Beef Vs. Pork: Which Makes Better Barbecue?

Perhaps asking a barbecue lover to choose between beef and pork is like asking a parent to choose a favorite kid, but we're doing it anyway (we're badass like that).

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Beef or Pork??

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With that said, we're firing up the controversial beef vs. pork debate on our quest to find the best. Consider whether any of the following facts and observations help make up your mind on the matter.

In Favor Of Pork

  • Since beef tends to be less forgiving than pork, it often requires more time and a conscious effort to perfect the cooking process. For this reason, many backyard chefs feel beef is more trouble than it's worth and opt for pork instead.

  • It's easier and less time-consuming to cook a whole hog than a whole steer. In addition, it's less labor intensive if you're creating a pit to accommodate the size of the animal.

  • The mild flavor of pork makes it the perfect vehicle for flavorful spices and sauces.

  • High-quality cuts of pork are usually cheaper than high-quality pieces of beef. While brisket is often cheapest in the beef department, the rest of the cuts can hit your wallet hard.

  • If you're a competitor, you'll often find that sanctioned competitions have more categories for pork than beef. Whether this indicates that pork is simply the easier meat to cook or that it's a superior meat is up for debate.

In Favor Of Beef

  • Compared to pork, beef has an inherently rich flavor that's only enhanced by subtle layers of spice and smoke. Unlike pork, you don't need to add much in terms of spices and sauces to make beef barbecue great.

  • Beef has relatively high connective tissue and fat content. When the fat renders and the collagen turns to a rich, liquid gelatin, you benefit from a tasty, tender cut of meat with an incredible bark and a silky texture.

  • When beef is cooked incorrectly, it can turn into a tough, unpleasantly chewy piece of protein. The challenge of producing a tender, juicy, perfectly cooked cut of bovine is sure to send your credibility as a pitmaster soaring. If you can cook great beef barbecue, there's no denying you've got skills.

What Say You?

Folks in Texas are likely to answer that beef is best, while those in the Carolinas are adamant it's pork. In other regions, you'll find a variety of answers as main regional styles and cooking customs tend to influence a barbecue lover's palate. Although your stance on the subject may be based on geography, your barbecue experiences, personal preference, and the amount of effort you're willing to put into mastering the cooking process, the chances are you won't turn either down.

However, we still want to know where you stand on the beef vs. pork debate. Share this post and your opinion by clicking on your favorite social media sharing button. Although it may not be as delicious, at least that decision is an easy one to make.