Everyone Loves Barbecue! Especially Low-Carb Barbecue
And at first glance, a rack of ribs or some barbecued chicken seems ideal for us low carb types. But there’s a problem with virtually all commercial barbecue: the sauce. It’s sugary. Often you’ll get as much as 12 grams of sugar in a two-tablespoon serving – and who stops at two tablespoons? So it behooves us to learn how to turn out fabulous barbecue at home. I’ve always been a good cook, but until I learned the difference between grilling and barbecuing, I would try to grill ribs, and cremated them. Then I learned how to slow-smoke food. Now my ribs, chicken, even turkey, turn out succulent, smoky, and delicious every time.
You’ll need to be around all afternoon. Barbecuing is perfect for a Saturday spent puttering around the yard! Figure 5-6 hours for a slab of ribs, 7-8 hours for a pork shoulder, 3-4 hours for turkey legs, and 1 1/2 – 2 hours for chicken with the skin on and the bone in.
You’ll need wood chips, to make smoke. I get mine at Kmart. Throw a pile of them in a big bowl or coffee can full of water and set them by the grill. Let them soak at least an hour or two before you start cooking.
Your grill must have a lid to hold the smoke in. Start your fire on just one side of the grill – pile the charcoal at one side, or turn only one burner on in your gas grill. Put a disposable aluminum pan under the other side, for drippings. Close the lid to let it heat.
Go sprinkle dry rub seasoning on your meat! A good basic rub is: 1/4 cup each black pepper
and paprika, 3 tablespoons Splenda, 2 tablespoons salt, 2 teaspoons dry mustard, and 2 teaspoons cayenne. This will have 1 gram of usable carb per tablespoon. But there are lots of rub recipes; most can be de-carbed by swapping Splenda for sugar.
When the fire is ready – coals gone ashy, temperature at 225 (use an oven thermometer) – put the food over the drip pan. Put a piece of aluminum foil on the grill right over the fire, and Throw a big handful of the soaked wood on it. Then shut the lid. You’ll need to add more chips to the fire every 30 minutes throughout your cooking time. If you’re using a charcoal grill, you’ll have to add more charcoal, too, to keep the fire going – which is the reason I own a gas grill!
Mix 1-2 tablespoons of your rub with 1/2 cup water, broth, or light beer, plus 1/2 cup olive or peanut oil. This is a basic mop, and will keep your barbecue moist while adding flavor. Let your meat cook for a half hour, then mop every time you add more chips. Do turn your barbecue over and baste both sides.
Time’s almost up? Twenty minutes before your barbecue is due to come off the grill, coat it with “finishing sauce” – what most of us call barbecue sauce. If you put it on sooner, it will just turn black and nasty.
There are some good low carb barbecue sauces on the market; CarbSmart promotes Nature’s Hollow brand. (It’s sweetened with xylitol, so be super-careful your dogs don’t make off with a chunk of barbecue. Xylitol is toxic to dogs.) Or make your favorite recipe, using low carb ketchup instead of regular, and Splenda in place of the sugar or honey. Recipe calls for brown sugar? Half a teaspoon of blackstrap molasses per 1/2 cup Splenda adds brown sugar flavor, but only 2 grams of carb to the total recipe.
Here’s a recipe with so much flavor, it needs no finishing sauce!
Dana Carpender’s Low-Carb Killer Smoked Turkey Legs Recipe
(Reprinted from The Low Carb Barbecue Book by Dana Carpender by permission. Fair Winds Press, 2004)
© 2010 by Dana Carpender. Used by kind permission of the fiery author. What do you think? Please send Dana your comments to Dana Carpender.