5@5 - Cuts of meat to purchase for grilling season
April 10th, 2012
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Some folks assert that Memorial Day weekend is the official beginning to grilling season.

While those folks are sitting indoors twiddling their spatulas until May, we'll be out stretching our toes in the freshly mowed grass and perfuming the air with eau de charcoal.

A burger is certainly an excellent, inaugural item to set aflame to, but the world is your (grilled) oyster; beef up your repertoire with Pat LaFrieda's favorite, grill-friendly cuts of meat.

LaFrieda is one of the stars of Food Network's "Meat Men" and the owner of Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors, a 90-year-old wholesale butchery that supplies more than 500 restaurants with every cut of meat you can imagine.

Five Picks Of Meat To Purchase for Grilling Season: Pat LaFrieda

1. Inside skirt steak
"This is my father's favorite cut as well as my own. Blindfolded, I can tell when this particular cut of meat is in front of me. It's very unique in that it has an iron-flavor. It's got some 'chew' to it, it's not the most tender cut of meat and I personally love that. I don't always want my meat to be falling off the bone.

On any given weekend when I'm grilling in my backyard, you'll find this particular cut of meat on my grill. I love to marinate mine in a mixture of equal parts brown sugar and balsamic vinegar with one part Worcestershire sauce. It's a marinade that will stick to the meat, won't fall off onto your grill and doesn't need to be put on the meat days ahead of time. You can marinate the steak a few hours before you light your grill. My kids love it, I love it, and I guarantee your grill will too!"

2. Colorado lamb burger
"Lamb, by far, is my favorite type of meat to eat, and a lamb burger on the grill is perfection in my eyes. American lamb in particular is very sweet, it contains a ton of flavor and has currently become the trendy burger.

You place a lamb burger on the grill, add some feta cheese, a little yogurt sauce, a toasted bun and you've got a phenomenal burger on your hands."

3. Boneless country-style spare rib steaks
"There is nothing not to like about this cut of meat. Add a grill and you take these steaks to the next level. They've got great fat content, are as tender as butter, and are very inexpensive for you and your family to purchase this grilling season.

These steaks are taken from the ends of the loins. I prefer the fore-end of the ribs, ribs one through four, as they contain the best flavor. These spare rib steaks will quickly become your grill's best friend."

4. Sausage
"As an Italian, I grew up loving sausage - both hot and sweet. The key to a great sausage? Fennel. Fennel is what makes Italian sausage. It's got to be a mixture of both fennel seed and ground fennel. You absolutely need both in order to get the best tasting sausage.

If you're ordering sausages at your trusted butcher, you want to ask that 20-30% more fennel be added than what you would normally receive at your local supermarket.

For my grill, I love caramelizing peppers and onions first and separate from the meat. Then, I grill the sausage. While the sausage is grilling, toast that Italian bread you bought to go along with it. You've got to give your Italian bread some love too! Once ready, add everything together and you'll see smiles all around."

5. Chuck eye roll steak
"This piece of meat is one of the most overlooked cuts when people are out shopping for their upcoming barbecue. It's really too bad as it's one of the most amazing steaks you'll ever have. The chuck eye roll is the first two steaks off the chuck where the rib steak has been removed from the shoulder. The meat comes from ribs four and five, where you have the most marbling, creating the most intense flavors you'll ever taste. I

t's also a very inexpensive cut of meat that you and your family can enjoy this upcoming grilling season. All you need to prepare is a little salt prior to placing on the grill, and a little pepper once it comes off."

Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.

See all our best grilling advice at Grilling 101

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Filed under: 5@5 • Grilling • Grilling • Make • Techniques & Tips • Think

soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. Sam Bogale Calgary Alberta

    Great tips – cannot wait for the season to begin!

    April 12, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  2. Englist Twit

    Teaching people when to say barbecue vs grilling is as hopeless as getting people to properly use further and farther.

    You might get one or 2 to change, but you'll never get everyone to change.

