BBQ Survival Guide

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By Staff Reports

(DGIwire) — Want to get through BBQ season while maintaining that leanTurboCharged body that you worked so hard to get bathing-suit ready?   Here’s a handy survival guide for navigating BBQ season.

The core of the typical BBQ menu is food that is cooked on the grill. Traditionally, barbecue meat is slow cooked over indirect heat. The most popular meat choices would include pork shoulder, ribs, brisket and chicken. However, fish, steak, sausage, hamburgers and hot dogs are probably the most common choices.  Any of these choices, particularly the fish, chicken or steak, as long as they have not been over salted, over cooked or covered with some other sugar based coating are the best choices because they are usually the least processed.  Feel free to go with your favorite or whatever you’re in the mood for but, don’t try to sample everything because you’ll end up eating way too much food.

Salads are common sides at a typical barbecue. Potato salad is likely the most popular, but coleslaw, macaroni salad and pasta salad are also common favorites.   These are best avoided because they are usually high in calories, fat and starchy carbohydrates, providing little nutritional value.  Side salads including fruit salad, a garden salad, cucumber salad or bean salad are becoming more common.  You should stick with these and if you are going to bring a dish with you, any one of these would be a good choice.  Try to stack your plate with mostly salad and a smaller amount of meat(s). Most attendees will probably do the opposite!

Grilled vegetables are also now a popular choice for most barbecue menus, corn on the cob is a core.  Baked beans are also a common menu item. Like barbecue meats, baked beans tend to be most flavorful when they are slow cooked, however, most baked beans are loaded with sugar.  Stick with the grilled veggies, which are usually just coated with a little olive oil prior to grilling.  Feel free to try the corn but don’t drench it with butter.  You may be surprised just how good it tastes plain.

Most traditional barbecue menus have some type of bread or rolls. Cornbread, hamburger and hotdog rolls or even dinner rolls are served at some barbecues.  It’s best to skip any bread or just have a very small taste if it is homemade.  Most commercially made choices are just junk food.

Skip the cake or cookies and opt for fresh, whole fruit or fruit salad if you’re in the mood for something sweet.

Most barbeques are like all-you-can-eat buffets.  You’ll need to plan ahead and exercise some discretion and discipline.  If not, you may regret your decisions and end up with a serious case of indigestion.

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