The Best Cuts of Meat for Grilling

by Stacy Zogheib ; Updated September 28, 2017

You can grill many different types of meat

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Grilling is one of the most primal cooking methods: it just involves fire and meat with a delicious result. Almost any food can be cooked on a grill including fish, vegetables and even fruit. When it comes to grilling meat just about anything goes and you are limited only by your creativity and your budget.


Beef may be the most popular meat for grilling just because there are so many options. For a great, moist burger use equal parts of freshly ground sirloin and chuck and salt and pepper the patties just before cooking. If a steak is what you want, T-bone, New York strip and porterhouse have the best marbling of fat for grilling. The fat keeps the meat from drying out and getting tough. For larger cuts of meat like roasts, indirect grilling can tenderize the meat without overcooking it.


When it comes to direct heat, chicken thighs or breasts are the best choices for grilling. Marinate them ahead of time or season with a rub to hold in the flavor and keep the meat moist. Cook chicken to at least 180 degrees Fahrenheit to make sure that all of the pink is gone. Remove it from the grill immediately after cooking to rest for 10 minutes before cutting. If you want to grill a whole chicken, consider a rotisserie. The mechanism turns the chicken over the heat so it all cooks evenly and stays moist.


Grilling pork is not that different from grilling beef or chicken. Like chicken, pork needs to be cooked all the way through. Grill marinated pork chops for a change of pace from chicken or fish. If you have a pork tenderloin consider the rotisserie to distribute moisture and impart smoke flavor. A large pork roast or even a whole pig can even be grilled via indirect heat for a large group of people.


Grilling fish is an excellent way to break free from chicken and beef. Thick, steak-like fish like swordfish, salmon and tuna all grill well. When you are grilling fish, get your grill as hot as possible before putting the fish on. You want the fish to sear quickly in order to seal in the moisture. This also makes the fish less likely to stick to the grill. Most fish take about eight minutes per inch of thickness to cook. Remember to flip the fish halfway.

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About the Author

Stacy Zogheib's writing has been published in various online publications including Demand Studios and Our Everyday Life. She has written on topics including family, careers, and work-life balance. She has a Bachelor of Arts in elementary and special education from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio and a Master's degree in Early Childhood Education from Northern Arizona University.