There was a time in my life when I couldn’t afford good steak. I could only afford the flank or chuck type cuts of beef. In that time I learn a few good tricks to turn these cheap, tough and overlooked cuts into beautiful juicy, tender bites.
Now they are some of my most preferred cuts. You can't beat a cheap dinner that tastes amazing right?!
These days lots of people try to avoid these tough pieces of meat, but you don't need too. I will show you how to make them absolutely delicious, very, very simply.
It was early in my smoking days and I had some guidance from my cousin who was an obsessed when it came to smoking meats. He told me:
''no matter what cut you can afford, you will always be able to make it one of the best steaks of your life if you know how''
He was the one who showed me the basic tricks of the trade which I have come to know like the back of my hand. I feel that it is only appropriate to pass on this knowledge. Ladies and gentlemen my tried and tested ways to tenderize steak so even the worst cuts will be delicious!
What is The Best Steak to Tenderize?
Some of the tougher types of meat that you can experiment with and learn how to tenderize include chuck steak, flank steak, and round steak. These cheaper cuts tend to comprised of tough meat fibers, however, they do usually have more flavour than the pricier cuts.
When you’re learning how to tenderize, then you want to start with a piece that isn't too tough.
This will ease you into tenderizing and help you understand what the different techniques are, without ending up with something inedible.
As you get better, you’ll be able to choose tougher cuts of meat and get the same amazing results, we found some of the best results do come from a charcoal smoker.
Here are some of the top strategies for ensuring you serve a delicious and tender steak every time.
My Top Techniques to Tenderizing Steak
Should You Be Scoring Your Meat?
This a good method for tenderizing flat, fibrous steaks like skirt and flank steak.
Using a sharp knife, you will need to make a series of shallow cuts incisions 1/3 inch apart in a cross pattern on both sides.
The cuts will sever tough meat fibres and can help speed up the absorption of the marinade.
Resting and Slicing
Always let the steak rest on a chopping board for 5 - 10 minutes before you slice it.
Letting it rest will relax the meat, making it juicier. Then slice it very thinly across the grain. Thin slices mean short meat fibers, making even a fibrous steak like a skirt steak seem tender.
Charlies Smoking Hot Tip!
Want to impress the kids or friends at your next cookout? Why not have their names scored onto their steak? I use my steak branding iron to really impress them (as well as remember whose steak is whose!)
Try the "Cheaper" Cuts of Steak
The flank steak, for example, is a full-flavored cut that comes from the center of the chuck.
It will look and cook like a skirt steak, however, you will find that it cuts like a tender steak from the loin.
Other alternative steaks which are just as flavorful are chuck steak, charcoal steak, chuck tenders, tri-tip. eye round steak, hanger steak and flap steak.
Charlies Smoking Hot Tip!
Does the regular salt and pepper seasoning not cut it for you anymore? I used to just use them as well.
That was until I tried my first rub, now I have a kitchen cupboard overflowing with them! I have put together a list of the best rubs I have discovered!
The After Burn
Although it may be hard to believe, it is 100% possible to tenderize any steak by following one of these strategies.
Sometimes I will pull something out of the freezer or off the shelf at the supermarket and challenge myself to create something so juicy and tender with it. Its surprising how often you can turn a cheap, sale piece of meat into one of the most delicious meals of your life.
Once you master one (or more) of these techniques, you’ll be able to look in the bargain section and create magic with any "cheap cut".
What your favourite cheap cut to create magic with?and how do you do it?
Happy smoking friends
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