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Here I show how to slow cook round steak in the oven to medium-rare or medium doneness level.
It’s hard to say that round steak is a tender and juicy cut, when it’s not…
However there is a way to make it so by slowly cooking it in the oven.
Why Cook It Slowly – the Truth Behind ‘Low & Slow’
The working principle behind the ‘low & slow’ approach is like a physic’s law – it works all the time without any exception.
The main idea is this:
The slower you cook your round steak (i.e. the lower temperature you use to cook it), the more tenderness, flavor and juices it will reserve inside for you to enjoy later on.
What’s ‘lower temperature’?
I use the tag of ‘slow oven cooking’ for temperatures not exceeding (or lower than) 130C / 270F (with the oven fan off).
Keep in mind though that this threshold is not itself a law of physics, so you can definitely adjust it in some manner (e.g. I sometimes get the temperature to 150C / 300F to speed up cooking a little).
The gentler temperature gradually cooks steak, helping it preserve all of its goodness inside.
Let’s see how it actually works step by step…
Part 1: Ingredients & Tools To Use
The good thing about this method is that it’s really simple.
I even think it’s easier than conventional, high-heat oven cooking, because there is no way you can overcook your round steak.
My goal is to explain the actual method, so the ingredients list is very basic:
- 1-inch round steak
- 1 tbsp of ghee/coconut oil
- Kosher/flaked salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Add tools for oven:
- Dripping pan
- Oven grill rack
- Meat temperature probe
- Tin foil
- Meat tongs
If you are ready to go, let’s SteakEat!
Part 2: How to Slow Cook Round Steak in the Oven to Medium-rare – 6 Steps
Round @ Room Temperature
Remove your round steak from the fridge 40 minutes before you actually start cooking it.
It will help with gradual preparation and even heat distribution (i.e. tastes better 😎 ).
I rarely have the 40 minutes, so microwave is my little dirty secret…
First, I place the steak on a ceramic plate (it should be microwave-safe of course), setting the microwave to the lowest power output (not the defrost option though).
Second, I hit the start button and run the thing for 3-5 seconds.
Third, I flip the steak and repeat this cycle for 4-6 times for the round to warm up in less than 1 minute!
N.B. Be careful and don’t actually cook the steak in the microwave.
Get the Oven Running
Once again, I recommend preheating the oven to 130C / 270F (fan off), if you are doing this first time.
To avoid the clean-up, cover the dripping tray with tin foil and place it inside the oven – it should be right below the oven grill rack with round steak on it (it will be collecting excess juices dripping down).
All that’s left is putting your round steak on the oven grill rack and actually placing it inside the oven, above the dripping tray.
Note that at this stage there is no salt or pepper used.
Salt will dry round steak out during this prolonged cooking and pepper will burn at high heat, when we are searing the sides to develop browning.
Cook Until Medium-Rare or Medium
One of the ways to keep round steak as tender as possible, is to never cook it beyond medium-rare level of doneness at 55C / 130F inside temperature.
However this method gives a bit more flexibility and medium doneness level will taste good too – 60C / 140F inside temperature.
How to control inside temperature?
It eliminates the guesswork and helps you cook a perfect steak every time.
Have your round steak ready at medium-rare (or medium) doneness?
Go to the next step…
Rest the Round
Take the steak out from the oven, transferring it onto a ceramic plate or cutting board.
Give it 5 minutes to rest and go to the next step meantime.
Sear the Steak for Browning
The only real con (apart for the time investment) of the slow oven cooking method is the absence of browning on the steak’s surface.
Let’s fix it with a quick sear from both sides.
Add the tablespoon of ghee/coconut oil into the pan and start heating it up to high heat on stove top.
Meantime season your round steak with 2-3 pinches of flaked/Kosher salt per side.
Wait and see until the pan starts smoking lightly, then count 20 more seconds and add the steak to the pan.
You will immediately hear a gentle sizzling sound.
Sear each side for 1 minute (this should be enough for browning to appear, if the pan is hot enough).
Use meat tongs for flipping the steak and, once finished, rest it on the same plate/cutting board for another 5 minutes.
Now is the time to add freshly ground black pepper to develop aroma.
Cut against the grain (i.e. perpendicular to the muscle fibers), serve and enjoy.
Great job. 😎