Get ready to savor the ultimate meat experience with Denver steaks. From the sizzle to the succulent bite, this cut combines tenderness and marbling that delights meat enthusiasts. The Denver steak may be our favorite powerhouse cut for its rich beefy flavor, good amount of marbling, and price. It’s not stocked on the shelves of most markets, but once you bite into this juicy steak, you’ll think it should be.

Sliced petit steaks lined up next to one another to show rosy pink medium-rare slices.

Are you tired of the same old steak recipes? If you’re craving a juicy and delicious cut of meat that will impress your taste buds, look no further than pan-seared Denver steak.

This lesser-known but equally delicious alternative to traditional types of steak is a hidden gem in the world of steakhouses. With its beautiful marbling, tender texture, and intense natural flavor, pan-seared Denver steak is sure to become your new favorite go-to dish for any special occasion or weeknight indulgence.

Raw petite denver steak showing white marbling running through the thick steak.

🥩 THE CUT: WHAT IS Denver Steak Cut

This chuck steak comes from the beef chuck primal, the shoulder area of the cow. It’s an area that gets worked a lot, helping it to develop its signature beefy flavor. This little steak, cut from the under blade, the chuck flat, is cut from the same beef primal region we get the Sierra steak and the savory flat iron steak from.

It’s a tender steak and is great with quick hot and fast cooking methods, like in a clean cast iron pan or over direct heat on a charcoal grill, to develop that wonderful crust from the Maillard reaction and a perfectly medium rare center. The Denver cut steak is best not cooked past medium rare for a juicy steak.

Chances are you won’t find this cut of steak at your local grocery store, but you can ask a skilled butcher or order it from specialty online butcher shops. We order ours from Porter Road. They are usually just under a pound, perfect for two people, or can be sliced in half for a smaller 3 to 4-ounce petite Denver portion.

And, for us at the GirlCarnivore Meat Labs, it’s a top choice even over the most tender steak cuts, like the filet mignon. It delivers the unctuous satisfaction of a ribeye steak in a more manageable portion.

Ingredients for this pan seared steak recipe.

INGREDIENTS

  • Denver Steak
  • Kosher Salt
  • Olive oil, or your favorite neutral cooking oil
  • unsalted butter
  • Garlic
  • Rosemary
  • Freshly ground black pepper. We love a coarse grind for this, as the peppery bites go great with the rich steak.

HOW TO MAKE PAN-SEARED Denver Steak

We’re using a dry hot skillet for the perfect sear and medium-rare rosy center for this easy Denver steak recipe.

  • Start by removing the steaks from the packaging and patting them dry with a paper towel.
  • Season them liberally with salt and let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. When ready to cook, coat the steak on both sides with oil and lightly season again, as some of the salt will have come off.
  • When ready to cook, preheat a seasoned cast iron skillet until it’s just starting to smoke over medium-high heat. Add the steak to the dry pan and let sit for 2 to 3 minutes without touching until a tasty crust forms.
  • Using tongs, flip the steaks and nestle them back onto the skillet. Depending on the thickness of your steak, you may need to finish the steaks in a preheated oven. See the notes in the recipe card below.
  • Add the butter, garlic cloves, and herbs. As the butter melts, baste the steaks with the melted butter and let them cook for another 3 to 5 minutes, depending on your desired internal temperature. It’s served best as a medium-rare steak to medium for the best bite. Always use a digital meat thermometer for the most accurate steak doneness.
  • When the steaks have finished cooking, remove them from the hot pan and set them on a clean cutting board to rest. Tent with foil and let them sit for 5 minutes before slicing to serve.
  • As with any steak, slicing against the grain is important for the best mouthfeel and juiciest bite. Locate the grain of your pan-seared Denver steak and slice the meat into thin strips perpendicular to it. Garnish the sliced steak with a pinch of freshly ground black pepper and freshly minced parsley or thyme leaves and serve immediately.
Denver steaks in skillet with garlic and herbs.

Girl Carnivore Expert Recipe Tips

Want serious steakhouse flavor? Finish your steaks with compound butter. As the steaks rest, top them with roasted garlic compound butter for that rich, umami taste we all crave.

Although this steak has enough flavor on its own, it is great paired with a brandy peppercorn steak sauce for a true steakhouse experience.

How to cook Denver steak on a grill: You can use your cast iron pan on a grill to make these steaks. Simply make a 2-zone fire by creating a hot and cool zone on the grill grates by stacking lit coals to one side of the grill. Cook as direct, moving the pan to the cooler side of the grill, if needed, and closing the lid in between the steps.

