29 Autoimmune Paleo Barbecue and Grilling Tips

It's only the beginning of August, but there's still time to light the barbecue a few more times before autumn starts to sneak in. 

If you're on a gluten, grain or dairy-free diet then barbecues are quite a good option. If I'm invited to one I find there's always something for me to eat, especially if I can bring along some home-made (AIP-legal) burgers for everyone too. A handful of meat, some salsa, salad dressings and a few salad leaves and I'm sorted. 

Here are a few tips I've put together after a lot of practice - I love barbecues!
Try some of these:
  • Spatchcocked chicken or poussin - marinate with garlic, parsley, lemon and coconut oil. Cooking it in the crisp skin keeps the bird juicy and flavoursome - just make sure it's cooked all the way through.
  • You can barbecue whole squid. It'll take just a few minutes. Grill it until you can see the barbecue lines and then turn over. Toss the hot, cooked squid in garlic, parsley and olive oil. 

  • Burgers - pork, turkey, beef or lamb burgers (without egg or breadcrumbs) and wrapped in a crisp lettuce leaf with a rasher of crisp, cooked bacon
  • Artichokes are heavenly when barbecued. Try this recipe but you can use coconut oil instead of the olive oil. 
  • Sausages - while hot dog franks are safely out on AIP, good-quality sausages are possible. However, even paleo ones (with no breadcumbs) still often contain nightshade spices and black pepper. If you can find AIP compliant sausages (or if you can make your own), they're beautiful with some chimichurri salsa (leave out the pimentón in the recipe).  
  • Offal will barbecue too. Try grilling liver and hearts, which can also be made into kebabs. You can also cut the liver up and add it to the standard burger mixture.
  • Sweet potato slices - cut them thinly and bbq - or wrap whole sweet potatoes in foil lightly and bbq in the coals/on grill - lovely with lime and coriander leaf. 
  • Lamb chops - grill for a few minutes per side.
  • Grill half an avocado until the dark stripes of the grill appear. Oil the bars of the grill well. This will give a lovely smokiness to guacamole, salads and salsas. 
  • Palm hearts from a tin can be placed on the barbecued and cooked until lightly golden. Eat them with meat and you'll get a creaminess that is (sort of) similar to cheese. 

  • Salmon kebabs - squeeze with lime and sprinkle with cilantro before cooking - spear boneless salmon onto a skewer. 
  • Try barbecuing salmon fillets or the whole fish - either wrapped in foil or on the grill itself. Other good fish to try are tuna, or any firm-fleshed variety. 
  • Sardines work brilliantly on the barbecue, as do mackerel. Try with a beetroot and grated horseradish dip.
  • The BBQ favourite - steak. Cut into thin slices and grill for a few minutes or until done to your liking, turning a few times. Don't forget the chimichurri! 
  • King prawns in their shells grill very well. Cook until the shells are pink and slightly golden.
  • Mussels in their shell can be barbecued - just make a little pouch out of foil and add a slosh of wine (it's ok if it's cooked) or a splash of water. Seal up the packet and place on the barbecue until they've all opened up. You can also sprinkle in some chopped garlic, parsley, coriander leaf or other AIP-compliant spices and herbs if you like. 
  • Kebabs - try lamb and artichoke hearts together and pork with slices of apple.

  • Bananas - grill on the BBQ in their skins. They turn mushy and sweet and are wonderful with whipped coconut cream. Ripe bananas work best. 
  • Grilled plums with whipped coconut cream - half them and remove the seed and place directly on the bars of the grill. 
  • Grilled pineapple slices on bbq - try with squeeze of lime afterwards and some AIP-compliant toasted coconut ice cream
  • Strawberries and raspberries can also be warmed in a foil packet placed on the BBQ. 
  • Salads - add figs and strawberries for a special summery treat. 
  • Dressings - try ones with pomegranate molasses or a vinaigrette of lemon juice, olive oil and salt - this one would be good with fish. 
  • AIP puds are eaten in moderation only but if it's a special occasion and a hot day, an AIP-compliant ice cream can be a blessing. Make up a stash of these lollies if cooking fruit on the barbecue is too much. 
  • AIP tacos - using the upturned leaves of little gem lettuce - add cucumber, avocado, red onion and add shredded meats or fish. 
  • Crockpot pulled pork - take the pressure off the barbecue if you're feeding a lot of people and have a pork shoulder cooking in the crockpot or slow cooker. Once it's done (about 4-5 hours) shred it with a couple of forks and pile up on plates for everyone to eat with salad.
  • For a different flavour, try rubbing pomegranate molasses into chicken strips and then grilling for a tart-sweetness.
  • Where you previously would have served something on a bun, think about serving it either on a stick (kebabs, sausages - corn dog style) or wrapping it in a lettuce leaf. No plates (and less washing up and fiddling with cutlery!).