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It's all about the sizzle: delicious meat from the grill

Tender, juicy and flavoursome – for many, fine meat is the highlight of a barbecue. But what's the correct way to cook it? And what else do you need to know? Whether flame-kissed or smoked: here you’ll find the best recipes, along with tips and tricks on buying and cooking meat.

Special cuts: the ultimate flavour

Special cuts of meat are a delicacy waiting to be discovered at the butcher’s counter in your Coop supermarket. Barbecued to perfection, they are a real treat for connoisseurs and the curious.

Special cuts of beef

Cross section of a cow. Illustration of all relevant cuts.
1. Back ribs
Back ribs usually comprise the sixth to twelfth rib and the flesh in between.
2. Flank steak
Flank steak, which is very popular for barbecues in the States, is a meat cut from the belly (flank). Although on the lean side, it is packed with flavour and perfect for frying.
3. Top butt cap
The top butt cap has a distinctive tapered shape, and features heavily in Viennese cuisine. This cut of meat is excellent for boiling, braising and roasting.
4. Tomahawk
The tomahawk steak will barely fit in your frying pan, because it has an exceptionally long bone. This special cut from the fore rib has a shape that resembles its namesake, a hatchet used by the native Americans.
5. Spare ribs
The term ‘spare ribs’ denotes the entire ribcage. In the USA, the "St. Louis Cut" is taken from the spare ribs, also known as "SLC", "Barbecue Cut" or "Kansas City Cut".
6. T-bone steak
T-bone steak combines both fine fillet and entrecôte. The name is derived from the distinctive T-shaped bone that is served with the steak.
7. Tri-tip roast
The tri-tip is also known in German as the burgomaster’s cut or the pastor's cut, because in the old days the butcher would set these particularly tender and juicy pieces aside for the dignitaries. This short-fibred cut is taken from the bottom sirloin.

Special cuts of pork

1. Pork breast
Pork breast is ideal for smoking, frying, roasting or braising.
2. Pork chops
The rind gives these chops their very special flavour.
3. Ham steak
These juicy steaks are taken from the middle section of the ham. They are brilliant for barbecuing!

Special cuts of veal

Cross section of a veal calf. Illustration of all relevant cuts.
1. Calf's head
Calf’s head can be cooked whole or halved. Classic versions are roast calf's head, served with vinaigrette as a salad, or as part of a stew.
2. Breast of veal with ribs, without breastbone
This premium cut from the breast of the calf is wonderful cooked on the barbecue or smoked in a smoking chamber.
3. Hanger steak
The hanger steak, also known as butcher's steak or hanging tenderloin, is a cut from the plate of the cow or calf. In France, the cut is considered a delicacy because of its typical, strong beef flavour.

Tips: The perfect way to prepare meat

Want to prepare a perfect piece of meat? We've put together some tips to turn you into a BBQ pro and make sure that you wow your friends and family with perfectly-cooked meat.
What should I bear in mind when buying meat?
The way the animal was reared. This is crucial to the quality and taste of the meat. Evidently, meat from animals raised under humane conditions is better. In the case of beef, this includes Natura-Beef, for example. Ask your favourite Coop butcher for advice; he will suggest an ideally stored piece of meat.
Which steaks are particularly popular?
Pork steaks, because they are juicy and flavoursome. Cuts of meat on the bone, such as spare ribs, beef brisket and tomahawk steak, are also gaining in popularity. For BBQ experts, Coop sells a wide range of beef specialities matured on the bone or special cuts.
Which special cuts of beef are on-trend?
There is always something new to discover, such as grilled chops with rind or rack of pork.
What's the best way to prepare a beef steak?
Allow plenty of time! Because every piece of meat needs different preparation. Pork, for instance, can be pre-marinated like chicken. Marinades with a higher salt content make the chicken skin crispy. Beef, in contrast, should not be seasoned until after it is barbecued. With a little salt and pepper, the pure meaty taste of a fine piece of beef provides the optimum experience.
What makes all the difference when barbecuing?
A clean barbecue! This guarantees that foods are grilled to perfection and untainted by extraneous flavours. And putting the meat on the barbecue at the right time. If you put the meat on too early, the embers may not yet be hot enough or there may still be some flames – or the grill lighter may not yet have burnt off all residue and it may be giving off smoke. If you put the meat on the barbecue at the right time, it develops a lovely crust, no meat juices escape and it becomes tender.
So don't put the meat on the barbecue until it is fully hot. You can tell when it is because the charcoal turns white. From this point, the embers are hot enough, enabling you to grill to perfection..
What does “smoking” mean?
Smoking is a special way of cooking meat on the barbecue. Rather than cooking the meat as usual over the exposed embers, it is cooked in the smoke from wood. This gives it a unique flavour.
Smoking requires time and constant, medium heat. But the result is worth the effort! Only in a smoker does meat develop the particularly intense and distinctive smoked aroma that connoisseurs love. Give it a try! For smoking, you need the right accessories, the right wood and the right meat. You can get all this from Coop Building & Hobby and your favourite Coop butcher. The only thing you need to bring is a little bit of patience.
What are the potential mistakes when smoking?
Getting the perfect smoked flavour into the meat is an art in itself. Although everyone needs to find their own philosophy here, you should always avoid these basic mistakes.
  1. Forgetting to burn in: Before using a new smoker for the first time, it should be “burnt in”; that is to say, lit for one to two hours without anything in it. This gives the grill a kind of protective shield of soot and smoke.
  2. Grilling when hungry: Preparation in a smoker takes longer, so schedule sufficient time, be very patient and, above all, provide small snacks for the meantime. You can find ideas for grilled side dishes at FOOBY.
  3. Using too little seasoning: It is a mistaken belief that the smoked aroma produced by smoking is sufficient to improve grilled foods. Ample spices and marinade are still needed.
  4. Not doing your research: The cooking times and optimum temperature differ enormously from one grilled food to another. You should therefore brief yourself well beforehand and plan the barbecue accordingly.
  5. Using damp wood: Damp wood does not burn well and gives off a lot of smoke. The same goes for coal. Therefore, only use dry fuels.
  6. Grilling at the wrong temperature: The optimal grill temperature depends on the item being grilled. Control vents help you make adjustments. Only once the temperature is constant does the item for grilling go on the barbecue.
  7. Continually opening the cooking chambers: This requires trust in the information on temperature and cooking times. If you keep checking on the item on the grill, the temperature will constantly fluctuate and the result will be worse.
  8. Burning your fingers: When grilling, the entire smoker gets hot. Often, this includes the handles too. Therefore, it is best to wear barbecue gloves and be careful when near the grill.

Just 5 steps to cooking individual pieces of meat on the barbecue

Our online butcher offers a large selection of premium Swiss meat – from beef and pork through veal and lamb to poultry.
  1. Simply select
  2. Order
  3. Prepared and packed by your Coop butcher
  4. Collected from the butcher by refrigerated vehicle
  5. Delivery: top-quality freshness to your door
It couldn’t be more convenient!

More useful information about barbecuing: Meat | Sausages | Fish and seafood | Vegan | Vegetarian | Cooking times | Burger | Drinks