One of my favorite budget-friendly cuts of meat is chuck eye, specifically labeled as “beef chuck eye steak—first cut” where I shop. It costs much less than choice rib-eye, sirloin strip or T-bone, but it is very flavorful and tender. In terms of where it is located, it is the cut right next to the rib-eye. I discovered this cut of beef about 10 years ago when a butcher at my grocery store ranted and raved over it. She said it was good for grilling; it was tender, economical and great for feeding a crowd. She highly recommended it.
My husband and I ended up getting some to grill. (As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, he likes to tag along. Seriously, doesn’t he have a game to watch or something? Sorry honey, I say it with love.) We grilled with tepid anticipation. And good golly! To our pleasant surprise, the woman was right on all accounts! We were pleased with the steak and have been grilling it ever since—the type of meat, not the actual steak we bought 10 years ago!
To get the best result, look for cuts that are kidney or lobed shaped. I prefer them over the triangular cuts of chuck eye. Also, choose ones that have some marbling and loosely separated muscle layers over the lean and the tightly packed muscles. If you don’t have this cut in your store, ask your butcher.
The steaks in these pictures were about 3/4 inch thick and were grilled on high for just over 2 minutes per side. Regular 1 1/4 to 1 1/2-inch thick steaks take about 4-6 minutes and 6-8 minutes, respectively, per side for medium-rare doneness. For optimal tenderness, do not cook beyond medium-well as the meat tends to dry out more easily than the more expensive cuts.
This recipe is not so much about what to put on your steak (do use kosher salt—it makes a difference) but more about what cut I suggest for a pocket-friendly scrumptious steak dinner. Pair it with the Quick and Easy Thyme Baby Potatoes
for a great weeknight supper or for casual entertaining. You will feel like you are eating a steakhouse dinner without the steakhouse price. Grill some this Fourth of July!!
Great Grilling with Chuck Eye
4 (8 to 10 oz. each) 1 1/4 to1 1/2-inch thick beef chuck eye steak—first cut
1/2 rounded tsp. garlic powder
1 rounded tsp. kosher salt
1/2 rounded tsp. black pepper
Remove steaks from the refrigerator and allow to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes or so if there is time (highly recommended). Season both sides with garlic powder, salt and black pepper.
Set grill on high. Grease grates with oil. Place steaks on grill, cooking until charred grill marks develop, about 4-6 minutes for 1 1/4-inch thick steaks or 6-8 minutes for 1 1/2-inch thick steaks. Turn over and repeat the cooking time for the second side for medium rare. For medium steaks, increase cooking time an extra 2 minutes per side. Allow steak to rest for at least 5 minutes before cutting.