary of the Key Findings

  • The trick to cooking a delicious top-round steak is seasoning it well and allowing it to marinate (unless thinly sliced).
  • It is best to brown it using the searing method before cooking for more tenderness and improved flavor.
  • Top round steak is best grilled or broiled, but you can roast it too.  

Take a look at the article to learn how to season, marinate, and cook your top-round steak.

You will also understand how long to cook it, why you should allow it to rest, and how to slice the meat before serving.

Season Your Top Round Steak Before Cooking

Raw steak resting on black small tray with rosemary

Top round steaks are pretty large cuts of meat and require a significant seasoning. It is recommended that you marinate your top round well for 6-8 hours or overnight.

You can marinate it with a citric ingredient such as lemon juice or vinegar, which will help to tenderize it because the marinade absorbs into the flesh [1].

To avoid your seasonings running off the meat during marination due to the release of juices, you can season your steak right before cooking – if you prefer.

Before placing it to grill or broil, rub some melted butter or olive oil all around the steak, and then sprinkle your seasoning. You can rub the seasoning in to get it everywhere.

Ways to Cook Top Round Steak

1. Top Round Steak On The Grill

  • Season and marinate your steak.  
  • Heat your grill, making sure it is hot enough.  
  • Place your top round on the grill and let it sear for 3-4 minutes on each side.  
  • Move it to indirect heat and cook it for a further 5-7 minutes, or until it has reached your desired doneness. 

2. Cooking Top Round Steak By Broiling

Top view of a steak with spices and wooden spoon close up image
  • Season and marinate your steak.  
  • Heat the oven to around 325°F. Make sure the oven has reached the heated temperature.  
  • Place your top round on a baking tray. You can put a wire rack under to separate the juices that release.  
  • Place it in the oven for around 5–7 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to around 300°F for another 5-6 minutes until the desired doneness.  
  • You could cover the top round with foil before placing it in the oven and then keep the temperature at 325°F until done. 

Oven Temperature For Cooking Top Round Steak

Oven machine with high temperature control close up image

For a 6-8 pound top round steak, preheat the oven to 325°F. If your meat is smaller or bigger, adjust the oven temperature at your discretion accordingly.

Make sure you preheat the oven and only place the steak in once the oven is hot enough.

If you put your top round in when the oven is not heated correctly, the steak will not seal and lose excessive juices leaving it dry and tough.

I learned an excellent tip to always pat the meat dry before you cook it. If there’s any leftover marinade, discard it.

You can add more seasoning if you lose some of it, but cooking a wet steak is not ideal for tossing onto a hot grill.

Hawksmoor – the British steak restaurant group explains that wet steak will struggle to form a decent crust and pick up unpleasant boiled-meat flavors.

How Long To Cook Top Round Steak

You can cook your top round steak for 10-12 minutes. Cook it less if you want it less done or longer if you want it more done.

For a medium-rare inside, 10-12 minutes is the average time with a 145°F internal temperature.

Let Your Top Round Steak Rest Before Slicing

Fresh steak resting on cutting board

It is crucial to give your top round time to rest for a good 15-20 minutes after cooking.

The resting time allows the heat to complete the cooking process, redistribute the juices, and even out the color and flavor of the meat.

If you slice the top round before it’s cooled off, it will release all its juices, and your meat will turn out dry and tough, resulting in very chewy bites.

You cook cover the steak with foil to slow down the cooling process further, leading to even better overall results from taste and texture.

How To Slice Top Round Steak

When you slice a top-round steak, you want to do it against the grain. It should have that marble effect. I always liked how Fernando Larroude said,

“The marbling on these cuts means they’ll be succulent and juicy, perfect for a summer barbecue.” [2]

Slicing against the grain helps retain the juices and keeps the meat tender. When you cut it the wrong way, you can end up with very tough, chewy bites.

Why Is Top Round A Good Steak For Grilling/Broiling?

Top view of freshly cooked steak

Top round steak is typically considered quite a lean and tough meat.

That naturally makes it great for grilling or broiling because the effect of a grill or broil adds a significant flavor profile.

You can easily tenderize the meat allowing it to remain juicy and flavorful.

The top round steak comes from a more affordable portion of the cow and is considered one of the less expensive beef.

That makes it budget-friendly for grilling and BBQs compared to other meats.

Another way top round makes a good cut for broiling is an alternative to roasting it in the oven because you will find many people prefer a juicy top round for Sunday roast – sliced with a side of gravy and mash potatoes.

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Conclusion

You can grill, broil, or roast your meaty piece of top-round steak, and you will love every bite of it.

Remember, marination and generous seasoning is key to flavor, and browning will leave you with the juiciest steak ever!

Don't forget about getting it from a trusted quality seller. We recommend ButcherBox, where all their cows are organic and grass-fed.


References:

  1. https://www.sciencelearn.org.nz/resources/1945-fruit-enzymes-tenderise-meat
  2. https://worldsteakchallenge.com/live/en/node/speakerprofile-fernando-larroude

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