13 Unique Ways To Cook With Beef Chuck Roast

If you're tired of the same old ways of making beef chuck roast, you might be surprised to learn there are other uses for it beyond beef stew and pot roast. While chuck roast tends to be on the cheaper side because it can be a little tough, there are lots of tricks you can learn to help make it super tender. With our list of alternative uses and cooking techniques for the cheap cut of meat, your creativity is sure to flow.

We've tried to choose options that go beyond ordinary ideas like turning beef chuck roast into burrito filling or shredding it to make barbecue sandwiches. We've included methods of cooking it beyond simply roasting it in the oven or the slow cooker. Our selection also includes a few foods you probably already love that you've likely never made with chuck roast. So, get ready to experience beef chuck roast as you never have before.

1. Use beef chuck roast in beef stroganoff

If you like beef chuck roast in a stew, you'll love it in beef stroganoff. In fact, you may not want to make the dish with any other cut after you've tried it with chuck roast. Sure, you can make a classic beef stroganoff recipe in as little as half an hour, but the flavor that results from using beef chuck roast instead of boneless sirloin or ribeye steak is well worth the extra time.

You can use a standard beef stroganoff recipe, however, you'll need to cook the cubed meat for an hour first. You'll start by searing the meat in oil or butter, adding the onions to cook for a few minutes, and then simmering the contents in beef broth for an hour to ensure the meat is tender. Then, you can proceed with the recipe as usual. Since this recipe already takes a while to make, we suggest buying pre-cut cubed chuck roast instead of cutting up a roast yourself. Cubed chuck roast also tends to have less fat, so you won't spend so much time removing it.

2. Make rotisserie-style beef chuck roast

One of the ways you might not have considered making a beef chuck roast is on a spit, rotisserie-style. Since beef chuck roast comes from the shoulder of the cow, it has a lot of tough connective tissues that need a low and slow cooking method to become tenderized. As it turns out, the rotisserie-style roasting method is perfect for tougher pieces of meat like beef chuck roast.

You can get automatic spit attachments for many types of grills that make the process a lot easier to accomplish than turning the spit on your own. Use your favorite ingredients to marinate your chuck roast for six hours or so before grilling — it will do wonders for producing a tender piece of meat. You can boil any leftover marinade to baste the roast occasionally during the last hour of the cooking process. It can help to truss the meat with butcher's string to keep it intact.

It will take about two hours to roast a 5-pound beef chuck roast rotisserie style, with the spit continuously turning to evenly cook. You'll want to close the grill lid and keep the temperature between 250 and 300 F without allowing it to get above 350 F. When the internal meat temperature is 145 F, it's time to take the piece off the grill and rest 15 minutes before eating.

3. Reverse sear beef chuck roast steaks

All this time you've been buying beef chuck roast because it's cheap, you could have been cutting it into steaks instead of making pot roast. We like this method because it isn't as tricky as some of the other ways of cooking steaks. As the name of this technique suggests, reverse searing happens in the opposite order from traditional steak-making. First, the meat roasts slow and low in the oven before it's seared in a hot pan on the stovetop. Since the process can take two hours or more, you can do the first part ahead of time — even the night before. Then, save the second step until right before you want to eat.

Salt the steaks all over and let them sit at room temperature for an hour or overnight in the fridge (bringing them back up to room temperature before cooking). Then, bake them in a low-temperature oven (between 225 and 250 F) on a rack over a cooking tray for an hour or two depending on the thickness of the meat and how you like your meat cooked. It's time to take the steaks out when your thermometer shows they're within 10 to 15 degrees of the temperature needed for the level of doneness you desire. Then, sear them in a cast iron skillet for a couple of minutes on each side over high heat with butter and your favorite seasonings.

4. Dry it to make beef chuck roast jerky

If you like making beef jerky, don't sleep on using beef chuck roast next time. One of the most satisfying types of beef jerky is one with a tender mouthfeel, which is why fatty beef chuck roast works so well. Just know that fatty jerky spoils faster than other types, so you'll need to refrigerate it. However, most people gobble it up quickly enough that it's not a problem.

The tough nature of the meat requires a little attention. Start with meat that has been frozen for about 40 minutes to make it easier to cut. Since beef chuck roast is shoulder meat it has a lot of muscles, so you will need to slice the meat perpendicular to them (against the grain) to prevent it from being too tough. In addition to removing subcutaneous fat, you'll also want to remove the tough silver skin (connective tissue) to prevent toughness.

