Whenever the term ‘quality steak’ is mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind is the list of four well-known steaks, namely: the Sirloin, Tenderloin, Ribeye, and the New York strip. Despite their popularity, they are only a fraction of the many types of cuts derived from cattle.
One of the less famous steaks is the Denver steak. Not only it is up to standard in terms of quality, but also a few dollars cheaper than New York steak. The two have a lot of characteristics in common. Their flavors and marbling are almost similar. The Denver steak has a smooth texture along with its beefy flavors, exhibited deeply upon smoking or grilling.
Due to its lack of prominence, most butchers rarely stock it up as much as the rest. You may, therefore, need to fetch it downtown or wait patiently for your delivery, but the price and cooking results will prove that it was all worth it.
What is Denver Steak
The reason why this steak is not mentioned as many times as the others is that it has not stayed in the market for long.
Its history dates back to 2000, the year that Cattlemen’s Beef Board came up with a program called the Beef Checkoff. This exercise aimed at boosting beef sales through the creation of new affordable cuts with features similar to those of the already existing cuts. They were meant to become possible substitutes for the expensive steakhouse which were most people’s choices.
Experts in meat sciences came together from the University of Nebraska and the University of Florida. As a result, the beef market welcomed three new steak types namely: Teres Major steak, Flat Iron steak, and Denver steak.
In a cattle carcass, there is a section called the chunk. Due to its toughness, the cuts derived from there are mainly used as stewing steak or ground beef. The meat is hardened by the muscle’s inactivity when the animal was alive.
Serratus Ventralis is the muscle from which the Denver steak is cut. It is located beneath the cow’s shoulder blade. In terms of tenderness, this meat type ranks fourth when placed among other steaks.
Despite offering support to other active muscles, the chuck under blade does not undertake much activity. This explains its tenderness and marbling. People who have tasted it before know that it’s fine in terms of quality and budget-friendliness.
What Does Denver Steak Taste Like?
This steak is savory and full of flavor. Its tenderness, texture, and marbling are responsible for its delicious taste. As stated earlier, Denver steak holds the fourth position in the list of tender cuts. When cooked properly, it remains juicy and easy to chew on.
Different recipes can be incorporated to bring out the full potential of this steakhouse.
Among the equipment used in making Denver steak are a cast iron pan, hot skillet, smoker, or grill.
As discussed later in the context, there are also different storage and cooking styles that one can opt for to come up with juicy and flavorful meat.
Which is the Finest Denver Steak?
We have selected two of the finest Denver steak brands to help you make easier choices. Each has different unique features and flavors that make them stand out.
This pasture-raised steak is rare to find as many butcher shops hardly stock it up. It carries a versatile deliciousness owing to its beautiful marbling.
You can prepare the Porter Road’s Denver steak through searing or braising, among other methods.
If you are a fan of dry-aged meat, here is your chance to taste the goodness of this type of Denver steak. The manufacturers of this brand ensure that it is created naturally without the use of added hormones or antibiotics.
The method of preparation that our team found best to cook the Porter Road’s Denver steak is the Sous Vide. Charring the beef cut on a grill is also a great way to bring out the maximum beefy and juicy flavors in this steak.
Crowd Cow is a famous manufacturer of top-notch beef cuts. Their Denver steak is 100% natural, taken from highly bred grass-fed cattle. The thickness of this steak is uniform, making it a perfect fit for reverse searing. It also has a deep marbling that adds to its uniqueness.
Crowd Cow Denver steak is both high in quality and friendly to your pockets. The beef is the true description of well-balanced flavorful cuts, created using animals raised through observing strict ranching standards.
If you want to hit the highest culinary marks and create intense mouth-watering meals, this Denver steak brand is the way to go.
Storing Denver Steak
Most people buy Denver steak in bulk since it’s not always available on their next visit to the butcher shop.
If you are one of them, you need to have a tight storage plan for the safety of your steak until you decide to cook it. The two certified methods of keeping your beef cuts for long are refrigeration or freezer.
The recommended time for keeping steak in a fridge is between 3 to 5 days. Beyond this, the meat is likely to create an environment for bacteria to multiply freely.
To avoid compromising the meat’s quality, here are some precautions to take when refrigerating it:
Keep the temperature under 40° F. According to the health guidelines issued, stored meat enters the Danger zone when kept in a heat range of 40° F and 140° F. In this zone, bacteria get a chance to multiply, creating health hazards for the steak’s consumer.
