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Bottom round steaks are a budget-friendly cut, but anyone who tells you they are too tough to eat doesn’t know how to cook them.

Similar to brisket, hanger steak, and flank steak, bottom round is full of signature meatiness often found in more muscular, leaner cuts.

What is bottom round steak?

The round primal is cut from the rear of the cow. This includes both the rump and back shank, which include the top round, bottom round, sirloin tip, and eye of round.

The bottom round, or rump roast, is cut from the outside of the round, while the top round is cut from the inside of the round. The top round and bottom round are almost identical in flavor, but the bottom round has a tighter grain and is a smaller cut.

Because bottom round steaks are lean and tough, they’re best cooked with low and slow methods or with a good degree of tenderizing in advance. People tend to use bottom round steaks for:

  • Pot roast
  • Chicken fried steak
  • Stew
  • Stir Fry
  • Tacos

Best practices for cooking bottom round

All of the best ways to cook bottom round steaks include some aspect of breaking down their tough muscle fibers. The most common advice includes:

  • Using an acidic marinade before grilling.
  • Cooking it low and slow for stews and pot roast.
  • Using a meat mallet.
  • Cutting it very thinly.
  • Slicing across the grain to cut the muscle fibers.

14 delicious bottom round steak recipes

Here are our favorite bottom round steak recipes. We’ve included a variety of cuisines and approaches so you can find exactly what you’re looking for.

1. Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Slow cooker pot roast recipe

Nothing says delicious and easy winter meal prep like a homemade pot roast. This specific recipe calls for the eye of round, but you can swap bottom round in. And don’t skimp on the quality of your broth, it makes a big difference.

2. Chicken Fried Steak

If you’re anything like me, eating chicken fried steak is magical. I orient my entire day around the idea, partly because after I eat that delicious fried steak below a heaping pile of white gravy, I’ll either be asleep or look like the opening scene zombies from Shaun of the Dead — but it is worth it every single time. This recipe from Macheesmo shows you how to do it right.

3. Round Steak and Mushrooms

Few sauces impart a sense of home more than mushroom gravy. Spilling off a steak and running into a side of mashed potatoes, it is savory perfected. Turns out it is easy to make and great for bottom round steaks, too. This recipe from Spend with Pennies shows you how to get it done!

4. Oven-Baked Round Steak

Sometimes cheap ingredients are better, and that’s a fact. If you disagree, I challenge you to make a satisfying green bean casserole without Cambell’s cream of mushroom soup. This recipe from When Is Dinner uses cream of chicken and mushroom to cover the round steak as it cooks low and slow in the oven. Simple and delicious!

5. Old-Fashioned Beef Stew

The key to a good beef stew is to not skimp on any of the ingredients. You want an ear of sprightly corn, grass-fed beef, and fresh herbs. All of this fresh deliciousness stacks on top of each other and becomes something altogether delicious. NYT Cooking gives us the archetype of beef stew in this recipe.

6. Amazeballs Beef Stew

Bottom round beef stew recipe

Sure, you’ve had beef stew, but have you had amazeballs beef stew? I don’t think so! Plus this recipe is a throw-and-go in the slow cooker. I’d choose whichever vegetables are in season, and don’t sleep on rutabaga!

7. Instant Pot Bottom Round Roast

Instant Pots, along with Sous Vides, are some of the best modern cooking inventions. Turns out Instant Pots are great for bottom round steaks. You can skip the wine Dishes Delish uses in this recipe, but if you want to point it more toward a stew direction, we recommend keeping it in.

8. Deli Style Roast Beef

If you’re feeling a little ambitious and want to prep some delicious roast beef deli meat for this week’s sandwiches, try this recipe From Valerie’s Kitchen. She really goes into detail here, and the results speak for themselves.

9. Barbarian Beef

Barbarian beef is cooking a roast old-school style — right on the coals. This recipe from AllRecipes leans on three things to be successful: good beef, good execution, and good seasoning or sauce. If any one of those three elements isn’t present, the whole house falls. Give it a shot and serve this alongside some fresh roasted potatoes or bell peppers.

10. Round Steak Italiano

The difference between beef stew and round steak Italiano is mostly the tomatoes. They give a wonderful savory sweetness that you have to try! This recipe from Taste of Home is pretty easy to whip up too.

11. Steak Fingers With Gravy

You heard me. Steak fingers. Yes, it sounds like a playground insult, but these are a delicious, beefy alternative to chicken fingers, and both adults and kids won’t be able to get enough of these. Pioneer Woman’s recipe makes a gravy for dipping, but you could just as easily swap that for any sauce your kid loves.

12. Easy Beef Stir Fry

Easy beef stir fry recipe

Weeknight stir fry always feels like a guilty pleasure since it feels like takeout, but homemade is much healthier and cheaper. Just tenderize your bottom round and cut it into thin strips instead of using ground beef and follow the rest of the instructions!

13. Chinese Pepper Round Steak

Spoon some of this Chinese pepper round steak from AllRecipse over rice, dice up some green onions, and sprinkle those along with some sesame seeds on top for an amazing and easy weeknight meal. All you’re doing is sauteing steak, making a sauce, and tossing it!

14. Carne Asada Mexican Street Tacos

Having a taco night and the store is out of flank steak? Sub in bottom round in this A Simple Pantry recipe and make your tacos anyway! This recipe isn’t for the faint of heart, but if you persevere I guarantee you will enjoy the result.

Bottom Round FAQs

How do you cook bottom round steak so it isn’t so tough?

You can either cook it low and slow with liquid, marinade it well in advance with something acidic, and/or cut it thinly. You should also keep the meat as close to medium-rare as possible when grilling to avoid unnecessary toughness.

Is bottom round steak a good cut of meat?

If we’re comparing bottom round to cuts from the short loin or something like tenderloin, then no, but it is so tasty when executed well!

Can you cook bottom round steak in the oven?

Sure! Put it on low (around 300 degrees) and bring it up to temp over a few hours. Don’t rush it!

Is bottom round steak good for stir fry?

Definitely! Give it a good acidic marinade (lime or rice vinegar works well for stir fry) for 4+ hours or overnight before cooking, and don’t forget to slice it thinly across the grain.

Is round steak good for frying?

Yes! Taking a meat mallet to a bottom round for frying is a classic choice. Pound them into cube steaks and fry them to perfection!

Where to buy the best bottom round steak

You can try your hardest, but I guarantee your bottom round won’t taste as good as you want it to unless you’re buying grass-fed and grass-finished beef sourced from farmers who care about their craft.

U.S. Wellness Meats exclusively partners with regenerative farmers who understand how the health of the cow and type of grass they eat during their lives directly affects the taste and nutritional value of beef. If you want beef the way beef should taste, go see how you can get our beef bottom round steaks delivered right to your door.

Check out our 100% grass-fed and grass-finished bottom round steaks right now.

The bottom line on bottom round

Bottom round’s natural toughness requires a bit of care to bring out its best flavor and texture, but it’s a delicious and economical cut if you take the time to prepare it well.

Stews, chilis, pot roasts, tacos, deli meat, and chicken fried steak are all common uses for the bottom round — just remember to cook it low and slow and/or cut thinly for most recipes.

 


Nathan PhelpsNathan Phelps

Nathan Phelps owns and writes for Crafted Copy, a boutique copywriting shop that finds the perfect words for interesting products. He is also an ethical foodie, outdoors-aficionado, and hails from Nashville, TN. He splits his time between helping sustainable businesses find new customers and managing his ever-increasing list of hobbies, which include playing guitar, baking bread, and creating board games.

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