Lesser Known Steak Cuts are Best for Saving Money

It wouldn’t be summer without a couple of cookouts featuring sizzling steaks, hot off the grill. But for many, the cost of a prime cut of beef isn’t worth the end result.

According to an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the price of red-meat has risen to near-record levels this summer, thanks to the rising cost of corn, which is the main food source for U.S. raised cattle. Over the Fourth of July, the U.S. Department of Agriculture expected the price of steaks and ground beef to be about 11 percent higher than last year, at an average of $5 per pound.

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Luckily, meat experts know there is a simple solution to this expensive problem: lesser-known cuts of beef including hangar, skirt and flat iron steaks.

In the early 1990s, meat scientists at the University of Nebraska figured out that the top-blade muscle of the shoulder was extremely tender once you removed a seam of connective tissue. Thus, the flat iron steak was born. The Denver steak, a distant cousin of the New York strip, as well as ranch steaks and tri-tip are other low-cost cuts becoming more popular.

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Val Kennedy of J.L. Kennedy Meat Stand in Pittsburgh says that any cut from the sirloin is “forgiving” as long as you marinate it. His wife added that you have to treat or slow grill the meat, so it’s tender.

For meat-loving carnivores that can’t go without their steak and potato dinner, we think cheaper and lesser-known is the way to go. Have you tried any less-popular cuts of meat on the grill? Which ones, and how did they taste? Tell us in the comments!

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  1. I absolutely LOVE flat iron steaks! They are full of beefy flavor, very tender, and relatively inexpensive. I bought some from my butcher – They are 2nd tenderest after filet mignon (which has no taste). I have also had hanger steak, though out at a restaurant rather than preparing myself, and it was AWESOME as well. I have no idea why everyone else isn’t jumping on the flatiron and hanger bandwagon, though I imagine that it helps keep them affordable for me. AND…… I get to have a secret!

  2. WOOPS! I’ve also had skirt steak. Really great flavor and tender as well. This steak has to be cooked fast and hot though. I brush it with dijon mixed with worchestershire before cooking. YUM!


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