Hot Take: Beef Chuck Roast Is Better than Beef Tenderloin

Chuck roast has meatier flavor and, with a little know-how, can make for incredibly tender roast beef.

Published Dec. 2, 2022.

I’m never going to turn down a rosy piece of beef tenderloin if you offer to cook it for me. But this year for the holidays, I’m making my family a slow-roasted beef chuck.

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10 ingredients. 45 minutes. Quick, easy, and fresh weeknight recipes.

Price of Chuck Eye versus Tenderloin

Chuck-eye roast (which can also be labeled “chuck center roast,” “chuck eye roll,” “inside chuck roll,” or “boneless chuck fillet”) typically rings in about the third of the cost of beef tenderloin (and even less than filet mignon, which is cut from the tenderloin). 

Flavor of Chuck Eye versus Tenderloin

Meat gets its flavor from fat. Chuck roast has a good amount of fat marbled throughout, whereas tenderloin is very lean. This means chuck has a big beefy flavor while, comparatively, tenderloin is much more mild.

Texture of Chuck Eye versus Tenderloin

This is where tenderloin comes out on top. Tenderloin is cut from a muscle on the back of the cow that gets very little work. Conversely, chuck-eye roast is from the shoulder of the cow, so it works hard to hold up a lot of the weight of an animal that can be over 2,000 pounds. Since chuck is doing more work, the muscles have more sinew and connective tissue; thus, you need to cook it more gently (and for longer) to get it tender.

One option is to braise chuck roast as in our Instant Pot Red Wine–Braised Beef Stew, which is a take on beef Burgundy, or make a meltingly tender pot roast.

But for the holidays I love making roast beef and with a few tricks, you can turn chuck roast into a deliciously tender roast with a juicy, rosy interior. 


6 Tips to Make Chuck Roast into Tender Roast Beef

1. Pull the roast apart at its natural line of fat. Then cut away and discard any big chunks of fat. Doing this gets rid of any chewy unrendered fat in the final roast.

2. Season the roast and then tie the two pieces back together. This results in more seasoning throughout and makes for an impressive-looking, evenly shaped roast. 

3. Let the seasoning sit on the meat overnight to improve flavor and texture.

4. Cook the roast to a sweet spot between 145 and 150 degrees. Doing this gives it a pink interior without being overly chewy.

5. Let the chuck rest and slice it paper-thin. Thinner slices help it feel extra-tender.

6. Dress it up with a celebration-worthy sauce such as a spicy, horseradish-parsley sauce. 

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