Cube Steak vs Round Steak: What’s the Difference?

Do you know the difference between cube steak and round steak? If not, don’t worry – many people don’t! They are both types of beef steak, but they are different.

One of the main differences between cube steak vs. round steak is the texture. Cube steak is incredibly tender and can be sliced with a fork. On the other hand, Round steak is a tough cut of meat. It can be pretty chewy if not cooked properly.

This blog post will discuss the differences between cube steak and round steak. We will also talk about which one is better for you, and how to cook them. Stay tuned!

What is Cube Steak?

cube steak
source: canva

What kind of meat is cube steak?

A round steak or cube steak is the bottom round of beef pounded flat with a meat tenderizer or meat mallet. It derives its name from the indentation that it creates after being flattened.

It is a cut of beef that has been through an industrial tenderizing device called a meat cuber or Swiss machine. Because of the indentations produced by the meat tenderizer, the end product is known as a cube steak or Swiss steak.

It’s also known as minute steak in some parts of the world because it is a thinly sliced meat that takes little time to prepare.

What part of the cow is cube steak?

The cube steak is a cut of cheap steak. Cube steaks are made from the chuck or round beef steaks. Both cuts are pretty tough meat. Cube steak may be made with any other tough cuts of beef, though.

Is cube steak lean?

Yes, cube steak is a lean beef cut. Cube steak has a low-fat level because it is a lean cut. As a result, by itself, cube steak won’t have much fat or marbling.

Is cube steak tender?

The cube steak is incredibly tender and can be sliced with a fork. The beef fibers and connective tissues are broken down during the pounding process, making them more delicate.

What is Round Steak?

Cube Steak vs Round Steak: What's the Difference?
Butcher cutting top round steak. Credit: canva

What kind of meat is round steak?

Round steak is a cut of beef that comes from the hindquarter or rear leg of the cow. The round is divided into cuts including the eye round, bottom round, and top round, with or without the “round” bone, and may include the knuckle, depending on how the round is separated from the loin. 

It is a relatively tough cut of meat because it gets a lot of exercises. As a result, round steak can be pretty tough and chewy if not cooked properly. However, round steak can be quite tender and delicious when cooked correctly.

Is round steak a good cut of meat?

Round steak is a good cut of meat because it is relatively lean and has good protein. However, because it is a tough cut of meat, it can be pretty chewy if not cooked properly.

Is round steak lean?

Round steak is a lean cut of meat. It has a low level of fat because it is a lean cut. As a result, by itself, round steak won’t have much fat or marbling.

Is round steak tender?

Round steak can be pretty tough and chewy if not cooked properly. However, round steak can be quite tender and delicious when cooked correctly.

Cube Steak vs. Round Steak: What’s the Difference?

round steak roast
Round steak roast. Credit: canva

Texture

The main difference between cube steak and round steak is the texture. Cube steak is incredibly tender and can be sliced with a fork. The beef fibers are broken down during the pounding process, making them more delicate.

On the other hand, Round steak is a good cut of meat because it is relatively lean and has a good amount of protein. However, because it is a tough cut of meat, it can be pretty chewy if not cooked properly.

Taste

There is not much difference between cube steak and round steak when it comes to taste. Both are beef steaks that are cooked similarly.

Uses

What is cube steak usually used for?

Chicken fried steak is the most popular dish that uses cubed steaks. The meat is coated in a seasoned flour mixture and then cooked until golden brown and crisp, making this meal.

Some other examples of cube steak include dishes like Stroganoff, Salisbury steak, or grilled or pan-fried as a regular steak.

Cube steak recipes also include chicken-fried and Swiss steaks, cheese steaks (cheesesteaks), and other quick-cooked Chinese beef recipes.

What is round steak usually used for?

Round steak is a good cut of meat for stews, pot roasts, and other dishes that require slow cooking. This is because the tough fibers of the flesh need time to break down and become tender.

However, despite being slightly on the tougher side, round steak is still quite versatile. You can make jerky, ground beef, roasts, steaks, deli meat, stir-fry, etc.

Can you substitute cube steak for round steak?

Yes, you can substitute cube steak for round steak in most recipes. However, because cube steak is more tender, it will cook faster than round steak.

As a result, you may need to adjust the cooking time accordingly. For example, if a recipe calls for cooking round steak for 30 minutes, you may only need to cook cube steak for 20 minutes.

