A Guide to the Best Meat Cuts for Barbecuing

Arguments about which cuts of meat are the best have been around for as long as people knew there were different kinds of cuts to get. Every chef, grill master, and line cook has a different opinion about which cut goes best with what cooking method. Trying to decide on the definitively best cut of meat isn’t actually possible. Everyone’s tastes are different, after all. However, that doesn’t mean that some cuts aren’t simply better for some purposes than others. It’s just that the specific rankings will differ based on who you ask.

When it comes to barbecuing, the choice of meat is up to you. One of the best parts about grilling is that it’s difficult to go wrong when choosing a cut of meat, as most of them will taste fantastic once they’re off the grill. For some dishes, you may want one over another. But the qualities of the meat can largely depend on how skillfully you cook it. Here’s a guide to the best meat cuts for barbecuing. It will give you a better idea of what pieces will do very well on your grill.

What To Consider When Choosing a Cut

There are a few factors when choosing the right cut of meat that you may want to keep in mind as you head down to the butcher’s shop. If you’re ever unsure about what you should get, don’t be afraid to ask your butcher for their opinion on which cuts they would recommend out of their selection. Do the same when everything looks good, and you can’t decide. That’s a surefire way to get a cut you’ll enjoy. When deciding on a specific cut, here are a few things to keep in mind.

The Method of Cooking

Obviously, we’re considering cuts of meat to put on a grill, but there are more ways to grill than just one. The grill might only be one stop on your food’s journey. You may also want to try out a new recipe that you never used before. Considering how you want to cook your meat can give you a better idea about the kind of cut you should get. Also, think about the seasonings and sides you want to use with the meat. These can also change your decision if you plan on using the meat in a specific way.

The Number of People Eating

There’s nothing wrong with cooking up a high-quality steak for yourself, but it’s important to know how many people you want to feed before you choose a cut to grill. As delicious as porterhouse steaks are, it’s unlikely you’ll want to finish an entire one yourself. On the other hand, if you’re having a big family get-together, you probably want to get something a little bigger than a strip steak. You may also get multiples to ensure you can feed everyone.

Your Personal Taste Preference

Different cuts of meat vary in their taste and texture, which is why you want to consider what you enjoy about a steak before you get a specific cut. If you love a super tender steak that melts in your mouth, you may not like the leaner or chewier cuts of meat like flank steak or skirt steak. If it’s an intense beef flavor you desire from your steak, you may want to splurge on a more expensive ribeye steak to get the flavor you want.

The Best Cuts for Barbecuing

Now that you have a better idea of what to consider when you’re out picking up your cuts, here’s our guide to the best cuts of meat for barbecuing.


Ribeye steak is available in bone-in and boneless varieties and is one of the finest choices you can make when preparing a delicious steak. Not only does this cut have that intense, beefy flavor you want, but it also has nice fat marbling. This characteristic makes it extremely tender when cooked properly. Choosing between bone-in and boneless is up to your personal preference, as both options offer fantastic flavor. Ribeye steaks are perfect for barbecuing, and many people argue that you won’t find a better cut to put on the grill.

Strip Steak

Strip steaks come with various names, but pretty much all of them have the word “strip” somewhere in them. Whether you get a strip loin, Kansas City strip, or New York strip, you experience many of the same benefits that the ribeye has when you pick up a strip steak. It’s flavorful and tender, but most people still consider a strip steak a “lean” cut compared to the ribeye. These cook quickly, so make sure you keep an eye on them.


Porterhouse is also known as “the King of Steaks.” Unsurprisingly, it’s the go-to choice when you want to eat like royalty. With an entire filet mignon on one side of the bone and a full strip steak on the other, you may want to think about sharing this one with another person unless you seriously love your steak. Grilling porterhouse steaks at home is a much more economical way to enjoy this cut since restaurants will charge you a small fortune for them.

T-Bone Steak

T-bone steaks are the classic cuts that every meat lover aspires to enjoy. With a full strip steak on one side of the bone and a portion of the filet mignon on the other, this cut offers a lot of the same great qualities of the porterhouse but is often a bit more tender than that hulking piece. T-bone steaks are full of meaty flavor and are always a hit whether you eat them by yourself or serve them up to others.

Flank Steak

Flank steak differs from some of the other cuts here because of how lean it is. Despite its leanness, flank steak is an incredibly flavorful cut of meat that grills incredibly well. The best way to serve flank steak is to cut it into thin slices against the grain of the meat. This will counteract some of the natural chewiness that flank steaks can sometimes have.

To bring out the absolute best from your meat, check out our selection of bulk BBQ rubs here at Williams Food Co. when you want to make some truly big meals. Our family has been perfecting our rubs and seasonings for many years. So we know how to help you get the most out of your favorite cuts of meat.

A Guide to the Best Meat Cuts for Barbecuing

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