Written by adam on Aug 16, 2006
Top Seven Cuts of Meat You Can't Screw Up on the Grill
Before I get started on my submission for Darren Rowse's Group Writing Project, I need to clarify that this is not about barbeque. This is about grilling. That is, cooking over direct heat ... very high heat. The definitions of barbeque and grilling will be debated endlessly, but I think that the consensus usually is that barbeque has to do with a low heat, slow cooking method with lots of smoke. Grilling is a method where you cook directly over the heat.
7. Pork Tenderloin. Not exactly the cheapest cut of meat, but they are sooooo good. They are meaty, not very fatty, and they are just the perfect thickness to let sit over some coals for a while. You can slash them and rub seasonings into the slashes, or just give them a rub down with olive oil. salt and pepper. Let it sear over the coals then remove to indirect heating to finish off. Slice into medallions.
6. Porterhouse. You might be surprised to see this on the list. But I think you can actually do this without screwing it up too badly. The porterhouse is a nice big cut of meat that is part of a couple pieces of the cow. It has so much surface area, at least some part of it will be good when you're done. Just sear it on both sides and finish over indirect heat.
5. Beef Filet. I think this is one of the best tasting and easiets cuts to grill. Filets are usually so thick, you can't hardly screw them up unless you do something stupid like leave the grill unattended for a half-hour. Like a lot of other beef cuts on my list, the best way to cook these is to sear them on high heat for a couple of minutes on each side. Then, remove them to indirect heat. I also like to use a little bit of smoke when I cook filets. Add some wood chips to your coals during the searing stage.
4. Thick Cut Pork Chops. These chops are the meat that I cut my teeth on when I first began grilling like I had a purpose. We would buy these 8-packs of thick chops from Sams' Club and cook 2 at a time on our kettle grill. I never marinated them. Just seasoned with Emeril's Creole Seasoning and cooked them directly over the coals. They always came out perfet.
3. Ground Chuck. OK, chuck is not technially a cut of meat, rather a whole section of the cow. But I think that the chuck region makes the best burgers in the world. It has the right amount of meat to fat, and since it's from one region of the cow, the meat is uniform in it's taste and quality. See my burger making posts for more information.
2. Skirt Steak. This cut is a very fatty, fibrous cut of meat that usually comes in a 3/4 inch thick slice. Thing about the skirt steak is that it can take a lot of marinating, in fact, it needs it. Marinade it overnight in an acidic environment to help loosen those muscle fibers. Cook over very hot coals for about 3-5 minutes per side. And you're done. Slice across the grain and put into tortillas.
1. Whole Chicken Thighs. I know that most people tend to like chicken breasts in general, including myself. But when it comes time to bring the bird to the grill, nothing can beat chicken thighs. They handle the heat very well, and the flavor is unlike any other part of the bird. Breasts are so delicate and easily burned, but the thighs hold up well over the coals. The ones pictured here have the drumstick attached, the method that most bbq-ists prefer.
Responses to "Top Seven Cuts of Meat You Can't Screw Up on the Grill" ...
Regarding chicken thighs and drumsticks; I want to be sure the meat is done and I am not certain of how to check for that when grilling. Any ideas?
Donna, not to step on Adam's toes, but the best way to check is to use temperature. Guidelines say to cook them to 165 degrees to be safe. I cook thighs a bit more, to 180.
I'd agree. Best to use a thermometer on chicken. If you've ever been sitting in your bathroom at 2 o'clock in the morning counting the tiles on your floor for the 37th time, then you know why.
Chicken's not like beef where you can check doneness by feel. Best to be safe.
I agree with you about chicken thighs. I cook with thighs a lot more than breasts any more because thighs are much more tasty.
Personally I go by the look and feel, and the time they have been cooking.
The more you cook chicken the easier it is to gauge their readyness.
Also a great way to ensure that they are properly cooked is to boil them first. You might think that the chicken will loose their flavour but they don't. Boil them up then grill em real fast on the bbq using your most favorite sauce :)
Sorry, but I reckon you can screw up all of these as it's the skill of the cook that counts in recognising whether or not the meat is done. Just been to too may bad BBQs.
Very interesting, I never realized the difference between barbeque and grilling. Great blog, I will be back.
Mmmmm, making me hungry now ;). Our list is up if you’d like to look… have a great day!
Love a good grilled piece of meat...mmmm
Thanks Curt for the tip. Never even thought about using a thermometer to check the chicken. I use it for the turkey and a beef roast.