You do not have to buy beef tenderloin to enjoy succulent, low-fat and flavorful beef. Slow-cooking methods tenderize less-expensive beef cuts such as arm roast.
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The next time you're preparing a pot roast for your friends or family, purchase an economical chuck shoulder cut and rest assured that your Crock-Pot will cook your beef chuck recipes so tender that you can cut it with a fork.
Cook your arm roast in a Crock-Pot for a tender, flavorful dish. Consider browning the sides of your meat prior to cooking for some extra flavor.
Read more: How to Cook a Chuck Roast Perfectly
Know the Facts: Arm Roast
The arm roast is also known by several other names, including arm pot roast, arm chuck roast, round bone pot roast and arm steak, according to the Butcher's Guild meat glossary.
Bone-in or boneless, arm chuck roast comes from the muscular shoulder area of the cow or steer. According to the USDA, a 3-ounce serving of shoulder roast has only 7.9 grams of total fat. This lean cut of meat can be tough and benefits from slow, moist cooking methods such as stewing and braising.
Stewing and Braising
Stewing and braising are similar slow-cooking methods — both require patience and a pot with a tight-fitting lid. To stew a roast, cover the meat with liquid and simmer it for several hours. You can brown the meat in a little oil for extra flavor before simmering it.
To braise, brown the meat on all sides. Drain the liquid and add 1/2 cup wine, broth, juice or beer. Simmer for a few hours until you can separate the meat with a fork.
Try Crock-Pot Cooking
Crock-Pot is the brand name of a line of electric countertop appliances with stoneware cooking crocks. Sunbeam, maker of the Crock-Pot, boasts that you can "poach, stew, braise, simmer, water bathe, infuse, roast and bake" in your slow cooker.
Cook your beef chuck recipes on a low setting for seven to eight hours or on a high setting for three to four hours, as advised by the Crock-Pot website.
Follow These Cooking Tips
The total time it takes to cook an arm roast depends on its size. Chuck roasts usually contain enough marbled fat to cook without water, but most Crock-Pot roast recipes call for a little liquid. Add enough liquid to cover your ingredients, which produces steam for cooking.
Most important, resist the temptation to lift the lid while your roast is cooking. Crock-Pot cooking relies on a slow build-up of heat to cook food. Lifting the lid releases heat and adds more cooking time.
When making a Crock-Pot roast with potatoes and carrots, place your vegetables on the bottom of the cooker. Vegetables tend to cook more slowly than the meat, according to the University of Minnesota Extension.
Check the internal temperature of your arm roast prior to serving. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the minimum safe temperature for beef is 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Crock-Pot: "Cooking Tips"
- USDA FoodData Central: "Beef, Shoulder Pot Roast, Boneless, Separable Lean and Fat, Trimmed to 0" Fat, Choice, Cooked, Braised"
- Butcher's Guild Meat Glossary: "Arm Roast"
- University of Minnesota Extension: "Slow Cookers and Food Safety"
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: "Complete List of Cooking Temperatures"