So, which is the best cut of meat for your BBQ? Here’s a short guide as to which cuts work best on your BBQ.
Most people are aware that some of the cheaper cuts require cooking for longer than the more expensive cuts of meat. That’s because they are tougher and longer cooking breaks down the sinews and fibres to make them tender.
However, there is a down side. If you choose an expensive cut of meat for its tenderness, you won’t necessarily get the best flavour. Take fillet steak for example. Very tender, but a lot of chefs won’t use it as it lacks flavour. If you like fillet steak, try marinating it in some strong ale, with some sugar for about three hours and then put it on your grill. Pork fillet can also lack taste, so try combining it with pork belly as “Porchetta”.
We specialise in rotisserie BBQ’s, which allows you to cook slowly if required. This opens up opportunities for using some cheaper cuts of meat, which have the better flavour. Brisket and topside for beef or shoulder for pork and lamb.
With brisket and topside, I always brine the joint overnight, which really does the trick for tenderness. You can also add some spices or a marinade to the brine for added flavour.
I once cooked a shoulder of pork at a show as a demonstration for seven hours and at the close of the show, this shoulder was absolutely delicious – like pulled pork. Slow roasted shoulder of lamb also works the same. Whereas we would use garlic and rosemary on a leg of lamb, with the shoulder, I tend to use lemon juice and oregano as a marinade.
With chickens I recommend roasting them whole. The meat stays tender and moist and you are guaranteed that it is cooked properly. You can always add sauces at the last minute. But here’s the trick. You don’t need an expensive, free range chicken. Your rotisserie BBQ will bring even the cheapest chicken to its best. Check out our Lemon Chicken recipe.
If you are a committed griller, never use cheap cuts. You will be cooking quickly and often need your meat rare. That will cost you money, so don’t try to get away with a cheap option – your guests will be disappointed – and might need a dentist!
As a nation we cook more burgers and sausages on our BBQ’s than anything else. If you buy cheap, have a fire extinguisher handy! You are buying fat, which will drip onto your coals or gas burners and catch fire. Good quality burgers – or better still homemade (click this recipe) are best. For sausages, just read the label and see how much fat you are buying.
If you like your meat rich and go for venison, a roasted haunch is delicious, but you will need to tend it during cooking by regular basting as there isn’t much fat in venison. Grilled haunch strips are also wonderful. They cook quickly and taste great.
During the coming BBQ season, try some different foods. The time spent will never be wasted. The diagrams in this blog show all the cuts for our main sources of meat.