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Top 10 Ron Swanson Approved BBQ Meats

Top 10 Ron Swanson Approved BBQ Meats
Rebecca Howard

I’m no Martha Stewart or Julia Child in the kitchen. I can’t tell you how to make puff pastry or coddle an egg to save my life. But as a gal born and raised in the good ole Southern U.S. of A., there’s one thing I do know, and that’s good barbeque (aka barbecue, bar-b-q or BBQ). However you spell it, nothing beats the taste of smoked, sauced meats. Personally, I subscribe to the Ron Swanson school of barbeque, which means no froufy desserts and no stinking vegetables, just good old flavorful meat love. So if the thought of grilled Portobello mushrooms makes you feel faint, don’t worry, we have the 10 best carnivorous alternatives. America, meet your meat.


1. Mutton

My hometown is Owensboro, Kentucky. It’s not known for much, but it does proudly claim the title of Bar-B-Q Capitol of the World. This is the only place to get authentic sliced and chopped barbequed mutton, which is the meat of older sheep, much more flavorful than lamb. You could try making your own mutton using a leg of lamb from Williams-Sonoma, but do yourself a favor and visit Old Hickory Bar-B-Que the next time you’re in the Bluegrass state to taste the real thing.

2. Pulled Pork

For those too timid to go for the sheep, pulled pork is the second-best barbeque sandwich filler. Just throw a pork tenderloin from Peapod in the crockpot, and let it simmer in tasty sauce till dinner time.

3. Chicken

Is there anything more all-American than barbequed chicken? A staple of every summer cookout, a cut-up whole chicken, available from FreshDirect, should be basted with tasty sauce just at the end of grilling to prevent burning.

4. Ribs

For those who love to indulge their caveman roots, chow down on some delicious barbequed grass-fed organic beef back ribs from Don’t be shy; eat with your hands and rip the meat from the bones with your teeth. Grrr… good.

5. Tri Tip

Nothing beats a smoked tri tip roast, available from Omaha Steaks. These are amazing grilled with a spiced seasoning rub and then sliced on the grain.

6. Steak

Sure, you could dip each piece in sauce as you eat, but a namesake strip steak from Kansas City Steak Company is soooo much better when the flavor is grilled right in.

7. Brisket

The caramelized fat and crispy spice-rubbed skin make brisket a can’t-miss mouth-watering delight. Pick one up at your local Costco for a meal you’ll never regret.

8. Pork Chops

Remember the good old days when pork chops came from the butcher shop loaded with savory fat? These days, even the meat’s on a diet, but these Stock Yards pork chops from Harry & David can be made ever-so-flavorful with the addition of the perfect sauce and an open flame.

9. Wild Game

Bison, elk, venison and wild boar - oh my! Feed your adventurous side with the wild game steak sampler from Figi's. I’m not sure I’d try these under normal circumstances, but the addition of barbecue sauce makes anything a winner, so bring it on. This is truly a turf ‘n turf that would make Ron Swanson proud.

10. Sausage

If you love sausage, you can only love it more when it’s smoked and smothered in a spicy sauce. Try this venison and pork smoked sausage with jalapenos and pepper jack cheese from Cajun Grocer next time your grill is calling.

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