Not every steak in the meat case gets the same amount of respect. Generally, the lower-priced cuts are overlooked for more prime steaks, like ribeye and New York strip steaks.
But, price isn’t everything. When it comes to steak, it’s more about what you do with it than the price you pay. Premium steaks can be easier to cook and get an excellent outcome without putting too much thought behind it. But cheaper cuts might take a little more TLC.
Some steaks are just plain underrated, either because they’re on the cheaper side or because people don’t know much about them. This guide is dedicated to all those delicious steaks at the meat counter that don’t get the love they deserve.
The Top 8 Most Underrated Cuts of Beef
If you’re looking for a few more steaks to add to your repertoire, the following are good ones to start with.
Flank steak is one people overlook if they’re solely looking for a thicker piece of meat like one they’d find at a steakhouse. These thin steaks don’t necessarily look as appetizing as others when they’re in their packaging at the butcher. But you can make some delicious meals with flank steak.
One of the more affordable cuts of steak, flank steak works really well for slow-cooked dishes. Put it in a slow cooker for steak soups, fajitas, or tacos, and the meat will tenderize beautifully over time. It’s also a good option for marinades to boost its flavor and make it more tender before cooking.
Chuck steaks are some of the most affordable cuts of steak. They’re known for being quite tough compared to others, as they cut from the highly exercised shoulder area with lots of muscle. This can be a turnoff for many steak lovers because, as you know, tenderness makes a steak that much better.
However, you can tenderize chuck steak to an extent by using a meat tenderizer. And, if your recipe involves a slow cooking process, like roasting, chuck steak can also be a good fit. This cut simply needs some time for its muscle fibers to break down for a good chew. Once they do, you’ll get tons of flavor and satisfaction in each bite.
Flat Iron Steak
For some reason, people tend to lump together flat iron steak with flank steak. Perhaps it’s because flat iron is also on the thinner and longer side, shaped similarly to the flank. But this cut is much more tender and filled with flavor.
Another bonus: It’s quick to cook because of its thinner stature. If you need to whip up a quick steak dinner, flank steak is one of the best for the job. Sear it and have it ready for the dinner table in about 15 minutes, including resting time.
Tri-tip is a triangular-shaped steak that comes from the stomach area of the cow. It’s not one that’s easily found in grocery stores, which is why many people may not know much about it. However, this affordable cut has a good texture and is quick to cook on the grill or cast-iron skillet.
One potential con with tri-tip steak is that it doesn’t necessarily have a naturally rich beef flavor. But, add a dry rub or a marinade, and you’ll give it just the right flavor boost for a yummy meal.
Hanger steak is one that many people don’t really hear about. But for those who know, they know. This cut has plenty of flavor and an excellent texture, making it almost comparable to a ribeye when cooked correctly. However, its price is usually lower per pound, so it’s an affordable alternative to some pricier cuts.
Top Round Steak
Top round is one of the least costly steaks at the meat counter, but don’t count it out just because it’s cheap. Instead, use it for dishes that you have time to cook for a while, like a London broil or a smothered, slow-cooker steak. Top round just needs time to tenderize, making it a fantastic match for chili, soups, or smoked steaks.
Denver steak is a type of chuck steak that doesn’t get mentioned much like some others on this list. However, this underrated cut has terrific marbling that, when cooked down, yields tremendous flavor. It also holds its shape well when cooking, so it’s a breeze to grill or pan sear.
Tenderloin or Filet Mignon
We know what you’re thinking: “Aren’t beef tenderloin and filet mignon some of the most coveted cuts of beef?” Sure, for many people, they are. But for every person who loves them, there’s another person who thinks they’re completely overrated.
That’s mostly because beef tenderloin and filet mignon don’t have the flavor that many steak enthusiasts yearn for. If you’re looking for all-out beef flavor, you’re not going to find it with these cuts. That leaves many to wonder if they should even be counted as steaks.
But for more decadent dishes, you just can’t go wrong with tenderloin or filet mignon. There’s even a National Filet Mignon Day, proving its popularity with its specific crowd. Add a drizzle of herb butter atop the meat, and you have yourself one of the most tender steaks your money can buy. Think of these cuts as an occasional indulgent treat.
Order Steaks Online Today
We’re not here to judge your steak preferences, whether you want to save money on steaks for dinner or you just want to try some not-as-well-known cuts. The underrated steaks on this list are definitely contenders for the dinner table.
If you don’t feel like browsing the meat shelves, order your steaks online from Chicago Steak Company. We have steaks that fit different budgets in addition to steak assortments that give you a variety to sample.