BBQ Like A Butcher With These Must-Knows

Summer is going by faster than we’d like to admit, this time around. The best way to make it last? Soak in the sunny weathering by BBQ-ing to your heart’s desire. Go outside of your comfort zone to learn about the perfect sear, marinades, wine pairings and range of cuts. And who better to help you navigate those waters than a pro butcher himself? Matthew Kumprey, the head butcher of Toronto’s Butcher’s Son, is finally giving up all of his juiciest BBQ must-knows that will give your friends and neighbours serious grill envy.

Kumprey suggests to not just go after premium cuts. An expensive ribeye isn’t the key to dazzling guests. Instead, choosing a flavorful skirt steak seasoned with salt and pepper is just as effective., The grill is what makes the meat’s flavour shine. Barbecuing is a smart, high-heat option to reap the most taste out of a cheap cut. Adding a squeeze of afresh lemon is fantastic for adding acidity which let the flavour of the meat really shine.

The art of patience post grill is also an important one to master. Sure, it’s tempting to want to show off and satiate your own hunger by digging in as a filet is steaming hot off the grill. But letting it rest for five to ten minutes is important in keeping it juicy. Before putting your meats on the grill, make sure you preheat it well and keep the cut in the same spot.

While choosing your meat based on a deep red hue with gorgeous marbling does provide some aesthetic wisdom, you can never look at a cut and know how long it has been aged. Ask your butcher for something which has been bathed from a month to six weeks, ideally.

Finally, the cherry on top is the perfect wine. A surprising choice that Kumprey suggests is a full-bodied and bold Zinfandel.

While a simple steak with that salt, pepper and lemon garnish is a foolproof option, stepping your game up with a homemade marinade will really make your taste buds explode and wow guests.

Here, Kumprey’s included his own secret recipe, with a healthy dose of Zinfandel included! This decadent, blueberry-based sauce is suggested on ribs, but would be equally taste on a flank, skirt, or layette cut.

Yields approximately 1 litre


  • 2 cups Ravenswood Zinfandel wine
  • 2 pints, blueberries
  • 1 ½ cups honey
  • ½ bunch fresh thyme, chopped
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of salt
  • ½ cup of vegetable oil

1. Add all of the ingredients into a bowl or food grade plastic container, except the oil.

2. Use a hand-held immersion blender and carefully blend all ingredients together.

3. Slowly add the oil and emulsify.

4. Submerge your ribs or choice of meat in the marinade.

5. Let meat rest in the marinade for approximately 18-24 hours.

6. Remove meat from bowl and grill on high heat for a few minutes on each side. Char the meat – the sugars from the marinade will create a nice caramelized texture.

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