Summer’s here and grills are firing up all over!
Grilling and preparing our own food at home is usually not an issue for those of us who must live gluten-free. We know the rules and understand how to avoid cross-contamination.
But what about those neighborhood cookouts or family holiday get-togethers? Those can add a layer of concern and stress to the experience of a simple cookout. That shouldn’t be the case! Everyone deserves to enjoy some relaxing summer fun.
With these useful tips, we can.
The next time you’re invited over to toss burgers on the grill, say Yes! and use my 6 Tips for Avoiding Gluten on the Grill to take the stress out of your summer fun.
6 Tips for Avoiding Gluten on the Grill
1. Master the grill.
If grilled foods like burgers, hot dogs, or steaks are being served, there are a few tips to keep in mind. Don’t hesitate to offer your services to be Grill Master if it makes you feel better about keeping your food safe
2. Flatter the cook.
Ask for that “secret” ingredient for those succulent burgers.
Don’t take anything at face value…If burgers are served, feel free to ask if the burger patties are “only meat” or if they have anything “special” added.
Some cooks have special spice blends or ingredients they add (cracker crumbs, rice, oats) to enhance their burgers. Those could contain gluten.
3. Know your hosts’ dog.
Some hot dogs contain gluten, so be sure to read the label of hot dogs being served before digging in.
Some brands that claim to be gluten-free are Applegate Farms, Nathan’s Famous, Dietz & Watson, and Boar’s Head.
Always be sure to read the labels, as ingredients can change without notice to the consumer.
4. Get original (packaging).
If meats are marinated, ask your host about the ingredients in the marinade.
If it is a bottled or packaged marinade, ask to see the original container so you’re able to read the label carefully.
If gluten-containing marinades are used, ask to have your meat cooked without it.
5. Admire the “grate” grill.
Grilling gluten free foods on grates where gluten-containing foods are previously grilled contaminates the food. End of discussion. The flame will NOT “burn off” the gluten. (If I’ve been asked once, I’ve been asked 1000 times!)
The best practice is to start with a clean grill and cook gluten free foods first.
Alternatively, a section of the grill can be reserved for only gluten free foods if the grill is large enough.
As a last resort, use aluminum foil to put over the grill grates to cook your gluten free food separately.
Some people like to warm bread or buns on the grill (ugh). This usually occurs after everything else is cooked, but be sure the gluten free foods are removed from the grill before gluten-filled breads go on.
6. Do not share (utensils).
The No-Sharing-Utensils Rule applies to the grill, just as it does for any other food serving situation.
Tongs used to turn foods that contain gluten (for example, pork loin chops in a marinade that contains soy sauce) should not be used to turn that plain steak you’ve got your gluten-free eyes on.
Now, let’s head outdoors and fire up that grill!
Check out this radio interview I did with GFree Radio all about staying free from gluten when barbecue season begins!