HomeFood and DiningNice to Meat You: 7 Affordable Steak Cuts For Home Cooking

Nice to Meat You: 7 Affordable Steak Cuts For Home Cooking

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There is nothing more satisfying than biting into a juicy, mouthwatering steak. But, while we may always crave a beautiful slab of meat, it is not like we can afford to feast on it every night. 

The most premium cuts of steak, with an even spread of marbling all over the meat, are expensive. Of course, we are talking about the likes of the New York strip, filet mignon, and ribeye. The kinds of meat known for their beautifully rich flavor. But, there are many other cuts of steak that are equally delicious without the premium price tag. 

Here, we give you five of the budget-friendly steaks on the market you can afford whether for weeknight indulgence, at-home dinner parties, or just your regular cravings. At the end of the article, you’ll better understand the differences between these types of steaks, such as skirt steak vs flank steak and more. 

1. Chuck Eye Steak 

Also called the “poor man’s ribeye”, chuck eye is a standard ribeye sliced into thinner sections to make them more affordable. It has the same mild buttery flavor and a tender, juicy texture you love in the more expensive counterpart. And much like the actual ribeye, chuck eye benefits from a simple sear or reverse-sear to preserve its tenderness and mild flavor. 

2. Merlot 

Merlot is a nice cut of steak you probably do not know, because supermarkets are wary of keeping untraditional meat as such in stock. It looks like flank steak because of size, shape, thickness, and tender. Where the flank benefits from marinating to tenderize it before cooking, the merlot can be seared hot and fast to keep it as tender as possible. 

3. Tri-Tip Steak 

Also called the breakfast steak, the tri-tip steak gets its name for its triangular shape—taken from the bottom of the sirloin. While it has dense marbling throughout, it is lean and thus quite tough when not cooked properly, but it promises a beautiful depth of flavor. It is grilled with medium-rare to medium doneness. 

4. Top Round 

For a budget-friendly steak, the top round is relatively flavorful. It tends to be more tender than the bottom round. But, to enjoy a texture you get from more expensive cuts of steak, it is best slow-cooked or broiled. It explains why this meat is used for preparing roast beef.

5. Bottom Sirloin 

The sirloin is a cut of meat taken from the hip of the cow, and is cut into several types of steak. Of the cuts, the top sirloin is the most prized and is sold under that name. The bottom sirloin is a bit tougher and larger. It is cheaper and often labeled just as sirloin. While it’s not the best for steaks, bottom sirloin is good for grilling or pan-searing. 

6. Skirt Steak

Skirt steak is another flavorful cut of beef that comes from either of two separate abdominal muscles of the cow right behind its chest, and just below the ribs. These make the outside skirt (diaphragm muscle) and the inside skirt (transversus abdominis muscle). As you would expect from a muscle cut of meat, skirt steak can be tougher than other steaks. Still, it has a good amount of fat throughout, which keeps it moist when grilling. Most skirt steak recipes call for marinating, but it’s more to add flavor and less to tenderize the meat. 

7. Flank Steak 

You have had flank steak before—they are usually the go-to cut for fajitas. It is more expensive than the skirt steak, but for a slightly pricier meat, you will feel a mouthwatering, meaty flavor. Just make sure to not overcook the steak, otherwise you will get a rubbery slab of meat. It is best-served medium-rare and cut across the grain to make the meat more tender and easier to chew. 

Get to Know the Most Affordable Steak Cut

Over the years, meat fans have wised up to the beauty of steaks. And butchers have put a premium on these cuts of meat to reflect that. Today, even the types of steak that were considered cheap in the past are no longer affordable.

Steaks go through trends, and the best cheap steaks are constantly changing. It doesn’t hurt to start looking elsewhere to continue enjoying this gastronomic delight without breaking your bank. If ever you come across a butcher shop, the kind that deals with whole, well-raised animals and offers custom cuts—request for a cheap cut, and you are most likely to hear about the ones enumerated above. Visit Recipes.net to know more. 

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