Home » How to know what cuts of meat to grill

How to know what cuts of meat to grill

Finding the best cuts of meat for grilling is not difficult if you remember some basic facts about what makes meat tender.

If you really want good meat to cook on the grill, go to a butcher who understands what makes meat flavorful and tender. You cannot figure out your best choices at a store where all the meat is packaged and the meat market employees spend their time restocking freezers and refrigerators.

Always purchase meat for grilling a few days before you plan to cook it. Even this short aging at a low temperature, not frozen, helps break down tissues and tenderize the grilled product.

All meat comes in several grades and the best meat for quick and hot grilling is graded “prime” with fat marbled throughout. Prime meat is most often sold in meat markets (sometimes referred to as speciality markets within the grocery store) and to the restaurant trade; “choice” is second best and usually found packaged in grocery stores.

Cuts of meats should be of uniform thickness so that the entire cut will cook evenly.

Burgers – all-time favorites

Take a look at Rachael Ray’s burgers. There are hundreds of recipes and tips for unusual and delicious concoctions for grilled beef, lamb, chicken and turkey burgers.

Beef for the grill

Hot, fast grilling requires the most tender cuts of beef that rely largely upon a marbling of fat throughout the cut.

Best choices are rib eye, Porterhouse, as well as T-bones and strip steaks. The tenderloin, or filets cut from the tenderloin, are also excellent choices.

Skirt and flank beef steaks are often grilled and are fairly successful when marinated for flavor and tenderness. They must not be overcooked and must always be carved across the grain.

Pork on the grill

The best choices are ribs and the best ribs are not ribs at all, but “baby backs” that are actually the end bones of pork chops. Baby back ribs cook best with a combination of direct and indirect heat. Use a dry rub to season while cooking and a luscious barbeque dipping sauce to finish. Also, when feeding a crowd, these ribs are perfect to cook the day before and simply finish on the grill.

Pork chops from the grill are delicious but tricky. Pork has been bred for a lack of fat, and this must be taken into account when cooking the meat over high heat.

Pork steaks, marinated or not, are surprisingly good cooked on the grill because they are not as lean as chops. If you feel you must trim the fat, do so after the steak is cooked. Be careful not to over cook.

Grilling chicken

Possibly the main reason chicken is popular world-wide is that it adapts well to most flavors and almost any cooking method.

Small, boneless pieces of chicken, lightly seasoned and moistened with a marinade, are lovely when grilled over glowing embers. Larger pieces or whole chickens are easily grilled over indirect heat with delicious results. Click onto this link for tips and suggestions for cooking the best grilled chicken.

Lamb on the grill

A grilled butterflied leg of lamb not only harkens back to ancient history, it is one of the most delicious pieces of meat you will ever eat.

Preparation might require a bit of courage, but is not difficult and usually the roast cooks in less than an hour. If it is convenient, ask your butcher to bone and butterfly the leg of lamb. If not, use a sharp knife, take the bone out, and flatten the meat yourself. Here are some good step-by-step instructions for getting the job done.

Lamb chops and steaks are delicious when cooked on the grill, but they, too, tend to be overly lean and benefit from a flavorful marinade of lemon, herbs, olive oil. They must not be over-cooked.

These are suggestions to help you choose the best cuts of meat for grilling. If you enjoy cooking on the grill, try some new ideas and expand your appreciation of outdoor cooking and entertaining.