Poor Man’s Rib Eye. The Chuck Eye Steak

By Brian Sousa
In Food
Jul 7th, 2011

People are always looking for a nice steak to grill, but with beef prices rising it’s getting difficult to buy for a reasonable price.  Typically a grilling steak is classified as the middle meats which includes loin and rib meat. Well what if you’re on a budget and are looking for the next best thing?

Look no further then the chuck eye steak.  The chuck is mostly used for roasting but the chuck holds a little secret.  When butchers are breaking down whole beef they separate the chuck, which is behind the neck of the cow, from the rib.  Butchers make the separation between the 5th and 6th rib.  Ribs six through twelve are where you get rib eye steaks.  The chuck eye steak comes from the area of the 5th rib.  Now you know why its called the chuck eye.

When at the meat department you will look for a package called “chuck eye steak” and not “chuck steak” and here’s why.

A butcher can’t just grab a whole chuck and make a simple cut to get you a chuck eye steak.  He or she must take a roast-sized cut from the end where the 5th rib was.  Once cut, the butcher has to know where to seam out the chuck eye from the rest of the roast.  The rest of the chuck can now be cut up for roasts or chuck steaks.  So from a large chuck, a butcher will only get two chuck eye steaks.  Chuck steaks are not good for grilling like a steak.  It’s better when thin and used for carne asada or pan fried.

When buying a chuck you want to make sure there is not too much fat in the middle.  If there is, then the steak is not worth the money, so just wait until next time.  If there is excess fat at the bottom of the chuck eye, then the butcher is trying to make a little extra off of you so you may ask if he can cut the fat off or cut you a new steak.  The butcher may not want to go through the trouble of cutting a new check eye so they may just cut off the extra fat.

When cooking the chuck eye steak you must remember that its not a rib eye but it is close.  Because it’s not, you don’t want to cook it well done or it will toughen up and be best only for the family dog at that point.  I like to marinate it for a few hours then take it out of the refrigerator for about 20-25 min.  Remember that if your house is hot then you may only be able to keep your meat out of refrigeration for 10-15 min.  I then cook the meat until it gets to an internal temperature of 135-140.  Take the steak off the gill and let rest another 10 min.

That’s all there is to it.  You just have to know what to buy and how to cook it and you can still have a nice steak at a nicer price.


Like this article? Want to help keep FigureThingsOut running? Anything helps and you can help by going to Patreon and making a small donation.

You can also help FigureThingsOut by doing your shopping on Amazon. After you click on the link below and purchase any item(s), Amazon will give a percentage of your confidential purchases to FigureThingsOut. Thanks for your support.

The Great Meat Cookbook: Everything You Need to Know to Buy and Cook Today’s Meat

Photo: http://www.gourmet.com

  • Pingback: Blog News- Left and Right Views » Poor Man's Rib Eye. The Chuck Eye Steak | FigureThingsOut.com()

    • Irvan Lewis

      Oh come on! The best part is the fat 😉

  • Kevin

    Its Christmas Eve 2011. Just ate a ribeye. Tasty but not quite as good as a chuckeye. I been sayin chuckeye is the poormans ribeye since summer of ’05. I LOVE it well done. No problem. In fact, the more well, the more tender. So phobics of the a rare steak need not stear clear of the chuckeye. Very tasty. Very tender, rare or well, and very much much more affordable. Chuckye it is.

  • Pingback: Anybody try Chuck Chuck Eye steak? This stuff is GOOD!()

  • Keith

    Kevin, you are incorrect. The more you cook any meat the tougher it becomes!
    I am happy for you that you “have been sayin chuckeye is the poormans ribeye since summer of ’05”. Aside from you lack of intelligence, the lack of grammar is overwhelming! You have convinced me to go buy a “chuckeye” right now!! Or maybe I could go look for a Chuck Eye steak…..

    • Mugadoon

      It always amuses me when someone comes on a message board or a blog and bitches about poor grammar or spelling… especially when they don’t bother to check their own. But- whatever!

