14 Unique Ways To Cook With Beef Chuck Roast

Beef chuck roast meat on board
Beef chuck roast meat on board - Mironov Vladimir/Shutterstock

Steak lovers who love nothing better than cutting through a piece of rare filet mignon may not appreciate seemingly less superior cuts of meat. When it comes to fine-dining dinners of lean and tender beef, certain tougher cuts don't get a look in. Even in everyday cooking, these cheaper joints are sometimes relegated to slow-cooking dishes. Not that there's anything wrong with this, but where's the creativity and the variety?

If you usually buy a chuck roast, you usually stick it in an Instant Pot and hope it'll be edible in some type of gravy in a few hours. Can you make a succulent steak out of it? Or grill, shred, and boil it to make other dishes? If you cook fattier cuts in the right way, you absolutely can. If you need some convincing, then it's time to explore unique ways to cook with a beef chuck roast that takes you beyond a casserole.

Read more: Cuts Of Steak, Ranked Worst To Best

Pot Roast Chuck Roast For Stroganoff

Beef stroganoff with egg noodles in an ovenproof dish
Beef stroganoff with egg noodles in an ovenproof dish - Lara Hata/Getty Images

Creamy stroganoff with noodles, beef, and mushrooms is one of those incredible comfort foods that's also a luxurious-tasting dish. Boneless sirloin or ribeye steak are prime cuts for a classic beef stroganoff with thinly sliced, pan-fried, tender meat. You may doubt that beef chuck roast is going to work. However, it can, as long as you cook it differently. You need to make a pot roast stroganoff, instead.

Sear seasoned cubes of chuck steak in a Dutch oven or similar pot. Once browned, simmer in a fragrant stock with onion and garlic for a couple of hours. The stewing steak will soften and then you can serve it with sour cream and caramelized mushrooms. You can also use the pot roast method to cook a joint of chuck steak without cubing it. Once seared, add broth and beer plus Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and other seasonings. After eight hours on low heat, the meat will fall apart. You can then incorporate it into the other ingredients in the way that you usually would. You'll soon realize that using this cut of meat is not settling for an inferior one. It's so flavorful and the texture is melt-in-the-mouth if you cook it in the right way.

Spit Roast On A Barbecue For A Mexican Dish

Beef chuck roast on barbecue spit
Beef chuck roast on barbecue spit - Old Country Cooks / YouTube

One of the most fun and unique ways to cook with beef chuck roast has to be on a spit roast. And if you're looking for recipe ideas, then you really can't go wrong with a Mexican dish. What can't be ignored with this cut is that if you're having a cookout for a crowd, then the meat will go further for less cost. As long as you take your time and don't set the heat too high, you'll end up with a perfectly browned result.

You don't need to do much with the joint of meat beforehand. Season it and enhance the flavor with whatever flavorings you want. Garlic powder and chili powder are a good choice or what about barbecue? You can leave the meat dry or add a glaze, too. Tie it up so that it isn't flopping about, and you can easily spear it on rotisserie prongs. Depending on how big the piece is, you're probably going to need a couple of hours or more with the grill lid closed. Once the temperature at the core has reached 185 F, it's ready. Don't forget to cover it and let it rest. The meat is delicious with soft tortillas. And what about a copycat Chipotle tomato salsa?

Reverse Sear For Sliced Steak To Share

Beef chuck roast in skillet with garlic and microgreens
Beef chuck roast in skillet with garlic and microgreens - Mironov Vladimir/Shutterstock

As soon as seasoned beef hits a hot skillet it sizzles and starts to caramelize. This Maillard process locks in flavor and juices, creating a slightly charred outside that contrasts with the hopefully succulent texture inside. Slicing and serving a quality steak to share is one of the best ways to enjoy it, especially with a dip or two such as mustard or even soy sauce. If you check out the absolute best sides to pair with every cut of steak, you'll realize that beef chuck roast often isn't served as a steak. It can be, though, if you use the right cooking technique, which is the reverse sear.

