best CHEAP! beef for the grill
What is the best cheap cut of meat for the grill? I don't mind marinading or brining, but I'm really not set up for 8 hours of smoking.
skirt or flank are pretty inexpensive and tasty. i like using these for parties because you can feed a lot of people if you slice them thin, and it's MUCH less $$ than trying to make sirloins for everyone.
as far as preparation, there's another post you can refer to for ideas...
Here's a second vote for skirt steak, my favorite for grilling. I generally don't like beef in any form, but skirt has amazing taste. Grilled hot and fast, then sliced thinly across the grain it is absolutely terrific. Only trouble is finding it. We have to special order it from our butcher and even then we can't always get it.
You can also try hanger (hangar) steak. It's traditionally used for steak frite, but comes out really well on the grill too. No marinading necessary as it's very flavorful and tender as is. And even at the most expensive butcher shops it's rarely more than $8/Lb. The tough thing is finding it.
Flank steak isn't much cheaper than T-bone.
There are some ethnic cuts of meat that grill quite rapidly. Mexicans have their carne asada, and carne adobada. Typically these are a thick cut that has been skillfully butterflied. Adobada is marinated in medium spicy chile paste. If there is a 'carniceria' (Mexican butchershop) in your neighborhood, check them out.
An Asian market will have thin sliced meat. In Korean cooking this is marinated, and then grilled at the table.
Flank steak is much cheaper, at least in NYC, than a t-bone. I see it in stores for maybe $6-7/lb. It is a great and flavorful steak. Just dont cook it past medium rare and slice thinly across the grain.
Cooks Illustrated gave flap meat their highest score for best cheap cut for grilling. The only place i've seen it sold is Costco.
I'm a big fan of flap steak. Not as easy to find as flank, skirt, or hanger, but usually cheaper and – in my opinion – tastier (really beefy). I've found big packages of it at Costco for about $5.99/lb.
Here's an older piece from the SF Gate about flap steak:
Tri-Tip, which I only seem to find in California, is great on the grill, and often on sale, at least here.
It may be called something else in other parts of the country. Be aware it's more like a roast...you sear it on both sides, then cook in covered grill until done, and serve in slices.