      I recently discovered Chuck Eye Steak, and am hooked! It is an incredibly flavorful and tender cut of beef. Not to mention that it is $3 a pound cheaper than Rib Eye (Which I LOVE). That’s definitely a win-win for me! I have grilled it both out on the charcoal grill and inside on the George Foreman, and it has been fantastic every time.

      I have noticed that finding the Chuck Eye cut is rather difficult, and since so few supermarkets actually have real butchers anymore, it may be elusive. Hopefully, I will continue to find them at my local Winn Dixie.


  • HoosierBrad

    The article failed to mention the Chuck Norris steak, which comes from the fist of the cow.

  • John

    I’ve been eating chuck eye steaks for a while, definitely still a secret. I acutally have grilled them before and they turn out just fine. I usually marinate them over night.

  • Jim from RAYMOND

    “marinate them over night”???!!! don’t waste the time.
    on the “counter” for one hour before grilling, a little EVOO and S&P and that’s it.
    Grill’em and flip’em to medium rare TOPS and you’re eeting something special!
    Two times a week and you’ll be as healthy as bull moose!

    • Dean

      I can tell the difference between a steak I’ve marinated for a day vs one that has only been in the drink for an hour. “Experts” say an hour is all you need. I disagree.

  • Paula

    Silly men, so busy trying to “one-up”. When I was first married (37 yrs. now) I was in the local grocery store looking at steaks when I spotted a little old grandma-type and asked her which cut she usually preferred. She explained she always picked the eye of chuck steak. She said you can’t go wrong with them. Best meat advice I ever got. We cook them on the grill-medium-mine marinated for an hour or so in wine and olive oil, my husbands naked.

    • Chris

      But Paula… why is your husband naked?

  • DJ Rhino

    We use a meat rub, and they come out excellent. I just wish they were not so hard to find. My favorite steak.

  • Jenn

    I just found several of the Chuck Eye Steaks today at Walmart!! They were all about 1 inch thick and look less fatty than other stuff! I am so excited to try this for the first time. I am marinating them overnight in some spices I bought from the Galena Garlic Company and I can’t wait to cook them tomorrow!!

  • SDR

    We are ribeye snobs. The only steak we buy to eat. (The kids prefer sirloin though– they don’t like marbling). We just grilled to well done our first chuck eye steaks. We also grilled two ribeyes. All were frozen, all micrwaved to thaw (yeah, yeah, I know, but it was a very last minute choice). No marinating. Simple dry rub. Cooked till medium well/well done over apple wood.

    Results: all steaks were incredibly tender. In fact, the chuck eye was more tender than the main part of the ribeye, pretty much as tender as the lip portion of the ribeye.

    The flavor comparison: the ribeye tasted slightly more refined BUT was actually less flavorful tham the chuck eye. The chuck eye had a more robust flavor– serious beef.

    We might have just been blessed by our experience of nuking, dry rub, no marinade, overcooking, but it completely sold me on the chuck eye steak OVER the ribeye.

  • Dee

    I’ve been a fan of chuck eye steaks for a few years now. After moving, I found that the rib eyes in my new locale were not cut the same and were very tough when compared to the rib eyes of my old home region. I saw chuck eyes in the market and had a memory of my mother buying them and telling me how wonderful they were but to not confuse them with chuck steak.

    I don’t buy rib eyes any longer. My new husband also prefers them over his once most favorite cut of beef – rib eye.

    Chuck eyes are more tender, just as tasty and definitely less costly than rib eyes.

  • Pingback: Maple Soaked Steak()


    I love chuckeye steaks. With ketchup.

  • Teejay Doyle

    I buy them every time I find them. They are great grilled or reverse seared with the oven. I use them for steaks, stew, tacos, etc. etc. I would never cook a steak past med rare and these do not need to be if using as a stand alone steak. When cooked to well for other uses they hold their tenderness. Good all around cut off meat.

  • Sponsors

  • Latest Tweets

  • Archives