Summer is nearly here, meaning warm weather and blue skies in the forecast. The rising temperatures keep many people indoors. But for the serious grillers among us, high heat is more than welcome! The summer sun signifies outdoor fun, time with friends, ice-cold drinks and fantastic food. It’s truly the perfect time to escape to the backyard and fire up the grill.
Get ready to sizzle this summer with our ultimate grill guide. You’ll discover why quality meat is tops, get the lowdown on must-try cuts and learn about lean content to make the perfect burger. We will also explain which meats make the most sense to throw on the smoker.
Want to start your summer grilling season with a tender, juicy steak? Here are three cuts you need to try.
Steak is one of the most popular meats for summer grilling. It’s easy to prepare, and many people toss it on the grill with nothing more than a dash of salt and pepper and maybe some garlic to support heart health! To create more complexity, marinating ahead of time is a good way to add extra flavor.
Let’s look at three cuts of steak you should try:
Ribeye: As the name suggests, ribeye steak comes from a cow’s rib section. Ribeye is a particularly fatty cut, which allows the steak to retain much of its texture and juiciness when grilled.
Tri-tip: These cuts come from the cow‘s sirloin (i.e., rear). Tri-tip is tender, beefy and densely marbled, and it can require special attention. It’s often grilled over an open flame and then moved to indirect heat until it reaches the desired doneness. When it’s ready, let the steak rest for several minutes, then slice across the grain.
Flat-iron: A flat-iron steak is cut from a cow’s chuck (i.e., shoulder). Because the cutting method requires removing internal connective tissue, flat-iron steak delivers amazing tenderness. It can be seared quickly over high heat to lock in juices, then moved to a lower flame to finish.
The next time you visit us, ask our butchers all your steak-related questions. They can help you find the perfect cut for your summer grilling adventures, and they’ll even sharpen your knives for free.
Want to make fresh and tasty burger patties at home? Learn what lean means!
Grilled burgers are an American staple for good reasons. The best burgers overflow with juicy flavor, the crunch of fresh veggies and hints of your favorite sauces and condiments. Pair that delicious taste with fun family time in the sun, and you’ve got an extraordinary summer experience.
When it comes to the perfect summer burger, lean content matters. You can find the lean content of red meat expressed on the packaging or the label at the butcher counter. Lean content typically ranges from 80/20 to 93/7, or 80% lean to 93% lean.
The fattier the meat, the juicier it is. That’s why 80% lean beef is the perfect choice for burgers! It will retain much of its flavor when grilled, and it’ll stay juicy when you’re ready to sit down and eat.
This doesn’t mean that 93% lean beef is bad for burgers. If you want to cut fat from your diet, beef with a lean content of 93% is the way to go. Leaner beef contains less fat, and it’s also higher in protein and has more zinc and iron content than 80% lean beef.
Want to take summer flavor to the next level? These meats are perfect for the smoker.
Smoking adds a distinctive “barbecue flavor” to your favorite meats. If you’ve ever eaten meat right off the smoker, you know. Authentic and ultra-tender smoked meats take grilling to the next level and make for excellent leftovers. Smoked meat might be even more delicious the next day!
But not every meat is suitable for the smoker. Steaks and pork tenderloin are best left to the grill, as they require close attention and cook better when set directly over a flame. The same goes for any lean cut of meat, which can dry out if smoked.
The best meats for the smoker tend to be fattier cuts because smoking meat requires a low and slow approach. Maintain a constant temperature, allow the smoke to permeate the meat for several hours to break down connective tissues, and you’ll enjoy a tasty, tender meal.
One of our favorite meats to smoke is pork ribs! While you can cook them on a gas grill, ribs are incredibly well-suited for the smoker. Pork ribs are fatty and can withstand several hours of low heat, just long enough for the meat to lock in that smoky flavor. When it’s time to sit down and eat, the meat will be so tender that it will fall right off the bone.
We also love pork shoulder roast. This is a forgiving cut, meaning that you can drop it on the smoker with little fear of ruining flavor by running the heat too high or leaving it on too long. Other favorites we think you should try include beef brisket, salmon and chicken. You can also smoke a turkey, but you might want to leave that for Thanksgiving!
When it comes to meat, quality is essential.
Summer is here, and it’s the perfect time to uncover your grill – or smoker – and fire up some fantastically flavorful meats! From steak to burgers and everything in between, this is bound to become the tastiest summer ever.
At Raley’s, you can keep your fun rolling all summer long. Stop by our meat and seafood department with all your BBQ questions. Our butchers can help you find the perfect cut for your next flavor getaway. With amazing savings on our vast selection of top-quality meats, including grass-fed beef and lamb, no antibiotics ever poultry and 100% sustainable seafood, Raley’s is your one-stop-shop for summer grilling essentials!