If you browse the supermarket aisles for a while you may notice that cube steak is among the better deals that you find in the meat section. You may wonder “why is cube steak so cheap?”.
We have answers for you on that as well as the other burning questions that you have. Stick with us until the end to get answers to some frequently asked questions about cube steak.
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Why is Cube Steak So Cheap?
There are plenty of reasons why cube steak has a cheaper price tag than many of the other cuts of meat that you may come across, and we want to cover the various reasons why you should consider purchasing some cube steak for your next gathering.
Here are a few of the reasons why it appears that cube steak has fallen out of favor with much of the American public and why that is so important:
- It is tougher than many other cuts of meat
- It may take longer to prepare this meat than some others
- Cube steaks have low visibility with the public (i.e. they aren’t served in restaurants)
- Some people don’t care for the taste of it
There are other reasons why cube steak has fallen out of favor as well, but we want to focus on these 4 to give you an idea about why cube steak appears to have fallen out of favor with much of the public.
1) Tougher Than Other Meats
One of the value propositions that many steaks provide is that they have an almost buttery smoothness to them when they are cut into.
People like for their meats to be tender and tasty, and they are willing to pay up to achieve that texture.
In order to get cube steak to taste just the way that you want it, it is necessary to take it through a variety of preparatory steps. These include:
- Placing the meat on a cutting board
- Adding the desired seasonings to it
- Pound the meat with a large knife or tenderizer for some time until desired tenderness is reached
- Flip the meat and repeat the first three steps
- Cook the meat until browned
This obviously includes a few more steps than what one might see if they were to purchase a different kind of meat.
That is important because it alludes to the fact that this type of meat creates extra work for people that they likely do not want to deal with.
Given the nature of that reality, it is hardly any wonder that many people have decided to forgo cube steak in favor of other options that are easier to deal with. Just think about the busy schedules that so many of us have.
Those schedules do not make it easy for most people to spend a lot of time preparing their food, and this steak requires more work than what some people are willing to put into it.
2) Long Preparation Times
As mentioned above, the preparation time required to make cube steak is significantly longer than what many other meals require.
For example, it is very easy to throw a pound of hamburger meat on a skillet and brown it for a meal. That takes very little time and produces something that can be enjoyed almost instantly.
The same cannot be said for cube steak. One must carefully consider what they are doing and follow precise steps to get their desired result.
The taste of cube steak is such that it often requires additional seasonings to make it come out right. Of course, this adds to the bottom line cost of the meal itself, and that is something that people don’t want to do if they are looking for a cost-effective dinner.
Not only that but adding in the seasonings also opens up the possibility that something will get seasoned incorrectly and cause the meal to come out wrong. It is a big risk that some people are simply unwilling to subject themselves to.
When time is the most important factor, it is essential to stick to foods that can be prepared without too much risk of wasting time.
If you are the type of person who puts a high value on your time, you will want to reconsider if cube steak makes a lot of sense for you.
3) Low Visibility
We may not like to admit it, but most of us are likely to follow trends and pay attention to the popularity of various things when making a decision about what we want to do with our own purchasing choices.
This is to say that we need to see something presented to us on a frequent basis before we are likely to latch on to it and decide that we might like to purchase it as well.
Nu Sci Magazine reports that humans may be biologically wired to follow trends as a way of taking some decision-making off of our own plates.
We decide that the trends that others have established are likely the best things to do as well, and we are more likely to accept whatever others are doing and/or purchasing for ourselves. This effect likely seeps into the food purchases that we make as well.
When we see a particular type of food over and over again, we begin to see it as popular, and this may lead us to decide that it is something that we should consider purchasing for ourselves as well.
This research is bad news for cube steak because it is not all that visible in the lives of most people. You will not find cube steak on any menu at any sit-down or fast-food restaurants.
You may find it in your local grocery store, but even that is not guaranteed. It all depends on the taste preferences of the local area where you happen to live, and not every area has access to cube steak.
