A Memorial Day Meat Grilling Power Ranking

By Ty Duffy

Memorial Day is here. Folks will be wearing white, venturing outside and operating grills. Here, in true Internet fashion, is a power ranking of meats. First, a couple points.

I love eating brisket and slow cooked pork as much as the next person. I don’t own a barbecue joint. I don’t watch Top Chef with a discerning eye. Reasonable execution is critical. I’m coming at this with moderate skill, a Midwestern accent and a $100 Weber grill.

Grilled chicken breast is not included. Eat it in a salad on your own time. Serving it to others is a failure of imagination. Enjoy your CBS sitcoms and perfunctory sex, you terrible person.

Sausage: Sausage is inexpensive. Sausage can embrace all types of meat and any national flavor profile. It can be spicy, sweet, and savory. It can accommodate any condiment. It works for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Cook it correctly? Delicious. Overcook it? Delicious. Leave it hanging on a griddle for a few innings at a ballpark? Still delicious.

Hamburger: Classic, cheap and flavorful. Forgiving for the substandard cook. Brown on all sides and slightly firm? Perfect. A hockey puck? Probably still edible. Your best bet in unfamiliar patios, tailgates and restaurants. Organic is better. Don’t fall for that Kobe bunco. The meat has been ground and the fat content has been regulated anyway.

Steak: It’s delectable. It puts hair on your chest. Add a little butter and crab for a pleasant artery clog. Steak would be higher, if ranking pure taste. The trouble is steak is susceptible to all manner of human failings. If your cook is cost conscious, the cut will be tough and flavorless. Undercooked will bring out your inner caveman. Overcooked (beyond medium), should be fed to the dogs.

Ribs: Beef or pork? Why limit yourself? They can incorporate a wide variety of spices and sauces. Ribs are the best, when done well. The rub is doing them well. Ribs require care, patience and love. If your chef does not have a winsome drawl and a physique sculpted by rib intake, enter with low expectations. Solid early date fare. It’s not love if he/she can’t love you when you’re sticky, sweaty and meat glazed.

Swordfish: Because, on occasion, one needs to be healthier. Fish requires delicacy. Swordfish is thick and meaty, which minimizes the error component. Just don’t overcook it too much and dry it out. A solid decision, if cost per head isn’t a factor.

Hot Dog: It’s bland, it’s unnatural and you’re better off not knowing what corporations saw fit to put in it. It’s a tube of America. Hot dogs are an empty palette. They are idiot proof. If you can make fire, you can cook a hot dog. Get some all beef kosher ones. Don’t think too hard. Don’t put ketchup on it if you count your age in double digits. Enjoy.