7 Affordable Beef Cuts

Beef, my husband’s favorite food (other than chocolate) seems to get more expensive every day.  I used to buy it in bulk at Costco, but then started doing a little more price checking and sale watching and can find it at much better prices.

This is an article from a blog I read called My Recipes.  I sort of doubt they are all their recipes, but that is the name.

These budget conscious cuts of beef will have you eating like royalty.

Grilling, searing, roasting, and braising are typically the best cooking methods to choose from for achieving the best flavor from your beef. When you are slicing a steak, be sure to cut against the grain.  Slicing against the grain makes for a more tender and chewable bite. Give your meat a few minutes to rest before cutting to ensure optimal juiciness.  By exploring more underrated beef cuts, you open yourself up to a new, affordable ways to enjoy red meat. And once you master how to prepare these cuts, every week can be beef week.



The tri-tip,  is an auspicious, triangle-shaped cut of beef that comes from bottom portion of the sirloin. The tri-tip gained its notoriety from the California barbecue scene. The Santa Maria style of cooking this cut starts with a simple rub of garlic, salt and black pepper. The tri-tip tends to be juicy with a fatty exterior which forms a beautiful crust when smoked or grilled for about 40 minutes over red oak wood. The tri-tip is sliced and served with warm garlic bread, fresh salsa and pinquito beans.  ( A recipe for this will follow) Purist would argue that the flavor of the meat comes from the wood chips, so no need to fuss with the barbecue sauce.


Hanger Steak 


Hanger Steak might just be the most exciting pieces of beef to try on this list. It’s easily cooked in a cast-iron skillet with a quick and simple pan sear, and when paired with compound butter (recipe to follow) the notably rich and beefy flavor and juiciness shines. This cut comes from the plate primal section of the cow, which is considered the lower belly, making it a naturally tender cut. Though once a butcher’s best kept secret, hanger steak has grown in popularity in recent years and isn’t sold quite as cheap as it once was. It is usually less expensive than ribeye, and arguably packs a more sensual flavor and tenderness level.

Stew Meat 

stew meat

When you want to pull out your slow cooker or Instant Pot, stew meat is the cheap “go-to” cut. Stew meat pieces generally come from the neck and shoulder sections of the animal. It tends to be cut and sold in roughly 1-inch chunks, making it easy jump right into the recipe. If preparing on the stovetop, the meat usually takes 1-2 hours of gentle simmering to become tender, and longer if you’re using the slow cooker. Therefore, you’re best bet with stew beef is to plan ahead and either make it a weekend meal prep move, cut the cook time with your Instant Pot or prep the meat and set the Crockpot in the morning before you head off to work, and allow it to slow-cook throughout the day. By time you come home, dinner will be ready to serve.

Chuck Roast

chuck roast

Some dishes are best when prepared in their most classic and traditional form. A classic Beef Pot Roast for Sunday Supper is always popular. The chuck roast is cut from shoulder blade of the cow and is readily available in the meat section of most grocery stores. It’s  one of those glorious set-it-and-forget cuts of meat that you can cook, largely hands-free in a slow cooker or Dutch oven. This works well in that Instant Pot you are starting to think about buying.

Chuck- Eye Steaks

chuck eye

Chuck Eye Steaks come from the same chuck primal section of a cow as the chuck roast, and is commonly known as Chuck Delmonico or the poor man’s steak given its affordability. This cut is well marbled and when prepared correctly, it’s succulent, and  decadent. Not to mention, when it’s salted prior to searing, the meat forms a glorious crispy crust. Always remember to bast as you cook, as this cut tends to dry out quickly if you don’t.

Cube Steak 

Cubed Steak Bulgogi image

Cube steak is another classic, all-to-familiar cuts many of us remember from childhood, but forget to buy as an adult. This highly budget-friendly cut typically comes from the top round or top sirloin section of the cow and is pounded flat in order to tenderize the meat. The cube steak is best known for being breaded and fried to make an old-school country fried steak but is commonly served sautéed with onions and peppers, and can even used as an inexpensive swap for other steak cuts in dishes.  If you’re an imaginative cook who’s dedicated to saving a money on your grocery bill, the cube steak is your choice.

Flank Steak


Flank Steak has become a great ‘go-to’ for home cooks.  Flank steak is a thin, wide, and long cut of beef that comes from the bottom abdominal section of the animal. Its thinness allows you to pan-sear and cook the cut fairly quickly, and can then be sliced thinly to yield plenty of meat for tacos or sandwiches. It can be broiled on high in the oven, or sliced first and sautéed for a simple stir-fry or fajita recipe. Given its quick cook time, it’s always a good call to marinade this cut before cooking to infuse it with flavor and break down some of the tough tissue.

*****Santa Maria Style Pinquito Beans Recipe


  • 1 pound dry Pinquito beans, pink beans, or pinto beans
  • 2 strips bacon, diced
  • 1/2 cup smoked cooked ham, diced
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (14.5-oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle pepper, optional
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water


Check through beans for small stones. Place in a pot and cover with cold water; soak overnight. Drain beans and return to the pot. Cover by 3-inches with fresh cold water, and simmer for 1 hour, 45 minutes, or until tender.

While the beans are cooking, saute bacon in a saucepan over medium heat until lightly browned. Add the ham and garlic; saute 2 minutes longer. Add the tomato, ketchup, mustard, paprika, chili powder, chipotle, sugar, salt, and water.

Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and cook for 30 minutes. Reserve.

When beans are ready; drain, but reserve one cup of the cooking liquid. Return beans and cup of liquid to the pot and stir in the sauce. Simmer on low for 30 minutes. Serve hot with grilled Santa Maria tri-tip.

****Compound Butter Recipe
Compound butter is softened butter, whipped with various sweet or savory ingredients. Use salted butter, so you don’t have too much salt.  (Don’t add any)
Here are some ideas for Steak:

1. Smoked Paprika & Rosemary Butter

1 stick unsalted butter
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon salt

Herb Butter

1 stick unsalted butter
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (such as parsley, thyme, rosemary and oregano)
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

Jalapeno Lime Butter

1 stick unsalted butter
½ jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced very finely
juice of ½ lime
½ teaspoon salt

Gorgonzola Sage Butter

1 stick unsalted butter
2 ounces crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
½ teaspoon salt

7 Affordable Beef Cuts

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