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How to Roast a Cheap Cut of Beef

I found this information very useful and have used it often to prepare a chuck roast and also a round roast. Both cuts of meat are on sale often here in Texas.

It doesn't matter how inexpensive the chuck or sirloin roast, if it turns out so tough and flavorless that no one will eat it, it was no bargain at all. But a bad experience doesn't mean you should shy away from those thrifty cuts. It means you need to learn how to prepare even the cheapest cuts of beef so you can expect perfect results every time.

The three economy cuts of beef roast are chuck, sirloin and round. The chuck is fattier and somewhat tender, while the round is lean and relatively tough. The sirloin falls somewhere in between.


While you can get away with buying cheap meat, you cannot scrimp on the equipment: You'll need a meat thermometer and an oven thermometer (evenIf you trust your oven's temperature gauge) because exact temperatures are the key to the best results. With what you'll save on your meat tab, you'll have more than enough to invest in the thermometers (about $5 each).

The following steps are for chuck, sirloin and round cuts of varying size, although 2 to 5 pound roasts are ideal and will produce the best results.

  1. Tie the roast with white cotton string at 1-1/2 inch intervals. Tying the roast tightly makes it compact and shaped evenly, promoting even roasting.
  2. Season with salt and pepper and place the roast in a roasting pan, uncovered.
  3. Place the meat thermometer in the roast so the tip reaches the center of the thickest part.
  4. Set the oven thermometer inside the oven close to the pan.
  5. Roast at 250 degrees F until the internal temperature of the roast reaches 110 F.. Plan on approximately 25 minutes per pound, but watch the thermometer, not the clock. It will vary according to the shape and density of your roast and the amount of fat.
  6. Without removing the roast from the oven, increase the oven temperature to 500 F until the internal temperature reaches 130 F (medium rare).
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  8. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the meat to rest for 20 minutes. The roast will be succulent, tender, juicy and more flavorful than it would be if you had prepared it using any other cooking method.

If you have sufficient roast left over (you'll need about 1 pound to prepare the following to serve six), you will find it even better the second time around served as a wonderful Salad of Cold Roast.

To 1 cup of purchased vinaigrette salad dressing, add a dollop of Dijon-style mustard and mix well. Carve the beef into thin slices. Place the slices on a large pie plate or platter, and pour about 3/4 cup dressing over the beef, with a sprinkling of thyme. Allow to marinate for several hours (if you have time), basting several times.

Line a serving platter with lettuce leaves that have been tossed with a spoonful or so of the vinaigrette. Mound 2 to 3 cups potato salad in the middle. Place the beef slices around the potatoes, and decorate the platter with such items as tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, black olives, rings of red onions and fresh parsley.

By Bobbie G from Rockwall, TX

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June 26, 20060 found this helpful

Thanks for sharing this Bobbie. My roasts are always so hit and miss ... I'm going to try this!


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June 27, 20060 found this helpful


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June 28, 20060 found this helpful

I have always cooked my roast beef in the crock pot but his sounds so good I have to try it. I have 2 questions though. First, can you add veggies in the pan with the roast - I always add carrots, onions, & potatoes. Second, exactly what kind of string do you use to tie it? I have never done this when cooking unless the string is already on the roast. Thanks!

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