Meaty Choices: A Quick Guide to Choosing the Right Cut to Suit Your Needs

Meat

Summer means backyard barbecues and parties. Who doesn’t enjoy a good grilled piece of meat with our fresh side dishes?  So how do you choose what type of meat and what cut to use? Check out the guide below to make your next barbecue a huge hit with all your friends and family!

If marinating is your thing, a tri-tip is the way to go. This triangle shaped cut from the bottom sirloin has a loose fibrous texture making it great for marinades.

If experimenting with dry seasonings as a rub, skirt or flank steaks are great choices. They are also loose fibrous cuts, although much thinner, that cook quickly; and when seared on the outside, your spice rub becomes an extremely flavorful crust. These cuts should be served sliced thinly against the grain, giving each tender bite a burst of flavor from the crusted rub found on the surface of each morsel.

If you’re looking for more budget-friendly choices, try chicken wings or beef sirloin. Chicken wings are full of flavor, can be seasoned many different ways, and cooked any way you like. Sirloin has a full-bodied beef flavor, but because it is so lean, it can dry very quickly when overcooked. This cut of beef is perfect for skewers. It’s a great way to stretch your budget, and the veggies help keep the meat moist when cooking.

For the health conscious or for general weight control, skinless chicken breast is the best choice and perfect cut of meat for the grill or oven. Pork is another healthy alternative to beef. Both of these cuts are perfect when counting calories and lend themselves to a wide variety of cooking methods to suit even the pickiest eaters. But be warned, because these cuts are so lean, they can easily dry out when overcooked.

If you’re looking for flavor, meat on the bone is the best. Pork or beef ribs have proven this over and over. Cooking these cuts of meat is not a speedy process. Lower temperature and a longer cook time create unbelievably tender meat that falls off the bone but has an intensely rich flavor from the bone.

If price is no concern and you want to treat yourself to the best cut, the porterhouse steak is the one. This delicious cut combines two cuts of meat, a New York strip and filet mignon, separated by a juicy bone. This is an ideal cut for grilling or cooking over direct heat, not for pan searing. Because meat shrinks, pan searing will cause the bone to protrude and result in unevenly cooked meat.