Hurray for grilling season! It gives you the ultimate opportunity to step away from your wintertime role as the master of the gaming universe, only to don your crown as keeper of the barbecue. The new challenge before you is to learn about what is a chuck eye steak as well as how to make it as delicious as possible.
WHAT IS A CHUCK EYE STEAK?
What? You haven’t heard of a chuck eye steak? It might be summertime, but school isn’t out yet, and it’s time to learn some facts that you can actually use. This cut of meat is sometimes called the “poor man’s rib-eye” because it is less expensive to buy, but that doesn’t mean you need to compromise on the flavor. The chuck eye comes from the cow’s upper shoulder in the so-called chuck primal. Rib-eyes are taken from the sixth to the 12th ribs of the cow whereas the chuck eye comes from the fifth. That makes it a very close cousin, with much of the same juicy tenderness.
GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR CHUCK EYE
As we said above, there are commonalities between this cut and the rib-eye, and they can therefore be cooked in a similar way. The key is to cook quickly using high heat but take care not to overdo it. Chuck eyes can quickly dry out and take on an unpleasant, shoe leather-like consistency.
AHEAD OF TIME
Since chuck eye can be a bit less tender than rib-eye, it’s a very good idea to liberally coat both sides of the meat with salt and pepper. Let the meat sit uncovered in the refrigerator for two hours. A crust will form that draws moisture to the surface and allows for a flavorful, crispy sear. If you’re in a time crunch, season the meat and set it out at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.
Brush your grill grates with oil, and preheat to high. For a medium-rare finish, cook on each side for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the grill when the temperature of the meat reaches 135 F. For medium, leave on the grill for an extra 2 minutes per side, and let the meat reach a temperature of 155 F. Because of that undesirable leathery toughness we discussed above, it is not recommended that you cook chuck eye beyond medium. After you remove your steak from the grill, top it with a dollop of herb butter to enhance the flavor. This method also works well for oven cooking.
When you treat it right, chuck eye steak can be meaty and flavorful. Better still, it’s more economical than its rib-eye relative. Now that your back yard is your kingdom, let chuck eyes be one of your grilling go-to’s.