Although women have traditionally managed daily household meals, the thrill of open-fire cooking and hanging outdoors with the guys is a trope dating back to the economic boom and shift to suburban living following WWII. 

For many dads, grilling is a point of pride that not only indicates the luxury of leisure time and disposable income but also a level of masculinity.

On Father’s Day, which lands on the third Sunday of June annually, plenty of men will throw on an apron, char their favorite cut of meat, and celebrate with family and friends. 

Which seasonings and sauces will they use to enhance the experience, and how can brands deliver on the promise of a memorable meal? Here are a few of the latest trends to consider.


 The Evolution of Grilling

Whether a BBQ is fueled by propane or charcoal, there are a handful of traditional grilling methods backyard cooks rely on. Cooking over a live flame creates the classic, striped char pattern on food, while indirect grilling offers more even heat distribution for larger cuts of meat.

Lately, smokers have entered the fray in a big way, with many an outdoor kitchen making space for Japanese-style kamados like Big Green Egg. Industrious grill aficionados might even add accessories like a spit for rotisserie cooking.

The oldest style of grilling — known as caveman grilling (placing food directly on coals) — is enjoying a recent revival. The wood-fired Caveman Grill made an appearance at the Ambiente Frankfurt 2023 consumer goods fair.


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Latest Trends in Seasoning

Travel by taste bud continues to be a popular approach to cuisine. For grilling, this could mean incorporating trending seasonings like za’atar, gochujang, and salty-sour black lime.

The grilling world is no stranger to flavor innovation, and different regions offer distinctive BBQ styles, from the warm molasses of Memphis to the sweet tang of Kansas City to the peppered char of central Texas. 

Pre-made craft blends like The Gospel All Purpose Rub from Meat Church, Spiceology’s Honey Habanero, and citrusy Siete Carnitas Seasoning from Slow Cooker Spices add convenience for the average dad grilling at home.

There are also options for health-conscious cooks. Lizzy B’s BBQ rubs are great for low-sodium, keto, and diabetic diets, while Mad Dog & Merrill offers premium seasonings that are free of sodium, fat, cholesterol, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial flavors and preservatives.


 Innovations in Sauces

The “swicy” – sweet and spicy – trend in sauces is holding steady. Products like Frank’s Red Hot Original buffalo sauce, Marie Sharp’s Belizean hot sauces, and Adoboloco’s Island Wings Pineapple Cayenne Pepper sauce add both sweetness and heat to a range of grill preparations.

Home grillers jumping on the fermentation bandwagon are diving into spicy kimchi, shio koji, and tangy, yogurt-based marinades. A simple combo of Greek yogurt, lemon, garlic, EVOO, and spices makes a tasty marinade for chicken. 

And while BBQ sauce isn’t hard to come by, some cooks make their own with artisanal ketchup and unique blends of vinegar, brown sugar, and peppers.


Related: Condiments for Summer Grilling


Grilling Techniques and Tips

Smoked meats get a glow-up of flavor complexity with spices like salt and pepper, sweet BBQ rubs, and a range of powdered chiles. Marinades are another great way to infuse meat with flavor before it ever kisses the grill. Ideally, meats should be marinated anywhere from 6-24 hours before grilling.

Eco-conscious grillers may lean toward energy-efficient gas over charcoal or wood. Other sustainability practices could include seeking out locally sourced meat and produce, along with recycled or compostable picnic supplies.


The Thrill of the Grill

Consumer interest in grilling naturally spikes during warm summer months, with holidays like Father’s Day and the Fourth of July dominating. The food industry can reach consumers by getting ahead of the latest trends in appliances, accessories, seasonings, and sauces meant for outdoor cooking.


Curious? Want to learn more about our trends and insights, get in touch with our team at Symrise today, Contact us here! 

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