Barbecue is a universally popular food that people from all over the world and every walk of life can appreciate. The answer to a consistently good result is normally to make sure you have selected the correct cut of meat for your BBQ. “Finger linking good BBQ” every time is the art of proper meat choice fused with a controlled cooking environment. The two major aspects of meat selection are cooking method and time constraints; overcoming the limitations of these factors will help you win the battle of barbecue mastery.
Grilling Cuts: meat selections that are “easy to grill” and are consistently good are cuts that can be cooked quickly and at a higher temperature. These choices can be served from rare to well done and keep superior flavor and tenderness. Some cuts in this meat group are:
1 Rib Eye steak is an all around premium steak with adequate marbling for tenderness at high heat.
2 T-bone steak is the loin cut with a New York strip and tenderloin as separate muscles of the same steak, this steak is a good choice for grilling over a hot fire and will still be moist and tender.
3 New York Strip-the strip steak is one muscle of the t-bone listed above, same qualities as the t-bone but it is a boneless steak.
4 Tenderloin steak is the most tender of the grilling steaks, it boasts a least amount of fat and extreme tenderness.
5 Pork chops cut thick will be a good one for easy and consistent grilling.
6 Pork loin or pork tenderloin cook well over high heat, the trick is not to over-cook pork, as it will dry out quickly.
7 Chicken parts such as legs, thighs, breast and wings work well for direct heat cooking.
8 Pork ribs boiled for 20-30 minutes and then grilled for tender and delicious barbecue ribs.
The steaks and assorted variety meats listed above are grilling favorites that can be cooked with direct heat and will be tender and flavorful; topped with your favorite steak glaze or sauce, each one is a crowd pleaser.
Braising Cuts: time is a factor with this choice of BBQ meats; the cuts on this list are less tender, yet boast good flavor characteristics. The process for cooking these cuts is normally indirect heat and lower temperatures, this allows the meat to make its tenderness through the slow cooking. Additionally they bonus is they can be infused with some good smoke along the way. Basic selections in this group are:
1 Beef brisket is a favorite slow cooking meat that is good when cooked from 8-12 hours on low indirect heat, brisket is good when seasoned with dry rub and finished with sauce.
2 Prime rib roast, who doesn’t like this one, slow cooked rare or medium is always right on the mark.
3 Pork ribs are just about everyone’s favorite, spare ribs or baby back ribs could also be slow cooked to perfection. Grilling is an option as well using some extra steps to make a good end product.
4 Pork butt roast is an absolute must for pulled pork, slow cooked and shredded for southern style BBQ pork.
5 BBQ chicken or beer can chicken cooked whole is extra flavorful and serves up better than anything you will buy in you local market or deli.
The results will speak for themselves; but your guests are too busy enjoying your barbecue fare, and don’t have time to give you the credits you have earned. Make meat selection the first task on your BBQ list and the experience and your barbecue will be savored by all.