Selecting the best beef for your budget - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Selecting the best beef for your budget

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Keep the grill fired and dust off the crock pots! Beef prices are at their highest, but it doesn't mean you need to take it off the table.

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

"People looking for a cleaner, healthier product," said Kathy. "No pink slime here."

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.

"Because 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 side and a strip on the other. For some people this is the preferred way to go getting 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 a better bargain too 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 temp 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.

Copyright 2012 WAVE News. All rights reserved.

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