Instead of throwing the meat into a hot pan and searing the outside while the steak cooks, you reverse this — hence the name — and cook the meat before browning. If you're wondering why, it allows you to slowly cook and tenderize the meat in the oven first, giving you greater control in getting the pinkness in the middle just right and the outside lovely and charred. After letting the steak cool you scorch it in a hot skillet. And while this dish takes a good couple of hours before it's ready for the pan, it's worth it for a thick, tougher cut like chuck steak. Try dry brining the beef beforehand for a crispier finish. And what about upgrading to Wagyu chuck roast?

Smoke Pulled Beef Chuck Roast For Fajitas

Smoked pulled beef chuck roast with forks pulling apart
Smoked pulled beef chuck roast with forks pulling apart - Hey Grill Hey / YouTube

Pulled beef is the bomb. The flavor is bold, and the meat is soft and chewy in a mouthwatering way. It's a fabulous way to make a meaty filling for all types of dishes, including fajitas. There's something about soft tortillas and the meaty strands that are moreish, especially with other Mexican food ingredients such as a quick and easy guacamole. A fantastic cooking technique to get that spectacular pull-apart texture is smoking beef chuck roast. Choose a wood that'll complement the flavor of the beef such as apple, hickory, or cherry. You can also dry brine the meat and leave it in the refrigerator overnight before cooking.

Smoke the joint of meat with whatever seasonings you like without any liquid at first. Crank up the heat from 225 to 250 F. Add the meat uncovered to a tray with stock when the meat is up to around 150 F. You can also add onions and potatoes at this stage, too. The third step is to cover with foil when the meat reaches 165 or 175 F to take the temperature of the beef to 200. You should be able whether the chuck steak is as tender as it could be with a fork. Let the meat rest though for a good while before shredding it.

Dry Out Beef For Jerky

Beef jerky
Beef jerky - Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

If you're looking for unique ways to cook with beef chuck roast, rather than make a slow cooker pot roast, dry it out in the oven instead. That way you can make chewy pieces of beef jerky that give you an intensely bold beefy taste. With this cut of meat being less high-end than some, you can get a good amount of this classic all-American snack without spending as much, too. Cook strips of the beef on a rack covered with foil at 160 F for three hours, turning over once halfway through. Keep the oven door slightly ajar so that the meat doesn't steam in any way as you want it to dehydrate. Pop the chuck roast in the freezer to slightly harden so that you can cut thin slices more easily first of all. Then marinate these for a good few hours in soy sauce, sugar, and Worcestershire sauce, and seasonings.

You can also cut the meat into cubes if you prefer. Because beef chuck roast isn't the leanest cut, take time to get rid of any excess fat before. This will help create a jerky that you can store for a little longer. Once the strips or cubes are out of the oven, let them cool before storing. You can always freeze the morsels if you make a big batch.

Sous Vide For Succulent Steak

Beef steak in sous vide vacuum bag
Beef steak in sous vide vacuum bag - bigacis/Shutterstock

A collection of unique ways to cook with beef chuck roast wouldn't be complete without mentioning sous vide. You might consider this method for a gourmet dinner with tenderloin, or another high-value cut, but it's also a great way to make a succulent chuck steak, too. The process enables you to cook the meat how you like it while it also becomes wonderfully tender. You'll need a water circulator and stockpot if you don't have a sous vide machine. You'll also need a bag that's suitable for sous vide that you can vacuum seal or at least expel all the air out of manually. Cook for between three hours at 135 F for a medium-rare steak. Once out of the bag, mop up any moisture with a kitchen towel and flash-fry for less than a minute on either side in a skillet with melted butter.

You can also use this method for cooking a whole joint of beef chuck roast, rather than a cut steak. You'll just need a lot longer. You can play around with the temperatures and time, but for a medium result try 20 hours at 138 F. Fry to sear the outside just the same before resting and slicing.

