As an outdoor grilling enthusiast, I’ve seen many grilling trends come and go over the years. This year has been no exception, with several exciting developments and innovations taking center stage. In this article, I’ll discuss the top grilling trends of the year, providing helpful suggestions and reasons for each choice. So, let’s dive in and explore the hottest trends in the grilling world!
Trend 1: Wood Pellet Grills
One of the biggest trends this year is the increasing popularity of wood pellet grills. These grills use compressed hardwood pellets as fuel, which provides a rich, smoky flavor to your food. They also offer precise temperature control and can be used for smoking, grilling, and even baking.
The benefits of wood pellet grills
Wood pellet grills offer several advantages over traditional charcoal or gas grills. They provide consistent heat, making it easier to achieve perfect results every time. Additionally, the hardwood pellets used in these grills come in various flavors, allowing you to experiment with different taste profiles.
Popular wood pellet grill brands
Some popular wood pellet grill brands include Traeger and Green Mountain Grills. Check out the Traeger Pro 575 Pellet Grill and the Pit Boss 700FB Pellet Grill for top-quality options.
Trend 2: Portable Grills
Portable grills are another hot trend this year. These compact, lightweight grills are perfect for picnics, tailgating, and camping trips, allowing you to enjoy delicious grilled food wherever you go.
The convenience of portable grills
Portable grills are designed for easy transport and setup, making them an excellent choice for grilling enthusiasts who love to explore the outdoors. They typically have a smaller cooking surface, which is perfect for smaller gatherings or cooking for one or two people.
Best portable grills on the market
There are many great portable grills available, including the Weber Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill and the Cuisinart CGG-180T Petit Gourmet Portable Tabletop Gas Grill. These grills are compact, easy to use, and provide excellent heat distribution for evenly cooked food.
Trend 3: Smart Grills and Grill Accessories
Technology has made its way into the grilling world, with smart grills and accessories becoming increasingly popular. These high-tech grilling tools can help you achieve perfect results with minimal effort.
Technology in grilling
Smart grills often come with features like built-in temperature probes, WiFi connectivity, and mobile app integration. These features allow you to monitor your grill’s temperature and cooking progress from your smartphone, ensuring your food is cooked to perfection.
Must-have smart grill accessories
Some must-have smart grill accessories include the Weber iGrill 3, a Bluetooth-enabled meat thermometer, and the Meater+, a wireless meat thermometer with a range of up to 165 feet. These accessories can help you monitor your food’s internal temperature, ensuring it’s cooked just right.
Trend 4: Plant-Based Grilling
The rise of plant-based diets has led to an increased interest in grilling vegetables, fruits, and plant-based protein sources like tofu and tempeh. This trend is not only healthy but also eco-friendly and can add variety to your grilling menu.
The rise of plant-based diets
More people are adopting plant-based diets for health, environmental, and ethical reasons. Grilling is an excellent way to prepare plant-based foods, as it adds a smoky flavor and enhances their natural taste.
Delicious plant-based grilling recipes
Some mouthwatering plant-based grilling recipes include grilled portobello mushrooms, vegetable skewers, and grilled corn on the cob. You can also try grilling fruit like pineapple or peaches for a delicious and healthy dessert.
Trend 5: International Flavors and Spices
Grilling enthusiasts are increasingly experimenting with international flavors and spices, inspired by global culinary traditions. This trend can help you expand your grilling repertoire and impress your guests with unique, flavorful dishes.
Exploring global flavors
From Korean BBQ to Mexican street corn, grilling is a versatile cooking method used in various cuisines worldwide. Incorporating international flavors and spices into your grilling can bring excitement and variety to your meals.
Top international spices for grilling
Some popular international spices to use in your grilling include harissa (North African), za’atar (Middle Eastern), and chimichurri (Argentinian). These spices can add a unique and flavorful twist to your grilled dishes.
Trend 6: Grilling Seafood
Grilling seafood has become increasingly popular due to its health benefits and delicious taste. From fish to shellfish, grilling is an excellent way to prepare a variety of seafood dishes.
Health benefits of grilling seafood
Seafood is a rich source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and essential vitamins and minerals. Grilling seafood is a healthy cooking method that helps retain these nutrients while adding a delicious smoky flavor.
Tips for grilling seafood
To grill seafood successfully, it’s essential to use a clean, well-oiled grill and avoid overcooking. Fish, shrimp, and scallops cook quickly, so keep a close eye on them to prevent them from becoming dry or overdone.
