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Denver Steak

Raw Denver steak with fresh herbs and red peppercorns

The Best Cut of Beef You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

If you’re a steak enthusiast, you’ve likely savored a variety of cuts ranging from ribeye to filet mignon. But have you ever heard of the Denver steak? This lesser-known cut is a hidden gem in the world of beef, offering a delectable combination of tenderness and rich flavor. 

What is a Denver Cut Steak?

Denver steak, also known as the Denver cut or Denver chuck steak, is a relatively new addition to the world of beef cuts. It’s sourced from the chuck primal, specifically the serratus ventralis muscle, which lies beneath the shoulder blade. For this reason, it is sometimes called a “chuck under blade” steak. 

diagram of the location of the Denver steak, aka the serratus ventralis muscle
The Denver Steak comes from an area under the shoulder blade called the “serratus ventralis.” The name is derived from the fact that it looks like a saw with serrated edges.


The serratus ventralis has a high marbling content, making it exceptionally buttery. In fact, The Denver steak is considered the fourth most tender muscle in the cow, surpassed only by the tenderloin, flat iron, and ribeye cap. Unlike other cuts, however, the Denver steak is far more affordable. Its tenderness and relatively low price are what make it so popular in the first place. 

Why Is It Called “Denver” Steak?

The name “Denver steak” is somewhat puzzling, as it doesn’t seem to have any direct connection to the city of Denver, Colorado. Rather, it was developed by the Beef Checkoff, a program that aims to both consumer demand for beef by finding new and more affordable cuts. The program was established in 1985 as part of the Farm Bill. It is sponsored by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). 

The Denver Steak appeared in 2008 alongside four other cuts from the chuck primal roll: the Delmonico steak, America’ Beef Roast, Boneless Country-Style Beef Chuck Ribs, and the Sierra Cut. 

While the name was most certainly chosen as a marketing tactic, the choice of Denver remains a mystery. We hypothesize that the names of the steaks were chosen to represent regions of the United States: 

  • “Sierra” for the West Coast, in honor of the Sierra Mountains in California
  • “Denver” for the mountain states
  • “Country-style” to represent the southern states
  • “Delmonico” to represent the East coast. (Delmonico’s is a famous New York steakhouse  that popularized a similar cut in the 19th century)
  • And, finally, “America” Beef Roast to bring it all together

Or, more simply, it could be that the NCBA is headquartered in Centennial, just outside of Denver, Colorado. 

Where Do You Buy Denver Steak?

Denver steak may not be as widely available as other cuts, but you can often find it at specialty butcher shops, upscale grocery stores, or online meat suppliers. When purchasing Denver steak, look for cuts with good marbling and a deep red color, indicating quality, freshness, and tenderness.

Best Ways to Cook Denver Steak

Due to its inherent tenderness, the Denver steak cut is best suited to high heat and fast cooking. This can be accomplished using various cooking methods, including grilling, pan-searing, or broiling. The best way, though, is on a grill.

Do You Need a Marinade?

The Denver cut is plenty flavorful and tender on its own, but we often like to use a marinade to punch up the flavor even more. We’ll give you a recipe for one below or you can borrow the one from our churrasco steak blog post. 

Denver Steak Substitutes

If you cannot find the Denver cut, your next best bet will be a ribeye. Although it comes from a different part of the cow, ribeyes are known for their superior tenderness, ample marbling, and deep beef flavor. Like a Denver steak, they also lend themselves to high heat via searing or on the grill. 

When looking for a good ribeye, check first for color and thickness: you want at least one inch thick (preferably 1.5) and a uniform red color. Then, check for marbling. It should be easily visible and fairly evenly distributed. 

raw ribeye steak on butcher paper
Texas de Brazil’s online butcher shop delivers USDA Choice Angus ribeye steaks right to your door. No marinade is necessary for these–just a dash of salt and pepper, and they’re ready for the grill. 

Grilled Denver Steak with Honey Garlic Marinade


2 Denver steaks (approximately 8-10 ounces each)
¼ cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt (more to taste)
Freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, minced garlic, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, dried thyme, salt, and black pepper to create the marinade.
  2. Place Denver steaks in a shallow dish or resealable plastic bag and pour the marinade over them, ensuring they are evenly coated. Cover or seal and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight, to allow the flavors to infuse.
  3. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate to prevent sticking.
  4. Remove Denver steaks from the marinade and discard any excess marinade.
  5. Grill steaks for 4-5 minutes per side for medium-rare doneness, or adjust cooking time according to your desired level of doneness.
  6. Once cooked to your preference, remove the steaks from the grill and let them rest for a few minutes before slicing against the grain.
  7. Serve the grilled Denver steaks with a side steakhouse garlic mashed potatoes or crispy brussels sprouts

Steak Catering

Nothing screams “opulence” more than a catered steak dinner. Texas de Brazil offers steak catering at each of our 50+ locations to make your next event extra special. You have your choice of our premium flame grilled meats, mouth watering side dishes, and sweet treats to finish off a perfectly decadent meal. Go online to view our available catering options in your city today. 

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