Have you ever wondered about the difference between chuck roast and chuck steak? While the average American consumes over 200 pounds of red meat a year, I wonder how many people actually know and understand about the type of meat they’re eating.
This one’s a pretty simple one, today we’re comparing chuck roast and chuck steak. “Chuck” generally refers to an inexpensive type of meat from the muscles of beef cattle. More specifically, the meat between the neck and the shoulder blade.
The most common “chuck” cuts you’ll find are chuck steak and chuck roast. So…what’s the difference?
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Chuck Roast vs. Chuck Steak
Sorry to disappoint you but there is essentially no difference between chuck roast and chuck steak except for the way it is cut.
Chuck roast is also known as blade pot roast. It is cut in an oblong or cylindrical shape and the meat usually contains part of the blade bone.
Chuck steak is simply this same cut of meat but sliced into steaks.
So, can you make your own chuck steak at home? If you’ve got a nice big piece of chuck roast and a nice sharp knife, yes, you can! Livestrong documented that a chuck steak is the same piece of meat as that from a chuck roast, but it is cut into 1 to 3 inch thick slices.
So, if you aim to save some money, you can consider buying a chuck roast, then slicing it into a few steaks, and finally freezing them.
You’d want to check your costs on that but, generally speaking, you’ll be able to buy a chuck roast for less money than it would cost to buy 4-6 chuck steaks so, disregarding your time and effort to cut them, it would likely be a cheaper option to do it this way. Also, you’d have the added bonus of being able to cut the steaks to the size and thickness that suits your family.
Both chuck roast and chuck steak are a relatively inexpensive cut of beef and this is because this type of meat tends to be tough! It doesn’t have to be though. With the right preparation and some time and care, these meats can become tender and tasty.
To get the best out of chuck cuts, it is recommended to cook them slowly allowing them to be soft by braising or stewing. It is always advisable to cook chuck roasts with liquid to have perfect cooking and a better taste.
For a nicely cooked chuck steak, you can try to cook it like a skillet pot roast. Brown the steak on both sides allowing it to have 5 minutes on each side.
The next step is to add spices and herbs and cover the chuck steak with a lid. Then cook the steak in an oven for several hours on low heat.
One of the best ways to cook both chuck steak and chuck roast is with a slow cooker or crock pot. They’re so easy to use and the meat becomes so soft and tender. If you haven’t already got a slow cooker, we’d highly recommend this one – you won’t believe how easy it is to create cheap all in one meals with super tender meat!
Recipes for Chuck Steak and Chuck Roast
There are lots of different recipes you can cook using chuck roast or chuck steak. Here I’m going to give you a basic and tasty way to cook both types of meat. First let’s figure out what to do with a chuck roast. Chuck roast is often used in what most people refer to as a pot roast. This type of cooking is good for chuck roast as it is long and slow which gives the meat a chance to become less tough and more tasty and tender.
This is a classic slow cooker or crockpot all in one recipe. You’ll have your meat and vegetables all cooked perfectly together in your slow cooker. Yes, it takes time, but your slow cooker takes care of that! Most of the time you can be off doing your own thing while your dinner is busy cooking away (and making your house smell delicious!).
Perfect Slow Cooked Chuck Roast (Pot Roast)
- 4-5 pound / 2 kg chuck roast
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
- 2 Tablespoons Oil
- 4-6 Carrots, cut into large (2 inch) chunks
- 6 Potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 2 Cloves Minced Garlic
- 2 Cups Beef Stock/Beef Broth
- 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch/Cornflour
- 2 Tablespoons Water
- Season your chuck roast with the salt, pepper and thyme – rub it all over the meat with your fingers.
- Heat the oil in a pan (if your slow cooker has a browning option you can do it in there, otherwise use your stovetop and a frying pan).
- Add the meat to the oil and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side. We want to get it nice and brown as this helps to give it a lovely crust.
- Meanwhile put your carrots, potatoes and garlic into the slow cooker.
- When the meat has finished browning, sit it on top of the vegetables.
- Add the beef stock/broth. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high (if your slow cooker has different settings) for 5-6 hours.
- In the last hour of cooking mix the cornflour/cornstarch with the water in a small jug or bowl and add it to the slow cooker to thicken the liquid into a gravy.