Trend 7: Grilled Desserts
Grilled desserts are gaining popularity, as they offer a unique twist on traditional sweet treats. From fruit to baked goods, grilling can add a smoky, caramelized flavor to your favorite desserts.
Sweet treats on the grill
Some popular grilled desserts include grilled fruit skewers, grilled s’mores, and even grilled donuts. The high heat of the grill caramelizes the sugars in these desserts, creating a deliciously sweet and smoky flavor.
Must-try grilled dessert recipes
Give these grilled dessert recipes a try: grilled peaches with honey and mascarpone, grilled pineapple with rum glaze, or grilled banana splits. These recipes are sure to be a hit at your next BBQ!
Trend 8: Sustainable Grilling Practices
As environmental concerns continue to grow, many grilling enthusiasts are adopting sustainable grilling practices. These eco-friendly methods help reduce your carbon footprint while still enjoying delicious grilled food.
Sustainable grilling practices include using natural, chemical-free charcoal or wood pellets, opting for locally sourced and organic ingredients, and properly disposing of waste and ash.
Tips for sustainable grilling
To make your grilling experience more eco-friendly, consider using a solar-powered grill, purchasing reusable grill mats, and investing in energy-efficient grilling tools and accessories.
Trend 9: Infrared Grilling
Infrared grilling is an innovative cooking method that uses infrared heat to cook food quickly and evenly. This grilling trend is gaining popularity due to its energy efficiency and precise temperature control.
The science behind infrared grilling
Infrared grills use a ceramic or stainless steel element that emits infrared heat, which is absorbed directly by the food. This method allows for faster cooking times, even heat distribution, and reduced flare-ups.
Pros and cons of infrared grilling
Infrared grilling offers several advantages, including energy efficiency, reduced cooking time, and precise temperature control. However, they can be more expensive than traditional grills and may require a learning curve to achieve perfect results.
Grill and Chill: Social Grilling Spaces
Grilling isn’t just about the food; it’s about the experience. Creating a cozy, inviting outdoor space with comfortable seating, ambient lighting, and even an outdoor bar can make your grilling gatherings more memorable and enjoyable for everyone.
DIY BBQ Rubs and Sauces
Another top grilling trend is making your own BBQ rubs and sauces. Experiment with different spices, herbs, and flavors to create a signature blend that sets your grilling creations apart from the rest. Homemade rubs and sauces also make great gifts for fellow grilling enthusiasts.
Grilling Workshops and Classes
To elevate their grilling game, enthusiasts are attending workshops and classes to learn from professional chefs and pitmasters. These classes cover a wide range of topics, from meat selection and preparation to mastering different grilling techniques. Look for local classes or online workshops to improve your skills and impress your friends and family at your next BBQ.
All-in-one Grilling Stations
For those who love entertaining, all-in-one grilling stations are becoming increasingly popular. These stations combine a grill, smoker, griddle, and even a pizza oven in a single unit. The versatility allows you to cook various dishes simultaneously, making it perfect for hosting gatherings and trying new recipes. Check out the Blackstone Outdoor Flat Top Gas Grill for an all-in-one grilling experience.
These grilling trends are shaping the way we enjoy outdoor cooking in exciting and innovative ways. From smart grills to plant-based grilling, these trends offer something for everyone. By staying up-to-date with the latest grilling trends, you can elevate your outdoor cooking game and impress your friends and family with new techniques and flavors. Happy grilling!
What is the difference between grilling and barbecuing?
Grilling involves cooking food quickly over high heat, while barbecuing involves cooking food slowly over low heat, often using indirect heat and smoke.
Can I grill plant-based proteins like tofu and tempeh?
Yes, tofu and tempeh can be grilled successfully. Be sure to use firm or extra-firm tofu and marinate it beforehand to enhance the flavor.
How do I clean and maintain my grill?
Regularly clean your grill grates with a brush and occasionally remove and clean the burners and drip tray. Check your grill for any signs of wear or damage and replace parts as needed.
What type of fuel is best for grilling?
The best fuel for grilling depends on your personal preference and cooking style. Charcoal provides a smoky flavor, while gas grills offer convenience and precise temperature control. Wood pellet grills are another popular option for their flavor versatility and temperature precision.
How can I make my grilling experience more eco-friendly?
Use natural, chemical-free charcoal or wood pellets, purchase locally sourced and organic ingredients, and invest in energy-efficient grilling tools and accessories. Additionally, consider using a solar-powered grill and reusable grill mats.