Grilling with family and friends is one of the best things about summer. Enjoying the outdoors and a delicious feast is a wonderful way to spend a day. On the other hand, certain BBQ favorites – mayonnaise-based salads, sugary drinks, fatty meats in sweet sauces – can take a toll on your waistline and health. Fortunately, it is easy to lighten up your barbecue and still enjoy delicious flavors.
Of course, all the tips in the world don’t matter if you aren’t grilling your foods to the proper internal temperatures. Your meals will be cooked to perfection with the help of our Elite Thermocouple Digital Food Thermometer.
Within 7 seconds, you will know if your meat has been cooked to the optimal temperature or if it needs to cook a little longer. The easy to read large 1.5″ LCD display also has a blue backlight for viewing in low light.
Here are 15 things you can do to enjoy guilt-free grilling at your next BBQ:
Use leaner meats
Choose lean cuts beef or pork and trim off any of visible fat. A little brush of olive oil can help keep leaner cuts from drying out over a higher flame.
Make a better burger
Lighten up your burger by using 90/10 lean beef and grating in zucchini or carrots for extra moisture and nutrition. Skip the beef altogether and choose lean ground turkey or chicken. Here are more ideas for slimming down your burger.
Skip the bread
Make your meal low carb by using romaine lettuce, collard greens, or another sturdy lettuce as a wrap in place of a bun.
Swap out the cheese
Use toppings such heart healthy avocado, grilled onions, pickles, and juicy tomato to top your meat instead of cheese.
Use better condiments
Condiments can have added sweeteners and be laden with fat. Instead, make healthier choices such as spicy mustard, fresh salsa, kimchi, or tahini.
Keep portion sizes in check by measuring out servings with your Pro Digital Food Scale. It can weigh in ounces, pounds, grams or kilograms so portions are accurate. The tare function also zeros out the weight of a plate or bowl and any previous ingredients.
Fish can be grilled whole, filets, or in chunks on a kebab. Marinate it in a little olive oil, fresh herbs, and lemon or lime juice for a healthy and flavorful dish.
Lighten up marinades
Commercial marinades and barbecue sauces often include a lot of extra sugars and other unwanted ingredients. Make your own to lighten up your dish and keep calories in check.
Skip the mayo
Skipping the mayo in pasta and potato salads not only lightens up your dish, it also reduces the risk of foods spoiling. Instead, choose a flavorful vinaigrette dressing or a pesto sauce.
If you absolutely need a creamy dip, use a low-fat mayonnaise, sour cream, or plain Greek yogurt instead of mayo. All will add a creamy texture in flavor without extra fat.
Enjoy the crunch
Thinly sliced crispy vegetables, such as zucchini, bell peppers, jicama, and carrots, make a great stand in for veggie chips. Serve baked tortilla chips, whole grain crackers, and black bean chips instead of your standard chips and pretzels.
Choose whole grains
Choose whole wheat pasta to make your famous pasta salad. And consider other whole grains such as faro or quinoa for side dishes.
Grilled veggies are sweet and crisp; serve them with hummus or a vinaigrette dipping sauce. Prepare a crisp salad with a variety of hearty lettuces and garden-fresh veggies and a homemade dressing. Here are a few of our favorite salad dressing recipes.
A burger and a beer may go great together, but choose a light version to keep your calorie count down. Skip the sugary cocktails and opt for a glass of wine. Serve lightly sweetened iced tea and sparkling water flavored with fresh fruit slices.
Yes, it’s true – grilled fruit makes a delicious dessert. Sprinkle with cinnamon or a dash of vanilla before grilling for extra flavor. Make fruit kebabs and serve with melted chocolate chips for a dipping sauce.
You may also enjoy The Secrets to a Successful and Healthy Summer BBQ.
Do you have a favorite healthy barbecue food? Tweet it to us at @EatSmartScales.