If you’re looking to feed a large group of people or want to save a few bucks on groceries, knowing the best cheap cuts of meats is essential. Some cuts are priced very inexpensively, and the lower price doesn’t always mean lower quality. Plus, if there’s a sale on an inexpensive cut, the savings can be exponential. Here are a few meat items that offer a great value with exceptional flavor and versatility.
Cheap Cuts Of Meat That Taste Amazing
When looking to save some money on meat at the grocery store, you don’t want to sacrifice flavor or tenderness. Some cuts are very inexpensive, but they are also tough. Look for some of these cuts instead.
Pork shoulder is a type of pork roast that’s a great, inexpensive meat to look out for. It’s perfect for barbecue pulled pork sandwiches. Use either a smoker or a crockpot to prepare your pork shoulder. The result will be a juicy, tender, and flavorful roast of delicious pork. The higher fat content helps this cut remain tender throughout longer cooking times.
Country-Style Pork Ribs
These ribs do not come in a connected rack like other ribs at the grocery store. Instead, country-style pork ribs are packaged in pre-cut portions. They look like a cross between a traditional rib and a thin, long pork chop. This versatile cut can be smoked, grilled, baked, or slow-cooked. There is usually a lot of fat on the ribs, which makes them incredibly juicy. Serve your country-style pork ribs with some baked beans and cornbread.
Bone-In Pork Chops
When prepared correctly, bone-in pork chops can be tender and delicious. Their more neutral flavor makes them easy to customize with different breadings, seasonings, sauces, and gravies. For maximum tenderness, look for a chop that is a bit thicker, since it won’t cook through and dry out as quickly as a thin pork chop. Sides that go well with pork chops include cauliflower mashed potatoes and potato salad.
Beef Chuck Roast
This cut is one of the most affordable cuts of beef. The roast is cut from the shoulder of the cow. Beef chuck roasts are best used in crockpot beef pot roast with hearty vegetables such as potatoes and carrots.
Chuck Eye Steak
If you’re looking for a great cut of steak without the steak price tag, grab some chuck eye steak. This steak is cut from between the ribs and is closely related to the prized ribeye steak. Make sure you don’t confuse this cut with the plain chuck steak, which is a different cut of meat. The chuck eye steak is great for grilling. Serve it with loaded baked potatoes.
The tri-tip steak is a triangular cut from the bottom of the sirloin. It doesn’t have as much beefy flavor as the other beef options on our list, but it takes seasoning very well, so don’t be afraid to spice it up. This steak tastes best cooked in a crockpot or grilled, and it’s a great candidate for make-ahead lunches.
Both bone-in and boneless chicken thighs are tender, juicy, and incredibly flavorful. In addition, there’s no wrong way to cook chicken thighs. They can be baked, slow-cooked, air fried, or grilled. You can serve your chicken thighs with a refreshing Caprese salad.
Like chicken thighs, chicken drumsticks are juicy and flavorful. They can be baked, slow-cooked, or grilled. Be sure to leave the skin on for some extra flavor. Garlic mashed potatoes go perfectly with chicken drumsticks.
Some of the price of meat comes from the amount of work it takes to cut a given portion. With a whole chicken, there is no portioning, so the price per pound is generally low. Cooking a whole chicken sounds intimidating. However, it’s easy to roast it in the oven or cook it in a crockpot. Depending on the size of your bird and the number of people you’re feeding, you may even be able to get two meals out of a single roasted chicken. Whole roasted chickens can be served with a vegetable medley and rice.
Ground turkey is versatile, juicy, and highly underrated. Just try making turkey tacos, turkey chili, or turkey meatloaf, and you’ll wonder why you ever used ground beef. Most of the time, 93 percent ground turkey is the same price as 85 percent ground beef, making the turkey a healthier budget ground meat.
Tips For Working With Affordable Cuts Of Meat
While every cut of meat is different, here are a few things to keep in mind that will help you make the most of your affordable cuts of meat:
- Cooking meat in a smoker or crockpot at a low temperature over a long period of time breaks down collagen, the protein that makes meat tough. Once this protein has been broken down, your meat will be melt-in-your-mouth tender.
- Meats generally get tougher when they cook at higher temperatures. Meats with higher fat content or more marbleization are more resistant to becoming tough.
- Cook cheaper cuts of beef on the rarer side when you can.
Just because you’re trying to save some money doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice great meat. Try some of these amazing cuts if you haven’t already.