Best Cuts of Meat for the BBQ

When it comes to firing up the grill, sausages and burgers are almost everybody's first choice. It’s hard to beat an Epping Sausage in a roll with some carmalised onions or a flame grilled burger with all the little extras.

Today we take the time to go over what we think are the finest cuts of beef, chicken and lamb for the bbq. These are certified crowd pleasers at any BBQ and we’ve broken it down depending on your bbq skill-level.

BEST Meat For Beginners

Tomahawk Steak

This summer, the Tomahawk steaks have been a BIG hit in the shop. A lot of customers can’t get enough of these behemoth bone-in steaks. While a steak this size could feed 3 people… it’s so incredibly moreish, you’ll certainly tackle it between two people. With its sheer size, it’s perfect for cooking on the bbq as you can get a great sear on the outside building up so much flavour and you won’t overcook the middle.

A beautiful photo by Alison Anderson – one of our customers

A good cooking method for a tomahawk is a reverse sear. First, cook it slowly in either the oven or indirectly on the bbq. This will get the meat up to temperature slowly and ensure the inside is cooked to your preference. When it’s almost how you like it, finish it over some hot coals or on the grill for that amazing smokey bbq flavour. A simple seasoning with salt, pepper and garlic is sufficient for such a flavourful cut of meat.

Chicken Thighs

While a char-grilled, grain fed chicken breast is hard to beat, the chicken thigh meat is arguably the best part of the chicken. They are packed with flavour, tender and succulent when cooked correctly. If you have been making chicken skewers with chicken breast, then you have to give boneless chicken thighs a go. Just ask us and we can debone them for you in the shop.

Chicken Thighs and Dumsticks BBQ'd sent to us by Callum McInerney-Riley

Skin on, bone-in chicken thighs are amazing simply grilled over lumpwood charcoal with a little lemon, herb and spices. Also, they’re fantastic cooked slowly on a skewer too. Go for the greek style with olive oil and herbs or marinade them in yogurt, lemon, smoke paprika, garlic, rosemary and thyme for an extra edge! There’s few finer things in life than a delicious home-made chicken kebab with that distinctive charcoal flavour.

Minted Lamb Chops

Undoubtedly, the easiest thing to cook on the whole list! Our minted lamb chops are one of our most popular we sell in the shop. They are spectacular when grilled on the bbq. Get the bbq nice and hot and give them a few minutes each size over the coals. Once the colour starts to go dark and the fat starts to go golden and a little charred, you’re in business!

Leg of Lamb

When you think of a leg of lamb, you probably think of a Sunday roast. It’s a huge lump of meat that ordinarily would take far too long to cook. If you want it bbq ready though we can butterfly the leg of lamb for you. We remove the bone and cut it so it’s an even depth all over so it cooks through perfectly on the bbq. Lamb from spring through to early summer is fantastic and you’re really guaranteed great quality meat.

Spring Lamb cooked on the bbq.

Although many people have never attempted it, a butterflied leg of lamb is really easy to do on the bbq. 5-minutes seared on each side, the push the hot coals to the edge of the bbq and leave it with the lid on for between 20-40 minutes depending on how well done you like your meat.

Check out this amazing recipe here:

Medium/Difficult Cooks:

Boston Butt or Pork Shoulder – Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork is still a big food trend and for good reason – it’s delicious. What you need to make a good pulled pork is the right amount of fat in the meat so it melts away and pulls beautifully when slow cooked on the BBQ. In the USA, they call it a Boston Butt which you would be excused for thinking comes from the derriere. However, this cut of pork is actually taken from the shoulder of the pig and in the UK we refer to it as a pork shoulder. Removing the skin and leaving the bone in makes it perfect for making a pulled pork feast. A good quality bbq sauce, homemade slaw inside a brioche bun – heavenly!

If you’re going to try a long cook on a bbq, then a pork shoulder is one of the most forgiving things you can attempt. While bbqing for hours can be difficult, you’re likely to get a decent result regardless of if you mess a few things up.

Here’s a great guide from Cooking With RY – Like the Bob Ross of BBQ. What a guy!

Baby Back Ribs or Spare Ribs

A bbq classic - pork ribs. There are various different cuts of pork ribs which range in size. Those small, neat racks you find in restaurants are often baby back ribs and the larger ones you find at chinese restaurants are spare ribs. Both are excellent to cook on the bbq but require slightly different cooking methods.

We have full racks of baby back ribs already sauced and ready to go in the shop. These can be cooked hot and fast on the bbq and will taste great but if you want something truly special, slow cook them using the 3-2-1 method. 3 hours on the bbq alongside some smoking chips or wood, 2 hours wrapped up in foil or butchers paper and then sauced up and set the glaze for an hour. They will simply just melt.

Beef Ribs

Certainly one of the more adventure cuts of meat on this list. Beef ribs are the perfect piece of meat for slow cooking thanks to the excellent fat content and the bone. When cooked low and slow on the bbq they are divine.

Unlike pork ribs, beef ribs have a huge chunk of meat on them. Using smoking chips and a good dry rub will give the beef ribs a lot of flavour. 3 hours smoking and 3 hours wrapped in foil is a reliable method for the beef rib. Before you wrap them, tip in some liquid to let them braise for extra flavour. A touch of stout, ale or red wine would be perfect for a beef rib.

Beef Brisket

Uttering the words “beef brisket” could probably make a seasoned bbq pro shudder. It’s a really difficult piece of meat to get right on the bbq and depending on size, it takes a long time to cook. If you’re going to tackle it, be prepared for either an all nighter or a very early morning to get in cooked in time for dinner!

Like the Boston butt (pork shoulder) a beef brisket is the shoulder part of the animal. One of the mistakes a lot of people make is thinking that american brisket and uk brisket is the same. In the UK our cows are mostly grass fed which means they’re far leaner than american grain fed brisket. For this reason, a UK brisket doesn’t turn out as succulent and juicy as those from across the pond. With that said, the flavour is still fantastic.

Here’s how to tackle it with the legend that are BBQ Pit Boys

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£50 deposit is required to secure all orders of whole birds.
NOTE: All Christmas orders will need to be placed in the shop or by telephone and not by email.  £20 deposit is required to secure all orders.
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