When something like this is out of sight, it is often out of mind as well. People don’t think about cube steak when they don’t see it often. Thus, they don’t necessarily think about purchasing it.
That lack of demand makes restaurants and grocery stores assume that the item is not popular and that they don’t need to keep it stocked. This forces the cycle of a lack of demand for the product, and it just goes around and around again.
What this means is that cube steak may be the victim of a lack of exposure in restaurants, grocery stores, and many other venues that might typically carry it if not for the fact that they think that people don’t want it.
You might want to take advantage of the fact that many other people are not clamoring for cube steak at this time. You know for a fact that this doesn’t necessarily mean that there is anything wrong with the quality of cube steak.
It has merely fallen out of favor with a certain group of people, and that may allow you to capitalize on the lack of popularity with this one to get some tasty eats that you wouldn’t otherwise have access to.
When you think about it like this, you can start to see how you can take advantage to enjoy a tasty meal at a bargain price.
4) Not Everyone Likes The Taste
There is always a stumbling block for some people when it comes to how cube steak tastes. Not everyone likes the taste, and they are willing to admit that fact.
They will say that even when it is prepared just right that it lacks the flavor and tenderness that are found in other types of steak.
Those who get used to eating a certain type of steak may find themselves unwilling to convert to another type of steak that does not provide that same taste quality.
Different types of steak come from different parts of the cow, and the most tender pieces come from the muscles that are used the most often by the cow when it is alive.
Unfortunately, cube steak does not come from those more used muscles. Thus, it is tougher by nature, and that means it requires extra work to get it to the same taste quality as some of the other cuts of meat that people may have enjoyed before.
This is all very important because people know what they want from their steak experience, and if cube steak doesn’t reach that quality level for them, then they will simply forgo it in favor of something else.
This dynamic has sent cube steak prices plummeting, and it is a major reason why cube steak is so cheap.
FAQs About Cube Steak
We now want to answer some of the FAQs that many people have about cube steak but may be too afraid to ask.
Hopefully, you walk away with a fuller understanding of what cube steak is and why it is potentially a good choice to add to your supermarket cart.
What is the point of cube steak?
Cube steak is a great alternative to more expensive cuts of meat for those who are on a budget. Just because someone is trying to save some money doesn’t mean that they should have to completely give up on their favorite flavors and tastes when it comes to the steak that they enjoy.
Instead, it ought to be possible for them to get something that can be used as an alternative of sorts to help them keep enjoying the taste of steak without the price tag that they cannot afford.
Is cube steak really steak?
Yes, cube steak really is steak, it is just a cheaper alternative compared to most cuts. It still comes from cows, it just comes from less tender muscles than other types of steak do.
Sometimes, people think that the lower price tag means that cube steak does not truly qualify as steak, but that is the wrong way to think about it. Cube steak should still be thought of as steak though, and the misconceptions about it may lead to you finding a great bargain on it at your local grocery store.
What is the cheapest cut of steak?
The exact cut that ranks as the cheapest cut of steak will depend on the area that you live in as well as the specific pricing policies of the place where you are purchasing it from. Cube steak certainly ranks among the cheapest cuts in most areas, but there are a few other cuts that are often very cheap as well including: Top round steak, Sirloin tip steak, Eye of round steak, Bottom round roast, and Arm chuck roast.
Make sure you comparison shop the various cuts of steak at your local grocery store before making a final decision about which one is right for you. The pricing may come down to factors such as how much supply the individual store has on that given day or week.
Is cube steak better than ground beef?
Most people consider cube steak to be an upgrade on ground beef. Many people are quite familiar with ground beef as it is used in plenty of dishes.
However, cube steak is still considered to be an improvement on ground beef in many cases. This might be in part due to the fact that it is less common to see cube steak as compared to ground beef, but it is still worth considering if you are looking at which type of food you would like to serve at your next get-together.
You may be able to wow your audience with some cube steak at a great price.