Barbe-Cue the Sunshine!
Now that we have finally clawed our way out of the polar vortex (fingers crossed), it is time to get outside and embrace spring. It just so happens May, my favorite month of the year, is also National Barbecue Month. And what better way to welcome warmer weather than with a BBQ? So unless you’re like my dad who has been known to grill in a blizzard, get ready to dust off those grills and get cooking!
According to the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association (HPBA), 86% of households own an outdoor barbecue, grill or smoker. While May is the official grilling month, 62% of grill owners use their grills year round. One reason for this is because many find grilling foods a healthier way to prepare meals than other cooking alternatives like pan-frying. Others crave that natural, smokey flavor that can only be achieved on an outdoor grill. Another interesting reason for year-round grilling is the peace of mind many users find from it. According Weber-Stephen Products LLC, the leading manufacturer of outdoor gas and charcoal grills and grilling accessories, 64% of people find grilling to be a relaxing activity at the end of a stressful day and 77% of people find grilling to be “just plain fun.”
Just around the corner is the second most popular barbecue holiday of the year, Memorial Day. While hot dogs and hamburgers remain the number one foods made at barbecues year in and year out, expect to see a few more ethnic options at your holiday celebrations this year. Just as in the kitchen, people are branching out with their grilling choices and experimenting with recipes from around the globe. Look for dishes with Asian and Spanish influences to be popular this grilling season, with special grilling tools like grill-friendly woks and kebob systems helping grillers create these new meals.
It’s not just far-flung flavors that are getting the spotlight, either. Special attention is being given to unique local flavors through spices, sauces and rubs. As more barbecue competitions and cooking shows feature these regional specialties, home grillers are starting to highlight their favorite hometown flavor. While people are seeking out specialty stores for private label, “locals only” flavors, well-known barbecue brands are answering these demands with lines of regional sauces and spices, such as Weber’s Chicago Steak and N’Orleans Cajun Seasonings.
In addition to grilling, a rising trend the past few years has been home smoking. According to Weber, 44% of experienced grillers want to learn how to smoke their foods. The art of “low and slow” cooking is gaining popularity across regions and food styles. Besides traditionally smoked meats like pork and beef, look for more out of the box choices, like smokey tacos, to be popular this year.
Check out our grilling package catalog with great gear from Weber and other leading brands for all your grilling needs this summer: Lapine Grill Packages.
So whether you’re a dog and burger person, or are ready to try out Korean barbecue techniques, get out and enjoy your grill. ‘Tis the season!
Written by Ashley