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Barbecue has been a popular genre of food for many years and generations, but the trends are always on the move. Culinary artists are constantly trying to come up with new barbecued concoctions to please the taste buds of their customers. The year of 2014 will be no different. Whether you are breaking out the grill or heading down to a restaurant, here is a glimpse into where barbecue is going next.

Different Proteins

With the higher beef prices and the threat of pork prices to rise, chefs are looking for meat alternatives to curb costs while still satisfying their guests.  Lamb and game meats are rising in popularity. Another option climbing in popularity is the meat alternatives, appealing to the growing number of vegetarians and vegans. These can encompass anything from mushroom burgers, to patties that are soy-based.

Wider Availability

In the last few years, BBQ has been increasing in popularity, stemming out from the areas that were already experts and reaching everything from small towns to big cities. Everyone expects great barbecue from states like Texas and Missouri, but New York? A growing number of towns from coast to coast with no historical ties to BBQ are embracing the food and it’s turning out quite well. This expansion will only continue to grow as more and more people are introduced into the world that is barbecue.

In addition to the growing popularity in the restaurant business, the delicious entrée is also starting to debut in grocery stores around the country. Many stores have off-brand slabs of meat, but more and more popular BBQ restaurants and brands are offering their delicious cuisine in the frozen section of the market. If customers want to stay in the comfort of their home for dinner this weekend, they now have the option of picking up some of their favorite Jack Daniel’s ribs while getting their weekly bread and milk.

Wood Burning

Over the last year, wood burning grills have become a must have for the BBQ industry. High-end restaurants have been desperate for these new grills, determined to master the newest craze for barbecue. This migration to wood burning grills will continue to take over as the year progresses. In the near future, wood-burning grilling will begin to arrive in people’s own backyards as well.


There have always been a variety of sauces in the United States, but with the growing globalization of the world, sauces have begun to take on a new spin. The trend in barbecue sauces is moving more in the international direction. Some people and restaurants are completely tossing out their old sauces for popular brands overseas, such as the Korean take on barbecue sauce. Others are sticking to their American based sauce, but adding in foreign flavors that normally wouldn’t be found in United States barbeque. The Internet and e-commerce are fueling this change, giving customers easy access to unique and/or international sauces from the comfort of their own home. In the coming years, barbecue will likely continue to trend towards a larger variety of styles and flavors.

Whether you are a master chef or a just love to go out and try new things, the migration of barbecue is sure to be something you will love. The trends of this food are ever changing, so just sit back and enjoy both the new and traditional takes on this age-old category of cuisine.


Samuel Ott is a writer for Lutz’s BBQ, a local favorite BBQ joint in Jefferson City and Columbia, MO