What’s Cooking Outdoors?
Barbecue isn’t just barbecuing anymore. Overall, it’s more accurately described as grilling, what with the extensive options for grills available. And no offense to die hard barbeque buffs, but with the amount of time, money, and emphasis put on full kitchens designed for outdoor areas, simply calling it barbecue just doesn’t do this delectable summer pastime justice.
Regardless of what it’s called, it comes with its own trends and evolutions. Here are a few that experts* agree on for 2015.
It’s not just a summer pastime. The Sacramento area has fairly temperate weather at least ten months a year. So it’s no surprise to smell the savory aroma of steak as late as early December or the beginning of February. And all bets are off when it comes to holidays and special occasions.
Whether it’s grass-fed and free-range or local and hormone-free, more home-chefs and grillers are turning to these earth-friendly, humane, and at times healthier choices. It’s a growing industry for a reason.
Meat is meat. You can only get so creative with a tri-tip, but the possibilities for side dishes and veggies are endless. Try grilled fennel and blood orange salad, grilled potato and onion salad with bacon, or smoked beets with goat cheese.
Which brings us to smoking. The mouthwatering flavor of smoke is on every expert’s list this year. Not just for brisket and ribs, but also for vegies, desserts, and even cocktails.
Hi-tech gadgets are in. Thermocouple meat probes display the exact internal temperature of meat, while micro-blowers regulate temperatures. There are also propane gauges that let you know it’s time to fill your tank, cast iron smoker boxes, grill brushes decked out with a water reservoir and steam nozzle, and last but not least, the Lynx Smart Grill. This king of grills comes equipped with temperature sensors, Bluetooth connectivity (because everyone needs to start their grill by smartphone), and even responds to voice commands.
*As reviewed in DigitalTrends.com, Charbroil.com, and BarbecueBible.com