What to serve with Denver steaks

When it comes to what to serve with a good steak dinner, does it get any better than the classics? Go with hearty campfire baked potatoes, quick and easy creamed leeks or a luscious smoked mac and cheese. If you’re keeping this a steakhouse classic, we also love it with smoked cabbage, a cheesy Brussels sprout casserole, or our favorite lazy side dish, creamed spinach.

Wine Pairing

This tender cut of beef deserves a big, bold wine. Pair this with a leggy Cabernet sauvignon, a Petite Sirah, or Malbec.

Overhead of board with sliced steak and creamed leeks.

LEFTOVERS AND STORAGE

Leftover Denver steak is rarely a problem, but should you not finish these steaks, wrap leftovers tightly in foil with any drippings for extra flavor. Store them in the fridge for up to 4 days. To reheat, slice the steak into strips and serve it over campfire nachos, in a cast iron frittata, or add it to peppers and onions for a Philly Cheesesteak baked potato.

Sliced denver steaks piled on a board with garlic and herbs.

More unique beef cuts

With its tender texture and rich flavor, these juicy Denver steaks are one of our favorite cuts, whether you choose to serve it simply with salt and pepper or dress it up with a flavorful compound butter or steak sauce. If you’ve tried it, be sure to rate the recipe card and drop a comment to help encourage the next reader to try this savory pan-seared steak.

Pan Seared Denver Steak

5 from 18 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Resting Time: 5 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 2
Denver steaks in skillet with garlic and herbs.
Indulge in the rich flavors of Denver steak with this simple pan-seared recipe. 🔥🥩 Searing to perfection locks in the juices, while a touch of seasoning brings out the robust taste. In just a few steps, you'll have a mouthwatering steak that's the centerpiece of a memorable meal. This is the perfect cut for serious steak lovers.

Ingredients  

  • 2 lbs Denver Steak
  • 1 tbsp Kosher Salt
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil or your favorite neutral cooking oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 Garlic cloves smashed
  • 3 sprigs fresh Rosemary and thyme
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions 

Prep the steak

  • Pat the steaks dry and season them on all sides with salt.
  • Allow steaks to sit in the fridge for up to 8 hours at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • When ready to cook the steaks, rub them with oil and lightly season them with salt again.

Pan sear the steak

  • When ready to cook, preheat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat until it's just starting to smoke.
  • Place the steaks in the skillet and sear for 2 to 3 minutes, letting a good crust form.
  • Then, using tongs, flip the steaks and add the butter, garlic, and herbs to the pan.
  • Using a spoon, carefully ladel the melted butter over the steaks to bath them in flavor as they continue to cook.
  • Cook the steaks to your preferred doneness, 3 to 5 minutes longer, using an instant-read thermomter for the most accurate results.
  • Depending on the thickness of your steak, you may need to finish the steaks in a preheated oven. See the notes below.

Rest and Serve

  • Carefully transfer the steaks to a cutting board and tent with foil.
  • Rest steaks for 5 minutes before slicing against the grain and serving.
  • Garnish with a pinch of freshly minced herbs and ground black pepper to serve.

Notes

If you have a thick Denver steak over 1 1/2 – 2 inches thick, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. When you flip the steaks, add the butter, garlic, and herbs. Then using an oven mitt, carefully transfer the hot pan to the oven. Allow the steaks to cook under the ambient heat until cooked to your desired doneness. 
Add extra flavor to your steaks by placing a dollop of compound butter over the top of them as they rest.
This steak is delicious paired with brandy peppercorn sauce
To make seared Denver Steaks on a grill: You can use your cast iron pan on a grill to make these steaks. Simply make a 2-zone fire by creating a hot and cool zone on the grill grates by stacking lit coals to one side of the grill. Cook as direct, moving the pan to the cooler side of the grill, if needed, and closing the lid in between the steps.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 881kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 97g | Fat: 55g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 27g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 343mg | Sodium: 3911mg | Potassium: 1792mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 426IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 87mg | Iron: 11mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Kita Roberts

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Well, Hey, Y’all.

Kita is a multi-talented individual, boasting numerous accomplishments such as being an award-winning recipe developer, world-traveled professional photographer, and journalist. As the lead creative force behind Girl Carnivore®, she is widely recognized as an authority on all things meat.

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