The first choice of meat to grill with your friends may lean more towards a marbled rib-eye, or New York strip. The flavors from these cuts differ from one ranch to another.
Even though they may be from different sources, they certainly don’t disappoint when you grill these cuts the right way. The eye of a round steak comes from the round section of the animal. It is located at the end of the animal body, near the tail. In the diagram below, you can see better where the round beef comes from the cow.
The rear end of the cow, may certainly be the last section you choose to select your next meal from. The round tends to be a tough section to work with. Little fat, and little flavor is the usual end result from working with this type of steak.
That’s why when you show your guests how to grill an eye of round steak the right way, they will be astonished by your performance, and delighted that they may take away some of their own culinary devices through your tutelage.
Why This Steak Cut
The round section of the cow is used often for recipes like chicken fried steak, Salisbury steak, roasting or anything where the method includes braising or another type of a moist cooking environment.
Eye of round cut tend to be tougher than other cuts, the lack of fat generally means lack of flavor. Anyone can cook the heck out of a rib-eye, and come away looking like a chef. But a true master of the grill, knows how to grill this cut perfectly. The best-selling point with this type of steak, is the cost. It is an inexpensive cut compared to other common cuts.
What You’ll Need
The items you will need are fairly simple. Following pretty closely will put you on the path for the best potential to get the most out of your cook.
- Charcoal and Grill.
- 3-4 Pounds of Eye of Round Steak - Buy pre-cut steaks, or a roast and slice your own.
- Salt, Pepper, Fresh Garlic, Oregano & Onion Powder.
- Vacuum Seal Bag or a Zipper-Lock Style of Bag.
- Cutting Board and Sharp Knife.
- Quick Kitchen Tip - Vacuum sealing foods is a great way to maximize flavor. There is a little bit of a cost factor at first, but vacuum sealing removes most of the oxygen from the product. Oxygen creates an environment where the food starts to breakdown quickly, and flavors are immediately effected. Processing production plants work diligently to remove as much oxygen from foods as possible, and it is great accessory to save for, in your kitchen.
Preparing Your Meat
The first thing we suggest is to trim any excess fat from around the edges. Fat is flavor, and it is most effective when it runs through the meat. The outer fat can gristle up, and make for a tougher bite.
With the fat removed, give the meat a salt and pepper sprinkling. An even amount, 1:1 ratio. Add a pinch of oregano, a pinch of onion powder, and a clove of garlic that has been finely minced. Do this to both sides of the meat cut.
With a vacuum sealer or a zipper lock bag, try to remove as much air from within as possible. Now place this into your refrigerator for a minimum of 8 hours. This will allow the ingredients to infuse themselves throughout the meat.
Note: This is the recommended amount of time but if you are in a hurry, you can skip the refrigerator process but it will impact the taste at the end, making it less delicious and seasoned.
Then one hour prior to grilling, place the steak into the freezer. We like freezing a steak like this prior to cooking. The goal is to pull the meat off the fire when it is at medium rare. Freezing allows you to give the outside a good strong sear, while slowly cooking the middle. We have seen many successful steaks get pulled off when they are frozen prior to grilling.
Don’t worry if the entire steak doesn’t freeze in the hour before. Even if you get it to stiffen up, that will suffice.
Next we suggest that you get the fire going. We like lump charcoal, if you prefer using preformed briquettes, then by all means work with that. We always use a charcoal chimney to start our fire. This allow you to start burning the charcoal without the use of lighter fluid. Then when the fire has burned the coals to a gray color, dump them into your grill.
If you are using lighter fluid, allow the briquettes to turn gray before putting the meat on the grill. This assures you that the lighter fluid is completely burned off. If you don’t, you are more likely to have off tastes throughout the meat that comes from the lighter fluid.
Taking It to the Grill
Bring the meat out and lay it out on the grill. You want cook the meat on a part of the grill that doesn’t have direct heat under it. Direct heat, or fire can burn the garlic, and that won’t leave a pleasant taste in your mouth.
Give your meat 5-7 minutes covered, with an adequate air flow in your grill. This feeds your fire and keeps everything moving. Give the steak a flip, and 5 more minutes.
Now it’s time to check how well your steak is cooked. Some experienced cooks can tell my pressing their finger on the meat. Until you get to that point, we suggest investing in a good meat thermometer. Aim for the middle of the meat, where it is thickest. You want to find a consistent reading between 145°-150°. This will put you in the medium rare range, and will yield the most flavor.
Bring the steak inside on the cutting board and cover for 7-10 minutes. Doing so, will allow the juices in the meat to settle before cutting.
Serving Your Steak
You will slice your meat against the grain. This gives you the most potential for tenderness in your bite. You should see a nice pinkish in the middle of the meat.
You can decide to garnish your cook with some grilled onions and peppers. Serve with sliced garlic bread so that your guests can make little sandwiches. Include some roasted corn on the cob, a fresh Cole Slaw salad, and pair with your favorite refreshing Chablis, a cold IPA, or an unsweet iced tea.
The best part is that when you can create magic with this cut, you will be trusted with any cut of meat. Enjoy!