- Crave the meat (if you can – it will be so tender it kind of falls apart!).
- Serve the meat with the carrots and potatoes with gravy poured over the top.
A chuck roast pot roast is the perfect meal for a cold, wintery night. It’s good old fashioned, healthy comfort food!
Now, what about a recipe for chuck steak?
How about a super simple slow cooked chuck steak?
Cooking steak doesn’t get any easier than this! Simply season your meat and put it in the slow cooker – no flipping or searing required!
Super Simple Slow Cooked Chuck Steak Recipe
- Chuck Steak – how much will depend on how many you are feeding and the size of the steaks.
- Seasonings: your choice of minced garlic, onion powder, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, Tomato Sauce/Ketchup(Our favorite way is to mix a tablespoon or two each of tomato sauce and worcestershire sauce).
- Put your steak/steaks in the slow cooker.
- Add seasonings/sauces of your choice.
- Add water to the slow cooker until it is half way up the thickness of the steaks. (You could also use beef stock/broth instead of water).
- Cook for 4-6 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low (depending on the thickness of your steak).
- Serve with your choice of vegetables/salad.
- Enjoy your tender, tasty steak!
How to Cook A Cheap Cut of Steak
Steak is just a term for a cut of meat that does not have a lot of connective tissue which makes it suitable for quick cooking. There are a number of options when you are looking at inexpensive steaks.
- Hanger steaks
- Flap steaks
- Chuck eye and
- Chuck tenders
Chuck means it is just coming from the shoulder. It is a little bit more muscular because the shoulder does a lot of work in its life but it also has a good amount of marbling and great flavor as well.
So, because it is coming from the shoulder, it will be a little bit tougher texture than some of the other more expensive cuts and could be used for a lot of different things even outside of steak which I am not going to get into.
Another great flavor, as well as a texture at stake, is tri-tip. This one you will definitely be able to recognize right away because of its unique shape. It actually does have three separate kinds of points to it. This one can be a little bit more difficult to work with.
The size varies a bit so by the time you get the middle cooked the outside, or the edges could be a little bit overdone what you could do is, cut this up into smaller pieces and treat them more like individual fillets of meat.
All right! Flap meat, not the sexiest name. This is similar to skirt steak or flank, but as those have become more popular, they are a little more expensive in the grocery stores.
How To Marinate And Cook Flap Steak
Now, the flap is a great option. It is a little bit different as you can see the texture is quite loose and that can be really great because it soaks up marinades really well. Usually, it has got a great color but looks like a prehistoric fossil.
While this piece can be quite large, you can cut it into different pieces. Freeze part of it and cook some for dinner tonight. This one would work great for our marinade since it is going to take on so much flavor in all those little crevices.
The marinade can be as simple as a little bit of soy sauce (low-sodium) some fresh ground black pepper and a few crushed cloves of garlic. You can throw it all together really easily.
All you need to do is put a clove of garlic underneath your palm and push down, just kind of bruise it a bit. It is going to crack it open a little bit and just help the flavor release without having to do a lot of chopping or mincing.
Chop up your bruised garlic and mix it with some soy sauce and freshly ground black pepper. Use a snaplock bag or a bowl or container to coat your flap steak in the marinade. Let this sit in the marinade for anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight.
And then before you cook, you want to make sure that you dry off the marinade and get as much of it off as you can. You want to have a nice dry steak so you can get a good crust on it. There is too much moisture left then it is going to steam when you put it on the hot skillet instead of getting a nice crispy crust.
Using paper towels is great for this because it still is raw meat and you can throw them away right after.
A cast iron skillet is a great option no matter what type of steak you are cooking. Cast iron holds heat really well. So if you wanted to preheat your cast iron skillet in a hot oven for about 20 minutes that would be a good option.
Once it is preheated, you can go ahead and pour in a good amount of oil. You can use any type of cooking oil. Ideally something with the high smoke point.
Once you are sure that your skillet and your oil are preheated, you can go ahead and carefully layer your steak in. It should immediately sizzle. There are two rules of thought on cooking steaks – whether you should flip it often or flip it once. I say, flip it often, especially for this kind of steak.
