With so many cuts of beef and types of steak, it’s often hard to know exactly how to cook each cut.
While you might assume you can cook whatever steak you want on a frying pan and turn it whenever you like, it’s a little more complicated than that.
You’ve got to consider what seasoning works best, how to avoid undercooking or overcooking, and how you want to eat your steak – whether it’s rare, medium rare, or well done.
Above all else, you’ve got to understand the different types of steak to know how to get the best results.
So, if you’re new to the world of cooking top round steak, you’ve come to the right place.
Here is everything you need to know about how to grill top round steak!
What Is Top Round Steak?
Firstly, let’s take a look at what top round steak actually is. Also known simply as top round, this steak is a cut from the beef round primal cut.
The beef round is one of the largest primal cuts found on a cow, located at the top of the back leg and rump of the cow.
This is a highly muscular area as it receives the most exercise.
As it’s from such a muscular area of the animal, top round steak is a lean cut of meat.
Its toughness means that top round is one of the least expensive cuts from the beef round primal, which is ideal for those on a budget.
However, top round isn’t the leanest steak found on a cow, and is still considered quite tender if you cook it properly.
Despite this, top round is a really flavorful cut of beef, especially considering the fact that it’s more tender than other steaks (such as top sirloin steak or eye of round steak).
This is also because, as the name suggests, top round is cut from the top section of the beef round primal, meaning it’s one of the least activated parts of the entire primal.
Interestingly, the thickness of the top round will change its name in a butcher store.
When you buy a thick cut of top round steak, it’s known as a London broil. A thinner slice of the steak is called a Swiss steak.
Top round is either sold in a large chunk as a roast or cut into steak slices, and can be enjoyed either way.
It’s most commonly sold as a roast, but when marinated and cut properly, it turns into a fantastic steak for grilling.
How To Grill Top Round Steak
Before you start grilling top round steak, you need to prepare it properly. Firstly, trim the fat around the edges of the steak.
This is to prevent flare-ups, which is when the grill suddenly bursts into flames and chars the daylights out of excess fat.
It will also help to reduce the chance of chewing on those gross, chewy parts of the steak.
However, make sure not to go overboard and remove the marbling.
Marbling refers to the thin lines of fat that run inside the steak, which are actually essential for providing more juiciness and tenderness to the cooked steak.
This connective tissue is hard to notice and not stringy when you bite into it. Then, make a marinade.
While top round is still a flavorful cut of meat when cut as a steak, it benefits most from a marinade that compliments the taste of the beef and enhances the tenderness.
Opt for whatever marinade you like, and leave it for around 4 hours to a day. The longer the marinade, the more tender it will become!
Just make sure to flip the steak over in the marinade every few hours to ensure even saturation.
Now, time to grill the steak. We recommend using a pair of sturdy tongs to turn the steak over on the grill rather than a fork.
This is because a fork will create holes in the meat for the moisture to evaporate, leaving you with a leaner steak than you’d prefer.
Our top tip to enhance the tenderness of the steak is to cut the steak into slimmer slices and against the grain if you prefer a tender finish.
The best temperature to grill a top round steak is below 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
Anything higher, and you risk overcooking or burning the meat unevenly.
The aim is to cook the meat to a medium-rare finish – even if you want your steak to be medium, you need to remember that the resting period will continue to cook the insides of the steak.
The resting period of top round steak is as important as every other step.
Once cooked, remove the steak from the grill and leave it to rest on a plate for 2-5 minutes.
This is because you’re giving the steak a chance to soak the juices throughout the marbling.
If you eat the steak straight away, you will cut into it and the juices in the center will pool out.
Try to resist the urge to eat the steak immediately after grilling it!
If you’re cooking the steak outside, or if you’re generally worried about serving it slightly colder, then you can rest the steak by wrapping it in aluminum foil.
This will also help to prevent the moisture from evaporating, thus enhancing the tenderness.
So, there you have it!
Top round steak is an affordable steak option that isn’t too difficult to grill – you’ve just got to make sure you know how to cook it properly to maintain its tenderness.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Make Top Round Steak Tender?
There are several ways to make a lean top round steak tender.
Firstly, make sure to marinade the steak for at least 4 hours (preferably up to a day) before cooking it.
Secondly, don’t turn the steak over with a fork, as this will encourage moisture to evaporate.
Thirdly, allow the steak to rest in aluminum foil to maintain the moisture.
Does Salting Steak Make It Tender?
Contrary to popular belief, salting can make a steak more tender.
At first, salting a steak will draw out the moisture, which is the opposite of enhancing tenderness.
Then, the salt dissolves in the evaporated moisture, resulting in a salty brine that reabsorbs back into the steak.
When the lean muscles in the protein break down, they are replaced by the juicy brine, leaving you with a tender steak!
However, make sure not to use too much salt, as this can have the reverse effect.