Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon

Choosing Chuck: Shopping for Beef Stew Meat

Fine Cooking Issue 63
Photo: Scott Phillips
Save to Recipe Box
Add Private Note
Saved Add to List

    Add to List

Add Recipe Note

For a beef stew with fork-tender texture and robust, beefy flavor, chuck is the ideal cut. But not all cuts of chuck are the same. A single chuck contains a complicated network of muscles (from the steer’s shoulder and upper arm) that can weigh as much as 100 pounds, so it’s no surprise that smaller cuts from the chuck will vary greatly.

Choose a cut with the fewest muscles (distinguished by their slightly different grains and dividing lines of fat or gristle). Different muscles cook at different rates, so the fewer the muscles, the more evenly your stew will cook. The best cuts to look for are top blade, chuck eye, and arm pot roast. Also look for thin streaks and small specks of fat—called marbling—running throughout the meat. The fat melts during cooking and bastes the meat internally so it becomes moist and tender. Don’t confuse marbling with the thicker strips of fat that separate distinct muscles.


Leave a Comment


Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Delicious Dish

Find the inspiration you crave for your love of cooking

Fine Cooking Magazine

Subscribe today
and save up to 44%

Already a subscriber? Log in.


View All

Moveable Feast Logo

Season 4 Extras

Santa Fe, NM (509)

Settled at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Santa Fe, New Mexico is home to a culinary scene of mixed influences and Southwestern flavors and ingredients. In this episode of…

View all Moveable Feast recipes and video extras


Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks