Heating up on America’s grills

Smoke, spice and everything nice are what’s on the grate for grilling season this year, McCormick & Co., Inc. said in its Flavor Forecast 2016: Grilling Edition. Bold Brazilian-inspired sauces, burger rubs and Japanese marinades are among the trends for the grill.

“The summer of 2016 will be all about incorporating smoky, spicy, tangy flavors in new ways we’ve never seen before,” said Kevan Vetter, executive chef for McCormick. “For instance, cabbage goes way beyond coleslaw — flavor thick-cut cabbage steaks with a smoky sweet marinade, grill then top with bacon and blue cheese for the ultimate grilled side.”

The McCormick Flavor Forecast 2016: Grilling Edition explores the latest trends and flavors on barbecue grills across North America. Here are five.

Savory vegetables

Large portions of seasoned fruits and vegetables make for satisfying meatless main dishes. McCormick recommends flavoring fruit and vegetable “steaks” with marinades, bacon, toasted coconut, cheese, nuts and other flavorful toppings.

Burger rubs

Spice rubs that caramelize the outer layer of ground meat bring loads of flavor, according to McCormick. The company’s ground pork burger is sandwiched between two Belgian waffles drizzled with syrup and topped with melted cheddar, bacon and a fried egg.

Bold Brazilian sauces

Red chimichurri sauce is a hot version of the classic chimichurri sauce and gets its flavor from cumin, smoked paprika and crushed red pepper. McCormick said red chimichurri sauce pairs well with skewered meats.

East meets grill

Sweet plus soy plus spice equals zesty Asian-inspired sauces and marinades. McCormick recommends switching spices to create Japanese, Malaysian, Thai or Korean flavors.

Heat plus tang plus smoke

Bring contrasting flavors to dishes with fresh chilies paired with tangy vinegars and mustards. McCormick’s grilled chicken Po Boy with spicy Creole mustard sauce is an example of a twist on the iconic sandwich that originated in Louisiana.

Erica Shaffer

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