Meat is generally pretty expensive, and with the increasing price of groceries recently, Canadians are having difficulty choosing what to buy for dinner. Some of our favourite cuts of meat like chicken breasts and beef tenderloin rank as some of the most expensive you can buy. Even some of the more inexpensive meats like beef shoulder and chicken thighs have gone up in price over the years. So if you’re looking to make a meal with meat, what are you supposed to buy without breaking the bank?
Getting creative with your cooking is the key. There are tons of delicious recipes available that feature the cheapest cuts of meat. Everything from ground beef, to lamb shoulder and even whole chicken. The goal here is to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your chuck, so to speak. So sharpen your kitchen knives and savour these ten delicious recipes the cheapest cuts of meat today.
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Beef Stewing Meat
Classic beef stewing meat – often served in stews or alongside gravy, is one of the cheapest cuts of beef you can get. Made from a similar cut as chucks, these tasty bite-sized delights are typically paired with savoury vegetables and mash. Right now, beef stewing meat is sold at $4 per serving – which is actually quite reasonable considering premium cuts of beefs are upwards of $11+ per serving. This recipe calls for buffalo meat, but regular beef can be easily swapped in.
Whether you’re a lover of hand pies, smash burgers, lasagna or all of the above, ground beef has made its way on your dinner plate at least once. Ground beef is one of the more versatile cuts of meat with tons of options to dress it up or pack it in, so to speak. We love stuffing our ground beef burgers with cheese, herbs and spices. At only $2 per serving, this is definitely one of the more affordable meat options.
Known for being the sub-prime cut of beef, the beef chuck AKA “7-bone steak” is a combination of tough and tender meat. You might find yourself cooking with this cut more often based on its ratio of meat to price point. Plus, chuck recipes are quite easy! You can braise pan-sear or more likely grill your meat to perfection with simple seasoning to draw out the most flavour. The going price for beef chuck in Canada is around $3 per serving, which by comparison isn’t too bad.
If you consider yourself a patient home cook, pork shoulder might just be what you’re looking for. This otherwise tough section of meat can be slowly cooked to tender perfection if you’re willing to wait a few hours. We recommend seasoning and marinating your pork overnight. Followed by a few hours in the slow cooker till your meat slides right off the bone. One of the more inexpensive cuts of pork, the shoulder goes for roughly $1.75 per serving depending on the provider.
Ham is one of the cheapest cuts of meat you can get anywhere. Ham is preserved by wet or dry curing, and can be smoked to your liking. Smoked ham might be one of the best additions on an eggs benedict or a classic Parisian sandwich (ham, gruyere, mustard and baguette). The cost of ham is about $1.50 per pound in most grocery retailers, with cooked ham being even more inexpensive at 50 cents per pound.
Considering how expensive lamb can be; shanks, rack of lamb – it is surprising to see that there is in fact a cheaper cut on lamb. Considered the “ultimate weekend roast” by foodies, this affordable alternative costs about $5 per serving. We like to serve lamb shoulder with roasted vegetables, mac n’ cheese even naan bread. Lamb meat is typically more expensive, but if you want to cook with it this is your best buy.
Chicken Thighs (bone-in)
Bone-in chicken thighs, not to be confused with the boneless version – are a delicious way to add affordable poultry to your meal. Whether you choose to braise or roast these cuts, by choosing bone-in chicken thighs, you are retaining more of the natural flavours versus having boneless. Priced at $1.50 per serving, the chicken thigh makes for better option than the chicken breast – priced at around $4 per serving.
Believe or not, whole chicken is comparatively less expensive than chicken breasts. If you’re looking to cook for a few people and want to enjoy every part of the chicken, this might be your best bet. There’s so much you can do with whole chicken whether you’re adding stuffing, brining, or roasting, we love how easy meal prepping can be with this bird. Whole chicken is usually priced at $3 per serving depending on the grocer and whether you’re purchasing organic or not.
Whether they’re being cooked sweet or savoury, chicken drumsticks are always a fan favourite at any family function. Packed with plenty of flavour, chicken drumsticks are often popular during large gatherings and big game nights. We love saucing up drumsticks with deliciously diverse flavours. Drumsticks typically go for $4 per serving.
If ground beef isn’t your meat of choice, opt for ground turkey. Believe or not, ground turkey is actually cheaper than ground beef! We love swapping out traditional hamburger meats for this healthier option. We do recommend adding extra seasoning as ground turkey doesn’t retain as much flavour as ground beef when cooked. The average price per serving for ground turkey is roughly $1.50-2.