After marinating the sliced meat with your favorite flavors for at least six hours, bake it on a foil-covered rack in the oven for about three hours at 180 F, or a bit longer if you like a firmer texture. Your oven turns into a sauna as steam escapes from the meat, so it's best to crack the door open slightly during cooking to help keep the meat dry. If your oven door wants to close, a potholder or something similar can help keep it open.

5. Make sous vide beef chuck roast steaks

Considering beef chuck roast is a tougher piece of meat than average, the steaks submit well to the softening effects of the sous vide process. While it takes 24 hours to make beef chuck roast steaks using the sous vide method, it's well worth the wait. During the process, all the connective tissues and fat melt, making the meat incredibly tender.

This technique is ridiculously easy; you'll start by cutting your beef chuck roast into steaks, adding all the ingredients you'd normally want on your steak to the bag for vacuum sealing. If you'd normally make your steak with garlic, salt, pepper, and rosemary, just seal it all in with the meat. The temperature you set for the sous vide bath determines how done your steak will be at the end of the 24-hour cooking time. Medium-rare steak needs a water temperature of 131 F. However, you'll need to set it to 136 F for a medium-done steak or 141 F for a medium-well steak.

Once it's done, you'll want to pat the meat dry and sear it for four minutes on each side on a hot grill or 30 to 60 seconds in an iron skillet on the stovetop. Pro tip: Add the butter during the searing process instead of the sous vide process for a better flavor.

6. Simmer cubed beef chuck roast in a curry

There are a lot of curries that taste amazing with beef chuck roast. The various spices benefit from simmering low and slow, which is exactly what cubed beef chuck roast needs to become succulent and tender. One of the most obvious curry contenders for using chuck roast is Japanese curry since it's made similarly to beef stew with ingredients like carrots, potatoes, and meat. However, most other curries will also work with cubed chuck roast if you adjust the recipe a little.

No matter what type of curry you like — Indian, Japanese, Thai, or another — they're worth trying with cubed chuck roast. Simple beef curries that don't include delicate ingredients like vegetables can simply simmer together with all the ingredients for the full two hours. However, other curries might require first simmering beef, onions, and spices together but waiting until the last 15 minutes or so to add the vegetables or other delicate ingredients. Just pay attention to the timing in the original recipe to know when to throw in last-minute ingredients like coconut milk, cilantro, or certain spices. Ladle the finished product over rice and dinner is served.

7. Grill beef chuck roast for carne asada

If you're in the mood for carne asada but chuck roast is more in your price range than skirt steak or flank steak, that's no problem. Some people prefer the flavor of skirt steak for carne asada, but it's perfectly fine to make it with chuck roast instead. Picking a piece of meat with plenty of marbling is essential if you're not using a marinade to make it tender. While it's best to make carne asada on a charcoal grill so that it gets infused with a nice smoky flavor, you can still make it on an electric grill with liquid smoke.

It's easier to slice the meat if you firm it up in the freezer for half an hour to two hours first. When starting with a whole chuck roast, you should slice it into quarter to a half-inch pieces of meat. Be sure to slice at a 90-degree angle to the muscles so that it's easier to chew. Bring the meat to room temperature while you're getting the grill extra hot, and wait to salt and season until right before you throw it on the grill. You'll only need to cook it on a hot, open grill for two to three minutes on each side. A 10-minute rest allows a bit of carryover cooking before you can cut and eat it.

8. Velvet chuck roast for Asian stir-fries

While chuck roast isn't a traditional cut of meat for Asian stir-fries, you can still use it if you prepare it properly. The trick to getting chuck roast tender enough that you won't spend most of your meal chewing tough meat lies in a technique called velveting. Even a fast cooking method like stir-frying works when you tenderize your chuck roast first with the velveting process.

Start by slicing the meat thinly against the grain (at a 90-degree angle to the direction the muscles run). You can use either baking soda or cornstarch to coat the meat. To use baking soda, you'll need a ratio of a teaspoon and a half for every pound of round chuck. Alternatively, add a tablespoon each of cornstarch and oil along with a half tablespoon of water for every pound of meat. The beauty of using cornstarch is that you can also add other Asian sauces (like soy sauce) or even egg whites to the slurry. 

