Grilling is Smokin’ Hot

By Heather Mayer

Styling and Photography by Laurie Mosco

Americans are all fired up about grilling.  Since July 2021, 21 million grills and smokers have been purchased in the US (NPD Group).  And the from all predictions, it doesn’t look like this love of grilling is going to fizzle out anytime soon (Forbes Magazine). Heat things up with premium spices, sauces, and sides to transform their grilling routine from “grate” to un-grill-ievable.

From the rare to the well done – here are some of our grilling favorites.

Lay it on Thick with Premium Sauces

gourmet barbecue sauce, Stubb's barbecue sauce, Mighty Quinn's Barbecue sauce, Chimichurri, Gaucho Ranch Chimichurri, Klechner's Remoulade, Iron Chef Sauces, Allegro Barbecue Sauce, Steak sauce, Truffle steak sauce, Peter Luger Steak Sauce
Premium grilling sauces create a restaurant experience in an instant

Grilling – way beyond burgers and dogs. Consumers are now purchasing more premium cuts of meat, fish, and chicken than ever before.  Premium cuts deserve condiments that are a cut above the rest.  Sauces are an easy way to start, as all the flavor is fully developed.  Simply slather on a different sauce and you have an entirely new meal.

Grilling is enjoyed nationwide, but barbeque is all about regional flavors.  Offer barbeque sauce flavors that are all over the map.  Like the smoky flavors of Texas found in Stubb’s sauces and marinades.  For those who want to lay it on thick, there’s Stubb’s Sticky Sweet BBQ sauce, extra thick and brimming with molasses and brown sugar. If they like sweet with a little kick, then Stubb’s Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce will do the trick, with its blend of Stubb’s classic spicy, deep flavor notes and the added sweet, spicy bite of Dr. Pepper soda.  Cooking low and slow? Then Stubb’s Moppin Sauce will keep those cuts juicy and full of flavor.  Since summertime is the most popular time for grilling, bright citrus flavors are always a welcome guest at the table.  We love Stubb’s Chicken Marinade and its blend of bright citrus with signature spices.

For more Southern flavor, try a taste of Tennessee in Allegro’s line of sauces and marinades.  Tennessee is synonymous with whiskey, so when that woodsy taste is added to a blend of spices like in Allegro Tennessee Whisky Marinade it’s really “neat.”  Barbeque is all about the smoky flavors, so Allegro Hickory Smoke Marinade, full of sweet smoky bacon-like flavor will spark some cooking inspiration. But Southerners aren’t the only ones who know barbeque.  Surprisingly, New York City has some pretty good joints, too!  Like Mighty Quinn’s Barbeque.  Blending tangy Carolina-style with smoky sweet Texas-style, Mighty Quinn’s Barbeque Sauce has a signature flavor that’s really authentic and old-school.

Grilling is global.  Some of the top grilling flavor profiles for 2022 — Asian and South American (Food Ingredients First). An  Asian classic like the salty, sweet taste of traditional Teriyaki worthy of an Iron Chef  like Iron Chef Teriyaki Baste & Glaze will have them feeling like they could host their own cooking show.  Or for a little sweet heat, recommend they marinate their chicken in Iron Chef Thai Chili Sauce. South America is another hot bed for barbecue. Particularly Argentina. Their herbaceous chimichurri, a blend of garlic, herbs, and olive oil, is a departure from the traditional sticky sweet sauces and is great as a marinade, or sauce post grilling. An easy way to serve up those authentic Argentinian barbeque flavors — Gaucho Ranch Original Chimichurri.

Gen Z customers see grilling as a social experience as well as a way to cook. Since they’re grilling mostly for gatherings, they’re looking for unforgettable experiences. Sauces with luxurious ingredients are sure to create some memorable moments.  Like a steak sauce with the earthy aroma of premium Italian black truffles like Sabatino Tartufi Truffled Steak Sauce.  Or they can transform their backyards into a renown Brooklyn steakhouse with the tangy, spicy flavor of Peter Luger Steak Sauce.

Seafood is another growing grilling category, up 44% in 2020 (Progressive Grocer).  Serving up sauces that soup up their seafood will make your business quite a catch.  Like the bright lemon and dill flavors found in Kletchner’s Lemon Dill Marinade. Some seafood is begging to be dipped. Reel them in with the creamy, spicy, classic flavors of Kletchner’s Horseradish Remoulade.

