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5 Beef Shoulder Substitutes: What Can I Use Instead Of The Beef Shoulder?

Beef shoulder, or beef chuck, is a popular cut of beef that is perfect for slow-cooking recipes.

However, if you are not able to find this cut in your local butcher shop or grocery store, what can you use instead?

Don’t worry, our article will list out the best beef shoulder substitutes so that you will never have to worry about running out of this cut or give up on your favorite roast or stew dish.

Let’s get started to find out what they are.

What is the beef shoulder?

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Beef shoulder, often known as a beef chuck, is a cut of beef taken from the shoulder section, the upper part of the cow’s front legs.

This area contains some tough muscles and connective tissues, which is why it requires to be cooked for hours to make it become tender and can be cut with a fork.

The beef shoulder has a perfect ratio of meat to marbling fat, so it has an intensely beefy flavor that is brought out while being slow-cooked over low heat.

Beef chuck can be cooked in numerous ways, such as oven-roasting or smoking the whole cut or divided into cubes for braising and stewing recipes.

Beef shoulder is also one of the top choices for pulled beef that is served with sandwiches or toast.

It can be ground to make burgers thanks to its flavorful taste and juicy texture.

Can you substitute beef shoulder in cooking recipes?

Of course, you can substitute beef shoulder with many other similar cuts in any cooking recipe.

Beef chuck has an intensely beefy flavor with a tough texture, so other cuts that have the same characteristics will work too, either from the cow or other kinds of cattle like pig, goat, or sheep.

What can you substitute for the beef shoulder?

As already mentioned, there are many options for you to choose from when it comes to finding an alternative for beef shoulder in slow-cooking recipes.

Below is the list of the best beef chuck substitutes that you can comfortably use in your next soup or roast dish.

1. Brisket

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Brisket is our first suggestion for a beef chuck substitute.

If the beef chuck is cut from the upper part of the cow’s shoulder area, the brisket comes from the bottom part, in the chest section.

Beef brisket also has a tough texture with a lot of connective tissues, making it perfect for slow-cooking recipes like roasting, smoking, or stewing.

Brisket is typically used for curing like salt beef.

With the versatility of this cut, brisket is relatively expensive and is also out of stock quickly in a local butcher or grocery store.

2. Rib roast

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You can also use beef rib roast to replace beef chuck in cooking recipes like roasting, grilling, or broiling.

The rib roast is cut from the section between the short loin and the chuck.

It has a perfectly flavorful taste of beef with a succulent texture.

You can choose to remove the bone or not before cooking or serving.

The beef rib roast is quite expensive and can be great to make a restaurant-quality steak.

3. Sirloin tip

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The sirloin tip is cut from one of the primal beef cuts, known as the round cut.

Sirloin tip is leaner than the beef shoulder, but it has a tender and juicy texture, so you won’t have to worry about drying out this cut while cooking.

However, you still should only cook it in a shorter period of time to result in the best dish, from a steak, braised meat, to ground beef for burgers.

4. Top sirloin roast

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Top sirloin roast is another option for a beef shoulder substitute.

It is a cut that lies below the sirloin tip.

This cut is also prized for its premium flavor, making it perfect to replace beef chuck.

One advantage of a top sirloin roast cut is that it has a nice texture that is lean but tender, and more affordable than a prime rib cut.

5. Lamb or pork shoulder

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If you want to make a slight change to your beef dish, you can substitute beef shoulder with the same shoulder cut from other kinds of red meat like pork or lamb.

Lamb shoulder or pork shoulder both have a tough texture with nice marbling fat, making them perfect for slow-cooking recipes and greatly alternate for beef chuck.

They are also less expensive than their beef counterpart.

The bottom line

Beef chuck is one of the most sought-after beef cuts, therefore, it is no surprise that this cut is not available in your local butcher or grocery store sometimes.

Luckily, we have compiled a list of beef shoulder substitutes that give you more options when shopping for meat for a slow-cooking recipe like stewing, roasting, or smoking.

What alternative do you think works best with your recipe?

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