Have you started incorporating plant-based meats into your menu? If not, you’re missing out on meats that other chefs are happily taking advantage of to spice up their menus – not only for their authentic taste, but also for their ease of preparation and delivery-friendly nature. The benefits of plant-based meat are aplenty!
While most chefs are highly skilled at preparing animal meat, cooking with plant-based meat can be a completely new experience. But plant-based meat is here to stay – so it’s important that you incorporate it into your menu and delight customers who prefer tasty plant-based meat options on their plates.
Let’s explore the 7 biggest advantages of plant-based meats that chefs love, as well as basic preparation so that you’ll have a better idea of what new plant-based creations you’d like to add to your menu.
1. Save time cooking
More good news for chefs who want to improve turnover speed, as due to the composition of plant-based meat (for example, meats in The Vegetarian Butcher line-up are made of soybeans and various plant proteins) they cook a lot more quickly than animal meats.
When an order comes in, simply take your plant-based meat out of the freezer, defrost and it’s good to go! No lengthy, multi-step process of tenderising and preparing your meat needed.
This means your dishes can leave the kitchen more quickly, and diners will definitely appreciate the shorter waiting times.
2. Easy to cook
While animal meat can go from rare to medium to well-done very quickly (sometimes resulting in overcooked meat and wastage), plant-based meat is known for being a very “forgiving” protein to work with.
Overcooking a plant-based meat isn’t often an issue, and finding that ideal “sweet spot” is also so much easier – which means more consistent tasting meals and more satisfied diners!
3. Pre-seasoned goodness
If you’re wondering about how to incorporate plant-based meats while maintaining kitchen efficiency, there is no need to worry. Plant-based meats are generally pre-seasoned, so they’re tasty the moment they arrive at your restaurant.
Of course, their flavours can be easily tweaked to suit whatever creation you have in mind – but this does save you lots of preparation time, which you can use for other elements of your plant-based dish.
4. Experiment with the flavour composition of entire dish
One of the fantastic things about plant-based cooking is how it provides a neutral base for your entire dish. A main difference of plant-based protein vs. meat is that while plant-based protein’s texture and taste are very similar to animal meat, it’s composition (of plant protein) is very different.
This means that your plant-based meat acts as a neutral base, and it can go well with just about anything. It also doesn’t contain any animal fat – which is a plus for health-conscious diners, but this also means you’ll need to spend a little more time thinking about the overall flavour composition of your dish.
This is a great opportunity for chefs to experiment with different flavours to create your desired taste without relying on animal fat and animal protein.
5. Goes well with dishes that contain sauce
With its neutrality, plant-based meats are perfectly complemented by sauces. Dishes like butter chicken, kung pao chicken, Sichuan beef and other Asian delights can taste their heavenly best with plant-based meats.
Try it for yourself – use plant-based meat in dishes that feature strong, prominent flavours and sauces. We’re confident you’ll like what you taste!
6. Convenient, long-lasting storage
During these uncertain times, restaurant owners certainly appreciate food with longer storage lives – just in case sudden tightening of pandemic-related regulations lead to decrease in diners. Plant-based meats are, by design, meant to be store in your freezer.
They store well, defrost easily, and are made to taste great after coming out from cold storage. This makes them excellent for inventory management (without sacrificing taste).
Since 2020, food deliveries have been an integral part of the restaurant business. And plant-based meat – thanks to their fast preparation and cooking times, and ease of cooking – are perfect for the fast paced, high turnover world of food deliveries!
Best of all, because the plant protein absorbs all that great flavour, the “saucy” dishes mentioned above are very delivery-friendly – as they become tastier on the way to diners’ homes!
Place special “Recommended” labels next to these dishes to let diners know these are the dishes they should be ordering on their favourite food delivery services.
Considering adding plant-based meat to the dishes in your menu? This is the ideal time to do so. While you’re busy incorporating plant-based meat into your dishes, don’t forget that marketing your plant-based menu is equally important so that your diners will pick up on these new alternatives.
For some plant-based protein recipes that you can experiment with, download our handbook below.