Where do you get your protein? While there are plenty of foods high in this macronutrient, like beans, nuts, and dairy products, most people would say their top source of protein comes from meat. Grill masters would tend to agree that meats are not only essential to a cookout, but are also necessary parts of high-protein diets.
National Protein Day, which falls on February 27 this year, focuses on the health benefits of one of the body's most basic building blocks. Protein helps develop bones, skin, cartilage, and blood flow, all while promoting weight loss and increased muscle mass. And while we don’t claim to be scientific experts at Blue Rhino, we certainly know a thing or two about good food made on your grill. So check out the top meats you can cook from the comfort of your backyard to celebrate this day made for all the protein lovers out there!
Why Steak is a Protein Lover’s Favorite Meat to Grill
How many times have you seen a commercial or a photo of a grill and the food sizzling in the foreground is a tender cut of steak? Perhaps the highest ranked meat in terms of grill-ability, steak is beloved by so many because there isn’t a one size fits all approach to it. Grilling the perfect steak starts with understanding and choosing from the many different cuts you have to work with. Between ribeye. T-bone, prime rib, sirloin, porterhouse, and filet mignon, there are plenty of ways to get your protein fix. But a few of these cuts reign supreme. Let’s go with the thought that the average adult eats a 2000 calorie diet. If that’s the case, you need anywhere from 10 to 35 percent of your calories to come from protein, which would mean 200 to 700 calories or 50 to 175 grams. So, which cuts of steak get you in that range? With a protein-to-fat ratio of 7:1, sirloin tip side steaks are one of the leanest and protein-rich cuts out there. If you’re looking for taste, steak lovers tend to choose cuts that have more marbling, like a beef rib or short loin, but when you’re looking for protein, it’s the leaner cuts that get the job done. All this talk of protein and marbling and ratios might sound overwhelming, but we’ve put together some of the best tips and tricks you need to grill the perfect steak. Be sure to kick off National Protein Day in style by tossing a few steaks on your grill!
Is Chicken a Protein-Friendly Meat?
Much like steak, there can be some variation in chicken. The thigh, the wing, the breast, and even the drumstick are parts of a chicken that are very grill-friendly. One of the most commonly consumed high-protein foods, chicken can save you a lot of stress about your diet. While all cuts of chicken are great sources of protein, some are leaner. The extra fat in the thigh, drumstick, and wings can benefit some goals but hinder others. Which is why protein lovers should focus their attention on chicken breasts. The breast is the leanest part of the chicken, which means it has the fewest calories, but the most protein. A skinless, grilled chicken breast, which is approximately 172 grams, contains 54 grams of protein. This is equal to 31 grams of protein per 100 grams, making it the best chicken option for you. While it is healthy, skinless chicken breast can be relatively bland if you don’t take the right approach to adding flavor. Our ultimate cheat sheet for grilling chicken highly recommends marinating and seasoning your chicken to get the best taste. A few simple ingredients is all it takes to change the style of chicken you’ll be having for lunch or dinner. Be sure to check out our marinades and rubs to create tastes you’ll be craving for quite some time.
Grilling Pork Provides Flavor and Protein
Did you know that both pork tenderloin and pork sirloin roast meet the criteria for the American Heart Association Heart Checkmark? That means they contain less than five grams of fat, two grams or less of saturated fat and 480 milligrams or less of sodium per label serving. Talk about a well-rounded meat! But you might be asking yourself, is the verdict still out on whether or not it provides enough protein for your diet? Over the years, pork producers have found ways to make pork leaner, eliminating saturated fats and boosting the amount of protein in each bite. In fact, the popular pork tenderloin is considered “extra lean,” and has the same amount of fat as skinless chicken breast. Moreover, when dry, the protein content of lean pork can be as high as 89 percent. So you’ve got your protein covered, but we all know taste is just as important when you’re at the grill. Luckily, we have a few different recipes that will make your mouth water with excitement! With pork tenderloin being so protein-rich, you can’t go wrong by adding a bit of flavor to it as well. This Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Chimichurri checks all the boxes for someone like you. A specialty of Argentinian and Uruguayan cuisine, Chimichurri sauce is made of finely chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano and red wine vinegar. And the best part? You don’t have to feel guilty grilling or eating this dish! Sounds like a win-win!
How Does Turkey Stack Up In the Protein Race?
Turkey and chicken have a lot in common. Considered two of the most popular poultry items to grill, both offer reasons to include them in your diet, especially when looking to add protein. The case for turkey, more specifically turkey breast, being a great meat to grill comes from the fact that cooked turkey breast meat contains 28 grams of protein per 100g, which is over half of an adult's recommended daily allowance. The average person is advised to eat around 50 grams of protein a day, so eating turkey meat can really boost your daily intake. Making it on the grill, however, is how you score bonus points. Grilling turkey doesn’t have to be reserved for Thanksgiving. There are plenty of turkey recipes that are good year-round and plenty of ways to spice up your traditional turkey. For example, you can throw your turkey into a tasty wrap, add it to a grilled cheese sandwich, or even create a magnificent turkey red curry in a pumpkin bowl. No matter how you slice it, turkey is top-notch for protein lovers and grilling enthusiasts alike.
Traditional Beef and Its Protein Levels
Would it be a cookout without the burgers and the brats? Hot dogs and hamburgers are the first things grill enthusiasts learn to make when they get their first spatula and tongs, largely because of the taste and convenience of these two well-known foods. Now, you can add protein to the list of reasons to grill beef. As you’ve probably encountered at your last grocery store visit, ground beef packaging will tell you just how lean the meat is, and whether or not that suits your diet. There are pros and cons to whichever package of beef you choose. You’ll often have to weigh what’s more important to you between a juicier, more flavorful beef or a leaner, protein-rich beef. You can opt for the 95 percent lean ground beef and you'll decrease the calories to about 141 while increasing the protein to 22 grams. If you go with the fattier, but less expensive 70 percent lean ground beef, you'll wind up getting 183 calories and 18 grams of protein per patty. For some protein lovers, that four gram difference in protein can make a big difference over the long run. Flavor doesn’t have to be sacrificed however, as condiments, veggies and other items can give you the traditional taste that we all love. If you’re craving beef and ready to fire up your grill, choose from our log of tasty recipes that will give you your fill of protein for the day.
National Protein Day Calls For Blue Rhino
No matter where you get your protein, there’s one thing we can all agree on; Blue Rhino is the top propane choice for grill enthusiasts. Locating a tank is as easy as checking out our Propane Finder for the closest place carrying our trusted brand. We hope you fuel your National Protein Day with Blue Rhino and make the most of all our recipes at your disposal!