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What Is A Denver Steak?

Did you know that there are 15 different popular types of steaks eaten in the United States? Hugely popular, versatile, and of course, extremely delicious, steak is a much-loved cut of meat that offers a lot.

One of the most popular, and one that continues to grow in popularity is the Denver steak. Relatively tender, the Denver steak offers a beautiful beefy flavor, decent levels of marbling, and can even be used to produce a range of lesser-known steaks. 

However, if you’re going to make the most of this steak, you need to know everything about it. The fact you’ve landed here would suggest you already know that.

If you want to learn more about Denver steak, you’ve come to the right place. I’ll tell you exactly what it is, what it tastes like, how to cook it, and even where you can buy it.

Let’s begin!

What Is Denver Steak?

Denver steak is a cut of meat taken from the shoulder area of the cow. More specifically, it comes from the serratus ventralis muscle. This can be found in the under portion of the chuck roll. Chuck roll is another word for an animal’s shoulder. 

Unlike other muscles in the cow’s shoulder, the serratus ventralis doesn’t get used much. This is because it sits directly underneath the shoulder blade bone.

Why is this important? Well, muscles that are used more tend to be tougher. As a result, this lesser-used muscle is much more tender.

The muscle Denver steaks are cut from is also used in a classic 7-bone chuck roast. To cut the Denver steak, the serratus ventralis is extracted by a skilled butcher. 

In terms of flavor and tenderness, the Denver steak is similar to both a ribeye and New York Strip. It is also regularly compared to the flank steak. Denver steaks are usually sliced thinly and served with salads or in sandwiches.

Interestingly, the name Denver steak has no historical significance.

What Does A Denver Steak Taste Like?

How Does A Denver Steak Taste?

So, what can you expect from a delicious Denver steak?

The meat taken from the serratus ventralis is usually relatively flavorful. Therefore, Denver steaks are known for their rich beefy flavor. Most of the time, Denver steaks will also offer great amounts of marbling.

When compared to other cuts of meat, the Denver steak was generally considered to be one of the most tender. In fact, some studies have ranked it as the fourth most tender cut of beef you can buy. 

These factors come together to create a steak that is juicy, tender, and rich in flavor.

Nutritional Information

Compared to other cuts of red meats, you’ll be pleased to hear that the Denver steak is actually quite healthy. Aside from being relatively low in fat and calories, this cut of meat also comes with a number of health benefits.

Denver steaks are rich in Vitamin B and contain essential minerals like selenium, zinc, and phosphorus. 

When it comes to calories, it is believed that a 3oz serving of Denver steak contains 180 calories, 22 g of protein, 4.4 g saturated fat, 2.8 mg iron, and 8.4 mg zinc.

How Do You Cook Denver Steak?

While it may seem quite daunting at first, when you know what to do, cooking a Denver steak isn’t that difficult.

In fact, it’s actually a very versatile cut of meat. You can grill it, cook it in a skillet, stir-fry it, and broil it in a broiler pan for steak.

Before you start cooking your Denver steak, you should first assess how it was cut by the butcher. Ideally, the butcher will have cut the steaks to a uniform thickness. If not, you might have to trim a little off some of the steaks before you start. Always slice across the grain when cutting a Denver steak.

If I had to choose my favorite way to cook a Denver steak, I would have to say it tastes best when grilled. You can use a grill, stovetop, or even a stovetop and oven combination to grill your steak to perfection.

If you decide to grill your steak, you should start by seasoning your meat. Once that’s done, place the steak on the grill over a medium-high temperature.

It will take approximately 2 to 3 minutes for the steak to reach medium-rare. Leave the steak a couple of minutes longer for well-done.

If you want to sear the steak on a stovetop and then roast it in your oven, use a 325 °F temperature for approximately 5 to 7 minutes for medium-rare.

Should You Sear A Denver Steak?

Personally, I would always recommend searing a Denver steak during the cooking process. It doesn’t matter if you do it at the end of the cooking process or the start, it is still well worth doing.

Ideally, you will sear the steak at the start as this helps trap the most flavors and all those juices. Don’t worry if you haven’t, searing towards the end of cooking will also keep those juices in.

On top of keeping juices and flavors trapped, searing gives your steak a beautiful color and texture. This only adds to the taste of your steak and impresses your guests.

Where Can You Buy Denver Steak?

Extracting a beautiful cut of Denver steak requires skill. So much so, that it can be quite hard to find a perfect teardrop-shaped cut of it in your local grocery store. It can even be difficult to find one in your local meat shop.

For the best Denver steaks, you might need to find a skilled butcher. Hopefully, they have the skills required to cut this type of steak. If not, don’t panic, you can also buy Denver steak online from a range of specialized vendors. 

I like to use Crowdcow to purchase my steak online.

Final Thoughts

There you have it, everything you need to know about Denver steak. This beautifully tender, rich-tasting steak is constantly growing in popularity across the United States, and it’s not hard to see why.

Super versatile and relatively healthy, this steak tastes great in a wide range of dishes and can be easily grilled and seared to produce an elegant dish for friends and family.

All that’s left to do now is head to your butcher or online steak delivery store and see if they have any for you!

Hungry for more? Read all articles we have about Wagyu steaks.



Richard is the founder of SteakBuff. He manages the team of expert writers on the site and is a foodie who loves eating steaks

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