Is Chuck Steak Good For Grilling?

Knife slicing chuck steak
Knife slicing chuck steak - Fedorova Ekaterina-84/Shutterstock

Although there's almost no limit to the kinds of things you can grill, it's hard to beat one of the most traditional: a juicy, flavorful steak. However, as anyone who's been to a butcher or looked through a supermarket meat case knows, there's an almost overwhelming number of different cuts and preparations available. Each has its own unique characteristics resulting from its location on and use by the cow. So, is chuck steak a good choice for grilling? The answer isn't as simple as yes or no.

To be sure, grilled chuck steak can turn out excellently if it's all you have available. However, it's critical that it be prepared correctly. The chuck steak comes from the shoulder area of the cow, known as the chuck primal, where the lean, heavily-used muscles can often be somewhat tough. The secret is tenderizing it with a flavorful marinade for at least 8 hours or as long as 24. This long marinade time helps break down the connective tissue, improve the texture of the meat, and integrate the flavor from the steak marinade into the meat.

While it might require some extra time and work, cooks might still prefer chuck due to its lower cost (it sits near the top of the rankings of cheapest cuts of steak) or because of the rich beefy flavor it can provide, even compared to other popular cuts.

Read more: Cuts Of Steak, Ranked Worst To Best

Better Cuts To Grill And Better Uses For Chuck

Steak marinating in glass bowl
Steak marinating in glass bowl - ValdisOsins/Shutterstock

Still, just because you can grill a chuck steak doesn't necessarily mean it should be your first choice. Other cuts of steak, like the popular and versatile ribeye and strip steaks or the robust, thinly-cut flat iron steak, are typically better suited to the high, direct heat of the grill. However, those higher-end cuts also usually come with a higher price tag than affordable chuck.

Meanwhile, chuck steak can truly excel when cooked for long periods at relatively low temperatures, allowing it to break down and tenderize over time, like through braising or stewing. Alternatively, brief exposure to extreme heat (such as pan-searing or broiling) is also an excellent option to appropriately cook and flavor the exterior without toughening up the interior.

Don't be too discouraged if these revelations have ruined your plans to grill that chuck sitting in your fridge. There are so many unique ways to cook with beef chuck that any disappointment will be quickly replaced by excitement at the incredible, affordable flavor this cut can provide.

Read the original article on Mashed.