Every Chuck/Neck Beef Cut Explained And The Best Ways To Prepare/Cook Them

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Here we will explain every beef cut of the cow for chuck and what you can expect from them in the terms of how juicy they will be, how tender they will be, along with various other information. The neck cut will also be included too. This will be helpful if you are in the grocery trying to find the perfect cut for the dish that you are preparing, or you buy meat from a dealer to prepare at home or at a restaurant.

Additionally, information will be provided as well to give the best cooking methods for each type of meat. If you are ordering these cuts from a meat dealer, there are also some important things that you might want to specify to the butcher that you want removed from the specific cuts. This information will be included too. These same cuts also apply to wagyu too, except they will be more tender due to the cow’s extra intramuscular fat.


The neck cut is usually not mentioned as a cut for beef, but it does have its uses. It can be difficult for a butcher to properly cut this piece, because of all the vertebrae in the cow’s neck.

Neck cut uses:

The best usage of the neck meat is for stew and pot roast. Due to how the meat is cut, because of all of the excessive bones and tissues, it is also used in ground beef. The lower neck meat, near the chuck, is also used for steaks.


Tough and not so tender. The cow uses its neck to hold its big head up and for constant motions while eating and moving, so the muscles in this area are well worked and tough.

Best cooking methods:

Stewing in a pot of water or simmering in water. Braising is also a common use. Braising the cow neck meat will soften the connective tissues in the meat and make the cow neck more tender. For best results the neck can be cooked in temperatures around, or a little under 212 degrees Fahrenheit. People cook pieces of the neck that are separated from the bone, but also cook the neck bone as well in some cases.


The chuck cut of a cow.

The chuck cut is the meat cut that is right next to the neck, but it comprises of the lower neck muscles and mostly the shoulder of the cow. It is the portion of meat that is above the cow’s front legs and above the brisket section, which is also the cut above the legs. It sits next to the brisket, ribs, and neck. The chuck is used as is, but is often mixed with other cuts to make ground beef for example.

Chuck eye

The chuck eye is next to the neck, so it shares similar uses to the cut, like the neck meat.

Chuck eye uses:

Chuck eye can be used to make roasted steaks.


Tough with connective tissues.

Best cooking methods:

Braising the chuck eye is the best way to cook it to break down the connective tissues in the chuck eye. If it is made into pieces for a steak, a butcher twine (kitchen twine) can help the steak to cook evenly.

Chuck ribs

The chuck ribs are a part of the chuck of course, but they contain some of the cow’s ribs too. This area is often called short ribs, which are different from the cow’s main rib section.

Chuck rib uses:

Chuck short ribs contain a lot more fat than other chuck cuts. This means that they can be used to make ground beef, which makes excellent grinded meat for burgers.


Because they contain some fats, the short ribs of the chuck can be both tender and tough.

Best cooking methods:

Chuck ribs are best cooked by baking them in the oven at 270 degrees Fahrenheit for about 4 hours. They can also be slow cooked too using a smoker. This is because they also contain connective tissues.

Chuck (denver) steak cut

This is the portion of the chuck that is made into steaks. It is a cut taken from underneath the shoulder bone (the blade) of the cow. The chuck isn’t commonly used for making steaks, but it can be. It is sometimes called the denver steak cut.

Chuck (denver) steak uses:

Chuck steaks/denver steaks are used of course for making steaks. The steak cuts are best when they are no thicker than 3/4 of an inch.


The texture of the chuck denver steak cuts is considered to be really tender. Though they aren’t the most common cut used for steaks, they are great for people that have trouble with making steaks more tender.

Best cooking methods:

Chuck steaks can be treated like steaks, which means that they can be cooked at high temperatures without worrying about connective tissues that would make the meat tougher in other cuts. They can be grilled or cooked in a skillet. The temperatures should not exceed 425 degrees Fahrenheit for the best results.

Chuck shoulder:

The chuck shoulder is known as the shoulder clod, pot roast, or the beef clod. It is a piece of meat that is composed of a system of muscles surrounded in a layer of fat.

Chuck shoulder uses:

The best uses for chuck shoulder is as a pot roast.


Though some may claim that the chuck shoulder is tender and juicy, it actually isn’t that tender or juicy. The fat is mostly on the outer layer of the cut, while the inside is filled with dense muscle tissue. If cooked correctly, it can be somewhat tender and juicy.

Best cooking methods:

Roasting the shoulder clod in a pot is the best cooking method. It can also be braised and slow cooked at low temperatures for hours. The temperature can be around, or under 200 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 or more hours for example.


Have the meat dealer separate the teres major from the chuck shoulder. It is one of the most tender and juicy cuts of all the beef cuts. This can be cooked separately to fully enjoy its tenderness. The teres major is also known as the shoulder tender. This cut can make another great beef steak.

Ranch steak cut

Ranch steak cuts are also taken from the chuck shoulder, but they are different than other chuck steak shoulder cuts. It is a boneless cut that is very lean.

Ranch cut uses:

This chuck cut is used to make steaks.


Tough. This cut is considered to be tough for making steak when it comes to its texture. This is because the cut is lean and the fats are trimmed off. Usually these steak cuts are made thin and do not exceed an inch in thickness.

Best cooking methods:

A ranch steak can be cooked for around 4 minutes on both sides in a skillet at around 400 degrees Fahrenheit if the meat is thin enough. The meat can also be pot roasted to slow cook to make the meat less tough and more tender.


Ask the meat dealer to remove the elbow tendon and ensure that the steak cuts are less than 10 ounces and no thicker than a little less than one inch. Also, the connective tissues need to be removed and any fat on the exterior trimmed off.

Flat iron cut

This cut comes from the top shoulder muscles of the cow where the chuck shoulder is. It is usually cut in the shape of a flat rectangle with a slight flat hump or dome shape. Some cuts aren’t shaped like a rectangle, but they are still mostly flat. It can look as if the meat cut has been “ironed out” with a flat iron.

Flat iron cut uses:

This cut is used to make flat iron steaks.


The texture of the flat iron cut is one of the most tender and juicy cuts of the whole cow, as long as it is trimmed correctly.

Best cooking methods:

Cook the flat iron steak at about 275 degrees Fahrenheit, flipping it and cooking it on both sides on a grill or in a skillet until it is cooked to the desired consistency.


Make sure that the meat dealer has trimmed the inner parts and the outer parts of the meat well, by removing the connective tissues.

Petite tender cut

This cut is more rare than the other cuts from the chuck, as there are only two cuts of it per cow, and it is more difficult to cut out. These cuts are also known as petite tender medallions. The cuts are smaller than most other steak cuts.

Petite tender cut uses:

The petite tender cut is used for making small steaks.


The petite tender is both tender and juicy.

Best cooking methods:

The best cooking methods for a petite tender steak is to cook it in a skillet or on a grill at high temperatures and a short cooking time.

Chuck eye roll

The chuck eye roll is a smaller cut that is taken from the chuck roll. It is still fairly large, and it is the same piece that contains a steak cut known as the delmonico steak. Only a few of these steaks (or one if it is 3 inches) can be taken from chuck eye roll. It is taken from the end of the chuck eye roll that has some tapering. However, this steak cut is said to be cuttable from other cuts of the cow too.

Chuck eye roll uses:

As mentioned, a portion of the chuck eye roll can be cut off into steaks, while the rest of it can be cut into roast or boneless ribs.


This portion of the cut is known to have exceptional tenderness and is also somewhat juicy.

Best cooking methods:

The ribs are best cooked by braising, the roast is slow cooked using pot roast, and the steaks are grilled or placed in a skillet at medium-high temperature to cook.

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