Budget-Friendly Steak Cuts That Are a Delicious Alternative to Ribeye

If you’ve noticed the unusually high beef prices this summer while stocking up for your barbecue, you’re not alone. The US is facing a shortage of cattle due to recent droughts, leading to a spike in demand and prices for red meat. But fear not, there are cheaper steak cuts that can still satisfy your carnivorous cravings without breaking the bank.

Ribeye: The Best, but Expensive

Ribeye is often hailed as the best cut of beef, known for its rich flavor and juicy texture. However, it’s also one of the most expensive cuts. If ribeye is out of reach for you this summer, consider these affordable alternatives that won’t compromise on taste.

1. Flat Iron Steak: A Worthy Alternative

If you’re craving the tenderness of ribeye, the flat iron steak is a great option. It’s the second most tender cut of beef after the beef tenderloin. With its rich beef flavor and excellent marbling, it can be used in various ways and matches the intensity of the grill.

2. Strip Steak: A Tasty Substitute

Strip steak is incredibly tender and a tasty substitute for ribeye. While it may have less marbling than ribeye, it still offers a robust flavor. You can easily cut a strip steak in half for smaller portions or use it for delicious weeknight dinners with fresh veggies.

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3. Sirloin Steak or Sirloin Cap: Budget-Friendly and Flavorful

Sirloin steaks, cut from muscles further down the animal, are a leaner choice for grilling. They are chock-full of flavor and can be cut into smaller pieces for kabobs, a great option for a budget-stretching meal. Another cut from the sirloin, called picanha, is popular in Brazilian churrasco and offers a unique flavor.

4. Flank Steak: Versatile and Affordable

Flank steak is a versatile and budget-friendly cut that’s perfect for fajitas. While it’s naturally lean, marinating it before grilling can ensure added tenderness and flavor. Acidic marinades with vinegar or lime juice work well, and the longer you marinate, the better the result.

5. Beef Short Rib: Grillable and Flavorful

Short ribs are commonly braised, but they can also be grilled. With their marbling, they are perfect for grilling too. Though they come from an area closer to the belly rather than the rib, they offer excellent flavor and can be grilled to medium rare for a mouthwatering experience.

6. Chuck Eye Steaks: A Butcher’s Steak

Chuck eye steaks, sometimes known as a “butchers’ steak,” are a top-quality cut that offers a ribeye-like flavor while being more budget-friendly. This steak sits next to the ribeye primal, so it inherits many of the same qualities. If you’ve ever grilled burgers, you’re already familiar with chuck.

7. Pork Chops: A Delicious Alternative

If all else fails, consider pork chops as an alternative to beef steak. Thick, bone-in pork chops can be just as satisfying as cutting into a steak. Look for heritage breeds with great intermuscular fat for maximum flavor.

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Grilling Tips from the Experts:

  • Elevate more tender cuts with dry rubs using spices from your pantry.
  • Consider dishes that call for less steak per person, like beefed-up salads or stir-fries with grains and lots of veggies.
  • Allow the meat to rest before slicing to redistribute the juices, and always slice against the grain for tenderness.

Next time you’re looking to satisfy your steak cravings without breaking the bank, give these budget-friendly alternatives a try. Enjoy your grilling adventure!

For more information, visit Hook’d Up Bar and Grill.