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7 Affordable Steak Alternatives for Summer Grilling

You don’t need to spend a fortune every time you turn on the grill.

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Temperatures are slowly beginning to climb which means it is time to crank on that grill. Grilled food just tastes better, but doling out $30 or more to cook steaks on the barbie seems excessive.

Instead, we’ve rounded up seven other cheap BBQ foods that taste just as amazing but will treat your wallet with respect. Please note that food prices can vary by region or state.

Shockingly Tasty (and Cheap) BBQ Foods

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Chicken Drumsticks

Drumsticks can cost around $1.84 per pound and taste amazingly juicy on the barbecue. Even grabbing a pack of organic drumsticks shouldn’t cost you more than $5 for a whole meal.

Marinate them in barbecue sauce or your favorite beer, lime juice and steak seasoning.

iStock-Yingko-ifollowthe3way-beer can chicken |

Beer Can Whole Chicken

It might sound like a frat boy’s invention, but cooking a whole chicken upright with a can of beer inside will give you juicy meat on the inside and smoky, crispy skin on the outside.

Whole chickens cost $5-10 per bird, and you can snag a wire chicken roaster for the grill for under $10. And yes, a can of soda works just as well, too.

iStock-Fruit-glazed Pork Chops

Fruit-glazed Pork Chops

If you have steered clear of pork chops because they can go dry quickly in the oven, now is the time to give them a second chance. Just slather thick-cut pork chops in a mix of your favorite fruit preserves and barbecue sauce and grill. Though pork chops are a bit pricey at around $4.25 per pound, they’re still a cheaper alternative to steaks.

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Rack of Ribs

For about $1.50-3.50 per pound, a huge package of ribs will feed a large crowd for less than $20. Avoid buying the pre-marinated packages since that spikes the cost per pound significantly.

Rib racks make grilling these huge slabs of meat easy — there’s even a rib rack that allows you to grill corn cobs and potatoes simultaneously.

iStock-Xsandra grilled shrimp


It doesn’t get any easier or quicker than grilled shrimp. Costing about $9-12 per pound, you get a lot of shrimp for that pound.

Marinate with citrus juice and garlic for 20 minutes, then throw it in a grill basket with your favorite vegetables for a fast and healthy summer dinner.

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Pork Butt

Don’t be intimidated by a seven-pound pork butt. At less than $3 per pound, smoked pork butt can be repurposed for delicious meals all week long — tacos, salad, pasta and more.

If you don’t have a smoker, grilling a pork butt will take a long time, but your tastebuds will thank you.

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Stuffed Burgers

While burgers might be the obvious affordable alternative to steak at around $4-5 per pound of ground beef, frozen disks of beef aren’t worth raving about. Instead, up your burger game by using a quality ground chuck and stuffing it with cheese and bacon.

burger press for the grill makes stuffed burgers a cinch, and it will cost you less to make four restaurant-quality stuffed burgers than it costs you to grill a steak.

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Our editors strive to ensure that the information in this article is accurate as of the date published, but please keep in mind that offers can change. We encourage you to verify all terms and conditions of any product before you apply.

Ashley Eneriz

I am a lifestyle and personal finance writer based in SoCal and have been a freelance writer since way before working remotely was the new norm. Being a wife and a mom to three young awesome kids, I have made it a regular habit to check out Slickdeals (even before joining the SD content team) to help fill up my pantry and gift closet for 50-70% off retail prices. As a family of five, we go through snacks, gifts, and toilet paper at an alarming rate, so I love a good deal and am also not afraid to dig through a thrift store to score incredible finds. When not writing about amazing deals to help people save and cool things on sale, I am taking care of my three girls, homeschooling, or stuck with my nose in a book. Sometimes, at the same time.

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