Consumers Forgo Restaurants, Cook Fancy Steaks At Home

Americans love steak. Now, in a recession, we still love it, but we’ve shifted to buying and cooking delicious high-end steaks at home instead of eating them in restaurants, thanks to greater availability of fancy cuts of meat to consumers.

Researchers at Midan Marketing surveyed customers about what meat they’re buying to cook at home, and discovered an increase in sales of premium meats in the past year. Consumers can’t afford to go out to restaurant, but still want delicious, delicious steaks.

The accompanying sales data showed sales remain strong for lower-priced meats such as ground beef, hot dogs, and chicken drumsticks. But, there was a noticeable increase in sales of higher-priced premium meats.

The sales volume of the more expensive “premium” steaks was up 15.5 percent in the third quarter from a year ago, versus a 13.2 percent rise in “regular” steaks, they said.

Much of that increase is being attributed to supermarkets having greater access to higher quality meats. Also stores have been running promotions to win customers during bad times so they will come back when the economy improves, said Uetz.

I think this is where everyone chimes in with their favorite steak-cooking tips.

Stay-at-home consumers bite into pricey steaks [Reuters]

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(Photo: RBerteig)

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  1. jenjen says:

    Yes please with the steak cooking tips! I was on a Costco run for work this week and they had a package of six bacon wrapped sirloins for $12. But if I turn those into six bacon wrapped hockey pucks that will not be a very good value at all since I don’t play hockey.

    • christoj879 says:

      @jenjen: You don’t have to get a six pack if you have an ALDI in your area, they have USDA Choice petite filets wrapped in bacon for $2/ea. Last week they were B1G1.

      As for cooking them, they cook up pretty well on the grill or in a pan. They’re pretty thick so they have to be cooked for awhile if you don’t want any red. Easier than a thermometer is to just use a small knife and cut into it to see if you see deep red.

      I made these for my mother-in-law earlier in the week and she won’t eat anything with any red, so I kept cooking until they were super well done hockey pucks and even then they were good.

      The bacon always falls off on mine, so I just eat it while I’m cooking them. They’re very tasty. For a steak sauce I recommend combining hot sauce, Worcestershire and ketchup to taste.

      • NewsMuncher says:

        @christoj879: Silicon bands are a great way to keep the bacon on the steak while cooking, and you can re-use the band. I spotted these at my grocery store one day and haven’t seen them anywhere since (I did a search and turned up this page). [www.4thegrill.com]

  2. Spider Jerusalem says:

    My (vegetarian) dad has recently started buying whole Mignon muscles from Costco when we have family parties. He sticks it in his smoker, slices it, and can feed about 20 people premium meat for ~$100. An added upside is that I don’t have to cajole my husband into coming to family functions anymore. I brought home leftovers one time, and now he asks me when my father’s next party is. ^.^

  3. colorisnteverything says:

    We’ve been doing this at my house since I can pretty much remember anything. I’ve rarely had as good a steak as my Dad makes on the grill. Few restaurants can top his marinading and cooking abilities.

  4. davebg5 says:

    Easy steak marinade:

    1/4 cup olive oil
    2 tablespoon soy sauce
    2 teaspoon Montreal Steak Seasoning

    Mix it all up and soak your steaks for at least 30 minutes.

  5. technologiq says:

    Costco sells USDA Prime Ribeye which is amazing. Using an Alton Browns ‘Pan Seared Rib Eye’ recipe (simple) you end up with a steak that will easily rival a top restaurant steak.

  6. Dragonis says:

    I work at The Keg (first job ever wooo!). I was lucky enough to get hired before the worst part of this downturn hit Canada. One night, I was the second busser off, at around 11:45 pm, with one more still working. As I waited for my ride, I was talking with a host who was also waiting for his ride. He used to bus tables a couple years ago. He told me that even just one year before I joined at this time, all three bussers would still be working at that time.

  7. yungjerry703 says:

    the best way i’ve ever tried! it produces a ton of smoke but it is sooo tasty. mos def good eats.

  8. rpm773 says:

    We’ve never gone out for a steak, and I don’t usually order one when we do go out. I can get a couple large steaks (bone-in ribeye is my favorite), grill them, and whip up a couple of sides and get out for around $30 – $40 for the whole meal. Such a meal at a steakhouse would easily triple that price.

