Budget-Friendly Ways to Cook Like A Chef

Budget-Friendly Ways to Cook Like A Chef

That feeling that you have to break the bank to enjoy an exceptional meal at home? Yeah, we’re not fans of that feeling either.

Cooking on a budget can be particularly challenging for carnivores like us who prefer meals with a nutritious cut of pasture-raised meat on the plate.

So how are cost-conscious home cooks doing it? What are the budget-friendly cooking secrets for taking mealtime to the next level without having to remortgage your house? 

Thankfully, restaurant-quality flavor IS possible on a budget. The trick is knowing how to work with what you have. Keep reading for our best tips and tricks!

Benefits of Cooking On A Budget

Benefit #1: Budget-friendly cooking obviously offers cost-savings. 

As the price of groceries continues to rise in many areas, finding creative ways to make your dollars stretch further is something that most of us are having to think about.

Benefit #2: Budget-friendly cooking is also a way of making the most of your resources without compromising on taste, nutrition, or quality. 

As a collection of regenerative agriculture practitioners, responsible resource production and consumption is something we care deeply about.


Budget-Friendly Ways to Cook Like A Chef

Affordable Culinary Tips for Meat Lovers

Implementing some or all of the chef-level cooking hacks below is the best way to keep flavorful meat-based meals on your table without breaking the bank. Pick just one to try this week!

Tip #1. Learn the names and characteristics of different meat cuts.

Get familiar with different cuts of meat and their pricing. For example, tougher cuts like beef brisket or pork shoulder, can become delicately tender and flavorful if cooked slowly over a lower heat. 

These tougher cuts are often cheaper and perfect for dishes like nourishing stews and roasts.


Maple-Mustard Glazed Pork Loin Roast

Tip #2. Take advantages of sales to buy in bulk

Purchasing larger quantities of meat when it's on sale is a cost-savings trick that will ensure your freezer is always well-stocked. 

Many meat producers offer seasonal sales around the major holidays, loyalty perks, and surprise pop-up discounts for email subscribers. 



Tip #3: Opt for more bone-in cuts

Removing bones takes meat producers more time and effort, which is why boneless cuts are typically pricier. 

Bone-in cuts, on the other hand, tend to be less expensive. Plus, bone-in cuts like drumsticks or bone-in chicken thighs offer additional flavor during the cooking process.

Tip #4: Get creative with ground meat

Ground meat, whether beef, pork, or chicken, is usually more affordable than whole cuts. If considering ground meat only makes you think of spaghetti or taco night, there’s a whole lot more you’re missing out on.

Two of our favorite pasture-raised ground meat recipes lately are: 

Sweet Peppers Stuffed with Ground Beef & Zucchini and Chicken Albondigas.


Sweet Peppers Stuffed with Ground Beef and Zucchini

The importance of preparing + marinating meat

Tougher (and less expensive) meats require proper preparation and marinating in order to deliver the chef-quality result you’re looking for.

Depending on the cut you’ve selected, you should consider preparation steps like:

  • Trimming excess fat
  • Scoring meat
  • Pounding the meat with a mallet or other blunt object to improve texture.

After completing your initial preparation steps, it’s time to move onto the essential seasoning and marinating step.

Marinating helps your chosen herbs and spices penetrate the meat, while acidic ingredients like citrus or vinegar help tenderize it and add rich flavor. 

Here are 3 marinades we keep returning to time and time again:

Your #1 Chef-Level Cooking Hack: The Slow Cooker

Pulling out the slow cooker is a game-changer when you’re juggling a hectic schedule full of work commitments, household responsibilities, caring for loved ones and furry family members, and hopefully squeezing in a bit of self care, too.

But not only does the slow cooker save time in the kitchen, it’s also one of the best ways to turn cheaper cuts of meat into a tasty meal that impresses everyone’s tastebuds.

The gentle and even heat distribution, over a long period of time, helps break down collagen in the meat. This leads to a more juicy and melt-in-your mouth end result. 

Slow cooking also further infuses meat with rich flavors from the cooking liquid and seasonings.


Slow Cooker Braised Pork Shoulder

5 slow cooker recipes we love

Italian Balsamic Pot Roast

Slow Cooker Pork Chops with Whiskey Dill Kraut

Green Chili Braised Beef

Slow Cooker Braised Pork Shoulder

No Bean & No Tomato Paleo Chili (Instant Pot)


Green Chili Braised Beef

Cooking Like A Chef: Sauces

While meat preparation, marination, and ideal cooking methods are necessary steps to elevate the decadence in more affordable cuts of meat, there’s one final step to consider.

Pairing a high-quality piece of meat with the right sauce or compound butter can transform a meal from ‘fine’ to sighs of mouth-watering delight. (We definitely prefer the latter. You too, right?)

Try some of these chef-level recipes for sauces and complex butters that are simple to prepare and immediately enhance every delicious bite.


Roasted Chicken with Apple Dressing + Pomegranate Gastrique

Roasted Chicken with Apple Dressing and Pomegranate Gastrique

Get the recipe here.

Orange Chicken with Broccoli Rice

Get the recipe here.

Air Fried Peri Peri Chicken

Get the recipe here.

Chicken Breasts with Brown Butter and Green Tea Sauce

Get the recipe here.

Garlic Butter Pan-Seared Top Round Steak

Get the recipe here.

Filet Mignon with Cured Asparagus and Lemon Brown Butter

Get the recipe here.

New York Strip with Bearnaise Butter and Proper Pomme Frites

Get the recipe here.



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