The round tip steak is an affordable cut of beef that's perfect for the grill or broiler. It's one of the best choices of steak for fajitas, kebabs, and stir-fry dishes, especially if your recipe includes a marinade. If you're on a budget and enjoy cooking up different types of steak meals, this is an excellent option.
The Round Tip Steak
Cut from the tip of the round primal, the round tip steak is typically untrimmed, so it still has fat along the end. If it is trimmed, it may be called a trimmed tip steak or ball tip steak. Since this steak is cut from near the tenderloin, it is quite tender. It's actually much more tender than other round steaks your butcher may offer.
This steak is sometimes called a sirloin tip steak because of its proximity to the sirloin primal. That makes it a very economical steak when compared to expensive sirloin cuts like a top sirloin steak. However, it generally costs more than other round steaks.
To add to the confusion, the round tip steak can go by even more names. You might see it referred to as a breakfast steak, tip steak, knuckle steak, round knuckle peeled, or tip center steak.
The biggest problem with the round tip steak is its lack of intramuscular fat. This means that it is not as flavorful as other cuts and it will dry out quickly if cooked over intense heat. For this reason, it's best to marinate this steak. Marinating adds flavor as well as fat (in the form of oil from the marinade) that will fill out the flavor of this cut.
Since it is not as tender as more expensive cuts, this is a good cut of beef to marinate. In fact, you'll find that even the simplest marinade makes it a much better steak. It might be best to consider the marinade essential for this cut to avoid disappointment.
A marinade for a round tip steak should include a strong acid like lemon or lime juice, any type of vinegar, or red wine. These will enhance the tenderness of the meat and impart a nice, rounded flavor.
Plan on marinating this cut for a minimum of one hour per pound of meat. Any less and you will not notice any improvement.
While this is a good cut of beef for the grill or broiler, it is an excellent choice for kebabs, fajitas, stir-fry and other dishes in which it will be cut up before cooking. The uniformity of the muscle in a round tip steak and its lower cost make it perfect for these purposes. Many of these dishes require a marinade for flavor and tenderness anyway, so it really is the ideal choice.