Then, keep the meat in the fridge for about half an hour to marinate. Before tossing the velveted beef chuck into your stir-fry, rinse off the marinade and dry the meat completely. Then, it's ready to use in a classic beef stir-fry like you would any other cut of beef.

9. Fry thinly sliced beef chuck roast to make Philly cheesesteaks

It's entirely possible to make Philly cheesesteaks with beef chuck roast. The flavor is guaranteed to be great, and the sandwich will be cheaper than most other cuts of meat. The trick is to slice it thinly and use the proper quick pan-frying method to keep the meat tender rather than chewy.

To obtain extra thin slices, freeze your meat for about half an hour first and use a super-sharp knife to make it easy to slice to a thickness of no more than a quarter of an inch. When using chuck roast for Philly cheesesteaks, the secret is to press the meat down onto the hot oiled pan while searing it over hot heat. You can use a spatula or a wooden spoon for the pressing and searing. You may want to experiment with how long you cook the meat on each side so that it doesn't become too tough. If you find it a bit tiresome to press down with a spatula for the duration, a heavy, cast-iron grill press might be a better option.

10. Add beef chuck roast to chili

If you love meaty chili, why not try chuck roast instead of ground beef for a change? While the long and slow simmer adds depth to the flavors of your chili, it can also tenderize chunks of chuck roast. After all, many people claim that "real" chili (the type that spread through the U.S. by way of Texas) has chunks of stew meat in it.

The beauty of adding beef chuck roast to chili is that you can follow any of your favorite chili recipes and just substitute in cubes of beef chuck roast instead of ground beef. Then, simmer it for two and a half to three hours to give the beef enough time to become super tender. If you don't want to cook the rest of your ingredients that long, you can always add pre-cooked chuck roast chunks to your chili recipe. Just get started cooking the beef a couple of hours early.

11. Add beef chuck roast to Vietnamese pho

Pho is another dish that works well with beef chuck roast. Not only does the meat make a rich and beefy broth, but it's also a great alternative for this soup's main protein. Some people add chuck roast in addition to other ingredients (like beef marrow bones) for the broth, while others use it as the only beef component. The choice is up to you.

Once you're ready to serve the soup, there are two choices for adding chuck roast to the finished product. You could use the beef you've boiled for the broth if you're making it from scratch. Since the stock will boil for about three hours, that's plenty of time to get the meat nice and tender. In fact, you may want to remove the meat when it's reached the right level of tenderness and then slice it and add it back in when you're ready to serve.

Using chuck roast alone for pho makes a broth that's richer and meatier tasting than ordinary. So, you might not want as much meat in your bowl as you normally do, which means you can save some of it for another recipe.

12. Use beef chuck roast to make grilled kebabs

Chuck roast is a great cut of meat to turn into kebabs. However, because it is full of muscles and tendons, you'll need to tenderize it first with a marinade. The best marinades contain acidic ingredients that can help with the tenderization process. You probably think of acids like vinegar and citrus juice, but don't forget about other contenders like tomatoes and plain yogurt, too. 

For best results, marinate the meat with your desired spices in the fridge for a full 24 hours, using a ratio of half a cup of marinade for every pound of meat you plan to skewer. However, if you didn't plan that far ahead, you can still get away with just marinating it for 3 hours. You'll only need to grill the kebabs for six to 14 minutes total, depending on how done you want them. If you plan to cook the meat until it's well done, grilling veggies on the same skewer can cause you to burn your veggies.

13. Make crispy Cuban shredded beef chuck roast (vaca frita)

A famous way to make beef in Cuba is vaca frita. The beef is first roasted, then shredded and fried on the stovetop to make it crispy around the edges. If beef with crispy edges sounds intriguing to you, you'll want to try it next time you have leftover beef chuck roast. Start with a pot roast that you've cooked your favorite way — either a slow cooker pot roast or one you've made in a Dutch oven on the stovetop, in the oven, or instant pot. It's helpful to reserve the fat from the cooking process to fry the meat and onion, but olive oil works too.

Some people marinate the cooked meat, onions, and bell peppers with ingredients like citrus juice and garlic for 15 minutes to an hour and a half before frying. However, others add the flavorful liquid at the end of the cooking process. Get a head start by frying the onion slices and bell peppers for a couple of minutes. Then, the meat only needs to fry in the fat or oil for two to four minutes to become delightfully crispy. Serve vaca frita the traditional way, by eating it over rice.