When it comes to BBQ time, the choice of grilling options can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. With so many tasty meats out there, narrowing down the best for any given situation is not just about picking what tastes the best. Certainly that is part of the decision, but things like budget, the number of people who will be eating and the overall theme of the BBQ are important as well. Figuring out what the best meat for grilling is about knowing what one wants to achieve and understanding that each meat has its own pros and cons.
First, few general tips about picking out good meat. Fresh meat is always better meat, no matter what type is going on the grill. The butcher’s shop is usually the best way to go with this. Also, the best cut for most meats is going to be between 1 to 1 ¼ inches with a nice, even thickness to it.
Meats in All Varieties
Ribs are by far one of the most popular meats for the BBQ. They can also be one of the most flavorful, when cooked properly. The biggest problem with ribs is that they tend to be a bit pricey, so if looking to grill for a large group of people they might not always fit into the budget.
In contrast, pork chops are very affordable. They may not have much of a unique flavor, but they do have a universal appeal in the way people like them cooked, so it is a lot less work on the chef.
Good old, classic ground beef is by far the cheapest way to go on BBQ day. Hamburgers are generally welcome in any circle of friends, and they are easy to cook up. When picking out hamburger, one needs to evaluate the fat content. A fattier burger is going to taste better, but if healthy eating is important, then leaner beef is the best option.
For those looking to keep on their budget while still bringing steak to the grill, flank, skirt and hanger cuts work well. There is usually more fat, which makes them a little less healthy than lean-cut steaks. These types of cuts are also cook quicker than other steaks, meaning less time behind the grill and more time eating.
If going the gourmet route, t-bones and filet mignon have great consistency and a low fat content, making them both tastier and healthier. One will want to make sure they know what they are doing cooking these expensive cuts. If they are grilled poorly, all that extra money can end up meaning very little.
Chicken is another great choice for the grill. Cooking up chicken can be a little tricky since the high heat of a grill can often dry the meat out before it is cooked all the way through. It is best to buy breasts boneless and then pound them out to a uniform thickness so that they cook even. Those that want to spend less and worry less should pick up legs and thighs. The higher fat content on these makes them much easier to grill.
Fish is a little more complicated to cook, but can be a brilliant meal when grilled properly. Freshly caught fish is especially delicious. Salmon is by far the most popular of fishes for grilling and always a crowd-pleaser.
When in doubt, there is always the almighty hot dog. Especially for family BBQs where there will be lots of kids, the hot dog can be a money-saver. Kids never say no to hot dogs. For the adult crowd, some bratwurst is a more flavorful companion to the hot dog.
In the end, any cut of meat can be made good or bad by the experience of the chef. Cheap meats can be made to impress with skill and expensive ones ruined by lack thereof. It is always best to do a little reading up on whatever meat one decides to grill so to understand it a bit better and ensure that it turns out the best it can.