Our A to Z of Meat blog series is dedicated to helping you learn more about meat one letter at a time. Today’s topic: eye of round roast!
What is an Eye of Round Roast
An eye of round roast is a specific roast cut from the round portion of the beef. As you can see from the image above an eye of round roast doesn’t have a lot of fat cover on it, and it is oval shaped, not pear or rectangularly shaped like some other roasts. You can generally find them in 3 – 6 pound sizes, although weights can vary.
The round is is the rear leg and the cuts of meat that come from this area are very lean and less tender compared to other cuts of beef. These cuts of beef are best cooked low and slow to keep them tender, and they are best used to slice for roast beef as they don’t fall apart like a chuck roast.
We like the unique, round shape of an eye of round roast compared to other roasts because it lends itself perfectly to being used for recipes like roast beef sandwiches or Italian beef. It’s easy to slice and fairly symmetrical throughout the entire cut of meat. If you’re going to make homemade Italian beef, this is definitely the cut of meat to reach for!
How do I cook an Eye of Round Roast
Eye of round roasts should be cooked like any other round roast – low and slow. Here are a few basic methods that you can follow to cook them. You can use these basic tips to make a custom recipe to your own taste, or you can find complete recipes in the section right under this one!
Cooking method 1 – Oven Roasting
Our preferred method of cooking an eye of round roast is to oven roast them. You can season the outside with your favorite dry seasoning mix (don’t use fresh herbs) and cook at 350ºF for about 2 hours until the roast reaches 135ºF internal temperature. We don’t recommend cooking much past that medium rare temperature, but we do recommend pouring a liquid in the bottom of the roasting pan to help keep it moist while cooking.
Cooking method 2 – Slow Cooker
Slow cookers work well for round roasts, but not as well as oven roasting. To cook one of these roasts in a slow cooker, pour a little liquid like beef broth into a slow cooker, then add the roast to the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours. We don’t think the texture will be as firm as it would be if you oven roasted it, which doesn’t work well if you want to slice the roast thinly.
Cooking method 3 – Smoker
If you like a smoked roast beef sandwich, eye of round roasts can be smoked and then sliced for sandwich meat. Season with your favorite BBQ rub, or just salt and pepper, then smoke this roast at a low temperature (225-235ºF) for about 4 – 5 hours until the meat reaches 135ºF internal temperature.
Due to the lack of fat in these cuts, we don’t recommend braising these roasts. As always, remember to let the meat rest after cooking before you slice it. This allows the juices in the meat to redistribute and not bleed out when you slice it.
What are some recipes that use Eye of Round Roasts?
Here are a few recipes you can try to make a delicious Eye of Round roast at home!
- Italian Eye of Round Roast – this LGCM recipe is easy and one of our favorite recipes for a party or Holiday get together.
- Eye of Round Roast with Gravy – this recipe by From Valerie’s Kitchen is easy to make and the gravy is delicious looking!
- Smoked Beef Roast – this recipe from Country Smokers is an easy way to make a smoked eye of round roast.
- Walnut Crusted Roast with Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes – we love the combination of flavors in this recipe from Beef It’s What’s for Dinner.
That’s it for our E is for Eye of Round Roast blog post. We hope this post helped you learn more about this cut of beef, and inspires you to try this roast at home.
Do you have questions about about this post or any other beef cut? Leave us a comment below and we’ll be happy to answer. If you want to keep deep diving into more meat topics, you can click here to see all the entries in our A to Z of Meat blog series!
We’ll see you soon at Lake Geneva Country Meats!