What is Chuck Steak

You need to know the types of steak to buy to ensure the best results after cooking. If you want something budget-friendly yet flavorful, consider the chuck steak. But, what is chuck steak?

Also known as 7-bone steak, chuck steak is a cut of meat from the cow’s shoulder. It is usually a rectangular cut, about one inch thick and containing parts of the shoulder bones. However, you can also have a boneless chuck.

The part from which this cut comes gets a lot of exercise, making the muscles quite tough. However, some parts are somewhat tender, such as the top blade. This part becomes very tender after removing the gristle.

Chuck steak is one of the most affordable cuts of beef. Many people avoid buying it because they think it is of lesser quality and contains a high amount of fat and gristle. However, it is the fat and gristle that make this cut flavorful.

Why Is It Called Chuck Steak?

This steak derives its name from the fact that it comes from the chuck primal, a large section of meat from the cow’s shoulder area. It is also called a 7-bone steak because the shoulder bone cross-section resembles the number “7.”

You can extract several other cuts from the chuck, depending on the cow and your needs.

What Does Chuck Steak Taste Like?

So, what is chuck steak, and what does it taste like? Chuck steaks are often heavily marbled with fat, making them flavorful. This steak can also be chewy and gristly, requiring great care when handling and cooking it.

Avoid overcooking chuck steak, as it can become tough. Consider marinating it to tenderize it a bit before cooking.

Chuck Steak vs. Chuck Roast

The chuck roast is a large cut from the shoulder area of the cow, whereas the chuck steak is a portion cut from the chuck roast. The chuck roast is sometimes referred to as a shoulder roast.

It is among the most popular options for pot roast, usually cooked in the slow cooker for several hours. The slow cook results in a tender steak that holds in its flavor.

On the other hand, chuck steak is usually used for individual steaks. However, some people prefer going for a chuck roast and slicing it into steaks themselves.

Where to Buy Chuck Steak

You can buy high-quality chuck steak at your local supermarket or warehouse club. It’s worth noting that chuck steaks usually have different names, so be sure to ask your butcher if you are unsure of the meat you are buying. Also, the price of chuck steaks varies depending on the quality of the cut.

Varieties of Chuck Steak

There are different types of chuck steak, depending on where they come from and how they are cut:

  • Chuck Eye Steak: This cut comes from the area adjacent to the rib eye steak. It is excellent for grilling, and all you will need to add is some salt and pepper.   
  • Shoulder Center: This cut is also known as ranch steak. It is a tender steak with less fat content than other chuck steaks. For the best-tasting steak, consider brushing it with olive oil, sprinkling some salt and paper, and adding herbs like oregano or rosemary to your ranch
  • Shoulder Top Blade: Another common name for this cut is the flat iron steak, and it is excellent for grilling. It is rich in flavor, thanks to its characteristic marbling.
  • Shoulder Petite Tender: This cut is also called the mock tender steak, and it comes from a chuck primal point near the top blade. It is flavorful, but you should marinate it well for the best grilling results.
  • Chuck Steak: This cut comes from the section near the chuck eye steak. However, it is not as tender as the chuck eye, meaning you should marinate it before cooking. It is also not a great option for grilling despite being flavorful.
  • Shoulder Steak: This is perhaps the toughest cut, and it requires marination before grilling. It is an excellent option when you want to slice the steak for dishes such as fajitas.

Chuck Steak Recipes from Around the Web

Learning how to cook chuck steak is relatively easy, and anyone can easily prepare and cook dishes that use this cut as the main ingredient. The cooking method will depend mainly on the type of steak you buy.

The more tender cuts may only require seasoning and a quick turn on the grill.  If you go for a tougher cut, you’ll need a flavorful marinade with some acid. Below are three simple chuck steak recipes you can try:

  • Grilled Flat Iron Steak: You only need under ten minutes to put this recipe together. Before cooking, you need to marinate your meat in olive oil and balsamic vinegar for at least one hour for a flavorful, juicy steak.
  • Baked Chuck Steak Dinner in Foil: This oven-baked recipe involves wrapping the steak and vegetables in foil to make a full dinner in one package. The recipe is ideal for weeknights.
  • Tender Braised Swiss Steak: This recipe focuses on using a tough cut of beef since a few hours of slow braising will tenderize the meat perfectly. 
profile pic2

About the author

Adam can tell you the difference between a flank steak and skirt steak and any other cut of meat. He loves sharing his knowledge of steaks with everyone, ensuring you get the perfect steak every time.