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I hear people say all the time that the keto diet is too expensive-but it doesn’t have to be. Knowing the best cuts of cheap keto meat and how to prepare them are the first steps toward doing keto on a budget and saving money.
Ground beef, chicken thighs, and pork loin are a few of the cheapest cuts of meats that make for great keto meals on a budget!
Keep reading to see my top 5 picks for the cheapest cuts of meat to buy if you’re on the keto diet. Plus, I’ll share tips on how to prepare, store and those cuts of cheap keto meat taste amazing. Get inexpensive, delicious keto meals every time.
Top 5 Cheap Keto Meat Cuts:
1. Bone in chicken thighs or leg quartersThese are often super cheap cuts of keto meat because the butcher doesn’t have to do much to break these down. In my area in summer time, chicken leg quarters often go on sale for $0.49 a pound. That is a crazy good deal. I love to stock up on those and keep them in my deep freezer. The USDA says frozen chicken (thighs/quarters) can last in the freezer indefinitely, but taste best if used within 9 months.
If you need an idea for a great keto chicken thigh recipe, check out my Pickle Braised Chicken thighs.
2. Ground Beef
The cheapest ground beef also tends to be the best ground beef for the keto diet-the fatty kind. 73% lean ground beef is usually the best price. Grab it for the high fat content and the low price. Plus, it is easy to cook and there are a ton of great keto recipes you can make with this. My favorite is keto Egg Roll in a Bowl.
You can also check out how I freeze and store ground beef to save money here.
3. Whole turkey
Turkey is one of my favorite holiday meats and one of the best cheap keto meats. I love turkey at Thanksgiving, Easter, Sunday family dinners and anytime I can snag a great price on a turkey. Whole meats are usually very cheap, because there is almost zero butcher cost involved, and those savings get passed onto you and me. Where I live, whole turkeys are cheapest around Thanksgiving-about $0.49 per pound. I usually try and buy at least 2 extra turkeys at this price as long as I have room in my freezer.
According to the USDA, it is best to use a whole frozen turkey within 1 year of freezing.
Check out my easy keto Roasted Turkey Recipe.
4. Bottom Round Roast
The bottom round roast comes from the rump and hind legs of the cow and the meat there tends to be leaner, more muscle-ly and less tender. But don’t be fooled, the bottom round roast can be amazingly tender and delicious when prepared properly.
My favorite why to cook a bottom round roast is the sous vide (don’t have a sous vide cooker, you should buy one, check out the one I have here). It takes a cut of cheap keto meat and turns it into tender medium rare beef. You can eat the sous vide roast hot or cold, turn it into beef and cheese roll ups for quick and cheap lunches-lots of possibilities.
If you don’t have a sous vide cooker, you should treat this roast with care and use an acidic marinade and/or cook this roast low and slow for best results.
5. Pork LoinPork loins are another cut of super cheap keto meat that you’ll want to add to your rotation if you trying to do keto on a budget.
Buying the whole loin means you are going to have to break it down yourself, but trust me the savings are worth it.
When I buy a whole pork loin, I usually cut 2-3 roasts and the rest into thick cut pork chops and then package and freeze them for later.
Pork roasts should be used from the freezer within 4-12 months and pork chops within 4-6 months for best flavor according to the USDA.
Check out this delicious Stuffed Keto Pork Loin recipe.
How to cook cheap keto meats
There are lots of ways to get great results when cooking cuts of cheap keto meat. You probably don’t want to use all the tips on the same cut, but keep reading for great ideas.
One great idea is to tenderize your meat. Tenderizing your meat breaks down the meat’s muscles and fibers making your cut of meat so tender it can melt in your mouth. The easiest way to tenderize meat is by using a spiked meat mallet. Check this one out.
After you tenderize your meat, marinate it overnight. Using an acidic marinade on a tenderized cut of cheap keto meat will infuse it with great flavor. Plus the marinade will continue breaking down the meat and help it and add a pop of flavor.
Cook your meat low and slow. Using a slow cooker, sous vide or InstantPot will help the meat take on flavor, break down toughness and produce good results.
The final tip I have for cooking cheap keto meat is to get a meat thermometer and USE IT. Overcooking meat can often result in tough and hard to enjoy dishes. If you use your meat thermometer and cook your meats to the proper temperature, you’ll have a delicious meal while still doing keto on a budget.
Let us know in the comments your favorite recipe or your favorite cut of cheap keto meat!