Cooking Meat 101


Anyone can BBQ and make a decent meal.  But the difference between a great BBQ meal and decent meal comes down to a couple of key factors:

  Recommended Meat Temperatures

  Cooking Technique & Green Egg and Smoker Configuration

  Preparation of the Meat


Recommended Meat Temperatures

Below is Flaming Rooster's recommended internal meat temperature guide.  For USDA guidelines please visit here.





Cooking Technique & Green Egg and Smoker Confguration

 If you have spent any time smoking meat, you know temperature control of the grill and the cooking configuration are critical to the success of the final product.


For long smoking (brisket, ribs, pork shoulder, etc.), maintaining a constant temperature is a key factor and the difference between your meat coming out juicy with the right flavor vs. dry with limited flavor.  Flaming Rooster BBQ recommends to maintain a temperature of 200 - 225 degrees for long smokes.  



If you have the luxury of having a Big Green Egg, the cooking configuration is simple;

   Direct - No plate setter; Used for grilling & searing

   Indirect - Plate setter 'feet up'; Used for smoking & BBQ

   Baking - Plate setter 'feet down'; Used for Pizza's and other baking

For the 'Indirect' or smoking configuration, we recommend putting an aluminum foil drip pan on top of the plate setter (underneath the grill) to catch the drippings from the meat.  You can optionally add water to the drip pan for extra moisture, but you don't really need this with the Green Egg.



 If you have a traditional smoker or bullet smoker, temperature control can be more of a challenge.  Keeping a close eye on the temperature is a steady task for long smoking (and a cigar and beer go hand & hand with the whole smoking experience).


Adding moisture to the process is important for long smokes, especially with Brisket or Ribs.  Putting a pan or pot of water somewhere within your smoking configuration will pay dividends to the final product.  For traditional side box wood smokers, putting a pan underneath the grill rack right by the fire box should do the trick.  For the bullet smoker, use the second rack below the grilling rack to hold a pot of water, allowing your drippings to fall into the water provide flavorful moisture back into the meat.



Preparation of  the Meat

The preparation of the meat is the starting point and foundation of BBQ - Don't cut this process short!  Here are a few key points from Flaming Rooster BBQ on meat preparation:


   For brisket and beef, the better quality meat you buy, the better the end product, period.  If you can splurge and buy 'Prime' meat, do it.  'Prime' meat can be found at your local meat markets.  Retail outlets such as Costco, Sams or your local grocery stores have really decent cuts of meat, but they are not 'Prime'.

   For long smoke meats (brisket, ribs, pork shoulder, etc.) make sure you 'rub' your meat 12 hours in advance of putting it on the grill.  For Flaming Rooster BBQ's rubbing guidelines, click here.

   Take your meat out of the refrigerator 1 hour prior to putting it on the grill.  Getting the meat to room temperature will assist in not 'shocking' the meat when you put it on the grill, which can cause toughness to the end product.