One of the things we look forward to the most when the weather heats up is the salivating aroma of a burger or steak cooking on the grill. Those aromas have a way of reminding us of holidays to look forward to, like Memorial Day or the Fourth of July, and the time spent with friends and family celebrating. Whether it’s for yourself or for a group, knowing which type of meat can produce the highest quality meals will take your barbeque to the next level.
To Grill or to Smoke?
Grilling and smoking come down to a difference in technique. It can seem a bit strange since they all are cooked on the same grill, but it has to do with the temperatures and length of time they are cooked at. With grilling, you will cook your meat quickly by charcoal or gas. This would be your normal burger, steaks, pork chops, or chicken where you want the meat to remain juicy and tender. Smoking occurs at a lower temperature to make sure the flavors of the smoke enter the meat and can happen well over 24 hours. Mesquite ribs, dry-rubbed brisket, and pork butt are perfect for smoking.
What About Barbeque?
Barbequing is another technique to add to your backyard repertoire. This is a good method to use when you want to cook things like ribs. Many times, people will utilize a charcoal basket, which can be turned and help cook the meat slowly. This takes several hours and maintains a steady temperature. If you use a charcoal grill, be prepared to add coals to keep it nice and toasty.
Which Cut Do I pick?
When it comes to grilling or smoking, you want to consider how much time you have and what flavor profile you want. If you want something that is robust and had a smokey taste, you want to consider smoking.
For cuts of meat, consider cooking classics on the grill and use more robust meats to smoke. This isn’t a set rule, so have fun testing meats with different techniques. Some good ideas for grilling options are burgers, chicken breast, steak kabobs, or even pizza! For smoking, consider making smoked ribs, brisket, or a turkey.
Where Can I Get Good Quality Meat?
If you want high-quality meat, consider farmers who avoid overusing antibiotics or growth hormones. You also want meat that isn’t saturated with water since you won’t be getting any value or flavor from the added hydration. Consider supporting local farmers if possible.
Check out my farm store for Angus beef, poultry, and pork. Products are ethically driven and sourced from local vendors. Examples of some options for your grill or smoker are the fajita steak strips, ribeye, or whole chicken. Get a jump start on summer, get out that grill or smoker, and invite your friends or family over for the best backyard cooking they’ve ever had.