Best Beef & Lamb Cuts For Summer Grilling

Beef and lamb cuts great for grilling

Millions of New York strips are being sold today for the millions of grills to be fired up tomorrow. But there is life beyond the T-bone.

We asked Bay Area butchers who work with whole, sustainably raised animals to recommend less-familiar cuts of meat that cook beautifully over charcoal.

The Local Butcher Shop: Mario Lopez of this Berkeley store is a fan of the velvet steak ($11 per pound), a lean, short-grained cut from the top round that has a flavor similar to flank steak. He also recommends lamb-shoulder chops ($13 per pound), a rectangular, bone-in chop that he assures us is plenty tender.

Avedano's: At this Bernal Heights shop, Mo Woods recommends two-pound picanha cuts for parties ($13.50 per pound). "It's a Brazilian cut from the top sirloin cap," he explains; the picanha takes marinade well and should be sliced against the grain, as with a hanger steak.

Olivier's Butchery: This Dogpatch butcher sells rare French cuts of beef such as the spider steak, and Hang Cordier says the shop should have plenty of entrecôtes ($21), rib eyes that her husband slices to order. 

The Local Butcher Shop, 1600 Shattuck Ave. (at Cedar Ave.), Berkeley, 510-845-6328 or; Avedano's, 235 Cortland Ave. (at Bonview St.), 415-285-6328 or; Olivier's Butchery, 1074 Illinois St. (at Illinois St.), 415-558-9887 or