The new American-made, wood-fired grills are now in nearly 2,000 US Applebee's restaurants and cook with oak wood. To visually convey the change, they're putting a stack of split oak logs by the entrance of each participating location.
The first menu items to feature wood-grilling include USDA Choice top sirloin steaks and bone-in pork chops that are hand-cut in each restaurant by trained meat cutters "to ensure optimal thickness" according to the chain. Also featured (but apparently not hand-cut) is cedar-grilled salmon.
Beyond the featured items, meats and vegetables cooked on the new grills can be found in other menu items.
Purchase and installation of the grills, along with a combined 60,000 hours of meat-cutting training, adds up to an investment of more than $40 million by Applebee’s franchisees.