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The arrival of warm weather means living life outside. Not to just sit in the sun or shade, but also to take your kitchen duties outside.
Being able to cook great meals outdoors is the quintessential summer activity. Not only does grilling or barbecuing help get the heat out of the kitchen and result in savoury and delicious summer delights, but being in the open air with friends and family who keep the cook company creates sweet summer memories.
If you are excited about the warm weather, there are some new outdoor cooking trends I think you’ll enjoy this summer, whether you’ll be grilling, smoking or baking on your barbecue. Along with a look at foodie trends, I’ve rounded up a few of standout accessories to make your summer grilling easier and enjoyable.
Trend 1: Grill with tech
What could be more primitive than cooking over an open flame in the great outdoors. Right?
Well, not exactly. These days, there’s a lot of technology that takes the guesswork out of grilling.
One such tech-savvy grill is the Traeger Timberline pellet grill (new this spring) that offers “WIFIRE” technology (Traeger’s clever play on Wi-Fi, but with heat), which allows grill temps to be accessed through the Traeger app or smart home devices.
The induction cooktop allows for searing, sautéing and frying to complete all your stovetop and grill functions. It also includes a wireless meat thermometer and has smart combustion technology, which helps maintain consistent cooking temperatures if the mercury dips while grilling. It’s like having an extra set of eyes looking after your meal as it cooks, grills and sizzles.
Trend 2: Shop no more
Entertaining is the fun part of barbecuing in the backyard. The planning of meals and shopping for groceries part? Not so much fun.
Meal prep kit delivery company HelloFresh has some tasty grilling menus for summer. Just go online and choose your favourite grilling meals and how many portions you want to make.
Everything arrives pre-portioned with minimal packaging (which is good for the Earth) along with full photo recipes to follow along when prepping. You get to show off your chopping and grilling skills to guests, knowing there is minimal food waste and significantly less packaging than having cooked food delivered.
After perusing their summer grilling menus, I think this will be the simplest way (and most affordable option, as meals start around $10 per portion) to feed family and friends during the coming summer weekends.
Trend 3: Protect the chef
It’s a smart thing to keep your grill under a well-vented porch or covering so that you can cook without standing under the blazing sun or getting caught in a sudden downpour.
The hometrends 5’ x 8’ Hardtop Grill Gazebo has you covered — literally. Designed for year-round use, I love that it features a durable, powder-coated steel frame and a weather- and heat-resistant steel roof. It also includes a convenient multipurpose bar surface that’s perfect for setting out a buffet, drinks or all the supplies needed for fancy grilling. Something like this might even encourage the chef to continue grilling well after the summer months.
Three delectable grilling food trends
Take grilled meats to a global taste level by replacing standard barbecue sauce with international flavours, like Asian flavours of sesame, orange and garlic, or Middle Eastern flavours of cumin, coriander and lime.
Think plant-based grilling. Grilled cabbage or cauliflower steaks offer up great fibre while marinated tofu (I use the extra-firm) adds the great ‘chew’ of meat to top salads or replace a burger patty.
Try desserts from the grill: halved peaches grilled with a slice of tasty-smoked pound cake and a drizzle of honey is an easy way to wow your guests.
Do you have a decor dilemma or want to give feedback? You can follow and contact Karl on Instagram at Karl Lohnes.
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