Cheaper Cuts of Meat

With the economic turmoil and ever increasing cost of grocery items, I find myself looking for a lot more pork and cheaper cuts of meat.

8lb bone in Pork butt $20.60 started in the Smokin Tex

26lb Turkey (frozen) $46.65 but with Kroger points and coupon brought it down to $17.98 will get smoked the day before Thanksgiving.

Anyone else?


Yep, I just bought a butt and livers to make boudin with


Over the last year or so, we’ve cut back on beef and lamb, and I’ve regularly bought pork loins to cut into thick chops for grilling…I feel like I’ve gotten pretty adept at that. Lots of chicken thighs, too - most often grilled, but sometimes made using Marcella Hazan’s Pan-Roasted Chicken recipe. My wife has found some good Instant Pot recipes featuring less-expensive meats (small pork butts, ground turkey, etc.) which have become regular meals.

I almost picked up a 15 lb. turkey at the store this last week for ~$9 but didn’t since I’m not cooking for Thanksgiving this year and no one else in my immediate family is a fan of turkey.

1 Like

I’ve been buying whole fish at the weekend market off the boats: black cod, blackgill rockfish, sole, etc. The cleaning isn’t a big deal and it lasts for several meals, and stocks the freezer.
Whole organic rotisserie chickens are $12 and last several days (tacos, soup, etc), and makes good stock with the carcass. I buy and roast chicken feet (cheap) and add those to the Instant Pot.

The only time I had that in New Orleans I thought it was one of the best things I had ever tasted. It was light in color and had rice in it. Got a good recipe?

1 Like

Pork shoulder and pork belly are both great values. Happy to share my recipes.


I have been doing a lot more braising now that is has cooled down, which allows me to use cheaper cuts and get the best out of them. love some coq au vin with only thighs. my problem is that I refuse to use cheap wine in my braises.


One of my favorite ways to cook a Boston butt:

Edited: FB link not working. Sorry.

It’ the " Rotisserie Pork Shoulder Roast Recipe" with adobo/tequila slurry rub from Ballistic BBQ.

If you have the freezer space, with the price of whole turkeys being so low around Thanksgiving I’ve often bought a couple extra in the 7-8 lb range. Although you don’t want to look at them right after Thanksgiving, they’re great to cook later. Like a giant chicken.

Here’s an over achieving recipe for flank steak. The keys are not cooking past medium rare and slicing against the grain otherwise it can become tough.

Marinade, for each 1.5 lb beef:
⅓ C dry red wine
¼ C balsamic vinegar
2 T cherry or other fruit preserves
2 cloves garlic minced
½ t salt
ground pepper
3 T finely chopped shallots
1 t olive oil
1 t butter

  1. Mix wine, vinegar, fruit preserves, garlic, salt and pepper. Marinate beef in mix for 30 min up to 8 hours.

  2. Remove beef from marinade and save marinade. Cook beef until med-rare, on medium grill or skillet, do not overcook or it will become tough.

  3. While beef is cooking, saute shallots in oil and butter, add and boil reserved marinade in small saucepan until volume is reduced by half.

  4. After resting, slice beef against the grain and pour reduced marinade.

I make only a few changes to the above

  1. I use granulated garlic instead of fennel
  2. I tighten the aluminum foil after 1 to 1.5 hours instead of 1.5 hours (I check how loose the foil is after 1 hour). I also increase the cooking time at low heat if the pork belly is thick.
  3. In my oven at least it only needs about 15 minutes to develop crackling up and will start smoking terribly with more time

This one I make no changes to and it’s pretty much foolproof so long as you have access to skin on pork shoulder.

1 Like

I agree with this strategy but can never find any that small. I tend to get the smallest I can, often about 12-14 pounds, and cut it in half to smoke one half at a time later. Often used the smoked breast for sandwiches, thighs for gumbo, legs and wings for red beans, etc.

Pork tenderloin should get a little more credit for ease of use, and typically modest prices. Yesterdays slab was from a free range ranch ($7/lb) and went through a 147F sous vide bath for a couple hours in a soy + ginger rub. Cut thin, a fine topping for ramen. And at that price, I don’t begrudge the dog getting all the leftover meat… (Unf the shoyu tomago were got too much time cooking, and too little time pickling)

1 Like

We bought a ton of tri-tip last week at $3.99 a pound on sale. Also been buying more whole pork loin, pork butt, and pork ribs when we hit Costco and cutting them down to vacuum seal.

1 Like

Those sound great. My local store carries Mary’s brand and usually has some smaller ones about 8-9 lbs.

1 Like

Tri Tip is one of those unusual cuts where I care about which butcher I get it from. I’ve noticed that some include much more fat in the piece, while others don’t. The worst offenders (I’ve measured) have 30% by weight in that useless external fat. It’s not an animal specific issue, but whatever the shops practices are when its getting broken down at the last step.


I was in Whole Foods yesterday. In their big cooler on the floor full of turkeys, there were several in the 7-8 lb range (also 8-10 lbs), FWIW


Our local supermarket had ‘London Broil’ that averages 2.99 a pound, but sometimes only a buck fifty.

Seal it with butter and 7 hours in the Sous Vide and it is awesome.

It gets very tender and loads of ‘beef’ flavor.

Almost free!

1 Like

Thanks, I currently only buy London broil for the dogs meatballs but I’ll give this a try.