  9. FDCPAGuy says:

    Steak tips:
    Cast iron pan with grill lines in it like this one [secure.lodgemfg.com]
    Jaccard
    Marinade steak if you like, if not season both sides of steak with normal seasoning salt.
    Heat over to 400 deg F with cast iron pan in it.
    Pull pan out and put it on a burner on high.
    Sear steak on both sides to lock in the juices :)
    Once seared pop steak in the over until cooked to temperature.

  10. Luna1375 says:

    We grill steaks all the time at home. We get a slab of meat from the farmer’s market and slice it up ourselves. My favorite marinade is a very simple one: Dale’s Steak Sauce mixed with yellow mustard.

  11. Paladin_11 says:

    I can make better steak at. . . uh, nevermind.

  12. puddinhead says:

    Costco has the best steaks for the money. Nice thick restaurant cuts. We loosely follow America’s Test Kitchen advice. Bring the steaks to room temp, use a basic rub (salt, pepper, paprika, perhaps some brown sugar). Preheat oven to 170, heat steaks to 100…then throw them on the grill with some wood chips until they are medium rare. They cook up perfectly every time. Bringing them to room temp and then heating slightly in the oven ensures they grill quickly and evenly, no charred outsides and cold insides. We grill year round, even in the dead of a Minnesota winter. We just haven’t been able to make steaks better inside.

  13. danno5-0 says:

    I agree, cooking a good steak at home is definately more economical and very tasty! However, the best steak I’ve ever had was eating fillet mignon at Morton’s Steak House. They prepare their steaks a certain way; which, I cannot replicate at home. Being so expensive, my wife and I go once or twice a year.

  14. ChuckECheese says:

    Cover 2-4 steaks (strip, ribeye, filet) thoroughly with cracked black pepper, both sides. Salt as desired. Fry in butter over medium until desired doneness. Flambe with a jigger of brandy or (better) bourbon. Remove steaks from skillet for 5 minutes to rest. Over low heat, stir one half pint (or more as you wish) sour cream into pan juices and mix well. Add juices from resting meat. Pour over steaks and serve.

  15. t0ph says:

    Rub in olive oil, sprinkle sea salt and cracked black pepper very liberally on both sides, sear for a couple to a few minutes on each side on a hot as hell grill depending on your temperature preference (as well as the cut/thickness of the meat; I prefer beef on the rare side) and enjoy.

    Simple and delicious.

  16. RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

    Why did I read this thread after finding out my cholesterol is 270?

    >_<

  17. rocketbear79: threadkiller says:

    I was talking about this on Giz the other day. I take my steaks out of the butcher paper, knead some salt and pepper and garlic powder into them, then put them on a plate and eat.

    I usually buy cheap steaks like eye of round because I eat about a pound for dinner at least 5 times a week. That could get expensive if they were all Porterhouse.

    I don’t get steaks at restaurants (outback class) because I don’t know where they get their meat from and I won’t eat it raw and they also typically won’t just top-sear them to be ultra-rare unless it’s a serious steak house.

  18. temporaryerror says:

    Venison back strap, wrapped in bacon and grilled. Yes, it is true that you can’t buy it, but if you know a hunter, it’s super tasty. Not gamey either.

  19. supergaijin says:

    Costco steaks here, too.

    The Marinade I use (amounts are approx, I don’t measure):

    3 tablespoons sea salt (kosher salt will do in a pinch)
    1 tablespoon lawrey’s seasoning salt
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1/2-3/4 cup Worchestershire sauce
    2 tablespoons Grey Poupon or Guldens spicy mustard
    1/2 tsp terragon
    1/4 cup water(for volume increase only)
    1/4 teaspoon chili powder (omit if you don’t want a hint of heat this works with or without the chili powder)

    Whisk it all together, puncture the meat multiple times with a fork, and let marinade in this sauce for 15-30 minutes in the fridge.

  20. nybiker says:

    I have an electric stove/oven with a ceramic (or some sort of glass) top. That is, no up-high pedestal for any sort of pan or pot. Will a cast iron pan destroy the top? And by destroy, I am talking about heavy scratches or gouges. My regular pot that I use for boiling water is easy enough to put on and remove, but I am concerned about the cast iron pans.

    Thanks.

