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BBQ Catering Trends for 2016

Texas-style barbeque is a popular choice to serve at many different occasions, from backyard barbeques and corporate events to weddings and tailgates. Although it may seem rather straight-forward and traditional, there are several new trends that are popular in the world of BBQ.

For your next barbeque catering event you might want to follow tradition, but throw in a few trendy menu items and new traditions just to modernize the experience. Guests will be surprised and delighted that you have put extra care and thought into the meal.

Here are a few barbeque catering trends to consider as you plan your next event.

Sausage Options

People are exploring their options when it comes to sausage. No longer is sausage so plain and simple. Craft sausages come in all different types. For example, some sausages are double-smoked or come with added ingredients such as cheeses, apples, herbs and spices or  jalapeños. Other types utilize game meats such as venison or antelope. In Texas, Czech-Style sausages are popular. Most use a mix of beef, pork, salt and other spices.

Smoke

Smoked meats and other items such as shrimp, chicken, turkey, vegetables, and even quail are popular choices for smoking and grilling. Quality barbeque caterers take special care with choosing the wood they use to smoke their meats. Mesquite wood, in particular, can provide a rich, unique flavor.

Healthy Options

People are increasingly taking more care and consideration with what they eat. Special diets such as paleo, gluten-free, low-carb, low-fat or Atkins are all popular ways of eating and a barbeque meal can easily be adapted to cater to these dieting trends.

Health-conscious eaters also may enjoy lower-fat options such as smoked turkey or chicken. Seafood, shrimp and vegetarian options also are unexpected items to enter into the mix of a traditional barbeque. It will give your guests plenty of options and appeal to a wider variety of tastes and preferences.

Farm to Fork

This is a trend that has been around for several years and continues to be popular. People want to know more about the food they are eating—how animals were raised, what the animal ate and where ingredients are sourced are all aspects of the farm-to-fork movement. Transparency in food is important for many consumers and restaurants, grocers and caterers are held to a higher standard with the food they offer. Barbeque caterers can provide more details about their meats, with some offering prime cuts and locally-sourced items.

Local, sustainable ingredients are sought-after and caterers who provide such ingredients are in high demand. Many caterers also pride themselves on offering made-from-scratch, fresh recipes from seasonally-available ingredients.

Passed Appetizers

A big buffet is often the norm when it comes to barbeque catering. Guests go down the line to choose their meats and sides, which are then served directly onto their plates. But before heading down the buffet line, some event planners deliver a little something extra.

Fun finger foods passed among the crowd are a great way to welcome guests and offer a snack to tide them over until the main course. A few popular appetizer choices that complement modern Texas barbeque are:

  • Brisket, smoked turkey, or prime rib sliders
  • Chips and salsa, queso or guacamole
  • Shrimp cocktail or seafood cocktail
  • Grilled quail
  • Grilled shrimp
  • Fried oysters
  • Empañadas

Onsite grilling

To add an element of authenticity and ensure freshness as well as optimal serving temperatures, many barbeque catering companies offer onsite grilling over an open flame. Once the meat is cooked to perfection it is sliced and served  to your guests fresh from the grill.

Onsite grilling welcomes your guests with a wonderful smoky aroma—just another way to tantalize the senses at your next event.

Mixing Styles

Texas barbeque has a few traditional tenants, namely brisket, ribs, and sausage. But it can be fun to offer guests some variety in the form of different complementary cuisines. Consider offering barbeque alongside Tex-Mex favorites such as fajitas with homemade flour tortillas or Cajun favorites such as jambalaya or grilled seafood and vegetables.

Entertainment

Whether you're planning a casual event or a high-end affair, entertainment should also be included on the menu. Professional caterers can help you book a live band or instrumentalist. Western-themed events can include a mechanical bull, games, dancers, an interactive photo booth or even a petting zoo if children are among the guests.

Timing

When planning an outdoor barbeque catering event it's always good to keep timing in mind. High season includes spring and early summer as well as fall and early winter. Of course, you can always buck tradition and plan an event during the off-season to to secure your ideal venue or caterer on short notice. Consider the weather and plan to have tents and fans or heaters in the event of rain, extreme heat or colder temperatures.

  • January-March and July-August: Cold weather in the winter and early spring, as well as extremely hot temperatures in summer, can pose a challenge. Plan carefully! On the upside, you may be able to get a discount from the venue during the off-season.
  • April-June: This is prime barbeque time in Texas and much of the South. Venues book quickly during this time and you may pay a premium to secure event spaces. The top spots fill up quickly as weddings/rehearsal dinners and corporate events vie for the best venues, caterers, and entertainment. Plan early and book your venue well in advance to snag a spot during the high season.
  • September-December: This can also be a busy time of year for caterers. The season brings tailgating events for pro and college sports teams. Plus, don't forget about holiday celebrations sure to happen across town.
 

Sources:
http://barbecuebible.com/2016/01/05/bbq-trends-2016/

http://restaurant-hospitality.com/food-trends/menu-moves-what-s-new-bbq

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