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SMOKE BREAK: Get the right meat for the dish.


Money’s tight. We get it. But grabbing the cheapest cut from the meat section can lead to a lot of frustration and lost time, not to mention enthusiasm - especially while you’re still honing your skills.

Make friends with your local butcher. Not only are you supporting an independent business, you’ll get superior results. They can help you get the right cut for what you’re planning.

But, if you’re in a rush or, worse, you don’t have a local butcher, look for the following:

Ribs – look for meat coverage over the bone. Avoid fatty pieces and frozen selections.

Brisket – get a whole packer brisket with marbling if possible. You want a quarter to third of an inch of white, hard fat over the entire flat portion.

Pork butt – look for striations and stripes of fat evenly spaced along the muscle, found opposite the bone. They’ll melt and render delicious results as it cooks.

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