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Summer Eats - Meat Meets Heat
CBC Radio | July 21, 2006
Listen (runs 7:09)
Barbecuing is a dry cooking method, and this is what will drive most of your thinking when selecting meat for the barbecue. You need to be sure your meat is up to that challenge.
The best protection for meat on the grill is fat, which helps keep meat moist over hot coals.
Look for marbling in beef cuts, evidence of a high fat content, and resist the temptation to trim the fat, as it will protect the meat from drying out.
It's not necessary to buy top cuts of beef, but inexpensive cuts tend to dry out more.
The cut should be thick enough to avoid drying out, but not so thick that it won't cook through. About one inch is as thick as desirable.
Pork tends to be a lean meat, but chops on the bone will grill well.
Sausages and ribs are barbecue favourites, but should be parboiled before grilling. Ribs tend to dry out, and sausages are generally too thick to cook all the way through.
Marinades help keep boneless, skinless chicken from drying out, but if you like your chicken straight up, bones and the fat content in the skin will protect the meat from hot, dry coals.
Many fish have a tendency to fall apart on the grill, requiring foil wrap to hold together.
Two exceptions to this rule are salmon and halibut.
Shrimp and scallops are excellent for barbecuing, but unless they are large will tend to fall through the grill. Skewers help keep them in place.
Game tends to be lean, so use a marinade or wrap it in bacon before putting on the grill.
Two final tips from Craig Youdale
"If it doesn't fall through the cracks, you can barbecue it."
"When it comes to barbecuing, fat is your friend."