Usually, the key to differentiating between different cuts of meat is to go to the source. The part of the animal from where the meat comes is a good indication of its qualities and makes it easier to point out differences from other cuts. This is also a reason why the arm roast vs chuck roast comparison can get confusing.
Technically, both arm roast and chuck roast come from the same cut and can be classified as arm roasts. But as we very well know, arm roast and chuck roast are different. So, what gives?
Well, let’s take a closer look and find out!
A Detailed Look At Arm Roast vs Chuck Roast
Origin – Where These Cuts Come From
Technically, both arm roast and chuck roast are arm roasts and come from the same part of the animal. However, there is a distinction in where from the arm these roasts get harvested.
Arm roast comes from the cow’s shoulder. This is a large primal cut with a beefy taste. It contains a round bone and a good amount of tender and lean meat.
Chuck roast comes from the area between the shoulder and neck of the cow. It has a fair amount of fat and marbling. Although given the location of this cut and presence of connective tissues, this can feel somewhat tough and chewy.
Meat Uses And Tenderness
Given their difference in texture, it is only natural that both these cuts also have different uses and tenderness. Chuck roast is the one with the relatively tougher texture. As such, it’s often used as ground beef. It also works great as a flat-iron steak. Other uses include pot roasts and stews. Chuck roast is also very popular for low and slow cooking, where it gives delicious results.
Arm roast is relatively more tender than the chuck roast, though it would be a stretch to call it a tender cut. Although, if prepared right, this can be a very tender and juicy meat that’s immensely enjoyable. Arm roast is great for low and slow cooking, though it’s also useful for pot roast, or flat-iron steak.
Nomenclature And How It Brings Confusion
Naming something is how we humans usually prevent confusion and make it easy to identify and point to things. In the case of arm roast and chuck roast, the nomenclature adds to the confusion. These cuts are known by several names and some of them are so similar or overlapping, that it becomes obvious why people end up getting confused between these two pieces of meat.
Arm roast is also known as chuck arm roast, Swiss steak, and chuck primal.
Chuck roast is also known as the chuck blade roast.
Nutrition And Fat Content
Both these beef roasts shun carbohydrates and sugar. However, they do have a fair amount of fat and calories. Chuck roasts are richer in fat and marbling as compared to arm roasts. On a serving, you can expect 280 kcal on a chuck roast, while the calorie content of the arm roast is at 180 kcal.
What Is An Arm Roast?
We can now put together the information we’ve collected so far. An arm roast comes from the shoulder of a cow and contains a bone. This meat is located right above the brisket and ahead of the ribs. This is a relatively tender piece of meat and is fairly common. A small cut of this meat is well-known as the famous Swiss steak.
When slow cooked, this cut is very tender and moist. It comes in handy with several cooking styles, including low and slow cooking, pot roasts, and grilling.
What Is A Chuck Roast?
Chuck roast is a fatty cut of beef. It is technically an arm roast, but its position in the body is slightly different. Chuck roast is a part between the shoulder and the neck of the animal. It has a fair amount of fat and decent marbling. However, this cut tends to have a tougher texture due to the presence of connective tissue.
You can get boneless or bone-in types of chuck roasts at stores. It’s often sold as ground beef as well. This cut lends itself well to low and slow cooking. It’s also good with pot roasts, beef stews, hotdogs, and oven roasts.
Quick Beef Arm Roast Recipe Ideas And Suggestions
There are several ways to cook beef arm roast. It’s good for low and slow cooking, works with a crock pot, oven, or with low and slow cooking.
Cooking An Arm Roast In The Oven
An oven is seen as a quick and simple way to prepare an arm roast without any fuss. Since oven cooking works at a higher temperature, it is a good idea to add a source of fat for the cooking.
Olive oil generally works well for this role, though feel free to choose one that’s a better fit for your preferences and taste buds.
The cooking in the oven lasts around 5-6 hours. This is long enough to make the meat tender and flavorful.
Before you start the process in the oven, you can make preparations using a Dutch oven. Add veggies like onion and carrot to the oven and let them sauté. For the next step, add some oil to the Dutch oven, add the arm roast, then add some more oil.
You can also add some stock to completely cover the ingredients. After some roasting is done, cook it in the oven. The long cooking time helps reduce the recipe, strengthens the flavors, and help cook a tender and flavorful
How To Cook Arm Roast In Crock Pot?
A crock pot is a type of a slow cooker. And since the arm roast is inclined towards low and slow cooking, the crock pot can have remarkable results. In this case, you can saute the veggies first and put them in the crock pot. Remember to use a spice rub to prepare the meat. Even a simple salt and pepper rub will do the trick.
Most crockpot recipes need a little liquid. In this case, you can use beef stock to fulfill that role. Once everything is ready, let the crock pot get to work. It should take about 8-12 hours for the crockpot to get the job done.
The result is a flavorful and enjoyable cut of meat.
Is An Arm Roast Tender?
An arm roast is not an impressively tender cut of beef, but it can be fairly tender. Besides, you can make it more tender and bring out its flavors if you cook it right.
When properly cooked, the arm roast is tender. It works wonders with low and slow cooking, so consider giving your crock pot a shot. If you prefer other methods, you can also take the arm roast for grilling. The famous Swiss steak is a smaller cut of the arm roast.
Shoulder Roast VS Chuck Roast?
Shoulder roast and chuck roast both come from the same part of the animal, though with a small difference in location. A shoulder roast belongs to the shoulder of the animal, while the chuck roast comes from between the neck and shoulder of the cow.
The chuck roast has a fair amount of marbling and is rich in fat. In contrast, the shoulder roast is a fairly lean cut of meat and has a relatively low count of fat, carbs, and calories.
Additionally, the shoulder roast can be fairly tender if cooked right. The chuck roast has a relatively tougher texture because it’s full of connective tissues.
Though they come from the same part of the animal, a comparison of arm roast and chuck roast shows significant differences between these two cuts of meat. They differ in several key aspects including texture, cooking process, and nutritional value. The chuck roast features a fair amount of fat and exhibits decent marbling.
On the other hand, the arm roast is a lean cut that has relatively low fat. Interestingly, both these cuts stay away from carbs and sugar.