3 Chef-Driven Grilling Kits to Pick Up This Summer

It’s summer in Milwaukee, and that means it’s time to fire up the grill.

Firing up the grill has long been linked with summer and now, with decreased opportunities to “dine in” at restaurants, even more so. 

Until the new normal arrives at Milwaukee’s restaurants, many butcher shops and eateries offer a fun perk on their menus: grilling kits, complete with meat and sometimes even marinated for you.

Here are three chef-driven grilling kits available locally. Note special instructions on their websites for ordering. Some are only offering pre-orders online, with in-store pickup.

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1. Bavette La Boucherie

330 E. MENOMONEE ST.  

This little taste of Paris in the Third Ward is already known for good cuts of high-end meats. Just before Father’s Day, owner and James Beard Award semi-finalist Karen Bell rolled out a way you can enjoy her shop’s experience chez-vous. Included in each of six Meat Boxes ($58-$175) are all the meaty goods for a glam cookout. Note that two of those options require 24-hour notice and do not come with accoutrements although the “Burger Grilling Kit for 4” folds in — with half-pound burger patties — buns, potato salad, coleslaw, Roelli Cheese Haus Red Rock Cheese, bacon, pickled red onion and mustard. Included with the “Sausage Grilling Kit for 4” are similar sides and toppings to go with your brats.

2. Bunzel’s Meats and Catering

9015 W. BURLEIGH ST. 

Priced at $20.20, the butcher — near Mayfair Collection — has a “June Meat Deal” with a lot of meat. You get six beef hot dogs, three country-style ribs, a whole chicken (can be cut up if you like), one pound of lean ground chuck and two chicken patties (these are pre-cooked). Check Bunzel’s Meat Deals tab on its website for more offerings throughout the summer, including the grandest of all: the simply named “Meat Deal #1” ($105.99) means you’re set for a Fourth of July cookout. Included are two pounds of boneless chuck roast, two pounds pork chops, three pounds country-style ribs, 3 pounds bone-in pork roast, four pounds ground chuck, two chickens and two pounds of beef stew.

3. Kettle Range Meat Co.

5501 W. STATE ST. | 13402 WATERTOWN PLANK RD., ELM GROVE 

Specializing in carrying grass-fed, pastured meats that are free from hormones and locally raised, this West Side butcher offers a roster of menu items called “slow cookers and meal kits.” Unlike its daily ready-to-eat meals (from beef stroganoff to dill pickle fried chickens), these are for cooking at home. Two recent selections on the site’s “Today’s Menu” tab were Szechuan Pork stir fry (heritage pork with tangy sweetened Szechuan peppercorn sauce) and four cage-free chicken breasts (designed to eat with the included seasoned farro and Parmesan-cheese sauce). If the store is too far for you to travel, it offers free same-day delivery throughout the Milwaukee area.


CORRECTION: This article incorrectly listed a fourth option, The Goddess and the Grocer, that does not offer grilling kits in the Milwaukee market. The Goddess and the Baker in Brookfield is a separate entity and does not offer grilling kits.

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A seasoned writer, and a former editor at Milwaukee Home & Fine Living, Kristine Hansen launched her wine-writing career in 2003, covering wine tourism, wine and food pairings, wine trends and quirky winemakers. Her wine-related articles have published in Wine Enthusiast, Sommelier Journal, Uncorked (an iPad-only magazine), FoodRepublic.com, CNN.com and Whole Living (a Martha Stewart publication). She's trekked through vineyards and chatted up winemakers in many regions, including Chile, Portugal, California (Napa, Sonoma and Central Coast), Canada, Oregon and France (Bordeaux and Burgundy). While picking out her favorite wine is kind of like asking which child you like best, she will admit to being a fan of Oregon Pinot Noir and even on a sub-zero winter day won't turn down a glass of zippy Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.