1. Chuck eye
If you want to grill a flavorful steak on a tight budget, look no further than the chuck eye. The chuck eye lives on the butcher’s edge between the chuck and the more renowned rib eye.
This cut has rich flavor and nice meat-to-fat balance similar to rib eye, but costs less. Perfect for grilling or pot roasts.
2. Flat iron steak
Versatile and untraditional, the flat iron cut (also known as “top blade”) comes from the shoulder of the cow. A trendy cut popular among food chains and upscale restaurants alike, a flat iron steak can be grilled, braised, pan fried, marinated, and everything in between. The bonus? It’s affordable. This meat – although tougher than a sirloin or fillet – has delicious flavor.
Get creative: this cut can be cooked in many ways, just be sure to not overcook it.
3. Flank steak
Skirt steak is a cut of meat from the plate – the long, flat, and flavorful bottom ribs of the cow. Flank steak is a similar cut. Both skirt and flank steak cuts can be used in a variety of dishes, most common in Colombian (think fajitas) and Asian-style stir fries. Flank steak is best when sliced across the grain before serving.
Grill, pan-fry, broil or braise for increased tenderness.
4. Tip sirloin
The sirloin is a large area cut from the rear back portion of the cow. The most prized and tender of this area is top sirloin. If you’re looking for something a little easier on the wallet, the tip sirloin is a leaner horseshoe-shaped cut ideal for cutlets, stir-fry, kebabs, and stew.
Because it’s lean, tip sirloin can be dry and chewy, so it should be marinated for a few hours before grilling, broiling or pan-searing.
5. Gunnin’ for chuck arm steak
The chuck arm comes from that larger chuck area surrounding ribs one through five. The muscles in this area get a lot of work, so the meat tends to be tough, but this makes it ideal for kebabs and stews. Also, the cuts from this area are plentiful, thus cheap! Pair with some grilled veggies for a saucy combo fit for late-night fiestas.
Perfect for braising (grilling not recommended).