Thin sliced roast beef with yorkshire puddings and gravy
The Two Roast Beef Cuts You Certainly Shouldn't Use Interchangeably
If you’re stumped between choosing a top round or chuck roast for your roast beef, don't just pick one and assume they're mostly the same. Follow these tips to pick the right cut.
Coming in at similar price points and often called for in roast beef recipes, top round and chuck roasts may seem interchangeable, but they behave quite differently when cooked.
Top round roasts are cut from the inside back legs of the cow. The meat is lean with little fat or collagen to soften it up, which can lead to tough meat if not cooked properly.
Top round is perfect for thinly-sliced beef sandwiches or thin-sliced roast beef dinners, but not ideal if you’re going for a melt-in-your-mouth texture.
To roast top round, coat it with olive oil before adding your spices. Sear it for 15 minutes in a 450-degree oven, and then turn it down to 325 degrees and cook for 70 minutes.
Chuck roast comes from the shoulder, and while it’s tough with lots of connective tissue, it has ample collagen and fat that can create fork-tender roast or shredded-beef meals.
Chuck roast is best cooked in a slow cooker or braised in an oven to allow the fat and collagen to render, infusing the meat with flavor and tenderizing it to a velvety texture.
Season and sear your roast and cook it in water or broth in a Crock-Pot on low for up to 10 hours. If it's still tough after a long while, you haven't cooked it enough.