Difference Between Chuck Roast And Shoulder Roast Beef Chuck Shoulder Clod: Steaks and Roasts

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Unlike pork, where the shoulder is called a shoulder, when we refer to the shoulder region of a beef carcass we call it the chuck. The beef chuck primal cut is a massive piece of meat, and it’s divided into two major subprimals. One of them is called the shoulder clod; the other is called the chuck roll.

The beef chuck shoulder clod is made up of five distinct muscles, but typically only three of them are used for making roasts and steaks: the top blade, shoulder center, and shoulder tender. The other two–sometimes referred to as the “clod lifter meat” and the “nose”–come under the category of so-called “accessory muscles,” which means they’re not good for much of anything other than ground beef or stew meat.

The top blade, shoulder center, and shoulder tender can be prepared and cooked in different ways.

Top Blade

The top blade (or infraspinatus) muscle is quite a tender piece of meat. The only problem is that it has a long seam of tough connective tissue running all the way through it. Sometimes you’ll see a cut labeled blade steaks, which are made by simply slicing sections straight across the top blade muscle. This makes blade steaks fine for braising but not ideal for grilling.

Another way of fabricating (butcher language for breaking down the animal into cuts of meat) the top blade is to make it into flat iron steaks. To do this, a butcher needs to slice lengthwise along the entire length of the top blade, removing the meat above that center strip, then flip it over and do the same for the bottom side. These sections are then sliced into individual flat iron steaks. They’re actually pretty tender, and because they’ve had that tough seam of gristle removed, you can cook them on the grill.

The middle part, which has that tough connective strip through it, is usually used for making ground chuck.

Shoulder Center

The shoulder center (or triceps brachii) is also called the shoulder heart or shoulder arm. It’s a very large muscle, separated by a thick piece of connective sinew. To remove that, the shoulder center needs to be divided into two sections.

The larger of these two sections, called the long head, can more or less be squared off and sliced across the grain into steaks or roasts. These days you might see them described as ranch steaks, which is the beef industry’s way of making them sound appealing, but in the old days, they were called shoulder steaks, shoulder center steaks, or arm steaks.

Shoulder steaks are often run through a mechanical tenderizer called a meat cuber (sometimes called a swissing machine) to make cube steak or swiss steak. (This can also be accomplished manually using a tenderizing mallet.) The swissing machine is designed to tenderize very tough cuts of meat, so this should give you an idea that ranch steaks are not naturally tender (although they do have nice beef flavor). If you do grill them, do it quickly so that they don’t overcook. The shoulder center is also used for making a stir-fry or fajita meat, or something called “breakfast steaks,” which is the kind of dish you might expect to be served at restaurants such as Denny’s.

The smaller, more pointy piece of the shoulder center is called the lateral head (or shoulder top). It’s sometimes sold as a “shoulder center roast,” or cubed and used for kabobs or stew meat. As always, beware of cooking any “roast” which can also be sold as stew meat.

Shoulder Tender

The shoulder tender (or teres major) is a small but very tender muscle. The whole thing weighs no more than 8 to 12 ounces after trimming away the fat, silverskin, and other extraneous tissue. Because it’s tender, it can be roasted whole, butterflied and cooked on the grill, or sliced into medallions. You’ll sometimes see these called petite shoulder tenders or petite tender medallions.

Because of its size and tenderness, the shoulder tender is considered similar to filet mignon but at a much lower price tag. However, due to the work required to extract and trim the meat to prepare it for sale, the shoulder tender is not readily available in the meat case.

Video about Difference Between Chuck Roast And Shoulder Roast

The Ultimate Beef Pot Roast Comparison! The Bearded Butchers

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It’s fall and it’s getting chilly so it’s time to talk about slow cooker pot roast. Seth will take a front and a hind quarter of beef and answer those burning questions; what is roast beef, what is pot roast, and which cut of beef makes the best roast? There’s a lot that goes into answering what cut of meat is roast beef and since we’re the Bearded Butchers, there’s not just 1 answer. So, grab your Crock-Pot and follow along as you decide your favorite.

A couple of terms to keep in mind as you watch. The main question is; what is the difference between pot roast and roast beef? Quite simply, roast beef is cooked dry and pot roast (think Crock-Pot roast) is immersed in a liquid for cooking. Today’s video is 100% pot roast, all the roasts are cooked 2/3 submerged in water and they all turned out fantastic! Which one is best? You’ll have to watch to find out!

12:55 – All about THE Original Bearded Butcher Blend Seasoning (https://bit.ly/33eV4P9). The only thing we’re using for the roasts is Original Blend seasoning with 4 cups of water in each slow cooker. Each roast will get cooked for 10 hours on low.

15:31 – Scott’s hot tip! Use the roast as a “mop” so you don’t miss any of that delicious seasoning!

17:47 – This is the single best side-by-side comparison of the different visuals, characteristics, and serving tips of the common types of roast beef or pot roast that you will ever see. Watch this if you want to literally become a beef pot roast expert in under 3 minutes.

21:02 – Something to keep in mind. If your beef pot roast is too tough, there’s only one thing wrong with it. You didn’t cook it long enough.

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2:58 – Starting with the beef chuck roast. The chuck roast comes from the front shoulder. There are boneless and bone-in options for the beef chuck roast. In the bone-in option, you can cut right along the blade bone to cut out the beef chuck eye for your boneless chuck roast.
4:46 – The beef arm roast is next. This is what people generally think of in terms of a classic pot roast or roast beef. It has the nice, large, round bone in the center with a lot of tasty marrow. Cut off one half for the boneless version or keep the other half as your bone-in version. At this point, you’ll see that the chuck has a little more fat vs the leaner arm roast.
6:21 – With the arm roasts and chuck roasts out of the front quarter, it’s time to move to the beef hind quarter for the rest of the roasts. A beef round tip (aka a beef sirloin tip) comes from the hind quarter and Seth will be cutting a nice beef eye of round roast from here. The beef tri-tip comes from here too so be careful when you’re cutting the round tip out of the hind quarter.
7:52 – The Beef round tip is a great option for BBQ beef. This makes a great, lean roast and there’s only a boneless option.
8:19 – The beef eye of round is next and is separate from the beef round tip. Remove the round tip and the loin from the hind quarter, then seam out the eye of round. There are 3 main muscles; top round, bottom round, and eye of round. Any of the 3 will make a good roast but we used eye of round for the video.

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