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Texas Barbecue: The Best Cuts and Meat Alternatives

Here in the Lone Star State, warmer weather means it’s time for Texas barbecue. (Although, if you ask us, there’s never really a bad time for it!) And whether you’re gearing up for some tailgating or homegating — or maybe a good, old-fashioned block party barbecue — you’ll find everything you need at your neighborhood Food Town. Our butchers cut meat fresh in-store, so you’ll always find prime cuts at a low price. And if you don’t see what you’re looking for? We’ll gladly create custom cuts when you need them. Read on for a little insight into the best cuts of meat — and meat alternatives — for your next family barbecue.

Arguably the favorite barbecue fare here in the Lone Star State, brisket is a cut of beef that comes from the cow’s pectoral muscles. Because it comes from such a muscular area of the body, this cut tends to be tough — that is, unless you’ve got a grill master who knows what they’re doing. Season that meat with a signature spice or sauce blend (and then get to cooking it low and slow) and you’ve got a mouthwatering meal. And don’t forget about those burnt ends! Made from the ends of the meat (known as the “deckle”) they’re packed with extra flavor!

Barbecued Beef
Historically, barbecue was a means of cooking tough cuts of beef “low and slow” to bring out all their juicy, tender flavor. In addition to the above-mentioned brisket, traditional cuts of beef include tri-tips, beef back ribs and clods. If you’ve never heard of clods, they’re large sections of beef, usually around the shoulder, which include several large muscles and fat. Sometimes clods are cut down into chuck roasts.

Fat-rich pulled pork practically melts in your mouth, and it ranks among the more popular of barbecued meats! Pork and pork butt (also called the pork shoulder) is easy to cut and shred, and pairs well with sauces for killer sandwiches. Pork belly and pork ribs are other popular grill favorites.

While pork and beef have plenty of natural fats to keep them moist on the barbecue, poultry is a much leaner meat. It may take a little more effort to keep them from drying out, but chicken wings, breasts and drumsticks go great with all kinds of sauces. Try a savory caramel sauce or spatchcocked Greek chicken for something deliciously different. You can even barbecue turkey and quail!

Meat Alternatives
If you want to go beyond meat, plenty of people barbecue fish and shrimp. There are also many plant-based meat substitutes on the market now. But if you want to incorporate a few original vegan-friendly Texas barbecue options, opt for easy veggie recipes like vegan ribs or Hawaiian seitan skewers.

When you’re getting together for your next grill out, we have one of the best meat markets in Houston. Here’s hoping your next barbecue is a success. We’ll see you soon!

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