Skip to main content
Call Now
(603) 598-6328

Tips & Tricks

June 26, 2024

Smokehouse Favorites: Choosing the Right Cuts for Classic BBQ Flavors

Making the perfect BBQ means getting the right cuts of meat and handling the fire right. From choosing aromatic wood to using the right ingredients, there are a few important guidelines to follow.

There’s nothing like firing up the grill and having a BBQ, no matter if you’re grilling for a party or just at home on the weekend. With great company, food, drinks, and fire, you can create a memorable experience.

Aside from your guests, the most important part of a BBQ is the meat. To get the right tenderness, flavor, and smoky aromas to shine, there are a few things to keep in mind. Below are the top guidelines for a flawless and flavorful BBQ every time.

Understanding Meat Cuts and How to Prepare Them Right

The keys to a successful BBQ are choosing the right cuts of meat and knowing how to prepare them well. Certain cuts handle the smoke and slow cooking times of a classic outdoor barbecue better than others and become tender, juicy, and full of flavor.

Below are the best cuts of meat to use in your smoker or wood-fired grill and how to prepare them the right way.

Pork Shoulder (Boston Butt)

Pork shoulder, also known as the picnic roast or picnic shoulder, comes from the muscular shoulder muscles of a pig’s forelegs. When cooked for hours, its protein-rich muscles soften and its fat melts, forming a seal of flavorful crust around the smoky meat and its juices.

To prepare your pork shoulder, give it a good massage with olive oil and a dry rub of spices and seasonings. Leave it in the refrigerator overnight in a sealed container to let the flavors soak into the meat.

When your shoulder is ready, spray it with a 1:1 combination of apple juice and apple cider vinegar before grilling or smoking. This adds more flavoring and helps the smoke bind to the meat, creating a flavorful crust.

Then, cook it for an hour and a half per pound at 225° to 250° F or until the internal temperature of your shoulder hits around 200° F. Your meat will come out moist, tender, and bursting with smoky flavor.

Try pairing this delicious cut with oak and hickory. Oak is a slow burner, releasing pleasant aromas and soft flavors for an extended period. If you want a stronger flavor that resembles bacon, then hickory is the way to go. Or try blending them to create the perfect balance of flavors.

Beef Brisket

Brisket is cut from the chest of a cow and has a beautiful graining of fat that becomes tender and juicy after several hours on the grill. Because of its connective tissue, it holds up to the long cooking times of a smoky BBQ.

Try using a simple rub of salt and pepper or preparing with the Butchers Blend BBQ Rub or the Smoke Show All Purpose Seasoning from The Flying Butcher.

Cooking the perfect brisket starts with having good quality meat that’s trimmed to perfection, and that’s where The Flying Butcher comes in. Next, you’re going to want to smoke your brisket long and slow.

Set your grill or smoker’s temperature to between 225° and 250°F. For a ten-pound brisket, you’ll want to leave it on the grill for six to eight hours until it’s juicy and tender, with an internal temperature of between 195° to 205° F.

There are several wood chips that pair nicely with brisket. The best woods include oak, cherry, and pecan. They give your brisket a softer and more fruity smoke that won’t overpower the meat.

Pork Ribs

Pork ribs are from the rib cage in the chest area of a healthy pig. Our ribs at the Flying Butcher are cut and trimmed to perfection, leaving the perfect balance of muscle and fat.

Pork ribs get nice and tender when you cook them with a 3:2:1 method. This method starts with a long smoke, then a steam, and ends on the grill while soaked in your favorite BBQ sauce.

First, get your smoker or grill to 225° F. Place your seasoned ribs on the grill bone side down. Smoke your ribs for three hours.

Then, remove them from the rack and wrap them in tin foil and place them back on the rack. You can season them again if you like with brown sugar and spices.

After two hours on the grill or smoker, take them off and open the foil carefully. Now, drench your ribs in your favorite BBQ sauce and cook for another hour. The ribs will be so tender they will fall off the bone and melt in your mouth.

As for wood chips, it really depends on your preference. If you want a stronger smoke flavor that compliments a wet rub and a rich BBQ sauce, reach for mesquite, hickory, or oak. For a softer and more fruity smoke to compliment a dry rub, try cherry, apple, or pecan.

Marinated Chicken

There’s nothing more delicious than grilled or smoked, marinated chicken. Chicken’s natural fat content in its skin seals in the meat’s moisture and flavor. When it melts, it mixes with the marinade and smoke to create a delicious crust of flavor.

At The Flying Butcher, we have perfectly marinated wings and boneless thighs ready to go. You can also find dry rubs such as the Smoke Show All Purpose Seasoning and the Jet Fuel Hot & Spicy Blend.

When you’re ready to grill, fire up your grill or smoker to 250° F. Place your marinated wings or thighs on the grill and cook them until you have an internal temperature of 165° to 175° F.

Chicken pairs beautifully with apple and hickory wood chips. Both add a savory flavor and rich aroma that combines with the chicken’s fat to create a mouth-watering crust.

Sauce Pairings

In every barbecue tradition around the world, there’s always a great sauce to complement the meat. Fortunately, you can make the best sauces at home, with little effort and with affordable ingredients.

First, few sauces pair better with grilled and smoked meats than Argentinian chimichurri. This South American condiment contains herbs, garlic, olive oil, dried pepper and spices, and vinegar. Its tartness cuts right through the smoky aromas and fat of beef, pork, or chicken.

Next, for ribs and pulled pork, nothing beats a traditional ketchup-based BBQ sauce. This all-American sauce is easy to make and incorporates easy to find ingredients with delicious spices and acidity that cuts right through the delicious meat.

Finally, combine lime juice, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, sugar, fresh chili peppers, and sugar to get the classic Thai dipping sauce. This umami-rich sauce is one of the best compliments to barbecued meat and is easy to make at home.

If you’re feeling rushed for time, you can leave the sauces to The Flying Butcher. We have a huge variety of sauces, from American classics to smoky hot sauces that will be delicious compliments to your BBQ.

Master the art of BBQ with top tips like choosing meat cuts and wood pairings. Enhance your grilling skills and enjoy unforgettable smoky flavors.

There’s nothing like firing up the grill and enjoying a BBQ, whether it’s for a party or a weekend at home. With great company, food, drinks, and fire, you can create lasting memories. At the heart of a successful BBQ is the meat. To achieve the right tenderness, flavor, and smoky aromas, it's crucial to choose the right cuts and prepare them properly.

Understanding the best cuts of meat and how to prepare them can make all the difference. Cuts like pork shoulder, beef brisket, pork ribs, and marinated chicken each have their unique preparation methods that bring out the best in flavor and texture. Pairing these meats with the right wood chips can elevate your BBQ to new heights, creating complex, delicious flavors that will impress your guests.

As you embark on your BBQ journey, remember that the quality of your meat is paramount. At The Flying Butcher, we provide top-notch cuts and advice to help you achieve BBQ perfection. So, fire up the grill, enjoy the process, and savor the flavors of a well-prepared BBQ. Happy grilling!