Let’s Hear It For the Cheap Meats! 8 Delicious Steak Cuts for the Average Joe

If you’re like me, you like beef. Some weeks I’ll consume a beef product every day for lunch. Beef is delicious and one of the best sources of protein and testosterone-boosting cholesterol and fat. And did I mention it’s delicious?

But if you’re also like me, you don’t want to spend that much money on food. And if you’ve been paying attention to your grocery bill, the price of beef has gone up dramatically this year.

I know a lot of guys who, when they hear the word “steak,” only think of strips, rib eyes, T-bones, and tenderloins; they think these high-end cuts constitute the entire universe of beef. Consequently, they deny themselves the enjoyment of regular steak because they think they can’t afford it.

But what if I told you can enjoy a steak that tastes nearly identical to a rib eye but is half the cost? Well it’s true, my friend.

Char-Broil CHARBROIL 4... Check Amazon for Pricing. In today’s post, I take you through the world of cheap(er) steak cuts. Sure, they’re not as tender as prime rib or t-bones, but if you can save yourself some money while enjoying a nice steak a few times a week, what’s a little more chewing in the grand scheme of things?

To help me navigate the world of cheap steak cuts, I talked to a butcher named Waylon at my local Reasor’s grocery store in Jenks, OK.

Waylon’s General Recommendation: Steaks from the Shoulder

If you’re looking for affordable steak cuts, Waylon says to look for anything that says “chuck” or “shoulder” in it. The chuck, or shoulder, is a tougher piece of meat, but still has plenty of marbling to give it some flavor. Most of the specific cheap steak cuts I highlight below come from the chuck.

8 Delicious Steak Cuts for the Average Joe

1. Chuck Eye Steaks


Waylon’s first specific recommendation was the chuck eye steak. I’ve heard it referred to as the “poor man’s ribeye.” It comes from the chuck of a cow and has a nice meat-to-fat balance similar to a rib eye, but for much less. Waylon says these are great for grilling. All meat gets tougher the longer you cook it, but that’s especially true with cheap meats that are already tougher to begin with. All the cuts I’ll mention here taste best on the rarer side.

Cooked to red, juicy perfection, chuck eye steaks are my absolute favorite source of cheaper meat.

2. Flat Iron Steaks


Like the chuck eye, the flat iron cut comes from the cow’s chuck or shoulder. It’s got a nice amount of marbling for added flavor. High-end restaurants have started to feature flat iron steaks, so demand might take this cut of meat out of the cheaper category.

3. Charcoal Steaks


While the charcoal steak cut comes from the top of the cow’s shoulder, it’s the second-most tender cut on the animal.

Like all the steak cuts from the shoulder, Waylon recommends cooking charcoal steaks rare to medium-rare to prevent the meat from getting too tough. Cook on high heat. Also, be sure to look out for the piece of gristle that runs through the middle.

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