Datassential reports that 78 percent of menus feature something “grilled,” while another 46 percent have something “smoked.”
With diners craving the experiences they missed out on during the pandemic, it’s no surprise that flame-kissed prep methods are starting to appear on menus, too: Datassential reports that the term “blistered” grew 17 percent in the past year. Similarly, “charred” (10 percent) and “browned” (7 percent) showed growth.
“There’s a demand from consumers, as well as a return to simple and traditional cooking techniques,” says Caleb Taylor, corporate chef with Boar’s Head Brand. “Live-fire cooking is one of those things that not every restaurant can do. But if you’re able to capture those flavors you can still give them the experience they’re looking for.”
FireSmith™ Flame Grilled Chicken Breast is a Boar’s Head®product that is helping chefs capture some of that magic—minus many of the headaches of having an open flame in house. Here’s a look at why the product is increasingly making its way into quick-service kitchens.
As chefs seek ingredients that can help control food costs, FireSmith™ Flame Grilled Chicken Breast is a study in versatility. It can be sliced for a variety of sandwich and wrap applications, or shredded and served on top of a salad, or in a stir fry. Really, it can be used any place where grilled chicken breast once was featured.
Taylor especially enjoys the product’s usefulness in global fare. “With the growth in global foods right now, FireSmith™ chicken really unlocks a lot of different applications,” Taylor says. “We’re talking about Hispanic applications or Asian trends, whether that’s Korean bulgogi, or even using it on top of simple rice applications. FireSmith™ Flame Grilled Chicken Breast can be the perfect way to take a dish up a notch.”
If the industry has started to regain workers, it’s still been a struggle to find ones with a solid body of kitchen experience, Taylor says. Poultry can be notoriously tricky and temperamental, too—handling it safely may require certifications in different areas.
“Let’s say you have a restaurant of 12–15 employees,” Taylor says. “What we’re seeing is a lot of those types of restaurants may only have two people qualified to cook chicken and ensure it’s fully cooked, but also not overcooked to where it’s dry and loses that sumptuousness. Our FireSmith™ product allows you to get that flame-grilled, moist chicken every single time, and you don’t have to worry about who is cooking it, or who is working that day.”
A Flame-Grilled Experience
FireSmith™ Flame Grilled Chicken Breast is grilled at a Boar’s Head facility over a live fire. This gives the chicken the authentic flavor that Taylor talks about, the one that provides diners a feeling that they’re eating something that’s not just flavorful but experiential.
“Foodservice operators that can provide dining-theater experiences are in high demand for 2023,” Taylor says. “Experiential dining brings multi-sensory experiences into the mix, breaking away from traditional restaurant concepts. FireSmith™ Flamed Grilled Chicken Breast helps show that experiential dining isn’t just reserved for fine-dining—quick-service restaurants and fast-casual restaurants can give that live-fire experience without the fire.”
Boar’s Head Brand
Taylor says FireSmith™ Flame Grilled Chicken Breast is a cut above competitors’ ready-made chicken solutions due to it being a whole-muscle protein that’s charred over a live fire. That helps add an authentic flavor profile that can add value to just about any menu, or application that already calls for grilled chicken.
“The best thing about my job is that whenever I tell people what I do, they say, ‘Oh man, I love Boar’s Head Brand,’” Taylor says. “The reputation of Boar’s Head Brand speaks for itself. As an operator, that means you’re getting a product that’s been trusted for over 115 years. FireSmith™ Flame Grilled Chicken Breast is just another way that Boar’s Head® products are meeting demand for a high-quality eating experience.”
For more on authentic flame-grilled chicken, visit the Boar’s Head Brand foodservice website.