The Poor Man’s Rib Eye

How could this particular cut of meat escaped my clutches for all these years? In my view, it has 90% of the rib eye qualities as one of the finest cuts, but at a fraction of the price. I recently purchased two nice steaks at $4.79 a lb versus the $11. to $12. per lb typically charged for the rib eye….Hence, the chuck eye is commonly referred to as the “Poor Man’s Rib Eye” and a welcome option in an economy where everyone seems to be cutting back. But here you can cut back on costs and not quality in flavor and texture, only further highlighted by the intense cross marbling in the captioned picture. I owe this discovery to a very dear friend that commiserates with me over cooking techniques, dishes and experiences primarily but not solely centered around the grill, and who recently shared his new find of this cut, recommended by his “go to” butcher. Thanks Keith!

Here you have a beef chart, illustrating the various cuts and sides of beef, which serves as a very informative and helpful visual  aid when trying various types of cuts and learning more about where they come from…a great reference that I hope you find helpful as well, and download to your archives…. place cursor over hotlink below hit shift and double click, voila!!


I was so excited when I picked these little puppies up, each boasting  1  1/2″ thickness and marbling that was second to none, ensuring a juicy and flavorful steak. The chuck eye is the next cut after the rib eye and, depending on quality of the eye, a good butcher can get at least two nice cuts, maybe more. Jimmy, my “go to” friend who slices, trims, butterflies, rolls and ties like know one else I have seen, having had the benefit of years of practice and training in the trade, way before meats were broken down/processed to the point that they are today, will not put a chuck eye out in the case billed as “eye” unless they are really good. So, fair warning, be sure you ask for steaks only with a good eye and structure when placing your order.

The moo moo and Jimmy have done their job. Now I have to do mine and deliver the final product and hopefully not blow it…


  • First I lightly apply several drops of EVOO on each side of the steaks, rubbing all over.
  • Then I season with my “Holy Trinity”  for steak….finely chopped rosemary, course sea salt and  cracked Tellicherry peppercorns. Apply sea salt on one side only, then liberally apply cracked pepper and rosemary on both sides, rubbing into meat and let rest an hour or so before grilling…note: steaks should be brought to room temperature prior to seasoning, allowing for the essence of seasons to absorb nicely.

The Barbi or, in my case, the Big Green Egg has been prepped for direct cooking, the cast iron grate, lightly oiled with wire brush, is in place and coals slowly getting that nice golden glowing embers evenly covering the cooking surface…..allowing me enough time to poor myself a little glass with that amber liquid/nectar of the gods (Scotch that is…) over ice with a splash of water….grilling is such arduous work!

Coals are perfect and the steaks hit the grill!

Off the grill after 2-3 minutes a side, searing in the juices, naturally basting, and the lump charcoal smoke providing that natural smokey grilled goodness that keeps bringing us back, begging for more!!!…Off the grill and let rest, drawing the juices back into the meat….before slicing!…….. about 5-10 minutes lightly covered and then slice it up…on the bias and thin…..

One steak cooked rare, my preference and one medium appealing to others making for a happy meal all around killing any potential of naysayers!….I have learned well over the years of grilling ha, ha, ha…….

If you try this, and I hope you do, I think you will agree the flavor is amazing for the price, which is why I have a standing order every  Saturday when Jimmy cuts fresh for the weekend display case for two nice 1 1/2 – 2″ chuck eye’s, if he has them…..

cooking with passion and reaching out of the box….



Filed under Beef

2 responses to “The Poor Man’s Rib Eye

  1. These look great! I’ll keep an eye out for this cut. I’m also going to try rosemary on my next steaks. We have a ton of it growing in our garden.

  2. Those look amazing! Thanks for the advice.

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