Choosing meat for a barbecue – a comprehensive guide


By Aleksandra Mojka
January 4, 2022

Summer weather, with its hot days and warm evenings, is a good time for socialising. One idea for a great party with delicious food is to organise a barbecue. Find out how to prepare delicious, juicy grilled meat!

Fleisch vom Grill


Summer weather, with its hot days and warm evenings, is a good time for socialising. One idea for a great party with delicious food is to organise a barbecue. Find out how to prepare delicious, juicy grilled meat!

How should you prepare meat for a barbecue?

Throughout winter you are probably thinking about the next time you will be able to eat delicious meat from a barbecue. But the final effect is not always as good as it should be – sometimes the meat’s too dry, not salty enough or too chewy, taking away the fun of enjoying a barbecue with your loved ones. Seasoning and marinating meat is a real art, which is why ready-made meat for your barbecue could be a good idea, although you won’t be sure about either the quality or the freshness. So if you want to prepare perfect grilled meat at your barbecue or in your restaurant, find out everything you need to know about how to do it properly.

What meat should you choose for a barbecue?

What meat is best suited for a barbecue? Luckily there is a lot to choose from, so even if you don’t like pork or chicken, you will easily find you like. What type of meat is best for a barbecue and how should you prepare it?


Poultry is the perfect choice for any barbecue! The chicken’s crust will become pleasantly crispy, with the meat inside remains perfectly succulent. The most popular option are chicken wings, which are ideal as a snack option. Chicken breast, on the other hand, can be used to make grilled chicken skewers or marinated in honey and mustard, wrapped in foil and prepared as a light and delicious barbecue dish. Of course other chicken pieces can also be used – legs and drumsticks, just like wings, taste great when barbecued, but have more meat.


Beef is the perfect barbecue option for fans of red meat. In this case steaks are the most popular choice, as they are simple to prepare, although it does require precision and paying attention to the right amount of time. Minced beef is also great for burgers – originally popular at American barbecue parties, they are not a standard option in many homes.


Pork shoulder or tenderloin? Bacon rolls or meaty skewers? What about sausages – smoked or marinated? Pork is a very popular choice during the barbecue season – it can be cooked in many ways and each piece of pork will taste differently, allowing for variety with just one type of meat.


Do you have access to fresh game? This is another great option for barbecues. However, make sure you cook it for a relatively short time, to avoid it becoming too dry. This can also be prevented by wrapping pieces of deer or wild boar in bacon slices.

Marinating meat for a barbecue

As you can see, there are many option for grilled meat. However, in order for it to keep its flavour, each piece should be properly seasoned. How should you marinate meat for a barbecue? This is not as easy as it may seem, and requires time, using the right proportions and the appropriate spices.

The easiest option is grilled steak – simply add pepper and salt and let the meat rest for a couple of hours and soak up the spices. Marinating meat is done using liquid ingredients – olive oil, yoghurt, mustard or balsamic vinegar are often used as a base for such seasoning mixtures. Then add your favourite additions – on top of salt and pepper these could be sweet, hot and smoked paprika, garlic, herbes de Provence, rosemary or onions. However, the final recipe depends entirely on your preferences – one option could be to give the marinade a sweet flavour by adding a little honey, while another option is to spice it up with a little chilli.

It’s best to marinate the meat for your barbecue the day before – it needs at least 12 hours for its flavour to fully develop, and leaving it in the marinade for 24 hours will bring even better results. Marinated meat for your barbecue should be covered, put in the fridge and pulled out around 1 hour before the barbecue, so that it reaches room temperature.

Types of meat and their preparation time

Another important issue when grilling meat is the correct cooking time. One of the great things about barbecued meat is that it is quick to prepare – how does this apply to different types of meat?

As you can see, chicken takes the longest. In the case of pork and beef, they are quicker to prepare but require more control during the process – prepared in a shorter time they are softer and juicier, while longer grilling makes them harder, with a more rubbery texture.

How should you grill meat – on an electric, gas or charcoal barbecue grill?

The last aspect is choosing the right equipment. A gas or charcoal barbecue grill ? Or maybe an electric grill? Let’s take a look at the advantages of each choice, in order to choose the best option for your needs.

Catering meat grilling equipment

The situation is slightly different in the case of commercial kitchens. Charcoal barbecue grills are not a good option here. Instead gas and electric grills are used, providing greater control over the required temperature range, easier and more intuitive use and enabling the preparation of larger quantities of food at one time.

Catering grills are an essential element of kitchen equipment in restaurants serving grilled burgers and steaks – professional equipment will let you achieve better results and cook the meat according to your guests’ preferences. They are also a great option for food trucks and mobile catering stalls, e.g. at festivals and outdoor events. When choosing a barbecue grill, you should pay attention to its features – it should be suitable for cooking a large amount of food in the shortest possible time, making your work easier.

Other than the grill itself, also remember about other equipment used in restaurants serving grilled meat and vegetables. You will certainly need high-quality grill accessories, as well as heating devices in order to keep ready-made dishes warm for longer.

What meat should you choose for a barbecue? – summary

If you want to become a barbecue master – in your own garden or in your restaurant – you will need to satisfy a few conditions. Find out which types of meat to use for a barbecue, how to season them and how long to cook them. And remember to choose the most effective and convenient equipment according to your needs, In order to prepare each meal exactly as you want to, to the delight of all your guests.

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