by Lisa Lozano
Planning to grill this week? Before you head to the grocery store, we have five things you need to know before you pick up your meat, straight from our favorite veteran butcher Ray Venezia.
No. 1: Get Your Meat Last
In the summer while it's hot, pick up your meat at the end of your shopping trip right before leaving so that it will stay cool and fresh.
No. 2: Ask to Have Your Meat Wrapped in Paper
Wherever possible, ask your butcher to wrap your meat in paper, because it will keep it cooler in warm weather than plastic wrap.
No. 3: Grind a Roast for Burgers
The ground beef you find in the grocery store can be a bit bland, according to Ray, so he recommends buying a roast and asking the butcher to grind it for you. If you're looking for a classic burger flavor, choose a chuck roast, which naturally has an 80/20 fat ratio, while if you'd like a more steak-like flavor, go for a sirloin, which will have a 90/10 fat ratio.
No. 4: All Spare Ribs Are Not Created Equal
Larger spare ribs will need more tenderizing as they will naturally be tougher, and will need to cook longer at a lower heat, whereas smaller spare ribs are more naturally tender and require less cooking time. So, how do you know how big or small your spare ribs will be? Look at the bones — smaller and thinner bones will equal more tender meat.
No. 5: Baby Back Ribs Cook Fast
Baby back ribs are a lean cut of meat, so you don't need to marinate or cook them as long. This would be a good cut of meat to grill the same day you purchase it.