There’s nothing like a good BBQ to bring friends and family together. However, they aren’t the easiest if you’re trying to live healthily. But, there are tons of options for people trying to watch their nutrition when it comes to BBQ and it can actually be one of the healthiest ways to cook when done right. Here are a few tips on how to make BBQ more healthy. We’ll focus on practical, simple solutions anyone can try without a lot of work.
Choose Healthier Protein
Many people choose to go for high-fat, high-calorie meats when holding a barbeque. If you want to make your barbecue healthier, try to look for alternative options like grilled chicken and turkey instead. Or, try grilling a few veggie ribs and corn dogs instead of the standard. If you’re going to stick with tried and true options, go for the leaner cuts of meat, remove the skin, and trim as much fat as possible.
Put Some Veggies on the Grill
Barbeques have a reputation for being unhealthy because of the side dishes. Instead of coleslaw and potato salad, try grilling corn, cabbage with barbeque sauce, or even fruit. If you don’t want to try to learn to grill vegetables, switch from grilling steaks alone to kebabs. Just throw some tomatoes, onions, bell peppers and other vegetables on the skewer. Or mix it up with zucchini and potato pieces on the kabobs.
Fruits like pineapple, mango, apples, and pears grill well. You could mix these up on kabobs to create a unique flavor with your meat and vegetables or combine them to create warm dessert kabobs.
Change Your Cooking Methods
One of the worst ways to cook something for a BBQ is to deep fry it. Pan frying is an option, but that doesn’t provide much flavor. A better alternative is smoking it. You’ll slow cook it in its own juices, locking in the flavor, while adding the smoke flavor in the process. You don’t have to spend hours supervising the cooker if you get an electric smoker. If you are interested in an electric smoker but don’t know where to start, you can find electric smoker reviews on a site like electricsmokercenter.com.
Mind the Marinades
Instead of smothering the meat in barbecue sauce, switch to low-calorie marinades like lemon juice, fruit juice, or herbs steeped in vinegar. If you are continually tempted to add sauce to keep the meat from drying out, consider cutting it into smaller pieces and cooking it faster.
Another option is marinating the meat in low-calorie mixes before you put it on the grill. If you’re grilling fish, consider planking instead. Planking is a cooking method that involves cooking the fish on a plank of wood that may or may not have been soaked in a marinade first. This prevents the fish from drying out while giving it extra flavor.
You don’t have to grill veggies and portobello burgers to make your barbecue healthier. A few changes in how you cook and the foods you prepare could be enough to make your barbecue good for you while still tasting great.