Which one is for you?

So, which one should you choose? If you are looking for a quick and easy meal, then cube steak is the way. However, if you want a dish packed with flavor, then round steak is the better choice.

No matter which one you choose, cook it properly to enjoy the best flavor and texture.

How to Cook Cube Steak?

What is the best way to cook cube steak?

Cube steak can be cooked in various ways, including pan-frying, grilling, and broiling.

If you decide to pan-fry your steak, use high-temperature cooking oil with a high smoke point, such as canola or vegetable oil. You’ll also want to ensure that your steak isn’t too thick or takes too long to cook through.

Thicker steaks are better suited for grilling or broiling.

Whichever method you choose, be sure to cook your steak until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tender Cube Steak Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 cube steaks
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, separated

Meat Seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika

Gravy

  • ¼ cup cold water + 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 beef bouillon cube, or tsp better than bouillon
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced into ½ inch strings

Instructions

Seasoning Preparation

  1. In a mixing cup, combine the meat seasoning and set aside.

Gravy Preparation

  1. Whisk the cornstarch and cold water until smooth in a medium mixing bowl.
  2. Add 1 cup chicken broth, 1 cup beef broth, 1 beef bouillon, 1 tsp onion powder, ½ tsp garlic powder, and 1 ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce.
  3. Whisk to combine and set aside.

Meat Preparation

  1. Season the steak on both sides with the seasoning mix, then dust it with flour.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Searing 2 steaks at a time take around 3 minutes per side. To rest the steaks, set them on a plate.
  3. Leave the meat flecks in the pan, which is known as “fond” and will enhance the gravy.
  4. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat and use a silicone spatula as a ‘scraper’ to clean the pan’s bottom. Toss in the onions and cook for 15-25 minutes, or until they’re done to your liking.
  5. Add the liquid gravy and clean the pan again with a silicone spatula. Bring to a boil, then decrease the heat to low.
  6. Place the steaks and any juices back into the pan, then spoon some gravy on each steak. Cover with the lid partially open for 5 minutes until the sauce is thickened and the meat cooked to your liking.
  7. Transfer to slow cooker and cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4.
  8. Serve with mashed potatoes, buttermilk biscuits, and roasted carrots or green beans.

How to Cook Round Steak?

What is the best way to cook a round steak?

Round steak is best cooked using slow cooking methods, such as braising, stewing, or pot roasting. This allows the tough fibers of the meat to break down and become tender.

You can also grill or broil round steak, but cook it until it’s slightly pink in the center. This will help to prevent the steak from becoming tough.

As with cube steak, cook round steak until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

Braised Round Steak with Mushrooms and Onions Recipe

Ingredients:

  • beef broth
  • dry red wine
  • garlic
  • onions
  • olive oil
  • pepper
  • round steak
  • thyme leaves

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the garlic and onions and cook until softened.
  2. Add the round steak to the pot and cook for about three minutes per side, or until browned.
  3. Pour the beef broth and red wine, then add the thyme leaves and pepper.
  4. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then cover and cook for about two hours, or until the steak is tender.
  5. Serve with mashed potatoes or rice. Enjoy!

See also:

FAQs

Is round steak a good cut of meat?

Round steak is a good cut of meat for stews, pot roasts, and other dishes that require slow cooking. This is because the tough fibers of the meat need time to break down and become tender.

However, despite being slightly on the tougher side, round steak is still quite versatile. You can make jerky, ground beef, roasts, steaks, deli meat, stir-fry, etc.

 What cut of meat makes the best cube steak?

The best cuts of meat for cube steak are those from the round or chuck. These cuts are relatively lean and have a good amount of marbling, which helps to keep the steak moist during cooking.

What is a good substitute for round steak?

If you don’t have round steak on hand, you can substitute it with chuck steak, rump steak, or sirloin steak. These cuts of meat are all fairly tough, so they will benefit from slow cooking methods such as braising or stewing.

You can also use these substitutes for cube steak in most recipes. However, keep in mind that the cooking time may need to be adjusted depending on the thickness of the steak.

How do you tenderize round steak?

There are a few different ways that you can tenderize round steak. One way is to use a meat tenderizer, which will help break down the meat’s tough fibers.

Another way is to marinate the steak for several hours or overnight. This will help to soften the steak and make it more tender.