As the summer of 2022 approaches, there is renewed excitement in the air about grilling, BBQing, and eating outdoors in general. Much of this renewal can be attributed to the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic when eating outside was sometimes the only way that friends and families could share time together.
Ever since, chefs have turned their focus to all kinds of exciting (and of course, delicious) new trends in outdoor cooking and dining. With new BBQ sauces and popular food prep methods to top flavors, veggies, and meats, 2022 is shaping up to be a summer of outdoor eating like never before.
Extraordinary Meats for the BBQ
Much of the buzz surrounding outdoor cooking this year has to do with meats — that is, out-of-the-ordinary meats that we haven’t seen on grills and grates too much before now.
This year, chefs are moving beyond the basic hot dogs, chicken, and burgers and instead are having a grand time with inexpensive cuts like pork steak, tri-tip, and even beef tongue.
The idea this year is to focus on the BBQ technique rather than relying on the same baby back ribs and filet mignon people have had dozens of times before.
One extraordinary meat to watch for this summer is wagyu, a variety of Japanese cattle developed for their rich flavor, tender meat, and generous marbling.
Interesting new tastes are being introduced that until now hadn’t been associated with grilling or barbecuing outdoors. These new flavors hail from South America, Asia, and the Middle East.
Trending international fusion flavors include:
Za’atar: a dry blend of sesame seeds, roasted coriander, oregano, cumin, and sumac for an extra shot of tang
Thai red curry marinade with chimichurri sauce to finish
Korean BBQ flavors like soy, gochujang, and garlic
Annatto, cinnamon, and cayenne
From Brazilian barbecue seasonings on roasted mixed vegetables to Korean flavors drizzled over potatoes, new tastes are not in short supply for 2022 grill enthusiasts.
Not Your Everyday Grilled Veggies
No BBQ is complete without tasty sides, and this year, we’ll see some new and interesting veggies. Many of the popular recipes for 2022 include vegetables like:
Since the price of meat has skyrocketed, many chefs are using it more conservatively this year and filling the void with vegetables — both classic grilling favorites and new additions. Chefs are adding nuanced flavor profiles to uplift the contributions vegetables are making to grilled cuisine.
A Grill Revolution
There will always be the classic “charcoal vs. gas grill” debate, but this year, some new(ish) players are also entering the field. This is the year that we’re seeing a lot of still-uncommon types of grills, which are quickly closing in on traditional types. Two of these are the flat top grill and the pellet grill.
The Flat Top Grill
Flat top grills are extremely versatile. Instead of having grates like standard grills, these flat toppers offer a large, solid, even cooking surface. This surface is ideal for keeping savory juices with the food. Even making a huge breakfast is a breeze; the flat top grill allows an impressive variety of foods to be cooked simultaneously.
The Pellet Grill
Pellet grills offer control and versatility along with more cooking options. They perform like an indoor oven that uses pellets of various flavors, turning mundane meals into fantastic cuisine. Pellet grills can bake, grill, smoke, and sear, which means that chefs can bake cookies just as easily as the world’s greatest hamburgers.
Grilling culture is expanding to more purposes and more people all of the time, and 2022 will witness a shift in the BBQ landscape, as well.