In their July issue, the editors of Consumer Reports Shopsmart magazine offer the following tips for choosing what to grill.
BURGERS: For starters, avoid packaged meat labeled hamburger or ground beef, which is usually scaps and trimmings from who knows where and carries a higher risk of E coli or salmonella. For juicy burgers, buy top-quality meat with at least 15 percent fat, such as ground sirloin. Or pick out a piece of sirloin or a chuck roast and ask the butcher to grind it for you. Or do it yourself: Cut the meat in chunks and pulse until chopped in a food processor.
STEAKS: Look for leaner, less expensive cuts sirloin, skirt, flank or round (also sold as London broil) which are tasty alternatives to rib eye and porterhouse and about half the price. You can also save by cutting your own steaks from a rib-eye roast.
PORK: Pass up the fatty ribs and look for leaner chops and roasts. The thicker the chop, the juicier the meat will be, so aim for one at least three-quarters-inch thick. Ask your supermarket to butterfly a boneless loin roast so that it will lie flat on the grill. At home, pound the roast with a kitchen mallet until its flattened so that it will cook faster and more evenly.
CHICKEN: Choose chicken parts that are about the same size, on the small side to keep them crisp.
HOT DOGS & SAUSAGES: Get out of the frank rut and try tasty alternatives such as hot or sweet Italian sausages or fresh chorizo. Or go with leaner chicken or turkey sausages.
VEGETABLES & FRUIT: Choose whatever looks good at the market. Zucchini, eggplant, onions, tomatoes, and mushrooms taste great grilled. Also, any sturdy fruit half-inch-thick slices of pineapple, halved peaches and plums, and even orange halves can be grilled until tender and served with thick yogurt and a sprig of mint for dessert.