The right BBQ meat can make or break your final product. Make a visit to your local meat counter or butcher and ask for these cuts of BBQ meat. With the best BBQ meat, you may just get results like you've never had.
Shopping For Good BBQ Meat
If you really want nice BBQ meat, you need to go to a butcher or meat market. Some of the larger grocery stores have butchers, but don't shop in a store where everything is prepackaged or frozen.
Talk to the butcher about their BBQ meat. You want young meat, since older animals will produce tougher meat.
Also ask about aging. Meat can be stored at a low temperature for a while, and this helps break down the tissues and creates tender meat.
All meat comes in several grades. If you truly want the best BBQ meat, buy prime grade meat. This is the most expensive, but it has a lot of marbling and will be great on a grill. This grade is only found in meat markets. Choice grade is the second best, and is sometimes found in grocery stores.
Three Rules for Good BBQ Meat
There are three things you want to look for in BBQ meat.
First, the meat must be fresh and never frozen. Make sure it's still brightly colored and there are no extra juices in the package.
Second, good BBQ meat needs to have a layer of fat on it. Lots of marbling helps the meat stay tender, since it keeps the juices from escaping and melts into the meat as you cook. If you want to reduce fat, trim the meat after it cooks instead of before.
Third, it needs to have an even thickness. Meat that is thicker in one section than another is hard to cook evenly. You'll end up with part of it either undercooked or overcooked.
Favorite Beef BBQ Meat Cuts
When grilling beef, the cuts that make the best BBQ meat are the most tender portions. Look for rib eye and porterhouse steaks, as well as the classic t-bone and strip steaks. Meat cut from the tenderloin, such as filet mignon, is the most tender, but also the most expensive.
Avoid skirt steaks or flank steaks. These cuts don't make good BBQ meat choices since they have little marbling and are usually pretty thin. If you do use them, make sure to marinate well and be careful not to overcook them.
You can buy your BBQ meat a few days before you plan to use it. Storing it in the fridge for a couple of days can help to age it and make it more tender after its cooked.
BBQ Meat Options in Pork
If you want to grill pork, most people prefer ribs. Another popular BBQ meat is a pork shoulder or butt roast. This is the type of meat that is used in the Carolina pulled pork specialties. Some also choose pork steaks, because they tend to be cheaper than other BBQ meat.