    April 12, 2012 at 8:14 am |
    • big dog

      Farther: adj, 1. to a greater distance, 2.in addition, 3.to a greater extent, 4.more distant
      Further: adj, 1. more distant in space-time-or degree, 2.additional, 3. to a greater extent, 4.in addition, furthermore

      pretty much the same definition jackass. shut up.

      April 12, 2012 at 8:45 am |
      • Thinking things through

        I enjoy linguistic posts, even if I do not necessarily adapt....

        June 26, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
  3. LilCoffinHunter

    Sorry, but you're incorrect. There is direct grilling, indirect grilling, barbeque (or barbecue or BBQ), and there's smoking. The last 3 are all indirect heat source methods of cooking, where it is the temeprature that determines the method name.

    April 12, 2012 at 7:59 am |
    • Thinking things through

      I appreciate the linguistic clarifications. Not so much as a food snob but as someone who likes clarification in language. (Eh, a language snob???) :)

      April 12, 2012 at 8:46 am |
  4. Steve

    Are people EVER going to understnd the difference between Grilling and BBQ? Grilling is Direct heat the flame is on eht meat. You can't grill low an slow. BBQ is indirect heat This is the low and slow method. Grilling is Good but BBQ is sooooo much better.

    April 12, 2012 at 7:39 am |
    • big dog

      You are a food snob. shut up.

      April 12, 2012 at 8:37 am |
  5. Iamqueensblvd

    I had an amazing buffalo tenderloin at The Corn Exchange in Rapid City, SD tonight. Highly recommended!

    April 12, 2012 at 2:11 am |
  6. Don

    only on a Weber charcoal smoker!

    April 12, 2012 at 1:30 am |
    • Keith

      Some of the best meals I've ever had were on a wire grill setting on four rocks over a camp fire. The name stamped on the lid is the least important thing.

      June 26, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
      • Thinking things through

        You got that right. :)

        June 26, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
  7. tulipwalk23

    Boca Burgers & Boca Italian Sausages are on our grill this summer. No antibiotics, arsenic, poop or pink slime for us thank you very much! lols!

    April 11, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • Thinking things through

      Just hexane-purified TVP, eh? Mind you, I think veggie burgers are great, but I am going to have to make them myself.

      June 26, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
  8. tulipwalk23

    Boca Burgers and Boca Italian sausages on our grill. No thanks to antibiotics, arsenic and pink slime thank you very much! lols

    April 11, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • Thinking things through

      Yes, just please thank the hexane. I LIKE real black bean burgers, but none of these are sold commercially. You have to make them on your ownsome. Seriously.

      June 26, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
  9. StoogeFan4Ever

    I love to BBQ all year round. Thanks for the article. I like the meats chosen also. Thanks Pat.

    April 11, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
  10. Adodge

    A good brisket on a smoker for 4 hours is where it is at. Marinated Elk or Bison on the grill on low and slow. MMMMmmm

    April 11, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
  11. jimbo

    i completely disagree with all his beef choices. For the grill; New york, rib eye or filet mignon. If you want to get serious like me, smoke a 5lb rib roast on low temp over oakwood for 6 hrs encrusted with sea salt cracked peppercorn and rosemary. It will melt in your mouth.

    April 11, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  12. Lenny

    Eww...you dirty meateaters!

    J/K. I live for and love meat! Just had to post that as we normally see these pesky vegetarians all around complaining about eating meat.

    April 11, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • tulipwalk23

      Who's complaining? not me. Im thriving!

      April 11, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • Rick

      I am a long time (33 years) vegetarian, and I do not care what you eat

      April 12, 2012 at 8:31 am |
      • Wilko

        If you truly are a vegetarian, and unconcerned about what we meat eaters consumer- why would you be reading this article and it's comment section?

        April 12, 2012 at 10:49 am |
  13. Pat LaFrieda's Eyes

    A bit creepy...

    April 11, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  14. Nathan

    I cannot wait to try the lamb burger. Guess I will be stopping by the butcher on my way home!

