Beef Ribs from Hillstown Farm Shop

Tip 27 – Become best friends with your Butcher – 30 Days to Better BBQ

A couple of weeks ago, as I rocked up outside my local farm shop, I found myself asking a really strange question…… “When did I begin to get so excited about going to the butchers?”

It’s an affliction that most BBQ enthusiasts suffer from. Well….. I say suffer, but truth be told, it’s simply another part of BBQ. Using great quality meat on your BBQ is a match made in heaven and it’s only when you have tried better quality meat that you realise what you have been missing out on.


So why should you buy your meat from a butcher rather than the supermarkets?


Your butcher has spent years learning his craft and is passionate about producing the best quality meat he can. Sadly, not all butchers are created equal but the ones who know their trade become obvious after talking with them a few times.

As a beginner, it can be a little daunting going into your butcher and trying to order the cut of meat you want, especially if it’s not something you would traditionally find on a butcher’s counter but there really is nothing to worry about. A butcher will be more than happy to talk through different cuts and they will more than likely want to know about what you have planned for it. I’ve had some great tips from my butcher on how to cook different cuts, or simply tell your butcher what dish you had in mind and they can recommend the best cut for it.

It won’t be long before a 10 minute trip to the butchers turns into an hour long visit talking about meat and BBQ…… and that’s why I enjoy going to the butcher!


Sharpening up your own Butchery Skills

A big part of BBQ is preparing meat to cook on your BBQ. I highly recommend learning some basic butchery skills. There are loads of beginner butchery classes out there you can attend or if you are the ‘learn it yourself’ type of person (like me) then check out The Scott Rea Project on YouTube. I’ve picked up loads of tips from watching Scotts video’s and it is my first port of call when I need to know how to prepare a certain cut of meat.


Having trouble finding the meat you want?

Sometimes sourcing the right cuts for BBQ can be difficult. You may have tried all your local butchers but can’t seem to track down what you are looking for. All’s not lost! There are some great butchers out there who offer a delivery service, most nationwide.

If you live on the UK Mainland, you can check out Bob’s Family Butchers in Hatfield who are a traditional Butchers who have really made a name for themselves in the BBQ community for the quality of their meat.

If you are my side of the pond (Northern Ireland), Check out The Meat Merchant in Moira or my local butcher, Hillstown Farm Shop in Ahoghill. Both companies take tremendous pride in the meat they are producing and the end results speak for themselves.


These are only a few of the fantastic butchers out there, I would love you to leave a comment below and show your local butcher some BBQ love. Let others know where they can find great quality meat on their doorstep.

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