Chuck Cuts

The chuck is the largest of the nine primal cuts and accounts for 29% of a side of beef. It runs from the neck to the fifth rib and includes the shoulder and the top part of the arm. Largely a network of the muscles responsible for carrying the forward half of the animal, most chuck cuts are tough and have a great deal of connective tissue. A long, slow cooking method, such as braising, stewing or pot roasting, will tenderize and bring out rich beefy flavor.

However, there are some very tender cuts found within the chuck including the second most tender steak. The large chuck is first divided into two sub-primal cuts, the shoulder clod, which includes the upper arm, and the whole chuck roll, which is largely the upper back muscles. These sub primal cuts can then be broken down into a seemingly endless number of roasts, steaks and pot roasts.

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7-Bone Pot Roast

Cooking Method: Braise

Other Names: 7-Bone Roast, Beef Pot Roast, Center Cut Pot Roast, Chuck Blade Roast, Chuck Roast Center Cut, Pot Roast Bone-In

This is one of several variations of a chuck pot roasts. Created by sawing across the bone-in chuck, it has several separate muscles and bones. It is called the “7-bone” not because of the number of bones but because of the distinctive shape of the shoulder-blade bone (visible on the left side of the photo). There are 2-3 of these cuts per chuck depending on thickness. In some cuts, the bone will be more prominent. This is a tough cut, and needs a long, slow braise to tenderize and bring out its rich flavor. Roasts are generally about 2 inches (5 cm) thick, but they can also be cut into ½- to 1-inch (1.25–2.5 cm) steaks.

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Arm Bone Pot Roast

Cooking Method: Braise

Other Names: Chuck Round Bone Cut, Round Bone Pot Roast, Round Bone Roast

Another of the chuck pot roasts. This one is sliced from the shoulder area just before the Shoulder Roast. The trademark small round bone is the cross-section of the upper arm bone. Roast are generally 2 inches thick (5 cm) and very meaty. It, is very economical and  easily cut into pieces for stewing. A thinner cut is called an arm steak. A long slow braise will bring out it’s great beef flavor.

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Blade Raose

Blade Roast

Cooking Method: Braise

Other Names: Beef Pot Roast, Blade Chuck Pot Roast Bone In, Roast 1st Cut, Chuck Roast Blade Cut

For many, the chuck blade roast is the first choice for a bone-in pot roast. Like the 7-Bone Roast, the butcher fabricates this cut by sawing across the chuck to include the cross-section of several bones, including a piece of the blade bone and some of the rib and back bones—all of which impart great flavor. It also includes several muscles, some tender and some tough; therefore, it requires a long slow braise. Look for roasts that are at least 2 inches (5 cm) thick. A blade steak is ½-1 inch thick (1.25-2.5 cm).

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Chuck Eye Roast

Cooking Method: Braise/Roast

Other Names: Boneless Chuck Fillet, Boneless Chuck Roll, Inside Chuck Roll

Often the chuck roll is deboned and separated into the under blade and the chuck eye roll, from which the chuck eye roast is cut. This is an economical roast with great beef flavor that ranges in size from 3 to 4 pounds (1.4-1.8 kg). Many will recommend that this cut be braised, but it can be roasted in a moderate oven in well under two hours as long as all exterior connective tissue has been removed. For a leaner option, the butcher may butterfly the roast and remove a layer of internal fat. In such cases, the roast may be trussed to hold it together.

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Chuck Eye Steak

Cooking Method: Broil/Grill/Pan Fry

Other Names: Boneless Chuck Filet Steak, Boneless Chuck Slices, Boneless Chuck Filet Steak, Boneless Steak Bottom Chuck, Chuck Filet, Chuck Roll

Cut from the rib adjacent to the rib-eye, the Chuck Eye Steak is often called the poor man’s rib eye. Similar in flavor and tenderness but more economical, these steaks are good for grilling or broiling as long as they are not over cooked. The Chuck Eye Steak is sometimes marketed as a Delmonico steak, but don’t be mislead. This is not the steak made famous by the New York steakhouse of the same name.