Flipping frequently throughout the cooking process ensures that you are keeping an eye on the entire piece of meat and getting a good crust throughout.
Also, by consistently flipping and moving the steak, you are ensuring that you are putting the steak on the hottest parts of the pan which are going to give you the best crust.
No matter what steak you are cooking, you always want to let it sit for a good 5 to 10 minutes after it comes off the heat. This gives you time to let the carryover cooking take place. The steak will be a more even temperature throughout, and it also helps the meat relax a little bit.
The high heat is going to make all those fibers kind of tense up and resting will let them relax a little bit and be a nicer texture in your mouth.
This is one of many that you definitely want to cut against the grain because those fibers are so loose that you can really see where they are. Just going to make sure that it is a little bit easier to chew. It is going to be a nicer texture in your mouth.
Some of the cheaper cuts of steak have a little bit of a stronger flavor. So, it’s great to use marinades because that beef flavor can stand up to the flavors in a marinade.
Sometimes, people are freaked out by the red juice that comes out of a resting state. That is actually not blood; it is myoglobin. It is just a protein in the muscle fibers mixed with the water and residual moisture that is left in the meat.
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How to Cook An Expensive Cut Of Steak
If you are looking to indulge a little bit more, there is a lot of great options on the higher end as well. Starting with the New York strip steak. This is kind of your starter steak if you will have a good amount of fat a good bit of marbling. It is going to be tenderer than something like a chuck and have a good flavor.
Some key indicators are the fat cap along the outside as well as pretty good marbling throughout. It is also called a Kansas City strip steak or a sirloin steak.
The Tenderloin or the fillet is going to be the most expensive of all the options. This is because it is coming from a very small part that is right under the spine and does almost no movement throughout its life.
Therefore, it is very tender. It almost melts in your mouth. You still have a good amount of marbling throughout to be a nice bright color.
How To Cook Reverse-Seared Rib Eye
Rib eye is also known to be one of the most preferred and most expensive steaks. It has a good balance of marbling texture and flavor. There should be good large chunks of fat throughout.
If you can get a rib eye bone in or out, some people will say that the bone and imparts a lot more flavor but like I do not necessarily feel like it makes a big difference. But it is you know a nice showstopper.
If you are looking for a medium-rare center, going about one and a half to two inches is preferred so that you can get a nice crust on the outside while still preserving that medium-rare center which highlights the flavor and the texture that you are paying for with the rib eye.
If you want something that is a little bit more well-done, actually I would not recommend going with a thicker cut steak.
The purest way to prepare rib eye steak is just with salt, and you can do this least an hour before you are about to cook it. You can even salt it overnight which will give the salt more time to penetrate. It is going to help flavor as well as tenderize, if you are going to be salting it overnight.
What you are going to do is actually the opposite of the traditional sear then bake method.
You are going to bake ahead of time and sear later and what this is going to do is, you are going to slowly raise the temperature of the steak in the low oven.
You need to put your steak in the oven for about 30 minutes until the internal temperature is around 90 or 95 degrees. At that point, you are going to take it out and get a really high heat on our cast-iron skillet.
It should sizzle right away. It should be a really hot pan. The great thing about the reverse sear method is that you are cooking the meat itself in the oven and then you are just finishing it off in a skillet to get a really great crust on the outside.
There is a little bit of a wider margin of error here because the temperature in the oven is going to be much lower than on a hot skillet. So, you have more time and wiggle room to get the temperature right before you are searing on the outside.
It does not need to rest as long as a pan-seared steak would.
All you need, two great steaks, a thermometer, good cast-iron skillet, a lot of salt and some oil.And you’ll have an amazing steak dinner for two!
So it seems we’ve veered a little off track and got excited about some different ways to cook different types of steaks as well but, ultimately, we hoped you’ve learned most about what this article is really about which is the difference between chuck roast and chuck steak!
Now you know that there is essentially no difference apart from how they are cut. Both the roast and the steak should be cooked long and slow for best results.
If you try our recipes for Super Simple Slow Cooked Chuck Steak and/or Perfect Slow Cooked Chuck Roast, we’d love to hear what you thought of them. Tasty meals at an affordable price!