  21. pschroeter says:

    I’m sold on a cheap steak cut called a chuck under-blade steak or an something called an English chuck steak. They are reasonably tender and taste great after a marinade. And since they regularly go on sale for about $2.50 a pound, we stock up and they have put steak back on our regular menu.

    When we can’t grill outdoors (we still are grilling outdoors in norther Ohio) the heat a cast iron skillet in a hot oven and then grill with it system works nice.

  22. Darkneuro says:

    Just as an aside to anyone looking for a cast iron grill pan
    1: Check your locally owned and operated hardware store 2: Check your local camping goods store 3: If you’re anywhere near Eastern TN, the Lodge Outlet is in Sevierville with all the other outlets (I picked mine up for $15!), and finally 4: If all else fails, check your local thrift store for a used grill pan, scrub the black off it or have it sandblasted and reseason.

  23. Joey_Brill says:

    I noticed my grocer follows that 12 week cycle.

    When Angus T-bone drops from 9.99 to 3.99 per pound, I quadruple up.

    I bring meat to room temperature before cooking it. I do this so the cats and dog see that I am the hunter/gatherer and they must worship me.

    I prepare the meat by rubbing coarse-ground sea salt and course-ground pepper corns on both sides. Then, I simply oven broil. I drop the rack one extra inch so my steaks can cook 7 minutes per side (for 13 ounces)without scorching. Juices run clear.

    I’ve had to compromise. I learned that I can’t throw fresh crushed garlic on the steak prior to cooking because the broiler chars. While I like the idea of blue cheese, I never want to clean that cheese off a broiler pan. My mushrooms also cook at a different rate. All of these can be added without ruining the meal: cheese in salad, garlic rubbed on bread, and mushrooms sauteed the last twelve minutes.

  24. TrinityLast says:

    Skirt steak marinated in A1 sauce overnight. Seriously. I know skirt steak is a ‘low’ end cut…but if you marinate it overnight and then broil it, it is the BEST steak you have EVER had.

  25. balthisar says:

    I haven’t gone to a steak restaurant (in the USA) since I learned how to properly make a steak, and where to buy the good meat. Now that I’m on the road, I don’t really have a choice, and so do eat steak out. But not ‘cos I wanna!

  26. wcnghj says:

    @pot_roast: Water with lemon please :).

  27. MitchEvious says:

    @pot_roast: I live in Texas too, can you please be more specific as to said quality locally owned markets? Thanks!

  28. Cant_stop_the_rock says:

    @pot_roast:

    I’ve never had a soft drink that tasted “watered down” in a restaurant. Perhaps you just have bad restaurants in your area, or perhaps you’re the kind of person who is always looking for something to complain about, and sometimes your mind plays tricks on you.

  29. floraposte says:

    @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): Alternatively, a nice instant-read kind; you can get a good one pretty cheap. (My broiler is too shallow to leave anything in the meat while cooking.)

  30. JPropaganda says:

    @tbax929 is rooting for a Phillies repeat: Yes there is. Three words: Montreal Steak Spice.

  31. seth_lerman says:

    @JPropaganda: I am so with you on this one. I also use their chicken version as well.

    Buy them in big bulk containers which I use to refill the more convenient to use spice rack size shaker.

    IMO, marinades are for low quality cuts and inexperienced cooks. An experienced cook with a good quality grill (one that can reach and maintain a high heat) are all that’s needed.

    I either add the Montreal dry seasoning, or simply coat with butter salt and pepper.

  32. colorisnteverything says:

    @seth_lerman:

    Oh, yeah, he uses this! I use to buy it in BULK where I work, along with the chicken. A good dry rub is pretty priceless.

  33. pot_roast says:

    @Cant_stop_the_rock: Wow, thank you for the completely worthless comment. If you’ve never had a watered down drink in a restaurant, you must be the luckiest human on earth.

  34. ge0rge says:

    @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): I enjoy this new-age cut. I did a little reading on it a while back when I saw them popping up and the cut was “developed” by some university trying to figure out new cuts and utilize more of the cow.

    My only warning is make sure you have a butcher that knows how to dress them properly as there is a lot of connective tissue and stuff around these…

  35. webweazel says:

    @katstermonster: MMMMMMMMM. Raw meat. When I was quite younger, when we would cook hamburger, my mom & I would pick off chunks of the raw hamburger, dust a bit of salt on it, and manohman a bit of pure heaven. Wish I could still do that. I guess that’s why I like raw fish so much.