Are you looking for the best way to save money on dinner during these tough economic times? One of the easiest and most delicious ways is to take advantage of cheap cuts of beef.
Using a slow cooker, these cuts become tender and tasty—making them perfect for stew or pot roast.
In this blog post, you'll learn why using inexpensive cuts of meat in your slow cooker can make all the difference while still providing amazing flavor.
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Which cuts of beef are best for the slow cooker?
Slow cooker beef recipes are a great way to have cheap, family friendly meals without needing too much effort.
Here are the best cheap cuts of meat for slow cooking:
- Chuck roast has good fat content which makes it ideal for slow cooking — the fat is released during cooking and helps to keep the meat moist and flavorful.
- Cubes or stew meat should be browned first in order to bring out the flavor before being placed in the slow cooker.
- Brisket is also an excellent option due to its rich flavor. Consider slow cooking instead of smoking or barbecuing this cut of meat.
- Ground beef is probably one of the most cost-effective cuts of beef, and it cooks great in the slow cooker as long as you avoid having too much liquid in your recipe.
- Oxtail and shank are also inexpensive options that can be cooked in a slow cooker and offer great value for money.
- Round steak, shank or blade can be easily shredded to use in different ways.
How do I cook beef in the slow cooker?
Slow cooking cheap cuts of beef is an economical way to make a tender, satisfying meal. The low, slow temperature of the slow cooker breaks down the connective tissue in cheap cuts of meat and transforms them into succulent, juicy dishes with very little effort.
Start by seasoning your cheap cut of beef generously on all sides with salt, pepper and your favorite spices. Sear the prepared beef in a hot skillet for 2-3 minutes per side to get some nice caramelization going before transferring it to the crock pot.
Add any desired ingredients such as onions, garlic and carrots and optionally deglaze the pan to incorporate all those delicious brown bits. Pour over a liquid of your choice like broth or beer and cook on low for 8 hours. Your meat should be fork-tender when it's done.
How do I know when the beef is cooked?
Knowing when beef (or any other type of meat) is cooked can be daunting if you're new to cooking. To ensure that the beef is cooked thoroughly and safely, there are some indicators that you can look out for.
- A cheap cut of meat such as a cheap roast or steak should be cooked slowly over a low to medium heat until it becomes tender. You can test the tenderness with a fork – if the tines easily penetrate, then your beef is cooked.
- Additionally, some cuts may have visible changes in color – going from pink to brownish – which could indicate that the beef is thoroughly cooked.
Although different methods have different indications for when beef is cooked, these two simple steps can help you ensure that your cheap cuts of meat are properly prepared for a delicious dinner.
How do I keep the beef from drying out?
One of the best ways to ensure juicy beef is to choose cheap cuts of meat such as short rib or brisket that are best suited for slow cooking. This method helps to ensure the juices are locked in, adding flavor and moisture so your meat won't dry out.
Additionally, try marinating your beef beforehand. It not only adds flavor, but it helps keep your beef moist and tender by breaking down tough muscle fibers.
Finally, an important tip for keeping beef from drying out is to control the heat – aim for a lower temperature when possible and remove the beef from the heat source before overcooking. This way you can guarantee tender, succulent results each time!