Selecting the best beef for your budget - AmericaNowNews.com

The best beef for your budget

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Americans eat a lot of beef, but are we getting the best beef for our dollar?

Keep the grill fired up and dust off the crock pot, because we've got tips to help you buy better tasting beef at lower prices.

At Preferred Meats, owners Rodney and Kathy Hagar are helping sort through the best cuts for taste buds and budget. Their own meat selections are only locally grown, with no antibiotics, hormones or preservatives.

They carry everything from skirt steak, which Rodney said is really delicious in fajitas, to pricier selections like a Tomahawk special-order steak. The basic selections, however, include sirloin, T-bone/porterhouse, strip, ribeye and filet. The most budget-friendly of that group is the sirloin, but it's the least tender.

"It's a locomotion muscle," Kathy explained. "I would recommend marinade."

The marinade should be one with an acidic base to break down the connective tissue causing the toughness.

Next up on the price scale are the T-bone and porterhouse. They have a filet on one side and a strip on the other. For some people, this is the preferred way to get the best of both worlds. But with a little less bone and more meat in the porterhouse, it's the better bargain. 

"Oh, the porterhouse for the money," said Rodney. "You get more for your dollar."

It's also a better bargain than the strip alone.  

The ribeye is the best seller at Preferred Meats. Filled with lots of flavorful marbling, you'll add some fat calories on this one. To go a little leaner without losing the flavor, the best choice is the filet.

Lots of people are going for ground round and ground sirloin to cut calories in their burgers, but it will cost you money.

"You start pulling that fat off," Rodney explained. 

To save on budget, Rodney recommends mixing mix half ground chuck with half ground round.

For roasts, the chuck is the cheapest, but you'll never know it when cooked up in a crock pot. The rump roast is what the Hagars recommend for slicing.

As for grass-fed versus corn-fed, it's really just a preference. People who love corn-fed say it's more flavorful. It has a lot more marbling in the cuts and corn-fed is cheaper.

Here are a few more tips from the Hagars:

  • Steaks need to be at room temperature when they go on the grill
  • Preheat the grill for about 20 minutes, longer if it's charcoal, and avoid lighter fluid which will transfer to the steaks
  • For a simple, cheap marinade, Kathy recommends Italian dressing

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