Simmer To Make A Curry

Curry in pan with beef chuck roast
Curry in pan with beef chuck roast - Waitrose & Partners / YouTube

Slow cooker Massaman curry is a Thai beef curry that's richly fragrant. You can also make a curry with chuck steak by simmering the meat in curry sauce in the oven for a couple of hours. You might have made a casserole this way, but have you thought about using coconut milk, red curry paste, and Asian-cooking ingredients in the same way? Make sure you sear the beef and make the sauce so that the flavors permeate before putting it in the oven. Once the meat is cooked take it out of the sauce and add potatoes to cook while you break the meat apart. Finally, add the beef back to your curry.

Instead of potatoes, shred the beef and add it back to the sauce along with slices of onion and leave to rest for a few minutes. The crunch of the veg with the silky strands of meat and spicy sauce is mouthwatering. Perfect for serving with rice or noodles. You can also swap out the ingredients and create an Indian curry. Instead of the oven, simmer cubed meat in water and plenty of spices on the stovetop for an hour. Separately, make curry sauce with garam masala and other spices, and water. Add the cooked beef and simmer to bring the dish together before serving.

Grill For Carne Asada

Beef on barbecue grill
Beef on barbecue grill - Krzycho/Shutterstock

If you've ever made carne asada with skirt steak then you'll know just how delicious this spiced and marinated grilled meat is. It's great in tacos and burritos. This cut of meat is quite thin and grills in a matter of minutes, with longer resting time. Beef chuck roast isn't a thin cut, but you can also make this dish with it, and because it's a fattier meat than skirt, it's a little more forgiving on the grill and less likely to dry up. You're probably not aiming for a rare steak either.

You just need to follow a few simple steps. You'll need to slice along the grain, rather than against it, and you want those slices to be thin. That means no more than a ½ inch thick. Put the joint of meat in the freezer for a couple of hours so that when you cut it you can be more precise with this. A good, sharp knife is necessary, and a steady hand! Get the grill hot and leave the meat slices out of the fridge so that they aren't chilled when they hit the heat. They will cook more evenly this way. Only season them just before grilling so you don't draw too much moisture out.

Stir-Fry With Asian Ingredients

Beef yakisoba stir-fry in wok
Beef yakisoba stir-fry in wok - Natalia Lisovskaya/Shutterstock

Chuck steak is regarded as a slow-cooker meat rather than a quick-frying one. However, with the right cooking technique and ingredients, you can make an Asian-style stir-fry in a flash. The secret is that if you're using a tougher cut like this, you have to add thinner slices to your wok or skillet. While you may make a pan-fried dish like this with strips of more tender cuts such as sirloin, you may find chuck is a little tough if it's too thick. Certain recipes call for slithers, too, such as beef yakisoba. Fry the meat with chopped cabbage, sliced shiitake mushrooms, noodles, plus fried onion. Coat with a sweet and salty homemade yakisoba sauce.

A little trick if you are using chuck steak is to marinate it with baking soda added. This velveting technique tenderizes the meat so that it's not as tough. Since you're frying it so fast, this can help with the texture hugely. You also don't want to keep the meat in the wok too long so that it's still a little pink or at least not too crispy. Sear and then take it out of the pan before frying any other ingredients. Add the meat back into the stir-fry at the end.

Fry Thin Slices For A Philly Cheesesteak

Steak, cheese, and pepper hot Philly cheesesteak sandwiches
Steak, cheese, and pepper hot Philly cheesesteak sandwiches - Michelle McGlinn/Mashed

An easy Philly cheesesteak recipe is to use thin shavings of New York strip or ribeye. Season these with garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, plus salt and pepper before frying. Served in a warm hoagie roll with fried onions and peppers and slices of provolone cheese, this has to be an all-time favorite hot sandwich. It's perfect for laid-back dining when you want to kick back and enjoy the game. If you're making these for a group then, you can also use beef chuck roast to lessen the expense without forfeiting the taste.

