All summer long, ranchers have been enjoying higher prices for their cattle, and consumers have been paying a higher price for beef at the grocery store. Although this news isn’t particularly new, I continue to stumble upon news articles showing consumers how to buy beef on a budget by looking for more affordable cuts. Here are three consumer reports on being able to affordably enjoy America’s favorite protein, beef.
1. “Go Against The Grain With Less Expensive But Flavorful Meats” by Linda Hoffman for The Coloradoan
Hoffman writes, “A steak on the grill — the easy choice for a quick weeknight dinner or for weekend entertaining. It can be pricy to feed a family of four or a crowd for a party with steak and is completely unnecessary when there are inexpensive cuts that can be equally delicious as the royalty of steaks, the T-bones, Porterhouse, ribeyes or tenderloin filets.
“Working muscles are generally more flavorful, while certainly less tender unless prepared properly, but they are also much less expensive. The key is to cook them to medium-rare or medium and to slice them thinly across the grain, which produces very tender, delicious and affordable portions.”
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2. “Keeping Beef On The Grill” by Sarah Heinrich for KXNews
Heinrich reports, “No meat sizzles more in the summer than beef. A recent study shows 69% of Americans make beef their number-one choice on the grill, vs. chicken with 25% and pork with 6% of the votes. While prices have been rising in the grocery store, those price spikes don't have to impact your checkbook. You just have to know your cuts.”
The article recommends checking out the chuck eye, flat iron, bottom sirloin and tri-tip.
3. “On Your Table: It’s Grilling & Chilling Time” by Cathy Branciaroli for The Unionville Times
Branciaroli says, “Every meat lover dreams of cutting into a perfectly grilled steak and sharing the experience with friends and family, but what cut to choose? Here is a rundown of options from affordable to luxurious.
“Hanger steak is cut from between the ribs and the loin. It is very flavorful but benefits from a marinade as it’s a tougher piece of meat. Also called the butcher’s cut, the hanger steak was once a piece kept from sale by butchers because it was so flavorful, but the steak is now more available.”
The article also offers cooking and grilling suggestions for cuts such as the skirt steak and the porterhouse.
She adds, “For the ultimate steak experience, try dry-aged beef, which is kept in a temperature-controlled environment for at least 21 days so that it sheds 20-30% of its moisture. The resulting concentrated flavor is nutty and buttery. Because of its reduced moisture, it cooks much faster than other types of meat.”
What is your favorite cut of beef to grill? What tips would you give a consumer for having the best beef eating experience? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of Beefmagazine.com or the Penton Farm Progress Group.
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