Looking for a delicious, affordable meal for your grill? There are tons of flavorful steak cuts that aren’t as expensive as your traditional steaks. There is no reason to skip a great steak dinner when you can shop smart and eat like a king with this helpful guide!
Cheap, Tasty Steak Cuts
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.
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.
Steaks aren’t the only grilling entree that you can save some major cash on while you have your guests coming back for seconds and thirds. Check out these clever tips for grilling cheap, tasty meals!
Frugal Grilling At Its Best
Add milk to your hamburger meat.
Just a half cup per pound or so, before you form the meat into patties. I make them about three quarters of an inch thick (two centimeters or so) and put them on the grill for about six minutes on one side, then four minutes on another for medium and about seven or so for well done.
Thousand island dressing is a spectacular cheap marinade for pork.
Take any pork that you may be grilling (pork chops, pork loins, etc.) and just soak them in thousand island dressing for a few hours. No need to shell out cash for expensive marinade – a good batch of dressing will do the trick.
Check out this excellent and simple way to use Italian Dressing to make the juiciest, easiest Chicken or Pork.
Flatten your chicken!
Many people also enjoy grilling boneless skinless chicken breasts, but quite often they take them right out of the package, put on some sort of flavoring, and toss them on the grill. Instead of doing that, take a few minutes and flatten the chicken. Just use a small frying pan or a rolling pin (no need for a meat mallet) and bash the chicken breast until it is roughly the same thickness all over. It will cook much more evenly and be quite flavorful when finished.
Keep that grill closed.
If you’re opening your grill more often than every four minutes or so, you’re likely opening it too often and impeding the meat from cooking all the way through. Trust the recipe and the clock and just leave the meat alone. Not only that, leaving the top closed will allow the meat to cook a bit faster, saving you on propane and/or charcoal expenses.