Cube Steak vs Round Steak: What’s the Difference? (Comparison Table)

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 round steak vs cube 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. We will also discuss which is better for you and how to cook them. Stay tuned!

cube steak
source: canva

Here is a comparison table:

Cube SteakRound Steak
Cut of MeatTougherLess Tender
TenderizationProcessedNone
Best Cooking MethodQuick cooking methods such as grilling or pan-fryingSlow cooking methods such as braising or stewing
Typical DishesSalisbury steak, chicken fried steakBeef stroganoff, swiss steak

What is Cube Steak?

It 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?

Cube steak comes from round or chuck beef steaks. Both cuts are pretty tough meat. It may be made with other tough cuts of beef, though.

Is it lean?

Yes, it is a lean beef cut. As a result, it won’t have much fat or marbling.

Is it tender?

The beef fibers and connective tissues are broken down during the pounding process, making them more delicate.

Cube Steak vs Round Steak: What's the Difference? (Comparison Table)
The butcher is cutting top-round steak. Credit: canva

What is Round Steak?

What kind of meat?

The round is divided into cuts, including the eye, bottom, and top round, with or without the “round” bone. It can be quite tender and delicious when cooked correctly.

Is it lean?

It is a lean cut of meat. It won’t have much fat or marbling.

Is it tender?

It 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 is the texture. The beef fibers are broken down during the pounding process, making them more delicate.

Taste

There is not much difference 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. The meat is coated in a seasoned flour mixture and then cooked until golden brown and crisp, making this meal.

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

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

What is round steak usually used for?

It is still quite versatile despite being slightly tougher. You can make jerky, ground beef, roasts, steaks, deli meat, stir-fry, etc.

Cube steak substitute with round steak

Yes, you can substitute them in most recipes.

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.

Is cube steak the same as round steak?

Which one should you choose? If you are looking for a quick and easy meal, then cube steak is the way. 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?

They 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.

Thicker steaks are better suited for grilling or broiling.

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

Tender Cube Steak Recipe

Ingredients

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

Meat Seasoning

  • One teaspoon of 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
  • One beef bouillon cube, or tsp better than a bouillon
  • One teaspoon of onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • One 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, one 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 two 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 two 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 is cooked to your liking.
  7. Transfer to a 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?

It is best cooked using slow cooking methods, such as braising, stewing, or pot roasting. You can also grill or broil, but cook until it’s slightly pink in the center. This will help to prevent the steak from becoming tough.

Cook 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 meat 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?

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

 What cut of meat makes the best cube steak?

They 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 round steak substitute?

These cuts of meat are all reasonably 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?

Another way is to marinate the steak for several hours or overnight.