Top Round Steak: What You Need to Know

The top round steak is a sub-primal beef cut, obtained from the rear leg of the cow. It is a preferred cut due to its versatility in preparation, whereby you can grill, pan-fry, or roast it. The top round steak is also ideal for ground meat, which you may use for patties.

The popular delicacy of grilled top round steak pairs nicely with many sauces and seasonings. There is a good probability that you wish to learn how to cook steak if you enjoy it on the barbecue. We’ll walk you through the necessary procedures for its preparation while also demonstrating how to do it. Follow along.

Preparing Your Steak


There is the preparatory phase before turning on the grill. Pick out a great piece of steak from your butcher to start. You’ll see that this sub-prime beef cut is very lean and fat-free.

For it to grill properly, it is best to select one with some marbling. It’s time to marinade your round steak once you’ve found the ideal cut.

Marinating Your Top Round Steak

Marinating the steak will give it some flavor and make it soft. It is an optional process, but you should not skip it if you want the best-tasting steak. Butterfly the steak before dipping it into the marinade.

Butterflying refers to cutting steak across its edge to make it thinner. This helps the marinade sink into the tissues adequately and also quickens grilling.

You can opt for a homemade marinade. Here, you mix vinegar, salt, pepper, chilies, garlic, and other preferred spices. The other option is using a premade marinade, which is ready to use.

Adolph’s meat tenderizing marinade is a great pick. It contains a rich blend of spices like sugar, salt, paprika, pepper, caramel, and bromelain. This marinade will work well with other meat dishes like pork, lamb, or poultry.

After putting the meat in the marinade, put it in the fridge for at least an hour.

Applying Rub to the Steak

If you want a unique taste, rubbing the steak will do fine. The Kosmos Q cow cover BBQ rub will give the steak a nice savor to complement the marinade. You may make the beef rub at home. In this case, you need kosher salt, brown sugar, paprika, and pepper. Add more spices as you like to get the desired taste.

Dab the steak from the marinade with paper towels to remove the moisture. Apply the rub in a massaging motion on both sides of the round steak. A binder like olive oil, butter, or mayonnaise comes in handy to prevent the rub from falling off.

Ready the Grill

Start the grill and give it some time to preheat. If you are using a charcoal grill, add flavored wood pellets or chunks to improve the meat’s smack. For beef, hickory and mesquite are good options.

Let the grill preheat for roughly 5-7 minutes before you introduce the steak.

Grilling the Top Round Steak


The 2-zone grilling method is one to try out for a juicy dish. In this case, you divide the grill into two zones; hot and cold. Start by grilling the beef cut in the cold zone, which should be around 225 degrees Fahrenheit.

Grilling in the cold zone ensures that it cooks properly in the interior. Turn it occasionally for uniform doneness. Check its temperature using a thermometer to make sure that it is ready.

When it meets the required temperature threshold, transfer it to the hot zone. The main purpose of the hot zone is to give it a crust. It also helps in the caramelization of the steak, giving it a nutty flavor and brown color.

How to Prevent the Steak from Drying

Top round steak has a low-fat content; as such, it is prone to drying when grilling. Dry grilled beef has a fibrous feeling on your palate. To maintain the cut’s juices, do not grill it past medium, preferably medium-rare.

Here, do not cook it past 145 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use a smoking or grill thermometer for accurate readings.

Mopping Meat

You can also mop the meat on the grill. Mopping refers to wetting the steak using a thin liquid. Tomato juice is the standard ingredient for mopping liquid. Add vinegar and a dash of cooking wine, which promotes its caramelization.

Use a barbecue brush to scoop the liquid and apply it to the beef cut. Ensure to do it consistently to prevent drying.

Use a Wet Rub

When preparing the meat for the grill, rubbing is one process you cannot afford to skip. Wet and dry rubs are available. Use a moist rub while cooking a top round steak since it won’t pull out as much of the meat’s fluids and will improve the items’ adherence to the grill.

You may use olive oil, lime juice, or mayonnaise for the wet rub, which will act as a binder – as earlier hinted. The binders act as a buffer against direct heat from the grill that can dry up the meat.

Serving Steak

The steak is ready! You now have to serve it. It is best if you let it rest for some minutes before serving. The time allowance allows the steak to absorb some of the savors from the mopping liquid and the rub.

Slice it to desired sizes, with an accompaniment of your choice like bread, rice, or mashed potatoes. You can further braise it to get a smoky stew.

Winding Up

Test your cooking prowess with top round steak as a starter. You can learn how to prepare basic meat cuts because the meat is lean and low in fat.

Despite the fact that grilling is a straightforward process, you must exercise caution that the meat dries out and becomes leathery. To improve your grilling, take the steps that are underlined.

Additionally, pay closer attention to the phases of preparation where you add your marinade and rub. When preparing, patience is essential if you want the various spices to have the right amount of tang. Don’t forget to check the steak for juiciness while it is on the grill.

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