Do you own a grill but hardly use it? Are you thinking about getting a grill but aren’t sure that it’s right for you? If you love food, then trust us, grilling is for YOU. Thanks to new trends and technology, grilling in the new year is about to get even more exciting! We’re looking at grilling trends for the upcoming year and getting you excited for the possibilities! We’ve taken some tips from grill expert Steven Raichien of Barbecue Bible in his article, “5 Barbecue Trends for 2016” and added some of our own. It’s exciting stuff that will have you searching for your grill spatula and apron!
These trends are likely to influence the grilling world and hopefully will inspire you to see what grilling has to offer. Spoiler: it’s more than hot dogs and hamburgs now. Although you can certainly still cook the classics if you wish! Without any further ado, here are our grilling trends for 2016.
Grilling Trends for 2016
Sure, we could all go gas, but charcoal has a certain primitive appeal. It’s this natural approach to grilling that makes us think it will be a trend for 2016. People are already going organic and local with their food choices, and striving to get back to nature. It may not be entirely ‘organic’, but charcoal is just a little more back to nature than the gas grills. We think the market will trend accordingly!
Smoking is starting to become very popular in the culinary world and the grilling one as well. In fact, smoking is kind of a cousin of grilling– they both incorporate a certain amount of smoke and flame as well as heat, don’t they? Well, Steve’s prediction is that this year the smoking trend will blow up thanks to the availability of smokers that are not only affordable, but easier than ever to use. This puts the power in the hands of the consumer, who has traditionally been intimidated by the very idea of smoking food. You may find yourself asking, “Don’t you need a special shed for that or something?” Not anymore.
Smoking is starting to go mainstream, and you can easily place a smoker next to your grill and have the best of both worlds. Smokers will start to pair up with grills and become the other outdoor food preparation tool you never thought you would own. If you’ve never smoked meat before, the first time will be a revelation.
High-Tech Grilling with your Phone
No, we’re not talking about a grill and phone hybrid. We’re talking about tech meeting grills thanks to new technology! Consumers will be able to use these new grilling tools to get a better grill than ever. You may find yourself using a wireless thermometer such as the Maverick ET 737 to determine the current temperature and pull your meat out at the precise time it’s ready– because it’s sending the temperature info to your phone! Then there’s the new SmartGrill by Lynx, which is voice activated, and even whole smokers and grills that interact with and are controlled by your smart phone. It’s a whole new trend in grilling, and we approve. If you don’t want to take advantage of the tech to grill and feel comfortable doing it old school, that’s cool too. The tech will still be there if you feel like trying it out.
Grilling Lesser Known Cuts of Steak
Anyone can do a strip steak or a T bone on the grill, right? We’ve all been in the “known” territory of rib eyes and the more popular, mainstream steaks. What if we told you that there were other amazing cuts of meat that you had no idea about? That’s right, the grilling trend in 2016 is to explore parts unknown. You can try the mock tender, a tender muscle from the shoulder, or the top blade steak or bavette. Experiment with different cuts and recipes. Seeing what your grill can do with meats you’ve never had is bold and adventurous. Let’s face it, if you’re playing it safe, you’re likely missing out on some great food.
Finishing Seafood by Grilling
One trend for grilling in 2016 is to take your boiled seafood and finish them on the grill. If it sounds delicious, that’s because it is. Not only do the grill marks on lobster, crab, and more make the food appealing, it gives it a little bit of char that adds to the flavor. Finish off your boiled seafood with a little bit of flame and invite people over so they can eat, drink, and compliment your culinary daring. Fish can be tricky to grill because it has a tendency to stick to the grates. A great way to prevent this dilemma is to use a nonstick grill mat. Grill Mats are the perfect grilling accessory to ensure evenly grilled fish, every time. PLUS it makes cleanup a breeze!
Wood grills are trending in large restaurants right now. These grills allow chefs to create maximum flavor that varies according to the types of woods used. Take for example Beachcraft at the One Hotel by Tom Colicchio– Beachcraft is using the largest wood burning grill by Grillworks in the United States. Grilling with wood is in for 2016. You might want to experiment with different types of wood and see what Hickory does to a brisket. Yum!
Oils Over Spices
Spices are sacred when it comes to grilling, and we’re not counting them out. But in 2016, it’s time to get fancy. It’s time to try new things. Why not try infusing your foods with essential oils instead of physical basil leaves or hand-rubbed spices? Try spritzing a steak with an essential oil derived from thyme, or some ginger oil on salmon. You can make your own oils or order them online. Either way, it’s a cool new trend that will make you feel like you’re ahead of the culinary curve. Your friends will be impressed just listening to you describe the dish!
Smoke Before Grilling
Why not smoke foods first and then finish on the grill? It’s an approach that has been done before, but this is a coming trend for the new year. Instead of expending all that energy on grilling all the way through, slow cook your foods in a smoker and then finish on the grill for that charred flavor and look! It’s all the fun of grilling without the constant monitoring. That’s why smoking before grilling is our last trend for 2016. With this approach, you’ll never be short on flavor.