Philly-Made Essentials Every Cookout Needs This Summer

Add some Philly flavor to your next barbecue with these locally-made sauces, meats and accoutrements.

Poi Dog Huli Chicken / Photograph by Tami Seymour

Many barbecues are the same: There are burgers and hot dogs, maybe a vegetarian option, probably a few bowls of potato salad, an ill-conceived fruit salad, and dessert. And that’s fine.

But if you’re looking to up your grill game with some Philly flavor, we’ve pulled together a list of locally made barbecue essentials. Burgers and hot dogs are on the menu, sure, but there are also lots of other flavor builders and accoutrements to set your cookout apart from the others.

Poi Dog Sauces

Kiki Aranita, owner of dearly departed Hawaiian restaurant Poi Dog, has kept the magic alive with Poi Dog Sauces, her condiment company selling Huli Huli Sauce — a savory, miso and pineapple sauce inspired by Hawaii’s barbecue chicken traditions. Let that inspiration lead; use it to baste your bird on the grill and add a kick to your burger. And snag the Chili Peppah Water — an acidic, spicy condiment that goes on just about everything — while you’re at it. Order online or buy at various local stores including Riverwards Produce and Salt & Vinegar.

Hot dogs (and more!) from Heavy Metal Sausage

For special holidays, Heavy Metal Sausage does preorders of hot dogs and burgers that are basically the best available, made entirely from scratch with locally sourced meat. But think bigger: They’ve also got whole chickens that would grill up nicely, beautiful steaks that would be a treat and more. Go in and ask for their grilling recommendations. Order in person at 1527 West Porter Street.

Grill-at-home skewers and wings from the SEA Market

The Southeast Asian Market in FDR Park on weekends is most popular for the food you can eat in person, but many of the stalls that serve grilled skewers and stuffed chicken wings will also sell you raw skewers to grill at home. Just ask politely at your favorite stall, and be sure to bring a cooler for your perishables. Order in person at 1500 Pattison Avenue.

Honeysuckle Provisions’ line of Burlap & Barrel spices. / Photograph by Kae Lani Palmisano

Honeysuckle spice blends from Burlap & Barrel

Honeysuckle Provisions partnered with Burlap & Barrel to produce a trio of spice blends that celebrate the African diaspora. The set comes with all three blends, but the barbecue hero is the Two Elders Creole Seasoning, which blends sweet peppers with the flavors of celery, bell pepper and onion. It’s a flavor builder that makes a great dry rub for meats and fish. Order online from Burlap & Barrel.

Oyster House’s at-home clambake kit

While technically the Oyster House clambake has to be steamed, it’s best consumed outside, on a picnic table with a few beers while children frolic, so it captures the energy of a barbecue. The kit serves two and includes two whole lobsters, mussels, clams and shrimp, plus corn, potatoes, plenty of butter, and all the accessories you’ll need (including bibs). Order at least 24 hours in advance and pick up in person at 1516 Sansom Street.

Oysters and whole fish from Fishtown Seafood

Fishtown Seafood describes themselves as a new-school fish shop, and their seafood is impeccably sourced. Throw shrimp on the grill to top a salad, grill some oysters to eat with lemon and butter, or sear a whole fish for maximum impact. Note that oysters are a dollar a piece on Fridays, which is one of the best deals in town. Pick up in person at 339 Belgrade Street or at 2131 Pine Street.

Dipping sauces from Ba Le Bakery

Spend a little time perusing the takeout selection at Ba Le, and you’ll be happily overwhelmed by the selection of spring rolls, pork-filled banh cuon, grilled chicken and rice, and much more. But do not skip these adorable plastic milk cartons of pre-made dipping sauces, or nước chấm. Drizzle the kumquat-based sauce on an oyster, dip your grilled meats, or use it as a salad dressing. Pick up in person at 606 Washington Avenue.

Burger buns from Lost Bread Co.

Sure, you could snag a bag of random, half-squished burger buns from the grocery store. But why would you do that if you could get a bag of Lost Bread’s milk-bread burger buns, which are tender and sweet, ideal for stacking with locally sourced burgers from Heavy Metal? Pick up in person at select farmers markets and grocery stores, or at the bakery located at 1313 North Howard Street. You can also have items shipped to you buy ordering online.