Mastering the Perfect Chuck Eye Steak: A Complete Guide

Chuck eye steak is an undervalued cut of beef that offers tremendous bang for your buck. When cooked properly, it can deliver the rich, beefy flavor and tender texture you expect from premium steaks, but at a fraction of the cost. This complete guide will teach you how to select, prep and cook chuck eye steaks so you can enjoy high-end steakhouse quality in your own kitchen.

What is Chuck Eye Steak?

  • Chuck eye steak comes from the shoulder muscle of the cow, near the ribeye area.

  • It’s sometimes called a “poor man’s ribeye” since it offers comparable marbling and flavor at a budget price.

  • Chuck eye is a different cut than standard chuck steaks or roasts, which require braising. Chuck eye is best cooked quickly over high heat like a traditional grilling steak.

  • Each cow only produces 2 chuck eye steaks, so they can be harder to find than more common steaks like ribeye or sirloin. Ask your butcher if they carry them.

Benefits of Cooking Chuck Eye Steak

  • Great value – costs about half as much per pound as ribeye but offers similar rich, beefy flavor when cooked properly. An affordable way to enjoy high-quality steak.

  • Tender and juicy – when cooked quickly over high heat, chuck eye delivers a tender, juicy bite. The marbling provides plenty of flavorful fat.

  • Easy to cook – simple preparations like grilling, pan searing or broiling work great. Doesn’t require lengthy braising.

  • Versatile – pairs well with endless sauces and sides. Can be sliced for fajitas or stir frys too.

How to Choose Chuck Eye Steaks

Look for:

  • Bright red color throughout the steak

  • Abundant marbling – this contributes flavor and moisture

  • Firm, meaty texture without soft or mushy spots

  • 3/4 to 1-inch thickness for best cooking results

  • Uniform shape if possible for even cooking


  • Excessive connective tissue, gristle or hard fat

  • “Canyon” shapes with deep grooves indicate improper butchering

  • Discoloration or dry, dull areas indicating oxidation

  • Steaks less than 3/4-inch thick, which tend to overcook

Preparing Chuck Eye Steaks for Cooking

Remove from Fridge:

  • Take steaks out of the fridge and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking. This helps them cook more evenly.

Pat Dry:

  • Blot steaks with paper towels to remove excess moisture. This promotes better browning.

Season Generously:

  • Use at least 1⁄2 tsp kosher salt per side. Apply freshly cracked pepper as well.

  • Seasoning well in advance enhances flavor – even the night before.

Skewer as Needed:

  • Due to their irregular shape, chuck eye steaks can fall apart easily.

  • Inserting skewers can help hold the meat together for more even cooking.

Add Herb Butter:

  • Topping steaks with a compound herb butter provides extra flavor. See recipes below.

Best Cooking Methods for Chuck Eye Steaks

Stovetop Pan Sear:

  • Get a heavy pan very hot before adding a touch of oil or butter.

  • Cook approximately 4 minutes per side for medium rare doneness.

  • Use skewers to hold steak together if needed.


  • Grill over high heat for 2-3 minutes per side for medium rare.

  • Skewer before grilling if steak shape is irregular.

  • Let rest 5 minutes before slicing.

Oven Broiling:

  • Preheat broiler on high and position rack 6 inches from heat source.

  • Broil approximately 4-5 minutes per side for medium rare steak.

  • Skewer steaks first if they are falling apart.

Cook Times:

  • Rare: 2-3 minutes per side
  • Medium Rare: 4 minutes per side
  • Medium: 5 minutes per side
  • Medium Well: 6 minutes per side
  • Well Done: 8-10 minutes per side

Test for Doneness:

  • Use an instant read thermometer for the most accurate reading:

  • Rare: 120-125°F

  • Medium Rare: 130-135°F

  • Medium: 140-145°F

  • Medium Well: 150-155°F

  • Well Done: 160°F+

Herb Butter Topping Ideas

Compound herb butters provide extra flavor and moisture when topped on hot chuck eye steaks.

Steakhouse Butter: Finely chop 2 tbsp each parsley, chives and tarragon. Blend with 1⁄2 cup softened butter and 1 minced garlic clove.

Rosemary Orange Butter: Blend zest of one orange with 1⁄4 cup softened butter and 2 tsp minced fresh rosemary.

Chipotle Lime Butter: Mix 2 tsp minced chipotles in adobo with 1 tsp lime zest and 1⁄4 cup softened butter.

Green Onion Butter: Fold 2 tbsp minced green onions into 1⁄4 cup softened butter.

Lemon Thyme Butter: Blend 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves into 1⁄4 cup softened butter with 1 tsp lemon zest.

Truffle Butter: Mix 1 tbsp truffle oil or truffle paste into 1⁄4 cup softened butter.

Serving Suggestions for Chuck Eye Steaks

Chuck eye steak pairs nicely with endless sides and sauces:

  • Sautéed mushrooms – complement the rich meatiness

  • Roasted asparagus – bright counterpoint to beef

  • Creamed spinach – classic steakhouse pairing

  • Air fryer potatoes – crispy, savory base

  • Caesar salad – cooler balance with steak

  • Chimichurri sauce – fresh herby flavors

  • Horseradish cream – cuts through the richness

  • Red wine reduction – intensifies the beefiness

Storing and Freezing Leftover Chuck Eye Steak


  • Place leftovers in an airtight container. Keeps 3-4 days.


  • Allow steaks to cool completely before freezing.

  • Wrap extra steaks tightly in plastic wrap, then foil or freezer bags.

  • Frozen chuck eye steaks keep 3-4 months. Thaw overnight in fridge before using.

With its incredibly meaty flavor and satisfying texture, chuck eye steak delivers an elevated steak experience without the premium price tag. Follow this complete guide to select, prep and cook chuck eye steaks for tender, juicy results every time. Enjoy restaurant caliber steaks from this budget-friendly cut.

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How is chuck steak best cooked?

Grill for 3-4 minutes per side. Move the steaks to the indirect heat, cover, and continue to grill until they reach your desired level of doneness. It is important that the steaks are cooked, but be careful not to overcook them, or they may become tough. The safe internal temperature for beef is 145 degrees.

How tender is a chuck eye steak?

Is beef chuck eye steak tender? Yes, the chuck eye steak is a tender steak that delivers a meaty, beef flavor. It’s almost as tender and juicy as the ribeye.

How to cook a 2 inch steak at home?

To cook a 2-inch-thick steak, use direct heat. When grill is medium (you can hold your hand at grill level only 4 to 5 seconds), follow directions below; cook steak 20 to 25 minutes for rare, 27 to 30 for medium. To cook a 3-inch-thick steak, use indirect heat.

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