Although gas is the mainstream choice, wood-burning ovens are becoming more of an essential, piece of equipment in many independent-restaurant kitchens. Now the wood-fired trend is building momentum in the chain world. Case in point: Orlando, Fla.-based Red Lobster’s wood-grilled menu. The renowned seafood chain invested a hefty $2.5 million in both new and retrofitted wood-burning grills at locations and rolled out specialized training for staff on how to use the new fixtures. Recipes now include grilled lobster, shrimp and scallops. The guests can choose a more-healthful preparation that injects flavor through smoke and seasoning rather than via traditional cooking in fat.

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