Straight from the Grill
A BBQ menu is a guaranteed way to encourage customers into your establishment and raise revenue – whatever size outlet you have.
Previously viewed as an outdoor activity only available when the sun is shining, now, thanks to more outlets investing in a charcoal-grilled range for the kitchen, the barbecue experience has a year-round appeal. “Over the past decade, BBQ cooking has come a long way,” said Ben Bartlett, BBQ Masterchef and author of The BBQ Manual. “We’ve moved beyond the grill and embraced the wider world of international BBQ – with ‘low and slow’, fusion cuisine and Spanish style ‘a la plancha’ cooking leading the charge.”
Here are Ben’s top tips for the grill…
International fusion BBQ is a big trend this year. Korean BBQ, with the balance of smoke, sweet, spice and salt, has never been more popular. Marinate sliced sirloin and rib eye, strips of pork belly and chicken in a combination of soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic and pepper, and cook over hot charcoal. Serve with barbecued veg and BBQ sauce for dipping. Meats such as brisket, pork or chicken thighs should be cooked ‘low and slow’ until the meat is tender enough to be pulled apart. Grilling food on a round, flat metal plate, usually chrome-plated like a griddle, gives it the traditional Spanish/Latin American ‘a la plancha’ style which is right on trend.
More than the meat
Whereas once BBQ dishes were centred around one piece of meat, we’re now seeing BBQ used for a much wider range of dishes. Slow cooked pulled pork, chicken or brisket make a great topping – especially on burgers, or in a taco with Louisiana BBQ sauce and a garnish of Adobo hot sauce. Alternatively, top a noodle or ramen bowl with sliced brisket, cooked low and slow with sweet Japanese Teriyaki BBQ sauce and a selection of crunchy, colourful veg.
Classics, like the halloumi and mushroom burger, can be made even better with the taste of BBQ smoke. Serve in a brioche or pitta, with crisp salad, roasted (or barbecued) red peppers and a small dollop of sweet chilli sauce. BBQ avocado is a great way to use this tasty, trendy superfood. Simply place avocado halves on the grill for a couple of minutes, turning regularly to create distinctive char lines. Fill with hummus mayonnaise and dress with a little Middle Eastern hot sauce. Serve with some crusty bread for an exciting, vibrant and indulgent side.
On the sauce
Heinz’s back of house Classic Burger Sauce is the ultimate finish to a prime beef burger, and front of house sauces are equally, if not more, important. From sachets to tabletop bottles make sure you are well stocked with a variety of BBQ flavours such as jerk BBQ, peri peri and classic barbecue along with the traditional favourites, tomato ketchup, mayonnaise (don’t forget light!) and HP.
Wines for the BBQ
White – Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio
Pink – Zinfandel Rosé
Red – Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz
“Red wine is a strong choice with barbecued meat, and Malbec – especially from Argentina – is the best red of all to match with it, due to its juicy fruit flavours and enough structure to stand up to barbecue flavours.”
A premium experience
A BBQ menu allows operators to be experimental, have fun and leave the customer with a lasting memory.
• Sharing platters are a must and make sure you have add ons such as sauces, toppings and salads available.
• Customers are willing to pay more for premium meat – locally sourced or ethically raised for example – so make sure this detail is highlighted to the customer.
• Offer a variety of meats – venison and veal are really popular right now.
• Expand your seafood offerings to cater for those who don’t eat meat or those who just want a change. As well as prawns and salmon fillets grilled to order, offer other alternatives, such as lobster or whole fish.