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What Is Ground Beef Chuck?

A cheeseburger made with ground chuck.
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  • Written By: Tiffany Manley
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 25 October 2014
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Grinding meat taken from the chuck section of a cow produces what is known as ground beef chuck. This area of the animal is usually found around the shoulder. Good flavor and a combination of meat and fat are a couple of reasons this type of beef is popular with many cooks. This mixture usually contains approximately 10 to 20 percent fat. In addition to this preparation, chuck might also be used as a steak or roast.

A variety of beef combinations are typically available to consumers. Ground hamburger or beef generally refers to a product derived from many parts of the cow, and may possibly contain added fat. Beef taken from the chuck section of a cow that is ground without added fat is generally regarded as true ground beef chuck, although the fat content typically varies among sellers. Many butchers label the product with the amount of lean meat and fat contained within.

People often use ground beef chuck to prepare a variety of dishes such as spaghetti, hamburgers, and casseroles. One reason for this is the taste of the meat; this section of the cow is exercised more than other portions so it has more complex flavor. The ratio of fat to beef creates a flavorful product that does not cook down much. It flavors the meat and also adds richness and juiciness, which is better for many dishes that would not benefit from a dryer blend.

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Ground beef chuck usually comes packaged in a variety of ways. Many view clear packaging to be the best option, since this allows them to view the product before purchasing it. Sometimes it might come in a roll without clear packaging, making it difficult to see if it is still in good condition. Others prefer to purchase from a butcher where they are able to choose their items before they are packaged.

Seven bone steaks, roasts, or mock tender steaks are other cuts usually taken from this area of the cow. The sections these are taken from might vary slightly among butchers, but when ground it usually comes from the same portion of the animal. It is usually wise for individuals purchasing this product to ensure it is labeled accurately. If the label does not denote the product as being ground beef chuck, it is quite possible it has been taken from a variety of places on the animal and is not labeled accurately.

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