Value of beef – 5 tips for your body, bank account and grill
Posted by Colleen Zenk, director of consumer information & nutrition, MN Beef Council
Friday, May 24, 2013
May is Beef Month in Minnesota and beef is the star of the grill. With beef prices on the rise, we have some suggestions for keeping your budget and your waistline in check this summer with great beef recipes and shopping tips.
Lunds and Byerly’s has beef choices to satisfy all tastes and budgets. Planning menus, creating shopping lists and knowing what to look for on the label when buying beef will help you stretch your food dollar, benefit from high quality protein and keep your body in shape for those great summer activities.
Here are some tips to help make efficient decisions at the meat counter for your meals on the grill:
Evaluate purchases based on the cost per serving – not just the price per pound.
The amount of beef to buy varies with the cut selected. Beef per pound cooked is related to the amount of bone, fat trim and cooking method. Cuts such as T-bone, ribeye and tenderloin are great on the grill, but are going to be the most expensive.
Look to cuts that come from the shoulder or round to save dollars. A serving of lean, cooked beef is three ounces, so serving a healthy portion can save your waistline and money.
Match the cut with the cooking method.
This is a key to moist, tender and flavorful beef. For instance, less-tender steak cuts from the chuck, round, plate and flank are more affordable, but all require a tenderizing marinade before cooking on the grill, broiler or stove top. Tangy Lime Grilled Top Round Steak is tender and juicy thanks to a tenderizing marinade, cooking to medium rare (145°F) and carving across the grain into thin slices.
Plan ahead to cook once and dine twice.
Preparing a little extra ahead of time is an easy way to create dishes that are ready to serve without breaking the bank. A grilled steak tonight easily becomes a key ingredient for tomorrow’s protein-packed salad. Or crumble leftover burgers into chili, pizza or pasta dishes.
Explore the versatility of ground beef.
Nothing says beef like a great burger on the grill. Using 93% (lower fat) ground beef is a great way to keep those burger calories down. Make sure to look for a recipe that has ingredients that will help keep your burgers moist and flavorful, such as Spicy Cheeseburger Sliders. For food safety purposes, always make sure to cook burgers to 160°F.
Buy in bulk to realize cost savings.
Instead of buying pre-cut meat, save money by buying steaks or roasts and cutting into meat cubes or strips. Those meat cubes, whether you cut them yourself or buy them ready to go, are great for kabobs on the grill. Another approach is to purchase boneless roasts to cut into steaks. You can plan ahead and freeze cut beef for 6 - 12 months.
The meat counter staff at your local Lunds or Byerly’s store will be glad to guide you!