Warm weather calls for cool drinks, long nights, and delicious backyard BBQ meals all summer long! After all, Canada’s hottest season is typically its shortest, so we like to make the most of it. Sure, this might not be the year of huge parties or get-togethers, but BBQ season still means there are tasty memories to be made. That’s why we’ve teamed up with our friends over at Canada Beef to bring you a list of BBQ season essentials in Toronto.
Also, this summer it is more important than ever to support local farmers and producers. Not only are you getting the highest quality ingredients and products, but you’re helping Canadian businesses get through these trying times. Canada Beef is encouraging Torontonians to go out there and support Canadian farmers, which we can obviously get behind. We’ve got the best beef in the world people, so we better be taking advantage!
It’s also a wildly efficient way to get more nutrition out of your meals. Fun fact- 100 grams of cooked beef is only 245 calories, but it is packed with 35 grams of protein, 79% of your daily value of zinc, 100% of your daily value of Vitamin B12, and 15 % of your daily values of Vitamin B6 and Iron. The more you know, right?! But seriously people, red meat can get a bad wrap but this nutrient-dense food is a surefire way to make sure you’re getting the daily nutrients you need to live a healthy life.
So, let’s get to it.
#1 – THE MEAT
We all know that the first step of barbecuing starts with picking out what the heck to throw on the grill, so naturally we’re giving you our top butcher shops in the city.
Sanagan’s Meat Locker has two locations (Kensington and Gerrard), passionately offering customers high-quality meats exclusive from Ontario farms
Our recommendation? AAA Bone-In Rib Steak
Friendly Butcher is known for living up to its name, while only selling meat sourced within 100 miles to make sure Ontario farmers are being supported first and foremost
Our recommendation? Top Sirloin Steak
The Meat Dept stocks mostly local products, and makes a solid promise to its customers by ensuring that they will find the best possible products that are naturally raised, sustainable, and organic
Our recommendation? Dry Aged Ribeye
#2 – THE VEG
Whoever thought you’d have to force kids to eat their vegetables, obviously didn’t try grilling them first. Coming in second on our list, is a couple of spots to shop Toronto’s best, and most local, produce.
Fresh City Farms prides itself of sourcing the freshest, organic, sustainable, products while placing an emphasis on high standards of quality, AND they also deliver.
St. Lawrence Market, because duh! The South Market is perfect for their everyday variety of fruit, produce, meat, and baked goods, and Farmers’ Market on Saturdays is the ultimate food shopping experience.
#3 – THE DRINKS
Thinking about washing BBQ down with anything other than a nice cold (alcoholic) bevy seems downright insane. Luckily, there are a ton of great spots in Toronto to find something nice, cold, and refreshing to sip on.
My Wine Canada has over 1,500 products on its site, ranging from wine to mead, to whiskey, providing direct access to Canadians to the country’s domestic libations
Beer XPress offers home delivery, and pick-up in-store, carrying domestic, import, premium beers, along with Ontario craft
Dolly Trolley for a wide variety of unique cocktail kits delivered right to your doorstep
#4 THE SAUCES, RUBS & MARINADES
This one is for all the sauce bosses out there, because what’s meat without a little added flavour?! No, we don’t want you getting lost in the sauce, but we do want this BBQ to pop! Here are two brands of locally-made sauce and rubs that we’re currently obsessing over.
Kultivar & Co, making artisanal hot sauces made from local Toronto ingredients, perfect for spicing up any dish.
Nerpy’s Hot Sauces & Marinades is producing sauces and marinades locked and loaded with powerful tastes aimed at exciting your tastebuds.
#5 THE EQUIPMENT
Whether you’re in a small apartment downtown or a big house in the ‘burbs, BBQ season can be celebrated by all- as long as you’ve got the right equipment. Here are a couple of classic choices that offer everything from small electric BBQs, portable BBQs, and even smokers!
Canadian Tire obviously has everything to cover your outdoor living needs, but in this specific case, they are perfect for choosing a small home/apartment-friendly grill.
IKEA is for more than just Swedish meatballs and build-your-own furniture. In case you don’t have a grill (or room for one), they have affordable grilling pans to mimic those BBQ lines at home in your kitchen.
#6 – THE RECIPES
Need some inspiration? Why not pick a dish from Canada Beef’s Tested & True Recipes. These are curated by the pros for easy home preparation and to keep the integrity of the star ingredient- beef! And for those of you who aren’t quite grill masters yet, don’t sweat it. Canada Beef’s Know How section has everything you need to know about grilling, marinating, and more.
Balsamic Steak & Grilled Peach Salad uses flank steak marinated in a honey/balsamic blend, creating a delicious sweet-savoury flavour to compliment the hearty summer salad.
Beef & Provolone Pizza, because cooking pizzas made with fresh dough on the BBQ is something that is seriously underrated, but seriously delicious and easy.
Steakhouse Skewers & Kale Caesar Salad gives you a classic steakhouse vibe in an easy-to-prepare and cook meal.
Well friends, there you have it! We hope you take advantage of every second of grilling season.