    April 11, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  15. daytonaguy

    If we weren't supposed to eat animals, they wouldn't be made out of food.

    April 11, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  16. Charlotte


    April 11, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  17. Mmmmeat...

    My favorite marinade for skirt steak? Italian dressing. Simple and so much flavor! Love it.

    April 11, 2012 at 11:58 am |
  18. Wastrel

    Chuck eye roll steak? (rolls eyes)

    April 11, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Levi

      I agree, rolls eyes plus my brown eye

      April 11, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  19. CN Red

    Great read, thanks!

    April 11, 2012 at 10:03 am |
  20. 365 1/4 days every year

    "Grilling season"? Grilling never goes out of season.. and before you salt that meat, remember that pre-salted meat comes out tougher.

    April 11, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • sea-libtard

      Salt ... only true if you salt way ahead of time. If you salt about 15 min prior to grilling, the salt disolves into the meat, helping create a great crust and ultimate flavor. Use a couse sea salt or kosher salt for best results.

      April 11, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  21. RichardHead

    You both fail to realize that Pat is from a foreign country, New Yawk, NewYawk. Let's take a Non Yankee look at the recommendations..
    Skirt Steak...Why not pound it out and make the best breaded fried steak ( similar to chicken Fried Steak ) that is available on the market? Cream Gravy and mashed Taters,nothing that is available in New York.
    Colorado Lamb Burger??? Bison is where it's at–Leaner than Lamb,melts in your mouth and no one has to sing, Mary had a Little Lamb.
    Boneless spare ribs–C'mon Pat, everyone knows a bone in cut of meat is always superior. More flavor,and it keeps your pets teeth clean.
    Sausage-Central Texas German Sausage smoked on the grill is something no Yankee will ever forget.
    Chuck Eye roll steak??? We don't have acrobatic cows in Texas,unless Barnum and Bailey are in town. 7Bone Chuck roast,low and slow on the grill. You do have some fine looking meat on your website. Maybe expand a little to include all States recipes? I'm a Yankee so I'm just kidding with you. Thanks for the article.

    April 10, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • RichardHead@Pat

      Please let me say this without it sounding like I am picking on You,which I am Not/ Cargill, Tyson, BP are trying to fill a niche just as you are. When THEY tell you this is what WE have available,you then have to change Your menu around them. This will become more common place in years to come. Good Luck in staying in business with these guidelines.

      April 10, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • Caught You

      Hey Richard, they never mentioned that Pat is from NY in the article. You somehow already knew that. That means that you are a Pat LaFrieda stalker/hater. Don't worry, your types have been busted many many times before. Typically your type is a competitor who is getting destroyed or a supplier that LaFrieda ditched for a superior product. Good luck in life, you will need it. And, as Pat LaFrieda says "Eat my meat."

      April 11, 2012 at 10:58 am |
      • Sir Biddle@Caught You

        Anyone with half a sense can click on Pat's website and quickly see he is from the NYC area.

        Good sluthing skills Scooby Doo.

        April 11, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
        • boarddog

          LOL! Good one!

          April 11, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
        • Caught You Again

          So within an hour and fifteen minutes after the article is posted this guy did a series of internet searches to find out the previous location of the business (they moved to NJ from NYC a few years back and their website gives a NJ address) and wrote a long winded post. Seems like a lot of effort at 5am. I can see why they are #1, their competitors spend too much time on the internet and not enough time honing their craft. GO PAT!

          April 11, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • boarddog

      I'm with Richard on this one!

      April 11, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • David

      They grow good cows in Texas. They can't cook them worth a damn.

      April 11, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
  22. Truth™

    Colorado lamb is pretty great, but it cannot touch local trout.

    April 10, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • JBJingles_from the casa@Truth

      Do you ship?

      April 10, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
      • Truth's Ghost

        At least twice a day.

        April 11, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  23. Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

    WHAT?!? NO DOG OR CAT PREMIUM CHOICE CUTS?!? How disappointing.

    April 10, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • Levi

      you're disappointing

      April 11, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
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