When you slow cook steak, expensive cuts are not always the best. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get a quality cut of meat.
Don’t get me wrong, ribeye and tenderloin are great, but other steak cuts are just as tasty and less expensive. When slow cooking, choosing a budget-friendly steak cut gives you the most delicious and tender results.
With so many cuts of beef, it’s confusing to know what steak is best for a slow cooker. Each beef cut has its own distinct flavor and structure.
The key to slow cooked meat a spectacularly good steak and enjoying it fully is in selecting the right cut of steak for a slow cooker or pot roast.
The name of steak cuts can vary from store to store, depending on where you live. For example, Delmonico steak is cut from the ribeye in some places, while in others it’s cut from the chuck.
10 Steak Cuts for a Slow Cooker
The following 10 steak cuts are best for the slow cooker. For the best eating, choose thick steak cuts at least one inch thick or more.
The bottom sirloin is less tender than the top sirloin. It’s a larger cut, making it a good choice for a slow cooker. This is an ideal cut for slow cooking stews.
The sirloin tip is a boneless cut of steak. Don’t be confused if you see steak packaging that says, wedge or eye of the sirloin tip.
The wedge sirloin tip is the one you want for slow cooking. It’s a tougher and less expensive steak cut that needs tenderizing.
The eye cut is the best part of the sirloin tip, making it a premium, expensive cut.
Blade chuck is a full-flavored cut of beef that’s economical and versatile. When made in a slow cooker, you can’t beat the flavor and tenderness of blade chuck roast.
It looks similar to T-bone and usually has a chunk of fat in the middle. It comes from the shoulder area, and its structure is made up of several muscles, which render intensive marbling for a well-developed flavor.
Other common names for blade chuck are boneless blade steak, flatiron steak, and deluxe blade steak.
You might see this called Swiss steak or round bone steak. Arm chuck steak a less-tender cut of beef, but it has great flavor and little waste. When you slow cook arm chuck, it will come out fork-tender and delicious.
This bottom round steak cut is an excellent choice for slow cooking. It’s flavorful and has a tight grain, so it holds up in a slow cooker.
The bottom round is a tough cut because it comes from the working muscles of the hips. This budget cut is a great value.
Eye of Round
This large, lean steak cut gives you a tender, flavorful meal when made in a slow cooker.
Eye of Round comes from the hamstring muscles, so it’s a chewy cut, but slow cooking tenderizes the eye of round into a savory, tender meal.
Flank steak has very little fat, but superb flavor. It’s a less-tender cut, which makes it perfect for slow cooking.
It has thick, long muscle fibers that run beside each other, making it a tough cut of steak. But, when you cook flank steak in a slow cooker, it’s transformed into a tender, full-flavored steak.
If you’re trying to find flank steak at the store, check out these alternate names: jiffy steak and London broil.
Shank comes from the front and back legs of the steer. These are commonly called the foreshank and the hindshank.
Since the leg muscles are constantly moving, shank steaks are tough, stringy, and dry. The shank is often used to make ground beef, but you can slow cook it until it’s very tender.
Braising flank steak is also a popular cooking method for shank steak.
The skirt steak cut is long and thin from the diaphragm of the beef. It’s a lean, tough cut that needs tenderizing either by marinating or slow cooking.
Even though it’s a budget steak, it has an intense flavor and meat that falls apart in your mouth.
You might see it listed as inside skirt steak, outside skirt steak, or Philadelphia steak at your supermarket’s meat counter.
The connective tissue in the brisket makes it tough and chewy. For this reason, slow cooking is a perfect method for preparing brisket. This beef cut comes from the breast portion and has a substantial amount of fat.
When you’re shopping for brisket, you should know about the different cuts. Not all briskets have the same qualities.
FAQs about Steak in a Slow Cooker
Here are the most common questions asked about steak cuts best for a slow cooker.
What steak is best for slow cooker?
The best steak for the slow cooker that will give you beef that’s rich and tender are sirloin tip, chuck, shank, skirt, and round steaks.
Is steak nice in the slow cooker?
Any of the tougher, budget steaks are well-suited for a slow cooker. For a marvelous, mouthwatering steak that doesn’t break the bank, preparing steak in a slow cooker is the way to go.
Can you slow cook any cut of beef?
You can slow cook any cut of beef, but the tough, cheaper cuts that have more fat actually give you better results.
If you slow cook tender, more expensive cuts, they lose their flavor and can become dry. These prime cuts are better grilled or broiled to medium-rare or rare for the best flavor and texture.
Can you put raw steak in a slow cooker?
Although you can put raw steak in a slow cooker, it’s better if you sear it (ideally in a cast iron pan) first. Searing gives your steak a crispy, browned surface that locks in the juice and flavor. It’s worth it to take a few minutes to quickly sear your steak before adding it to your slow cooker.
What are the best beef cuts for slow cooking and shredding?
Avoid rump, round, and loin beef cuts for shredding. They’re too lean. You want a cut with enough fat to render the meat fork-tender.
Look for tough, budget-friendly cuts for slow cooking and shredding. The best beef cuts for shredding are brisket, chuck, and arm chuck.
Make sure you choose one that has a lot of marbling and fat around it. Also, long, slow cooking will make this beef cut rich, savory, and amazing for shredding.
How long does steak take to cook in a slow cooker?
When preparing steaks in a slow cooker, make sure you place them side-by-side in a single layer. Depending on the thickness of your steaks, you should slow cook them for 4 to 6 hours.
At the end of this time, use a fork to test them for tenderness. The meat should easily break apart with a fork.
Can you cook steak and potatoes together in a slow cooker?
Yes, you can cook your steak with potatoes or any other vegetables you’d like. Just place your potatoes and other veggies on the bottom of the slow cooker. Put your steaks on top of the potatoes.
Add water or beef stock to keep the potatoes moist while cooking. The stock also makes delicious gravy for pouring over your steak and potatoes when they’re done. Also, consider adding onion on top of the steak while cooking. This really boosts the flavor of the gravy and steak.