Hosting or having a barbecue is a tried and tested way to make a meal that almost everyone can enjoy. But what about people on gluten-free diets?
Gluten-free diets are followed by people with celiac disease, those who are allergic to gluten, and those just trying out the diet for weight loss. Whatever your reasoning, you’re on this page because you want answers to the question: is BBQ gluten-free?
Let’s talk about gluten and whether or not your favorite barbecue foods contain it.
What Is Gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in certain grains, including wheat, rye, spelt, and barley. Mix the grain flour with water, and the proteins release a gluey substance.
It’s this sticky substance that helps foods such as bread maintain their shape. It is also what causes discomfort for anyone who is gluten-intolerant.
About Gluten-Free Diets
Gluten is not for everyone.
In some people, it can cause bloating and stomach pain if eaten. Depending on the severity of the reaction, certain people should completely avoid ingesting it.
For example, people with celiac disease can’t digest this protein. If they consume it, it can have adverse effects on the body.
As a result, it’s common for people with allergies, sensitivity, or an intolerance to gluten to opt for a gluten-free diet.
A gluten-free diet is also tried out as a weight-loss method on occasion.
There are many reasons to follow a gluten-free diet. Here’s how you can do this while enjoying your barbecue.
Is BBQ Gluten-Free? Understanding Your Top Foods
Is Barbecue Meat Gluten-Free?
Yes, it is gluten-free.
Chicken, ribs, steak, brisket; you name the meat, you can have it on a gluten-free diet. Meats are not part of the grain family, so they don’t contain any gluten at all.
Of course, this is just meat on its own. If you coat it, crumb it, or add sauce to it, you may find that you’ve added gluten to your meal.
Don’t lose hope, though. If you want to flavor your meat with something more than salt, pepper, and olive oil, there are alternatives to consider.
Try almond flour coating or oat crumbs for tasty chicken. For ribs, try malt-free basting sauce.
Are Barbecue French Fries Free From Gluten?
Yes, French fries are naturally gluten-free. Potatoes aren’t gluten-based, they’re starch-based, and starch doesn’t contain the gluten protein.
Again, however, you need to ensure that your BBQ French Fries aren’t covered in any spices, rubs, or sauces containing gluten. (Our rubs we use on our BBQ fries at Red Hot & Blue, however, are indeed gluten-free!)
Alternatives to add flavor to your BBQ fries include gluten-free spices and sauces. We’ll discuss those in a bit!
How Safe Are BBQ Sauces and Spices?
Often with BBQ sauces and dry spice rubs, the answer is no, they are not gluten-free.
Many sauces contain Worcestershire sauce, and this contains gluten. Certain flavors and sweeteners also contain the protein. Similarly, spices and rubs may have gluten flours and powders in their ingredients.
Luckily, with gluten-free diets becoming more prominent, there are hundreds of alternatives for you to choose from. Simply check the labels when shopping to ensure you buy gluten-free BBQ products.
If you were worried about gluten getting in the way of enjoying BBQ, there is no need to be.
Keep in mind that gluten is found in grains, sauces, and spices, so it’s easy enough to avoid. With all of the gluten alternatives available, there is also no need to compromise on flavor.
See also: BBQ for the Keto Diet