This is the best Denver steak recipe! It's so easy to cook in just a few minutes and turns out so juicy and tender. Plus I've included a chimichurri sauce for serving this steak that makes it taste even better. You can pan fry, grill, or bake the Denver steak cut and I've included directions for all cooking methods in this post.
What is Denver Steak?
Denver steak is a newer type of steak cut. In fact, the Denver cut did not even exist until 2009, so many people have never heard of it. It comes from the beef chuck primal cut, and is a thin cut of steak with a high level of marbleization and a great tissue to fat ratio, making it a very tender cut of steak.
The Denver cut is made from the serratus ventralis muscle, which comes from the under blade portion of the chuck roll. The serratis ventralis muscle is located directly underneath the shoulder blade bone and doesn't get used much, which is why it is one of the more tender muscles in the beef chuck.
You can cook Denver steaks in many different ways including on the grill, stovetop, or on the stovetop followed by the oven. If grilling this cut of steak, you will want to marinate the meat first and then grill it over medium-high heat. For cooking it in the oven you want to sear it on the stovetop first, and then roast it in the oven after.
In this post I've included various options for cooking this cut of steak whichever way you prefer.
What does Denver steak taste like?
Denver steak is full of flavour and really tender. In fact, it has been ranked the fourth most tender cut of steak. This cut of steak is nicely marbled, giving it a rich, beefy flavour that stays juicy and tender as long as it's cooked properly.
Why you will love this recipe:
- Cooking Denver steak is so easy and only takes a few minutes.
- This Denver steak recipe is so delicious! The Chimichurri sauce gives it so much flavour.
- It's cooked in one pan so the clean up is easy and simple.
- This steak is so juicy and tender.
- This steak recipe is naturally gluten free, paleo, keto and Whole30 and can easily be made dairy free too.
- Steak is a healthy, complete protein.
- I've included options for pan searing, grilling or baking this steak recipe.
Key ingredients and substitutions:
- Denver steak - this cut of steak can be a little hard to find, but most butcher shops will carry it. If you can't find it locally, you can now order it online from many locations too.
- Butter - coating the steaks in butter helps makes them even more juicy and tender. If you are dairy free use a dairy free cooking oil instead such as coconut oil or avocado oil.
- Seasonings - salt and pepper is all I use to season my steak but you can use whatever spices you prefer including steak spice, garlic salt, seasoning salt etc.
- Chimichurri sauce - the homemade chimichurri sauce makes this steak taste even better! However if you prefer your steak without chimichurri sauce you can simply leave it out.
How to cook:
First, remove the steaks from the fridge and allow the steaks to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes prior to cooking. This helps the meat cook more evenly and become more tender.
Then melt 2 tablespoons of the butter, and coat both sides of your steaks with it. Season both sides of the steak with salt and pepper (plus any other seasonings you prefer).
Now add the remaining butter to a cast iron skillet or pan and heat to medium-high. You want your pan to be hot, and the butter to be melted, before adding the steak.
Place the steak in the hot pan and decrease the heat to medium. Do not move the steak until it has had time to caramelize. Cook the steak for approximately 2 minutes per side, or until the steak reaches your desired doneness. See the notes for cooking temperatures.
Now remove the steak from pan and place it on a plate to rest for 5 minutes. Place a piece of foil lightly over the top to retain the heat while resting.
To make the chimichurri sauce:
If serving with the chimichurri sauce, while the steak is resting, place all the Chimichurri ingredients into your food processor and blend well until the sauce is smooth. When you are ready to serve the steak, top each cooked piece of steak with as much chimichurri as you prefer.
How to grill Denver steak:
If you prefer to grill or bbq your steak rather than pan fry it, first, let it sit for 30 minutes after taking it out of the fridge. Then coat both sides of the steak in melted butter and your preferred spices. Then grill the steak over medium-high heat for approximately 2 minutes per side. Let the steak rest for a few minutes, then cut it against the grain and enjoy!
How to bake:
To bake Denver steak, take it out of the fridge and let it rest for 30 minutes. Then coat both sides of the steak in melted butter and spices of your choice. Then sear both sides of the steak in a pan over medium-high heat before baking it in the oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 to 7 minutes for medium-rare steak. For a more well done steak add a couple minutes of baking time.