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English Cut
Short Ribs (Flanken-Style)

Chuck Short Ribs

Cooking Method: Braise

Other Names: Barbecue Ribs, Braising Ribs, Chuck Short Ribs Bone-In, Flanken Short Ribs, Kosher Ribs, Short Ribs

Butchers number the 13 ribs from front to the rear. The first four or five are included with the Chuck. Short ribs generally come from ribs 5-8 in the plate area, but ribs 2-5 are usually marketed as Chuck Short Ribs. About 3-4 inches long, these ribs are well marbled and can be found boneless as well. They can be whole or cut individually between the rib bones (English cut), across the bone (flanken-style), or across the bone and trimmed (Korean- or kali-style). (See also beef plate short ribs.)

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Country-Style Ribs

Cooking Method: Braise

Other Names: Bistro Braising Ribs, Boneless Chuck Ribs, Country-Style Chuck Ribs

Cut from the boneless chuck eye roll, country-style ribs don’t actually include any rib bones. Rather, they are steaks fashioned to look like ribs.  They are meaty, tender, flavorful and juicy.  Perfect for folks who fuss at eating ribs on the bone. Best when braised, but can be finished on the grill.

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Denver Steak

Cooking Method: Broil/Grill/Stir Fry

Other Names: Denver Steak, Under Blade, Under Blade Center Cut Steak

This very affordable steak is a relative newcomer. It is cut from fourth most tender muscle–the chuck under blade center cut– and has great marbling and flavor. Perfect for grilling. It can also be sliced into strips for stir frying. Steaks should be ¾ to 1 inch thick and completely denuded of exterior fat and connective tissue.

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Flatiron
Blade Steaks

Flatiron and Top Blade Steak

Cooking Method: Broil/Grill/Stir Fry

Other Names: Boneless Top Chuck Steak, Book Steak, Butler Steak, Flat Iron Steak, Lifter Steak, Petite Steak, Shoulder Top Blade Steak, Top Blade Steak

The “top blade” is cut from the shoulder area and is the second most tender cut of beef after the tenderloin. However, it has a thick, sinewy piece of connective tissue that runs down the middle and is difficult to eat. Retail butchers have traditionally cut across the tissue and marketed these cuts as Top Blade Steaks, while restaurants took a more laborious approach of splitting the steak lengthwise and removing the tissue all together to yield two Flatiron Steaks, about a 1 lb. (450 g) each. The steaks are then broken down into 6-12 ounce portions. Although more expensive, the Flatiron has proven quite popular and is now available in retails

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Petite Tender Roast
Petite Medallions

Petite Tender Roast and Medallions

Cooking Method: Roast/Grill (Medallions Only)

Other Names: Roasts–Shoulder Petite Tender Roast, Shoulder Tender; Steaks–Butcher’s Steak, Shoulder Medallions, Shoulder Tenders

Cut from the shoulder clod, this very small muscle (8–12 ounce/ 225–340 g) is called the “petite tender” because it resembles the tenderloin. Though it is not as tender, it is a very flavorful and makes for an economic alternative roast. Sometimes it is cut into individual 1- to 1½-inch steaks and sold as Petite Tender Medallions, which are suitable for grilling.

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Ranch Steak

Cooking Method: Broil/Grill/Pan Fry

Other Names: Beef Shoulder Center Steak, Ranch Cut, Shoulder Center Steak

Ranch steaks are cut from the shoulder center and are juicy, flavorful and relatively tender–similar to top sirloin in taste and texture. About ¾ to 1 inch thick (2-2.5 cm), they cook quickly, and are best grilled, broiled or pan sautéed.

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Full Roast
Steak

Shoulder Roast and Steak

Cooking Method: Roasts–Braise/Stew; Steaks–Broil/Grill/Braise

Other Names: Roasts–Shoulder Petite Tender Roast Boneless, Shoulder Tender; Steaks–Butcher’s Steak,Shoulder Medallions, Shoulder Tenders 

Sometimes mistaken for the arm roast, the boneless shoulder roast is cut just adjacent to the arm. This rather large roast is usually reserved for restaurants, but it can be cut into thick pot roasts or sliced into steaks for home use. It can be roasted, but because it is one of the 29 lean cuts, it can dry out quickly. When sliced into steaks, it is sometimes merchandised as a London Broil. The steaks can be grilled or broiled if they have been marinated for several hours.

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