Gluten Free Grilling Tips

It’s my favorite season of all… summer! There are few things in life that make me happier than sun, shorts, flip flops, and the beach. And with all of those favorite things comes grilling. In case you haven’t noticed from all of my previous posts, I love food (but probably not as much as Oprah loves bread).

We grill year round but definitely step up our game in the warmer months. I’m talking steaks, kabobs, fruit, whole birds, ribs, you name it. As you might remember, my husband has had to go gluten free, so I’ve made it my mission to figure out how to best grill some great gluten free meals for him. Luckily, it hasn’t been as hard as I thought!

Clean the Grill

This goes beyond a grill brush – I use hot, soapy water after grilling something that might contain gluten. I also always grill his food first and separately if I am worried about cross contamination.

Of course that’s easy to do when we’re home. It gets slightly more complicated when we go out to a BBQ. Depending on where we are (family vs. close friends vs. friends of friends), we will either offer to clean their grill for them (to ensure it is clean), bring our own food (ready to eat or to be put on the grill), or opt not to eat if we’re not sure that it’s “safe”.

This may be a bit overkill if you’re not super sensitive to gluten, and merely trying to avoid it as best you can. There is a big difference between celiac disease and a gluten sensitivity – it’s important to know your tolerance levels.

Check Your Ingredients

It’s very important to read the labels, we know this. But it’s important to do this for things you might never have considered, like alcohol, marinades, dips, condiments, buns, and so on. Gluten is in nearly everything, it seems, so be sure “gluten free” is on the label.

Keep It Simple

Remember – meats and seafoods are gluten free! That means you can enjoy a great steak or piece of fish without worry (as long as the grill is clean). Be careful with binders in hamburgers or hot dogs, but again, just be sure to read labels (or consult the cook).

My go-to marinade (at least 1 hour, but the longer the better): 1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil, 2 T. apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup key lime juice, onion powder, Montreal chicken seasoning, lemon pepper, and Italian seasoning. Just be sure to confirm your spices are also gluten free.

Bring Food You Can Eat

If you’re attending a BBQ, rather than hosting, be sure to bring a dish or two that is gluten free and you know you can eat – and will enjoy 🙂 This could be an appetizer, a side dish, or a dessert. By bringing “safe” food, you know that if nothing else you can eat what you provided.

Eat Before You Leave Home

Again, if you are attending a cookout outside of your home, sometimes it is easiest to eat prior to leaving. That way you won’t be starving at the party, and won’t feel the stress of finding food you can eat. It’s unfortunate, but sometimes that’s just life with a food allergy.

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Tom and Lauren Tate met each other in college and fell in love (there may or may not have been alcohol involved). Years later, they got married, had a baby and now live happily in Southeastern PA with their little boy. Lauren manages the home, while Tom manages projects at a software company. While their interests range from cooking and working out (her) and playing guitar and video games (him), together they manage to maintain a blog, Little Old Home (www.littleoldhome.com).

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