Always place the meat on a plate, tray, or bowl before placing it in the fridge. The container will collect any dripping fluids and prevent them from running off or getting into contact with other refrigerated foods.
Storing raw steak on a separate shelf or its own drawer creates a barrier to the other items. This prevents cross-contamination or the spreading of any smells, in case the foods go bad.
Storing Steak in the Freezer
Compared to refrigeration, storing steak in the freezer is the better option if you want it to last long. Here, you can keep your meat for up to 3 months without it going bad.
The trick to ensure that your meat maintains the desired features is to protect it from freezer burns. This is when ice crystals form on the meat, bursting its membranes.
Freezer burn is prevented through the following tactics:
Put your steak in freezer bags or plastic wraps before placing them in the freezer. This protects the meat from direct contact with the cold air, inhibiting the formation of ice on the meat surface.
Placing the meat in vacuum sealers is another storage tactic that prevents freezer burn. These bags are air-tight with no chance of letting in ice or cold air into the meat.
To avoid confusion, put tags on the freezer bags, vacuum sealers, or plastic wraps used to store steak in the freezer. This will help you with easy identification of the meat types, brands, and date of storage.
What’s the Perfect Way to Cook Denver Steak?
To bring out the best in Denver Steak, you must be prepared to cook it properly. The most common methods of preparing this beef cut are reverse searing and Sous Vide.
It is possible to come up with a savory grilled meal by leaving it on the grill for a set time and temperature. For a fantastic mouth-watering steak, however, you have to pay detailed attention to the steps provided for the above-mentioned methods. This allows the meat to retain its juicy and beefy flavors as well as gain a delicious taste to mark its worthiness.
The Reverse Sear
This method is effective in maintaining the meat’s tenderness and moisture. You can use a charcoal grill, gas burner, or oven.
Here are steps to follow:
To prepare your steak for searing, start by seasoning it with the recommended amount of kosher salt. Other ingredients such as ground pepper or garlic can be used according to your preference.
After that, put the meat in the refrigerator and leave it for 10 to 24 hours. In the absence of a fridge, seasoned steak can be grilled immediately.
If your searing equipment has two burners, place the charcoal on one and light it. That side works as the hot zone. On the alternating side, place the meat and close the grill’s top. This is known as the two-zone grilling method.
For an oven, heat it at a temperature of 275° F before placing the steak in it.
The cool zone of the grill is created to accommodate the meat during cooking. This works for low and slow cooking.
If you are making rare steak, it should be ready at 105° F. Medium-rare can be consumed at 115° F while medium steak stops at 125° F.
Sear Your Steaks
Finish your Denver steak off by placing it on a hot skillet to form a crust. Brushing it with melted butter before searing adds to the flavors and texture.
This method comes in handy when you quickly need to prepare frozen Denver steak. It helps speed up the thawing process.
You can either use a Sous vide machine or improvise a hot water bath on a stove as follows:
Create a Water Bath
This is done by filling a pan with water, with enough space to hold the steak without causing an overflow.
Heat the Water
With the help of a probe thermometer, raise the temperature of the water bath. Clamp the thermometer on the pan’s side and let it hang inwards.
Start with low heat to get the water at room temperature, then raise it or lower it until it is stable.
Cook the Meat
If you froze the steak using a sealable freezer or vacuum bags, you can place them, as they are, inside the water bath.
If you had kept them bare inside the freezer, now place them in the bags and hang them on the pan’s side. Don’t allow the packages to sink to the bottom.
Cook to achieve your preferred doneness level, guided by the rare, medium-rare, or medium temperatures.
Finish by Searing
Brush the meat with butter and place it on a heated skillet to sear. Keep turning sides until a crunchy crust is formed.
Nutrition Benefits of Denver Steak
Denver steak is fully packed with proteins, zinc, and iron. In every 3-ounces of meat, there are 22 grams of proteins.
By consuming it, your body is supplied with 60% of your daily zinc requirements, as well as 4.4 grams of fat. You’ll also benefit from 180 calories and a decent measure of iron in your body.
Denver steak has many benefits to offer. It is high in quality and relatively cheap to purchase. It offers you a chance to experiment with different cooking methods to sharpen your kitchen prowess. Whichever way you prepare it, Denver steak will always offer you delicious mouthwatering meals.