This time, our goal is to make all of you seasoned (in every sense) summer grillers. Obviously, we hope you’ll enjoy our very own Tapioca Rice hamburger and hot dog buns next time you fire up the grill, but our focus here isn’t on GF BBQ-themed foods per se, but on how those foods are prepared.
First and foremost, if your BBQ grill is also used to grill gluten buns and meats that are marinated with gluten products, you should seriously consider buying a new BBQ wholly dedicated to GF foods. Sure, this is a rather expensive proposition and may not be in the cards just now, but considering the health ramifications involved, you might decide you can’t afford not to make this important investment. There are also less expensive options such as a smaller round grill or an in-home electric grill such as the George Foreman.
However, if you do opt to use your existing BBQ, be sure to thoroughly clean the grill before each and every use and to heat up your GF foods first – before the gluten-packed foods take center stage. In addition, always be certain your utensils, pans, work surfaces and other tools are free of gluten. To really play it safe, simply use separate sets of utensils for gluten-free food preparation.
Now a few suggestions if you’re a guest at a BBQ rather than a host:
- If you don’t have the option of having your GF food grilled on a clean grill first (or are worried the host’s grill isn’t clean enough), use aluminum foil as a buffer between your food and the grill
- Bring a dish or two you know is safe (a fruit salad, perhaps). Your host will understand, plus you can bring something everyone can enjoy
- Go over the planned menu with your host in advance so you can anticipate what’s safe for you to eat and what isn’t; again, they’ll completely understand (and if they don’t, find another party to go to!)
- Ask that the meat be grilled first and the buns after, so you can get a hold of your burgers or hot dogs before they’ve been contaminated by gluten (also, offer to bring your own buns)
- Consider bringing GF alcoholic beverages if you’re planning to have a drink or two and aren’t sure what’s on tap at the party
- Do your label-reading homework and be completely certain any sauces or marinades being served are fully GF
Now for the really easy part – have a great time!!!