Tips and variations:
- Cooking times will vary depending on how well done you like your steak, and how thick the steak is.
- You can season your steak with whatever spices you like - other ideas include steak spice, garlic salt, seasoning salt etc.
- Be sure to let the steak rest for a few minutes after it's cooked to help it tenderize and become even more juicy.
- You can use any chimichurri recipe that you prefer to serve this steak.
- To make this recipe dairy free: instead of butter use a dairy free cooking fat such as coconut oil or avocado oil.
Steak temperature guide:
Depending on how rare or well done you like your steak, here is a guide to help you determine what temperature to cook your steak to:
- Rare steak: cook to 125 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Medium Rare: cook to 135 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Medium: cook to 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Medium Well: cook to 155 degrees Fahrenheit
- Well Done: cook to 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
How to cut:
It is important to cut Denver steak against the grain. This will give you the most tender steak bites. The grain refers to the muscle fibres in the meal. Look for the muscle fibres and cut in the opposite direction. Cutting through these fibbers helps make the meat even more tender and less chewy or tough.
How to serve:
- Serve it with chimichurri sauce.
- With a side salad or coleslaw.
- Make steak tacos or steak fajitas with the cooked steak.
- With French fries or baked potatoes.
- Use it to make steak and eggs.
- With lobster or scallops.
- Top it with bbq sauce or butter.
How to store:
Store any leftover steak in the fridge in an airtight container for three to five days.
Frequently asked questions:
Other names for Denver steak include the Denver cut, bottom chuck steak, Denver steak cut, underblade steak, Black Angus Denver steak, wagyu Denver steak, chuck Denver steak, or Denver cut wagyu.
Denver steak won't be found in most grocery stores as it requires a skilled butcher to properly extract it. Thus most butcher shops will carry this cut of steak but if you are having trouble finding this beef cut you can also order it online.
No Denver steak is not tough. It's one of the most tender and juicy steak cuts and is the 4th most tender cut of steak. Just be sure not to overcook it so that it stays as juicy and tender as possible.
Denver steak and ribeye steak are both tender cuts of steak. The ribeye mainly comes from the longissimus dorsi, a long, muscle that runs from the cow's hip bone to the shoulder blade. It's tender because it doesn't get a lot of exercise. The Denver cut comes from the serratis ventralis muscle, which is located underneath the shoulder blade bone and doesn't get used much, which makes it more tender.
Both Denver steak and ribeye steak have good amounts of marbling which helps make both steak cuts even more juicy and tender.
Other recipes you will love:
- Bavette steak
- Healthy steak marinade
- Air fryer frozen steak
- Easy baked salmon
- Blackened cod
- Honey lemon pepper chicken wings
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- 4 lbs Denver steak
- 5 tablespoon butter (or other cooking oil)
- salt (to taste)
- pepper (to taste)
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1 bunch parsley
- 1 cup olive oil (or avocado oil)
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 6 cloves garlic (more or less to taste)
- 2 tablespoon crushed red pepper
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- Remove the steaks from the fridge and allow your steaks to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes prior to cooking. This helps the meat cook more evenly.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter, and coat both sides of your steaks with it. Season both sides of the steak with salt and pepper (plus any other seasonings you prefer).
- Add the remaining butter to a cast iron skillet or pan and heat to medium-high. You want your pan to be hot, and the butter to be melted, before adding the steak.
- Place the steak in the hot pan and decrease the heat to medium. Do not move the steak until it has had time to caramelize. Cook the steak for approximately 2 minutes per side, or until the steak reaches your desired doneness. See notes for cooking temperatures.
- Remove the steak from pan and place it on a plate to rest for 5 minutes. Place a piece of foil lightly over the top to retain the heat while resting.
- While the steak is resting, place all the ingredients for the chimichurri into your food processor and blend well until you have a smooth sauce.
- When you are ready to serve the steak, top each piece of cooked steak with as much chimichurri as you prefer.
- Nutritional values are an estimate and do include the chimichurri sauce in the calculations. The values will vary depending on the exact ingredients you use and your serving size.
- You can season your steak with whatever spices you prefer.
- Be sure to let your steak rest for a few minutes after cooking it to help it become even more juicy and tender.
- Store any leftover steak in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days.