For the most part, cuts of meat to barbecue vary widely from region to region. Traditionally, beef and pork cuts are most common, but poultry (chicken and turkey) is widely prepared, and lamb and goat are regional favorites.
Barbecue has its roots in using tougher, less valuable cuts of meats although today some barbecue establishments even cook prime rib as one of the menu items. Tougher, less valuable cuts benefited from the “low and slow” method of cookery common with barbecue.
Knowing the cuts of meat is important in understanding how best to cook products, how many servings you will get from them, their costs, and their versatility. On top of knowing the cuts, there are USDA grades, private brands, grass-fed, natural, organic, heritage, and other different marketing terms that add a level of complexity to selection of the cuts to use in barbecuing.
Understanding all of the meat options for barbecuing is the first and foremost area that is to be learned by the barbecue enthusiast.