I must start with thanking all those that make ILGM VIP possible and giving me the chance to share these 5 best practices that are often overlooked when preparing your meat for the grill or smoker.

We all know that there’s some awesome information within the ILGM VIP private group on how to grill and smoke anything from a full pig to a peach seed and make them taste wonderful, so I was thrilled when I was asked to give my input via this “How To” article.

I wondered what I could offer that would be so much different than what we share day in and day out within the group, we see some of the greatest recipes, injection flavors, charcoal or wood, what is your favorite types of wood to smoke with etc… all the information to make your cook taste great.

So as I sat thinking what was the turning point for me that really made people who ate my meat say, “that taste so damn good, how did you do that?”.

With everything as stated above I think there are some very important steps that we very seldom if ever talk about when it comes to grilling and smoking meat.

I call it…


Several years ago a friend ask me to tell him how I made chicken that tasted so great. I went through the stepspreparing-meat-smoking-chicken-bbq about marinating for a period of time, cooking to temperature and presenting it to perfection and he followed them exactly.

Related: Mustard Smoked Whole Chicken Recipe And Tips

A short time later I asked him how it went and he said it was okay but not great. We talked about the process he followed and then it hit me…

Where does it all start?

I realized that I had left out some very important information that I’ll share with you below.

5 Best Practices For Preparing Your Meat:

  1. Before anything else, your grilling and smoking adventure starts at the purchase of your product. Something I always do and highly recommend is get friendly with the local butcher because it really helps to be a friend of the man supplying you with your main ingredient. This will definitely help you with #2…
  2. Get the freshest meat, fish, seafood, fruit, veggies as possible. Get to know when the fresh stuff comes into the market and make your purchases then. If you’ve followed #1, then this will be easy. Many people make the mistake of unknowingly buying older cuts of meat and produce from the store which can really effect the quality of your cook. If your buying off the shelf, always, always check the dates on the package most will  have a  “when it was packed date”  and will always have a “when to sell by” date.
  3. Do not let your meat sit out too long from the time you bring it home to the time you cook it.We won’t get in to the specifics, however just know that bad things can happen when your meat sits at room temperature for too long.
  4. Always clean your food when it comes out of the package, I always rinse my raw meats, fish, seafood, veggies and yes chicken too.
  5. Always disinfect your prep area when your done prepping your meat. I know many of the TV cooking shows don’t do this or show it but in my experience it helps to keep clean work area. And besides, what can it hurt to be a little more clean than usual, you’re seasoning your cook to taste anyway right?

Although some of these best practices may seem like common sense to many of you experienced pitmasters, however it doesn’t hurt to have a quick reminder of how important these small, often overlooked practices truly are.

I hope this list is a helpful tool that you can use to make your next cook better than ever! And finally, I leave you with a quickie of some pork butts that I smoked…


Related Recipes:
Smoked Beef Brisket Recipe (Burnt Ends Included) A step-by-step method for the perfect smoked beef brisket, strictly Texas style. While many people prefer to trim the point off the brisket, today we are doing a medium trim-down. We will also…

How to Trim a Brisket for BBQ Competition In a BBQ competition, cutting and trimming your brisket is as important as and sometimes trickier than cooking it properly. Pitmaster Malcom Reed from Killer Hogs BBQ explains how he trims his competition beef brisket.