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Old 03-03-2015, 08:54 AM   #29
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I have a non-cook question, so please excuse my lack of cooking knowledge.

Lucy has her new 1.5 quart slow cooker/crock pot. We got this size not only to be more conducive with Airstream life, but to preferably provide only a single meal because we are not "leftovers" people. We are more of the "eat it and forget it" ilk.

This being revealed, I am asking you knowledgeable folks what cuts of beef are readily available in approximately 16 to 20 ounce quantities. I realize that at a market with a real butcher, I can ask them to cut exactly what I want.

Very often we find ourselves at a roadside Wal-Mart where the fresh meat is prepackaged and there are no custom options. Is there a cut of beef that I can look for that is packaged in the one pound quantity?

In the past, I have usually used either chuck roast or bottom round roast to make my "boiled steak" with great results. One one occasion, I found and eye round roast on sale and decided to try this more expensive cut of meat. The resultant "boiled steak" was disappointing.

Any guidance would be appreciated.

Brian
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Old 03-03-2015, 09:32 AM   #30
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not enough fat in the eye of round.
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Old 03-03-2015, 09:40 AM   #31
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not enough fat in the eye of round.
I kind of figured that. Is there a cheap cut of steak that would fill the bill?

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Old 03-03-2015, 10:51 AM   #32
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I kind of figured that. Is there a cheap cut of steak that would fill the bill?
There are four beef qualities: Prime, Choice, Select, and Standard. This has to do with marbling, the amount of intramuscular fat on the animal. Individual cuts can be very lean even from a well-marbled carcass if the fat is trimmed off before sale.

Beef is also measured in Grade, which is determined by the physiological age— not the chronological age; it ain't the years, it's the mileage— of the animal when it was slaughtered. Grade A is aged 9 to 30 months. Since veal is from an animal less than a year old, all veal is Grade A. Grade B is 30-42 months, and so on to Grade E which is older than 96 months. Grade A tends to be tender, Grade E tends to be tough as boot leather in comparison.

The most desirable cuts are Grade A Prime, of course. But those are also more expensive, and not usually prepackaged. These are the cuts you have to ask the butcher to wrap for you.

Any cut of beef can be a "cheap" cut, as long as it's not labeled Prime or Choice. But to ensure a minimum of gristle it's still best to go for Grade A if possible. As for fat content, that's a matter of personal preference, and if the package isn't labeled for "% lean" then you'll have to judge by eye; with the understanding that meat markets usually lay the cut of meat in the package so the side that looks leanest faces up. There may be more fat content on the back than on the front.

My dad used to raise beef cattle once upon a time, and one of my summer jobs in college was in a stockyard. Amazing what you can pick up.
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Old 03-04-2015, 07:48 AM   #33
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One of the things I like about slow cooking is that I can use the cheapest cuts of meat. It all comes out delicious and melts in the mouth.
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Old 03-04-2015, 09:09 AM   #34
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We like the slow cooker; but also look at the Can Cooker. One could downsize the contents, but more for four to six. I have the smaller of the two.
It is like a pressure cooker.
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Old 03-12-2016, 08:45 PM   #35
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I've recently purchased a kitchen item that can replace a bunch of gadgets. It's call an Instant Pot IP-DUO60. Rice cooker, slow cooker, pressure cooker, yogurt maker, and more. It even has a sauté setting so I can brown meat for a stew before putting the top on to pressure cook, so only one pot to clean.

I little pricey at around $130, but the space savings it great. Check the reviews on Amazon, most everyone is very pleased with them. The stainless steel inner pot is super easy to clean.



Hi, I wanted to revisit this thread, and I haven't seen it anywhere else. I just bought an Instant Pot and I LOVE it. Has anyone been making any road-tested dishes with it? I think it will save me stove time especially for soups and stews. I can't wait to make cheesecake in it.


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