If you’re a steak lover, then you know how expensive certain types of steak can be. It’s okay to splurge on ribeye, tomahawk, or tenderloin or even filet mignon every now and then, but if you eat steak frequently, the cost can really add up fast.
So, how do you choose the best cuts without sacrificing flavor and tenderness?
Here is an overview of the 6 best steak cuts for the money, so, hopefully, you can find some cuts that aren’t too tough and that taste as great as you expect.
1. Chuck Eye Steak
If your favorite cut of steak is ribeye, then you will absolutely love chuck eye steak for many reasons.
Chuck eye steak is from the same area of the cow as the rib eye, but it’s simply cut differently so that it contains other parts of the cow, as well. Many people jokingly refer to chuck eye steaks as the “poor man’s ribeye.”
While chuck eye steaks have a mild buttery taste, the taste isn’t quite as buttery and scrumptious as an actual ribeye steak.
However, if you season it well and add butter while cooking it, chances are that you or your family won’t notice much difference in the taste.
If you like your steak extremely tender, then you obviously want to tenderize your chuck eye steak before cooking it.
Since it’s a relatively tender cut of meat already, you won’t have to do any heavy duty tenderizing-just maybe marinate it or use a meat mallet on it. The steak will then come out as melt-in-your-mouth delicious as a ribeye.
2. Chuck steak
Chuck steak is different from chuck eye steak, although it’s another relatively tender cut of beef. Chuck steak is often referred to as the “seven bone steak” because it has a huge bone in it that is strangely shaped like the number 7.
Some people consider chuck steak to be tough, especially if they’re used to eating more expensive and more tender cuts of steaks.
However, just like the chuck eye steak, if you tenderize it beforehand by marinating and/or pounding it with a mallet, then it should turn out tender and flavorful, just as you desire, regardless of the cooking method that you use.
3. Flat iron steak
Many people love flat iron steak because of how easy and quick it is to cook as well as its immense flavor, but you will have to give it a bit of attention in order to tenderize it ahead of time.
Like the other two steaks, flat iron steak won’t require any extensive tenderizing since it’s already somewhat tender. However, if you want it as tender as a more premium cut of steak, you will want to at least marinate it in advance.
One thing about the flat iron steak is that it cooks very quickly due to its thinness, making it easy to overcook it. An overcooked flat iron steak is often a tough one, so you should be sure to cook it precisely.
4. Petite tender steak
The name of this steak says it all, as it is a very small, petite cut of steak that is extremely tender. Not everyone is familiar with this cut of steak, which is why it’s still affordable, but if you can find it, then you will soon realize how lucky you are.
Some people refer to the petite tender steak as a cheap hangar steak, but call it what you want. It’s an excellent and affordable cut of very tender steak that you will absolutely love.
Some people have had luck tricking their dinner guests into believing that the petite tender steak was a filet mignon, if that tells you anything about its extreme tenderness and sponginess.
It must be cooked properly in order to fool your guests into thinking it’s a more expensive cut of steak, but it’s very possible.
5. Tri-tip sirloin steak
While most people are very familiar with sirloin steak, not everyone has heard of tri-tip sirloin, which is a very tender but cheap (and unattractive) cut of beef.
You won’t often find tri-top sirloin at the grocery store, as it is so underrated because of the inability to cut these steaks in a consistent manner.
Tri-tip is also not beautiful, like ribeye, porterhouse or filet mignon are, but just because it’s not beautiful doesn’t mean it can’t be your next steak dinner.
Tri-tip steak can be easily tenderized by marinating it or even giving it a few pounds prior to cooking it, which should make its tenderness comparable to higher-cost cuts of steak, for a fraction of the cost.
Next time you shop at your local butcher, don’t hesitate to ask about this cut of steak if you’re interested in trying it out, because he or she just might have some tri-tip for you to purchase.
6. Denver steak
Denver steaks did not originate in Denver, nor is it known how this cut of steak got its name. What is known about Denver steaks is the fact that this cut of meat is both affordable as well as tender.
Denver steaks resemble boneless ribs, but they are not ribs, they’re a chuck primal cut of steak. You may have never heard of Denver cuts of steaks, but don’t hesitate to ask your butcher about them next time you’re on the lookout for affordable tender steaks.
FAQs about Value Steaks
Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions from steak lovers looking to continue to enjoy their tender steaks, but without exceeding their budgets.
What is the very best cut of steak?
This is a matter of opinion, as not all people would agree what the best steak cut is. While some people would eat nothing but sirloin, others only eat porterhouse or ribeye. However, the best cut of steak is ribeye or filet mignon, as they’re both tender, flavorable and very juicy due to excellent marbling. However, both ribeye and filet mignon are very expensive, so if you’re on a budget, then you should opt for petite tender or chuck eye steak, which are much more affordable.
What is the most affordable tender steak?
Chuck eye steak is likely going to be your most affordable tender steak. If you’re throwing a dinner party and cooking steaks, then you can definitely get more for your money by purchasing several chuck eye steaks and grilling them up. Your guests will absolutely love them. You can inquire with your butcher about the least expensive tender steak available and he or she can provide you with prices and recommendations.
How do I get my lower cost steak as tender as a more expensive steak?
You don’t have to go broke buying expensive steaks, because you can purchase cheaper, yet still tender cuts as discussed above and enjoy them just as much as eating a porterhouse steak. How? It’s all about how you prepare the steak. If you take the time to marinate the steak ahead of time, you will not only be rewarded with superior flavor, but the high levels of acidity will gently tenderize your steak over time.
Tenderizing usually takes 6 or more hours, so if you don’t want to wait, you can cook your steak in a pressure cooker, sear it and cook it slowly in the oven, for a super tender and delectable steak.
Will eating steak help me to lose weight?
Depending on the type of steak you eat as well as the amount, steak can certainly help you to lose weight. However, some cuts are fattier than others, so if you’re on a low-fat diet you will want to limit your portions. On the other hand, if you’re on the keto diet, which is a high fat, low carb, moderate protein diet, then the fattier the steak, the better it will be when it comes to weight loss.
Will eating steak make me gain weight?
If you consume high amounts of the fattiest types of steaks along with an abundance of other foods, then you will likely gain weight. However, if you eat normal portions of steak and other foods, then it will not make you gain weight, so buy yourself some tender steak, cook it and enjoy it!
Can I eat steak for breakfast?
You can eat steak for any meal that you like, and many people do eat steak for breakfast. Steak pairs well with eggs, grits and hashbrowns, which is why many restaurants offer steak and eggs on their breakfast menus. While some people prefer a light breakfast consisting of fruit and toast, others function better when they consume a hearty breakfast like steak, which can provide them with the energy necessary to perform a heavy labor job.
Is it okay to eat steak every day?
Steak is so delicious that many people want to consume it on a daily basis. However, our bodies aren’t made to consume the same foods on a daily basis, as we require a variety of different types and categories of foods in order to be healthy. It’s best to limit the amount of steak that you eat and try some chicken, turkey, fish and pork.
Where can I find some good steak recipes?
There are numerous cookbooks at local bookstores and online, and if you prefer obtaining them for free, then visit your local library. There are also many apps and cooking websites that not only offer recipes for you to read, but many will be accompanied by helpful instructional videos. You might even opt to get creative and experiment in the kitchen in order to create your own recipes. Just be sure to write down the ingredients and instructions beforehand in case it turns out to be a real hit. Some people take cooking classes, which could be both in person or online.