Baked Round Steak in Barbecue Sauce

Baked Round Steak in Barbecue Sauce: Recipe and Serving Tips

Round steak comes from the rear leg of the cow, specifically the round primal cut. It’s a lean cut with less marbling compared to other steaks. You might find it labeled as top round, bottom round, or eye of round in stores. Due to its low-fat content, round steak benefits from slow cooking methods that tenderize the meat, enhancing its flavor.

The Basics of Baking Steak

Baking steak involves cooking it slowly in the oven to ensure tenderness. Start by preheating your oven to 325°F (163°C). Season the steak with salt, pepper, and any other preferred spices. For the barbecue sauce, use a mix of ketchup, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce to create a tangy flavor. Ensure the steak is covered in sauce, then bake it in a covered dish for about 2-3 hours. This slow baking process allows the steak to soak up the sauce, resulting in a tender and flavorful dish.

Key Ingredients for the Perfect Barbeque Sauce

Choosing the Right Tomatoes

Tomatoes form the base of most barbecue sauces, providing a rich and tangy flavor. Choose ripe, fresh tomatoes to ensure a robust taste. Roma, Beefsteak, and Vine-ripe tomatoes are among the best. These varieties balance acidity and sweetness, enhancing your sauce’s overall profile. Canned tomatoes can serve as an alternative, but opt for high-quality brands labeled “San Marzano” for an authentic taste.

Sweeteners and Their Impact on Flavor

Sweeteners balance the acidity in tomatoes and add depth to your barbecue sauce. Brown sugar, honey, and molasses are common choices. Brown sugar offers a molasses-like depth and a caramelized flavor. Honey introduces floral notes and a smoother sweetness. Molasses imparts a dark, robust flavor, complementing the sauce’s tanginess. Use a specific sweetener based on your flavor preference.

The Role of Spices and Herbs

Spices and herbs infuse barbecue sauce with complexity and richness. Common spices include paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper. Paprika lends a smoky warmth, vital for depth. Garlic powder enhances savory notes, while onion powder adds a mild sweetness. Black pepper introduces a subtle heat, crucial for balance. Fresh herbs like thyme and oregano can enhance the sauce’s aroma, making it more aromatic and nuanced.

Overall, the right balance of these ingredients creates a barbecue sauce perfect for baked round steak.

Step-by-Step Recipe for Baked Round Steak in Barbeque Sauce

Preparing the Meat

Select a good quality round steak (approximately 2 lbs) for tenderness. Trim excess fat to avoid grease. Use a meat tenderizer or fork to pierce the steak, allowing the seasoning to penetrate deeply. Season both sides with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Let it rest for 15 minutes at room temperature so the flavors meld.

Making the Barbeque Sauce

Combine 1 cup ketchup, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp paprika, and 1 tsp garlic powder in a medium bowl. Mix well until ingredients form a smooth, cohesive sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning by adding more brown sugar for sweetness or vinegar for tanginess.

Combining the Ingredients and Baking

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the seasoned steak in a baking dish. Pour the prepared barbecue sauce evenly over the meat, ensuring it’s fully covered. Cover the dish with aluminum foil to retain moisture. Bake for 1.5-2 hours until the steak is tender and the sauce is thickened. Check the meat after 1.5 hours and, if needed, continue baking until it reaches your desired tenderness.

Serving Suggestions for Baked Round Steak

Side Dishes That Complement the Meal

Pair baked round steak in barbecue sauce with mashed potatoes to enhance its savory flavors. Roasted vegetables, such as carrots or Brussels sprouts, add a crispy texture that contrasts with the tender steak. Serve a fresh garden salad with a tangy vinaigrette to balance the meal’s richness. Corn on the cob or baked beans add a touch of sweetness that complements the barbecue sauce. For a heartier option, offer mac and cheese as a comforting side.

Tips for Presenting Your Dish

Arrange the baked round steak on a large platter to highlight its visual appeal. Drizzle extra barbecue sauce over the steak to enhance its moist appearance. Garnish with fresh herbs, like parsley or cilantro, to add a pop of color. Slice the steak into thin strips to make serving easier for guests. Place side dishes in separate bowls or plates around the steak to create a balanced and inviting presentation. Use contrasting dish colors to make the food stand out more vividly.


Mastering the art of baked round steak in barbecue sauce brings a delightful fusion of flavors to your table. By focusing on slow cooking and using the right ingredients, you can create a tender and savory dish that impresses every time. Pair it with your favorite sides like mashed potatoes or roasted vegetables to complete the meal. Don’t forget to present your steak beautifully with garnishes and extra sauce for that final touch. Enjoy the compliments and the satisfaction of serving a truly memorable dish.

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