This story is part of CNET's Home Tips collection of practical recommendations for maximizing the enjoyment of your home, both inside and out.
According to a 2022 survey conducted by Ipsos and Omaha Steaks, Americans are willing to grill. Eight out of 10 Americans (79%) prefer outdoor barbecues with friends and family more than going to a restaurant.
Despite a healthy desire for meat, cost saving is as vital a factor right now. Over 70% of Americans report grocery inflation as having an influence on their budget. That means people may be willing to substitute their preferred beef for a more economical steak if necessary.
For a variety of reasons, ribeye is generally regarded as the finest steak for grilling. A ribeye originates from the area between the loin and the shoulder and is well-known for its rich flavor and tender texture, according to Jason Jerome, a beef supply chain expert at Beef. It's Whats For Dinnerin a recent email exchange.
Mark Dommen, the executive director of San FranciscosOne Market Restaurant, agreed over email. Ribeye steaks have plenty of fat and are also a very gentle steak, according to he. The ribeye meat is so tender that you don't have to focus on slicing it the correct way.
Ribeye is an excellent beef cut, but there are other cheaper options to explore this summer.
Despite its mouth-watering qualities, ribeye is among the most costly cuts of meat available, thus it is the number one choice to get rid of a less expensive steak. According to Jerome and Dommen, there are a number of beef and steak cuts that can easily stand in for ribeye, offering up value for the budget-conscious without sacrificing on flavor and texture. Choose from these seven, expert-endorsed cuts to save money grilling this summer.
Check out our picks for thebest places to buy meat online and the best rubs to buy in 2022 for more beef info.
The finest low-cost steak cuts to grill
According to Jerome, Strip steak is exceptionally tender and is a great alternative to ribeye. It is also one of the fewest meats that comes close in flavor to everyone's favorite steak. The main difference between the two cuts is marbling; ribeye has more internal marbling throughout the cut, which accounts for its tenderness and flavor.
Strip steak is tender and versatile and may substitute for ribeye well.
Jerome states that a strip steak can be easily altered to more portions. He suggested that you cut a strip steak in half for smaller portioned strip filets. This is also great when served alongside fresh vegetables for an easy weeknight dinner.
Jerome advises that if you discover something on sale, stock up and freeze portions for later, but with strip, you can save up to $2 per pound by purchasing in bulk and cutting down your own strip steaks at home, according to the spokesman.
Jerome recommends the flat iron steak as a viable alternative to ribeye. Because of its delicate nature, the flat iron is more suitable for high-heat grilling because of its rich beef flavor.
Flat iron steak has the required marbling to match the grills' intensity.
Sirloin is a primary cut farther down toward the ribbone of the animal. Steaks cut from muscles require less effort than ribeye, making them a more economical choice for grilling. Also, Jerome suggests slicing sirloin steaks into smaller portions for another budget-stretching grill preparation: kabobs.
Sirloin steaks are a delicious and economical option.
Dommen identifies a new type of sirloin to use for barbecue. The picanha is a Brazilian term that is instantly recognized as a popular Brazilian churrasco dish. The muscles are more refined and have greater flavor, but also must be handled with care against the grain.
A flank steak is considered a bulk purchase because it reaches its peak at the rear of the animal. That makes it a great, budget-friendly meat preparation for fajitas. However, a marinade is a great way to ensure additional tenderness before grilling.
Before grilling, add some marinade to your flank steak.
Acidic marinades with vinegar or lime juice are more suitable for flank steak than dry rubs, according to Jerome, and the longer you marinate, the better, up to 24 hours. Add pantry olive oil and spices to your acidic base and you're ready to go.
According to Dommen, short ribs are known for being braised, but they can also be grilled. Short ribs have a lot of marbling, which makes them ideal for grilling.
Short ribs are usually braised, but you may grill them as well.
Short ribs are produced from an area near the prime rib, not from the chuck as the name suggests. (This is why beef requires experts.) Short ribs are produced closer to the stomach. Boneless short ribs for braising are typically sold bone-in and in shorter pieces, but you can ask your butcher for boneless short ribs for steak.
Dommen advises short ribs to be grilled to medium rare with a nice sear to ensure all of the intermuscular fat is heated, and that the meat is cooled. I grill short ribs to an internal temperature of 115 Fahrenheit, which will continue to increase the temperature while resting.
Chuck eye steaks are sometimes referred to as a butchers steak,' according to Jermone. It also bodes well for the quality of the cuts if butchers keep hoarding them. Chuck is a meat species that is usually processed at the very top and front of the animal, so if you have ever grilled burgers, you know how to prepare them.
You've probably already put chuck on the grill.
The steak is named for years ago butchers because it cooked and tasted like a ribeye while being more budget-friendly, according to Jerome. This steak sits right next to the ribeye primal and therefore inherits many of the same qualities as a ribeye.
Dommen asserts that pork is my alternative meat form other than beef. I especially like double-cut, bone-in pork chops, especially if the pork comes from a heritage breed that has great intermuscular fat.
If all else fails, consider other meats, such as pork chops.
When all else fails, consider that other kinds of meat can substitute for beef steak if you're trying to save money. The key is that the pork chop be nice and thick so that you can get a fantastic sear by the time it's cooked, according to Dommen.
Expert advice on grilling meat
Consider a few expert tips to ensure the finest beef you're grilling. For added savings, try using spices already in your pantry. Cumin, coriander, and allspice are on the rise.
Beef is a versatile ingredient, as well as kabobs and fajitas, Jerome advised. Pair sliced steak with a grain and lots of veggies to make it a versatile stir fry or bowl with Mexican or Mediterranean flavors.
Dommen notes that all beef cuts must be grilled according to certain guidelines. By the time your meat is cooked it should also have a nice sear on it. This will allow the meat to recuperate the juices back into the meat, other than ribeye. Slice meat against the grain to ensure tenderness.