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  • The Chopping Blog

How to Grill on a Budget

Posted by Biz on Jun 4, 2019

When I first started grilling, I was horrible. Either I burned stuff to a crisp, and it was raw on the inside, or I’d do the “set it and forget it” method, and somehow expect to cook meat perfectly? So crazy!

But if you are new to grilling, and don’t want to waste a lot of money in the beginning, please try a chuck eye steak. It can also be called a chuck fillet, boneless bottom chuck or even a medallion pot roast depending on where you live.

TCB - CAB beef package

Not on sale, I can usually buy this for around $4.50 a pound. I usually eat my beef portions in four ounce servings, so for myself, this $4.50 steak will cost me just over $1.10 per serving – such a steal!

I know what you are thinking though. You may have read online that the best way to prepare this cut of beef is braising, Dutch oven or in a crock pot. Cooked to medium rare though, this is just as tasty as a New York strip.  Promise! Plus, cook once, and you’ll eat all week.

First let’s talk about salting your beef. Either salt within TWO minutes of cooking, or after FORTY minutes.  Yes, I am shouting because this is important. Once you put the salt on the beef, it immediately starts pulling all of the moisture out of the beef. If you leave the salt on after the two minute mark, you’ll lose all the juices that have been pulled out by the salt.

Conversely though, if you wait and cook your beef after that forty minute mark, the juices have had time to reabsorb into the meat, and you are all good.

My favorite way of grilling is with charcoal, on indirect heat. If you do use a gas grill, always have a hot and cold side. I used to just keep the left two burners on, and the right two burners off on my gas grill – with possible flame-ups, it’s important to have a cold side of the grill so you don’t burn your meat.

TCB - indirect heat

Do you have a meat thermometer? Get one! You’ll thank me later. I like my beef medium rare to rare. That means I pull my beef off when it gets an internal temperature of 115 degrees. The residual heat while the meat rests will bring it up to 125 – which is what I believe the perfect temperature for cooked beef. My twin sister disagrees though. She’d like hers well done – I don’t know where I went wrong with her!

TCB - grilled chuck eye

Then think of all the things you can make with the leftover beef!

Beef tacos with any leftover veggies you have in the fridge:

pan fried tacos

Breakfast beef and eggs breakfast taquitos:

TCB - beef and egg breakfast taquitos

Asian beef lettuce cups:

TCB - asian beef lettuce cup

You get the idea. Meal planning for me is buying an inexpensive cut of meat, and stretching it out into many different meals that don’t feel like you are eating the same thing day after day.

If you want to get your grill skills on, check out these upcoming classes at The Chopping Block's Lincoln Square location: 

What’s your favorite thing to cook on the grill? Mine is hands down beef. Who's with me on #teambeef? 

View our calendars


Topics: chuck roast, Grilling, beef, budget

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