A Dash of Excitement

Spice Hunter grilling spice blends, Syliva's Soulful Seasoned Salt, Jane's Krazy Mixed Up, Jane's Crazy Mixed up Seasoning, Mighty Quinn's spice rub, Mighty Quinn's Barbecue,
Spice things up with premium spice blends and rubs

One of the largest areas of growth in the grill market is the pellet grill, with more than 1 million pellet grills sold in 2021.  Pellet grills are used mostly for smoking, so you’ll be the pit boss with a selection of gourmet spice rubs. 

Those looking for restaurant-style spice rubs? Then New York City’s Mighty Quinn’s is the answer yet again.  Their salt and pepper based O.G. Spice Rub helps bring out the flavors when cooking low and slow.  For a smoky, sweet flavor profile, there’s Mighty Quinn’s Sweet & Smoky Spice Rub. Low and slow ribs are synonymous with soul food. Help them add a little soul to their cooking with Sylvia’s Soulful Seasoned Salt, featuring the same blend as the top New York City Soul Food restaurant, Sylvia’s.

Though the food they’re cooking is low and slow, customers often want something that’s quick and easy.  That’s where Jane’s Krazy Mixed Up line of seasonings can be a real timesaver.  Wholesome, flavor-packed spice blends just like Grandma used to make (they were created by a real-life grandma, Jane Seamans), can spice up any grilling or smoking routine.  There’s the original Jane’s Krazy Mixed-Up Salt, full of flavor without MSG. Those who prefer a little Southwest flare will go crazy for Jane’s Krazy Mixed up Sweet Lime Pepper. If it’s an elegant steak dinner they’re preparing, there’s the zesty flavor of Jane’s Krazy Mixed up Steakhouse Seasoning.

Popular spice brand Spice Hunter has several spice blends specially made for grilling that are easy to add to your current spice displays. Amp up that woodsy smoke, with Spice Hunter Salt Free Mesquite. Those premium cuts of meat and poultry need a spice blend made just for them. Spice Hunter Salt Free Steak & Chop Grill & Broil Grilling Blend  and Spice Hunter Poultry Grill & Broil Grilling Blend with their signature blends of spices made to bring out the flavors in each grilled meat will have customers really stoked.

Kick it up with Flavor Packed Side-Kicks

pickles, relish, spicy relish, polenta, roasted red peppers, Calabrian chilies, Calabrian peppers, polenta, grits, cornbread mix, Bob's Red Mill Cornbread mix, Bob's Red Mill grits, gluten free cornbread mix
Grilling can always use a flavorful (side) kick

Though grilling might be the hero, it’s the supporting “side” kicks that really bring the party.  Kick things up with a selection of fun sides and condiments. Like something that can be prepared on the grill. Ancient Harvest Sundried Tomato & Garlic Readymade Polenta, full of bold Italian spices tastes great sliced and grilled.  For those who want something a little bit more homemade, there’s creamy Bob’s Red Mill Corn Grits Polenta. If they’re keeping gluten free, Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Corn Bread Mix will have them in “loaf.”

Even with all this love of premium cuts of meat, hot dogs and burgers still reign supreme in the grilling realm (Progressive Grocer). Take them over the top with premium toppings.  Instead of Jalapenos to spice up those burgers, recommend Italy’s hot peppers like Divina Calabrian Peppers. Hot dogs will be top dog when they have another dimension of flavor – top with Divina Fire Roasted Sweet Peppers for best in show dogs.

Pickles are always a grilling favorite, but when they’re made with natural ingredients like McClure’s, they’re an even bigger “dill.” Particularly to Gen Z who’s searching for clean, natural ingredients (Forbes). McClure’s Garlic Pickle Spears hit the spot, full of flavor and made with a longtime family recipe. Want a little slice of sweet for burgers and dogs? There’s nothing “butter” than McClure’s Classic Bread and Butter Pickles.  Customers are always looking for unique spins on a classic, making the bold flavors of McClure’s Spicy Relish a condiment they will relish.

Home grilling has really grown in the past few years. Premium sauces, spices, and sides will keep those flames of grilling love burning.

We have the grilling items they’ll flip for

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