How to Cook a Cheap Steak: 10 Ways to Make the Budget Cuts Taste Expensive


Did you know, that in moderation, steak is actually good for you?

Steak is loaded with beneficial nutrients, is a healthy source of fat, and is a complete source of protein. So a little bit of steak, if cooked correctly, is a solid meal choice for anyone looking to watch what they eat.

That being said, the price of a good steak can be a bit much for an everyday meal, so going with a budget cut is often the best option. Unfortunately, doing so can mean you sacrifice flavor, as well as texture, meaning you end up with a steak that doesn’t taste as good as you’d like.

But is it possible to make a budget cut taste like an expensive restaurant steak?


If you know what you’re doing and are a little bit creative, you can make a cheap steak from your local grocery store taste just as good, or even better, than a steak that costs twice as much.

In this article, we’ll tell how to cook cheap steak using some items that you most likely already have in your kitchen.

Now then, let’s get started!

1. Salt

One of the easiest and cheapest ways to make a steak tender is to use salt. There are a few tricks for salting steak, but the basic idea is pretty simple.

Massage the steak for about 45 minutes with Kosher salt. This will help bring out the steak’s natural juices, and thus, make it much more tender and easier to eat.

And of course salt is a great way to flavor any kind of food, including steak, so you’ll get be getting those benefits as well. 

2. Honey

It might sound a little odd at first, but trust us when we say that honey is a great way to make your steak taste incredible. And like most things on this list, odds are that you already have some honey somewhere in your kitchen, so you don’t have to go out and buy a bunch of ingredients to achieve your desired results.

Using just a bit of honey, you can sweeten the flavor of your steak, as well as tenderize the meat, which is crucial when working with a cheaper cut. 

3. Coffee

Yes, you read that right. Coffee is actually a great way to tenderize a cheap steak and give it an expensive taste, even if it’s not the most high-quality cut. 

Simply brew a pot a coffee, chill it, and then use it as a rub for your steak. The coffee will help break down the meat and make it easier to eat, as well as give it a bit more flavor. You’ll be surprised at how good the results are. 

4. Lemon Juice

When looking for ways to cook your steak, you’re going to want to find things that not only add flavor but help tenderize the meat in the process. Lemon juice checks both of those boxes. 

Because lemon juice is very acidic, it’s great for tenderizing any kind of meat, including steak. Lemon juice, plus a grill, is all you really need to make a delicious, expensive-tasting steak.

5. Orange Juice

Like lemon juice, the acidic nature of orange juice does a wonderful job of tenderizing cheaper steaks and giving it that big budget flavor. Best of all? That slight orange taste is absolutely delicious and makes any steak taste that much better.  

6. Soda

We’ve already talked about what acidic liquids can do to a cheap steak. So of course soda makes sense. But the sugar found in soda also helps sweeten your steak, making it even tastier.

The type of soda you use is up to you, but either Coke or Pepsi will do the trick.

7. Tea

If you’re not a big coffee drinker but have an excess of tea around the house, use a little bit on your steak! The same kind of tannins found in coffee are also found in tea, which will help you tenderize that steak and get the flavor you’re looking for.

8. Wine

Like coffee and tea, wine contains tannins that make tenderizing steak incredibly easy. Also, the various other flavors found in your favorite wine are sure to give you a steak that tastes just as good as any you’d order at a five-star restaurant.

9. Ginger

You’re probably already familiar with the sweet flavors that you can achieve using ginger. But on top of the great flavor, ginger will also help break down the protein found in your steak. That protein is a huge reason why the steak is tough, so breaking down it down will help you achieve that desired tender texture.

10. Teriyaki

Chicken, salmon, and yes even steak. Everything just tastes better with a teriyaki marinade. If you’re feeding someone who isn’t a big steak fan or is a big fan of Asian food, a teriyaki marinade is the way to go.

Outside of delicious flavors, you’ll also be smothering your steak with a very acidic rub, which of course, is going to help tenderize it. 

How to Cook Cheap Steak

Well, there you have it! Those are 10 different ways to cook cheap steak, using mostly items you already have in your kitchen. So now that you know how to cook cheap steak, you’re ready to have that fancy date night with your significant other!

Remember, you don’t have to splurge on the most expensive steak at the meat counter. You can get a good steak, cook it right, and get that same delicious flavor for half the cost.

Be sure to check out our blog, where you’ll find more tips and tricks on how to make the best meals ever without breaking the bank!

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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Tammy Kahn
Tammy Kahn
5 years ago

Yesterday my grandmother came so i cooked steak with this recipe
Everybody loved it! thank you!
do you have more recipes of other items?
will be waiting for your response

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