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Your Guide to the Best Meats for Grilling

Your Guide to the Best Meats for Grilling

Jun 04, 2024

Rua Meats

Get ready to fire up the grill and elevate your outdoor cooking game with these essential tips and mouthwatering recipes from Ruameats! Whether you're a seasoned grill master or just starting out, we've got you covered with everything you need to know about grilling burgers, steaks, chicken, ribs, sausages, kabobs, brisket, hot dogs, and more. From choosing the perfect cuts to mastering the art of charcoal vs. gas grilling, we'll help you become the ultimate BBQ aficionado this summer. Let's dive in and explore the sizzling world of outdoor cooking!


1. Burgers and Steaks: Burgers and steaks are classic backyard BBQ staples, and grilling is a healthier cooking method compared to frying or baking. But it's important to understand the differences between grilling burgers and steaks to achieve the best results. When beef is ground into burgers, the muscle fibers are broken down, causing the meat to lose moisture more easily. To preserve that juiciness, handle your burger patties sparingly on the grill and vary the heat - start with high heat to get a nice sear, then lower the heat to cook the inside without burning the outside.

For steaks, choosing the right cut is key. Some of the best options for grilling include T-bone, Porterhouse, Top Sirloin, Strip Loin, Rib Eye, and Filet Mignon. Seasoning or marinating your steak before grilling will enhance the flavor.

Try these delicious recipes: Grilled T-Bone Steak with Wasabi Sauce, Grilled Porterhouse Steaks with Garlic-Herb Peppercorn Crust, Caribbean Beef Burgers with Mango Salsa.

2. Chicken Legs: Chicken legs are an excellent and affordable choice for grilling. The dark meat is more forgiving on the grill compared to white meat, which can easily overcook. Be sure to cook chicken legs to an internal temperature of 165°F, and let them rest for at least 20 minutes before serving.

Mango BBQ Chicken Thighs is a tasty recipe to try.

3. Ribs: Grilling ribs brings out their natural, juicy flavors. For the best results, cook the ribs in an aluminum pan to prevent the outsides from overcooking before the insides are done. Then, finish them off directly on the grill grates to get those signature BBQ char marks.

Check out these rib recipes: Backyard BBQ Spareribs, Memphis-Style Drunken-Hog BBQ Ribs, and Hot and Spicy Pork Ribs.

3. Pork Shoulders: Pork Shoulders, also known as pork butt, is a staple for pulled pork. The key is to cook it low and slow, either on the grill or in a smoker, until it's fall-off-the-bone tender. Use a dry or wet rub to infuse your desired flavors.


4. Pork Sausages: Pork sausages are an affordable and versatile option for grilling. To prevent the casings from bursting, simmer the sausages in an aluminum pan first, then sear them on the grates to get that signature char.

Grilled Sausage and Pesto Pasta is a crowd-pleasing dish.

5. Kabobs: Grilling meat on skewers increases the surface area exposed to heat, resulting in more intense flavors. Marinate your kabob ingredients beforehand, and soak wooden skewers in water to prevent burning.

Beef Sirloin Kabobs with Roasted Red Pepper Dipping Sauce and Beef Kabobs with Grilled Pineapple Salsa are two tasty kabob options.

6. Brisket: Brisket is a deliciously tender cut that's perfect for the grill. Apply a dry rub to the meat at least 20 minutes before cooking, then sear it over direct heat before moving it to the cooler side of the grill to cook low and slow.

Try Grilled Brisket recipe.

7. Hot Dogs: No backyard BBQ is complete without hot dogs. To get those perfectly charred grill marks, start by preheating your grill, then cook the hot dogs over indirect heat, rolling them occasionally. Finish with a quick sear over direct heat.

Spice things up with our Sriracha Hot Dogs, Avocado-Tomato Hot Dogs, Coney Island Hot Dogs, or Grilled Hot Dogs with Spicy Jalapeno Topping.

Charcoal vs. Gas Grilling

Both charcoal and gas grills have their advantages. Charcoal grills add a smoky flavor and are great for thick cuts of meat and vegetables, while gas grills are ideal for burgers, hot dogs, and lean steaks. Consider your priorities, such as setup time, flavor preferences, and ease of cleaning, when choosing between the two.

Grilling Temperatures and Resting Time

Follow these guidelines for the perfect internal temperatures and resting times:

  • Ground meats: 160°F
  • Steaks: 145°F for medium, 160°F for medium-well, 170°F for well-done
  • Poultry: 165°F
  • Resting time: 5-20 minutes, depending on thickness

With these tips and recipes, you'll be well on your way to becoming a grilling master this summer. Happy cooking from Ruameats!