Meat a butcher would never buy - here's what the man in your life really wants for Father's Day!

Dated: June 13 2024

Views: 56

It's almost summertime and with that comes one of my favorite things about this season:  outdoor grilling!

I have spent a ton of time over the years grilling and smoking various types of meat and wanted to share a few tips and ideas before you go out and get some eats to grill on Father's Day (This weekend by the way).  The question is - what should you buy?  Should you splurge on a really nice piece of meat, and is it even worth the extra price to step up?

Let's begin with where to buy meat.  You can do a big chain store, a warehouse store, or a local butcher or specialty shop.  If you like to shop local, a butcher will have some novelty cuts not seen at other stores, but at a premium price.  You can expect to pay more than double per pound for an item from a butcher versus a store!  What's the difference between them?  Well, it mostly boils down to sourcing:  a butcher will likely have a local farmer they work with, and it is more humanely raised and butchered (supposedly) than a big box store.  The butchers also will create a specific cut for you (or your loved one) that you may not see anywhere else.  There's value there.

For most of us, a nice thick steak may be on the menu this weekend, preferably 1-inch-thick minimum.  You'll want to do a minimum of CHOICE grade, although you can splurge on PRIME grade.  Skip SELECT grade for grilling - these need to be slow cooked.  For steaks like NY Strip and Ribeye, the difference between Choice and Prime can be substantial for marbling.  A tip:  Choice grade is more than sufficient for Filet Mignon.  Don't spend the extra money on Prime.

Other choices (and less expensive) that make a nice steak are top sirloin, flank and skirt steaks.

It is always better to pay for boneless than bone-in.  Paying for a bone is silly.  That goes for T-bone and Porterhouse steaks too.  They look cool, but you're paying for bone.

If you want to do other grilled items, both chicken and especially pork are cheaper, delicious options that do well grilled.

Here are some items to NOT buy at a butcher, should you go:

1.  Ground Beef.  Wait for a sale, or better yet - grind your own.

2.  Poultry.  Get it at a big box store.

3.  "Fresh" fish and seafood.  No, don't do it - it isn't fresh.

4.  Dry Aged Beef.  While delicious, you can do this on your own and save a ton.  I will do a blog on this later.

5.  Bone-In cuts.  Don't pay for the bone.  Go boneless.

Overall, I recommend ribeye or NY Strips for optimal appeal when grilling for a special event.  For a cheaper option, top sirloin is also excellent.  Let's see some of your grilling pics from this weekend!

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