With summer fast approaching, many people are already firing up their grills. And yes, that means it’s time to sit down and have a frank conversation about the best meat cuts for grilling. You don’t want to throw simply any old meat cut over the flames!
This blog runs through our top meats for grilling. We cover price ranges, serving sizes, flavor profiles, and more. Check them out below.
Top of our list of meats for grilling is good old-fashioned ribeye. This hearty option is available in 10 to 18-ounce steaks from us, ready to cook.
Ribeye is ideal for grilling because it has a lot of fat and flavor. As you cook it, the fatty marbling melts, basting the meat and locking moisture inside.
Ribeye can be tender if you grill it the right way. We recommend cooking it over high heat for a short time to get a decent crust and juicy center.
If you’re looking for something a little more affordable, you might want to consider grilling flank steak. This meat cut comes from the abdominal muscles of the cow, as the name suggests.
What makes it great for grilling? Primarily the lean and thin cut. It cooks quickly over open flames, and because it’s thin, it cooks evenly, so you don’t need to be a pro.
Like ribeye, flank has a rich, beefy flavor but a much firmer texture (something that comes from the nature of cows’ abdominal muscles).
We recommend marinating flank before grilling. Increasing the moisture content helps to soften it and add flavor.
How you prepare flank steak is up to you. We suggest cutting it thinly across the grain for the most tender results. Also, marinate it overnight to give flavors and juices plenty of time to soak into the meat.
Chicken thighs are another cut that’s ideal for the grill. They tend to be more flavorful than conventional chicken breasts thanks to the extra fat content. This develops a deep, rich flavor when grilled properly. Better yet, thighs retain more moisture, giving you a melt-in-the-mouth experience on every bite.
Chicken thighs have these properties because they contain significant quantities of collagen. This substance breaks down into gelatin when cooked, adding a richness to the meat you don’t get when you cook regular breasts.
Chicken works well with several flavors, including lemon, thyme, parsley, garlic, and sage.
Lastly, you might think about throwing some pork chops on the grill now that summer’s here. This cut is easy to cook and has a mild flavor, making it ideal for marinades, rubs, and sauces.
Most people cook pork with apples. It’s a classic flavor combination. However, it also goes with thyme, oregano, mustard, chili powder, and paprika.
Pork chops balance fat and lean sections nicely, which prevents them from drying out while cooking. It also gives the meat some lightness, making it great for warm summer days.
Professional chefs grill pork chops over medium-high heat until they reach an internal temperature of around 150°C. You should never eat pork rare.
Now you know which cuts are best for grilling, the next step is to cook them to perfection. But how do you do that?
Fortunately, this section is here to help. We look at some grilling tips for different types of meats (including the ones discussed above), so you can get maximum flavor every time.
The first step is to clean your grill and ensure it’s in good condition. Use a wire brush to remove any carbon or fatty deposits from the grate before cooking. You don’t want any residue to infuse with the food.
Also, take a look at the gas hose for cracks. It can fatigue over time if left outside in the sun.
The next step is to heat the grill to the ideal temperature to receive meat. Always give it 15 minutes to warm up all over. The uniform heat distribution will help your meat cook evenly.
300°F is a low heat for cooking meat, while 450°F is a high heat. Lower heats are better for cooking thicker cuts evenly, while higher temperatures are for char-grilling thin steaks.
Some cooks like to prepare meat without any seasoning or spices. However, marination helps to bring out the meat’s flavor more, enhancing the experience.
Be careful to minimize the use of oil and sugar. These can cause flare-ups that burn the meat.
Lastly, keeping a meat thermometer nearby is handy for checking your meat’s internal temperature. Food must be hot enough to kill any bacteria lurking inside.
Safe temperature thresholds differ based on the type of meat you are cooking. Here’s a rundown:
You should check all meat you put on your grill, including any you chop up first.
Okay, that’s a wrap. Those are your best cuts of meat for grilling and some tips to get delicious results. Stop by Grand Peaks Prime Meats to collect any of these above cuts, plus dozens of other restaurant quality USDA inspected meats.