Without mincing words, the chuck steak and chuck roast are cuts of beef that both come from the neck and shoulder blade parts of the animal. Chuck roast is quite a large, tough cut of meat that’s best cooked slowly using methods like braising or pot roasting. Chuck steak is a thinner cut that is originally taken from the chuck roast. It’s best pan-seared or grilled.
Chuck roast is known for its beefy and intense flavor and tender texture when cooked correctly. It’s the perfect meat cut for dishes like pot roasts, beef stew, and shredded beef tacos. On the other hand, chuck steaks are not that juicy or flavorful when cooked. However, it’s what I like to cut into smaller, thinner steaks and use in recipes like stroganoff, Philly cheesesteaks, or kabobs.
In the rest of the article, we will compare chuck roast and chuck steak, discussing their differences in size, taste, and texture. I’ll also provide tips and tricks for preparing and cooking each cut of beef to perfection, so you can choose the right one for your next meal.
Beef Chuck Roast
Larger rectangular cut of meat, often weighing 2 to 2.5 pounds
Smaller cut of meat, usually cut into individual steaks
Tends to have more marbling, which can make it flavorful
Tends to have less marbling than a chuck roast
Typically cooked using slow-cooking methods such as braising or stewing to make it tender
Typically cooked using fast cooking methods such as pan-frying, broiling, or grilling
Good for dishes such as pot roast, beef stew, and other slow-cooked meals
Suitable for dishes such as braised beef, slow-cooked barbecue, or pan-fried steak
In case you’ve been wondering, a beef chuck roast and a beef chuck steak are both cuts of meat from the chuck primal cut of a cow‘s shoulder area.
So what exactly are the differences?
The main differences between these two are the size, content, and cooking methods for the meat cuts. Let’s dive in deeper.
A chuck roast, also called blade pot roast or shoulder roast, is typically a larger, rectangular cut of meat that can weigh 2 to 2.5 pounds per pack. It’s so large you can make flat iron steak, petite tender roast, and chuck steak out of it.
Chuck steak, on the other hand, is a relatively thin cut, usually one inch thick.
If you’re used to buying chuck roasts, you must have seen that it always comes bone–in–cut with part of the blade bone. This provides additional flavor for your dishes. My advice is don’t remove the bone when braising or stewing this meat.
On the other hand, chuck steak is usually boneless. The butcher may decide to cut it with the blade bone or not. However, you can get a bone-in chuck steak based on a special request.
So, if you’re used to the bones in the chuck roast and want to substitute it for the steak, you can ask the butcher (if he’s nice enough) to cut it with the bones.
When you find bone-in chuck steaks like the 7-bone steak, trust me, it’s excellent for pot roasts.
I found that the chuck roast is best cooked using a long and slow cooking method like braising or pot roasting in a crock pot. For instance, when making pot roast with a piece of chuck roast in the slow cooker, it typically takes me six to eight hours. That’s probably why it’s also called blade pot roast. By the way, it’s also great for making pulled beef.
Meanwhile, a chuck steak is best cooked quickly over high heat, using methods such as pan-searing, grilling, or broiling because the meat is thin. You can get a chuck steak done in four to five minutes over a pan. It is also a good choice for stir-fries, fajitas, and Philly cheesesteaks.
What makes chuck roast more suitable for slow and long cooking is that it’s thicker. Remember, I said chuck steaks are thinner. So they will overcook during a more extended cook method.
Also, chuck steaks are some of the leanest beef cuts. However, unlike chuck roasts which are bigger, the chuck steaks don’t have enough marbling or fat content to moisturize the meat during longer cooks.
It depends on what you’re planning to make. If you’re looking for a cut of beef that can be cooked quickly over high heat, a chuck steak is a better choice. I also go for Chuck steaks when I have just a few people to serve. As mentioned, they’re good if you want to make dishes like fajitas, stir-fries, or Philly cheesesteaks.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a cut of beef that you can slow-cook over low heat, a chuck roast is a better choice. Because of the longer cook time and the connective tissue, chuck roast is considered to be more flavorful and tenderer when cooked under low heat.
Keep in mind that both chuck meat cuts can be flavorful and tender when cooked properly. So, it ultimately comes down to the recipe and your taste. If unsure, I suggest asking the butcher for their recommendation or the cooking type that suits the cut you’re interested in.
Tips: The cook time may vary depending on the size of your roast. Always check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. As always, it should register at least 145 Fahrenheit (the USDA-required temperature) to be safe for eating. A good thermometer I recommend is the ThermoPro TempSpike. Its accuracy and versatility are superior.
Tips: You can add vegetables and liquids like red wine, beef broth, and herbs to make a tasty gravy to pour over the steak. If you want, you may also cook the steak in a slow cooker with vegetables and liquids for a more tender and flavorful result.
You can substitute the chuck steak for the chuck roast in your recipes. However, the cooking process and the final result may vary slightly from the original plan. The best roast option would be the rump roast.
Chuck roast is generally more tender than chuck steaks, but chuck steaks are less expensive to cook. Likewise, chuck roast takes longer to cook and gives more flavor because of its high-fat content. If chuck steak is substituted for chuck roast for any recipe, adjust your cook times accordingly. This helps ensure your food is as tasty and tender as the meat from the original cut without using a meat tenderizer.
Yes, you can. Chuck steaks are originally cut from chuck roasts. Typically you slice the roast into small sections and then cut it up individually into a steak. Nevertheless, be aware that this may lead to harder steaks when you subject them to a longer cooking time.
Yeah, chuck steaks are pretty tasty and tender when you cook them properly. The extra perk is that they are usually more affordable than other cuts and take lesser cook time.
Chuck steak makes an excellent choice for dishes that require fast cooking and intense flavors. Because it’s cooked faster than chuck roasts, it’s not as tender as chuck roasts. However, it’s still a good dish for people who prefer less chewy meat.
In summary, both the chuck roast and chuck steak cuts are from the same shoulder area of the cow. It’s just that the chuck roast is a larger cut and is typically cooked by braising, stewing, or any slow-cooking procedure for a longer time. On the other hand, your chuck steak is a smaller cut. It is typically cooked by pan-frying, broiling, or grilling. Both cuts can be flavorful and tender when cooked properly.
I recommend a chuck steak for a one to two-person serving, while a chuck roast is great for a gathering. Ultimately, the choice depends on the recipe you have in mind.