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8 Cuts of Meat You Should Be Grilling, But Aren’t

Who needs ribeye and filet mignon when you have these unsung cuts of meat? Get ready to learn about celebrity chef Roger Mooking's favorite cuts of meat for grilling (a few of them might surprise you).

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Roger MookingRoger Mooking

The host of Cooking Channel’s Man Fire Food is no stranger to cooking with fire! Trinidadian-born Roger Mooking has traveled all around the world, deriving inspiration from global ingredients as he cooks over grills, smokers and fire-pits. We took a moment to chat with this talented chef about his favorite unsung cuts of meat—and, of course, his tricks for grilling them!

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Raw fresh meat Ribeye Steak with pepper and salt on wooden backgroundShutterstock / Belokoni Dmitri

Spinalis Dorsi (aka Ribeye Cap)

If you’ve ever had an amazing, super-beefy bite out of a ribeye, it probably came from this muscle that runs along the top of the ribeye steak. It’s hard to find, but ask your local butcher to cut you a piece of this coveted muscle. The trick to cooking it to use very high heat and cook it to medium doneness or below.

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Turmeric, White Rice, Mayonnaise, Garlic, Red Bell Pepper, Yellow Plantain, Black Beans, Barbecue Sauce, Flank Steak, Garlic and Herb Seasoning, ScallionsRoger Mooking

Skirt Steak

Talk about a cut of steak with a tremendous amount of flavor! This working muscle is trimmed from the diaphragm muscle of the cow. You can put it to a flavorful marinade and grill it hot and fast, or you can stuff it with rice and vegetables and roll it up for a fun twist. Just don’t forget to cut it against the grain to ensure each bite is perfectly tender.

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Roger Mooking’s Smokehouse Maple-Brined Pork Chops.Roger Mooking

Thick-Cut Pork Chops

Forget thin, wispy pork chops from the days of old—they always turn out hard and dry like a cracker! Look for 10-ounce, on-the-bone pork chops with a nice fat cap. You really know you’ve hit the jackpot if you find yourself with a heritage breed, like Berkshire or Red Wattle. Take the time to brine them before pan searing grilling over medium heat—they’ll be moist every time.

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raw pork shoulder steakShutterstock / Chatchawat Prasertsom

Pork Shoulder Steak

You’ll almost always find these 1-inch thick steaks on the menu at Roger’s Toronto Pearson airport restaurant, Twist by Roger Mooking. It’s one of his all-time favorite cuts because it has all the flavor of a working muscle and you can’t overcook it! Marinate it with spices like garlic, paprika, black pepper and cumin before grilling it over high heat for one to two minutes a side.

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Roger Mooking’s Pineapple-Rum Brushed Basket Chicken.Roger Mooking

Whole Chicken

Move over boneless, skinless chicken breasts—there’s a reason that chicken cooked on the bone is one of the most popular meats on the planet! Here’s a pro tip: cut out the chicken’s back with kitchen shears, break the breastbones to flatten it and toss it in a grill basket for easy flipping. The bones will conduct heat through the chicken and protect the delicate meat from overcooking.

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Roger Mooking’s Best-Ever Buffalo Rack O’ Ribs Hero.Roger Mooking

Pork Ribs

When you cook ribs on the bone, something magical happens: you end up with the most tender, succulent and naturally sweet meat. But, that doesn’t mean you need the bones getting in the way of your eating experience! Remove the bones after cooking and make a monster sandwich stacked high with coleslaw, blue cheese and hot sauce.

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Rack of LambShutterstock / rocharibeiro

Lamb Chops

Roger loves (loves, loves) lamb! The flavor alone is enough to make your mouth water, especially when you marinate the chops with rosemary, olive oil and garlic. Toss ’em on the grill and finish them with a squeeze of freshly charred lemon wedges and a sprinkle of coarse salt. If you want to get fancy, you can drizzle them with a red wine reduction (simmered with fresh berries and a hunk of butter).

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Roger Mooking’s Giant Bacon-Cheddar Juicy Lucy Burger.Chuck & Brisket Ground Beef

Chuck & Brisket Ground Beef

Not all burger meat is created equal! Roger loves mixing ground chuck and brisket. It creates an 80/20 mix that tastes super meaty with the perfect amount of drippy-juiciness we all love from a burger. To get really crazy, create a party-sized patty like Roger’s Juicy Lucy Burger. It easily serves 6- to 8-people and has an ooey, gooey, cheesy surprise when you cut into it.

Lindsay D. Mattison
After years of working in professional kitchens, Lindsay traded her knives in for the pen. While she spends most of her time writing these days, she still exercises her culinary muscles on the regular, taking any opportunity to turn local, seasonal ingredients into beautiful meals for her family.
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