The golden rule is to slice thinly, marinate to tenderize, and make sure that you don't overcook it. Cut against the grain, angling your knife, to a ¼-inch thickness only. Make sure your skillet is nice and hot so that you sear the meat. Don't try and cook it along with the veggies or it will steam and come become well done and chewy, and not in a good way. You can also sear the steak slices quickly by applying a little pressure on top with your spatula. Rather than adding slices to the sandwich, cut the meat up and mix it with the other ingredients.

Stew Chuck Beef For A Chili

Southern chili with beef in ovenproof dish
Southern chili with beef in ovenproof dish - Rudisill/Getty Images

Have you ever made a Guinness stew with big hunks of beef chuck? This cut of meat turns from tough to tender when it's stewed and it's the ultimate winter-warmer comfort food dish. You can also stew this meat to make a chili rather than using the traditional ground beef. Simmer cubes of chuck steak in spices, bacon bits, and chilis, plus beer, tomatoes, and molasses to make a Texas-style chili. There are plenty of variations on this dish, such as coating the beef in cumin before searing.

It's good to know that choosing this meat over another cut is not a compromise. In fact, it's often regarded as the best type of beef for this dish as you can let it bubble away on a low heat setting for a long time. If anything, ground beef is the shortcut as you can make a batch so much quicker.

Boil To Make A Vietnamese Pho

Pho soup with beef in bowl with herbs, spices, and chilis
Pho soup with beef in bowl with herbs, spices, and chilis - Lazhko Svetlana/Shutterstock

You can make Vietnamese pho with bone broth or beef stock, and chicken. But did you know that it's also incredible with actual pieces of beef in the soup instead, and this is a version that's enjoyed in Vietnam, too? You don't simmer the meat with the other soup ingredients, as you might a stew, however. Instead, you boil it separately. Beef chuck roast is the perfect cut for this Asian classic because it's nice and fatty. You can combine it with other cuts, too, to give the flavor and texture more depth.

Add the beef to cold water and heat on the stove. Discard the water when it starts to boil, refill with clean water, and add salt. The point of this is to 'clean' the meat, and as this water boils remove any scum that forms. Once the beef is cooked, in around an hour, take it out of the water and thinly slice it. When you've made the aromatic noodle soup, serve with the slices floating on top.

Grill Strips For Kebabs

Beef kebabs on skewers
Beef kebabs on skewers - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

Grab your favorite seasonings to flavor sizzling meat on the grill, some skewers, and fire up the barbecue and you're just about ready to make juicy beef kebabs. Chargrilled meat that's cooked to perfection is super tasty when served in warm pita bread with salad and flavorful condiments. For this grilling recipe idea great, you'll need some chuck steak. It's not too lean so it'll be lovely and juicy, but make sure you keep turning the sticks as when the fat hits the heat you might get too much flame-grilled action.

Rather than thin, long slithers, cut the beef into thick pieces that aren't so long that they are going to fall down into the flames. However, you're not going to load these onto your bread. When the meat is cooked, cut it into thinner pieces so that the texture isn't overly tough, so you get more of a shawarma-style bite.

Crisp Fry For Mexican Shredded Beef

Fried shredded beef tacos with dip
Fried shredded beef tacos with dip - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

If you've never tasted deep-fried beef, then you're truly missing out. It's popular in parts of Asia like Thailand where chewy strips are dipped into hot sauce as a bar snack. It's also one of the most unique and tastiest ways to cook with beef chuck roast. It's a great cooking method to use if you want to make shredded beef for Mexican dishes taste even better, too. Start with slow-cooking the meat with a spicy homemade chili sauce. Once the beef is tender, shred it using two forks and mix in the sauce.

Add the strands to a hot skillet, without any oil, and sear them up until they turn crunchy. Serve them in whatever Mexican dish you like, such as tacos, and enjoy that extra crispiness with the juicy, fatty meat. You might want to add the crisped-up beef to tortillas to make chimichangas. If you don't want to fry these, too, then bake them in the oven.

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