Low and slow is the way to go for the best BBQ, but with the busy summer season and guests clamoring for ‘cue, having some shortcuts can’t hurt. Fire up flavors and save time and labor on BBQ dishes with premade and ready-to-use sauces.

Classic Q

Traditional BBQ flavors show no signs of falling out of favor with smoke fans, and in fact, are trending upward. Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce is up 150% on menus and Alabama White Sauce is up 36%.1 With items like West Creek® Carolina BBQ Sauce, you can elevate classic pulled pork sandwiches, ribs, or any of your other current BBQ dishes without having to spend extra time in the kitchen whipping up sauces.

Adding ingredients that you already have to your premade sauces and dry rubs can also speed up BBQ prep and help you to get creative — consider using chipotle chilis in adobo sauce, summery fruits, jams, or fresh seasonal herbs.

Smoky Snacks

With snacking still leading consumer eating habits, it makes sense to add a few BBQ snacks and small plates to your summer LTO menus. Burnt ends are a hot trend right now — up 42% on menus over the past 4 years.2 They’re a perfect blank canvas for your own spin and employ ingredients you already have in your pantry.

Slather in trending sauces like spicy maple or maple bourbon and serve alone, on top of mac and cheese, or skewered with grilled veggies. Or try lending some BBQ goodness to poutine and skip the prep with Custom Culinary® Gold Label Kentucky-Style Bourbon Sauce, topping with cheddar cheese and gravy for a show-stopping snack.

Global Grillin’

From Peruvian anticuchos (beef kebabs) to Filipino lechon manok (rotisserie chicken) and Indian tandoori aloo (grilled potatoes), global BBQ provides endless sources of inspiration. Japanese yakitori is trending, and with this skewered dish, you can use the soy sauce-based marinade as a glaze and dipping sauce.

Korean barbecue is also sizzling up, showing an astounding 271% growth on menus since 2018.3 Consider reaching for Custom Culinary® Korean-Style Sweet Heat Sauce that’s ready to use to quickly jazz up Korean BBQ chicken tacos, flavor smoked jackfruit sliders for the plant-based crowd, or to tap into the “swicy” trend for some mouth-watering smoked chicken wings.

Fiery Fusion

Combining your menu specialties with trending flavors and opting for pantry items that don’t require as much prep can be an easy way to infuse authenticity and creativity into BBQ dishes. Premade spreads like garlic aioli and bacon marmalade jam can add umami to grilled burgers and leftover pickled veggies are great for topping BBQ sandwiches and hot dogs.

With the demand for BBQ pizzas and the rise in Mexican cuisine on menus, try marrying the classic Italian favorite with some exciting, new flavors. Create a spicy flatbread pizza with smoked pulled chicken, mozzarella, and Cotija cheeses, and blend your house tomato sauce with Custom Culinary® Gold Label Latin-Style Citrus Chili Sauce for a fast but flavorful fusion dish.

1Datassential: Burgers & BBQ, 2023
3Datassential: What’s New in Cue, 2022

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