What Is The Difference Between Grilling & BBQ?
Do you love getting out on the deck or in the yard and firing up the grill? You are not alone. In the U.S. grill sales account for about 1.5 billion dollars per year and the industry is growing.
Grilling can take place on a propane grill or charcoal grill and all kinds proteins, vegetables and even fruit can be grilled. Burgers and hot dogs might be expected, but grilling technique can be applied to so much more – even when following the low FODMAP diet. (PS: We have a Grilled Pizza recipe too!).
No matter what kind of grill you are using you can grill using high(er) heat, often referred to as direct heat, or low(er) heat, either direct or as indirect heat. And of course, if you are using a propane grill those dials make it very easy to cook over low, medium or high heat depending on what you are cooking and the results you want.
Barbecue, or BBQ, is another matter. There is the traditional barbecue approach of slow cooking over a low temperature charcoal or wood fire and managing the smoke infusion (usually with the lid or some sort of enclosure), and then there is the popular approach, which might only involve a grill, something to grill, and a lower, slower cooking time.
Any which way you define it, name it, or approach it, now that you are eating low FODMAP we are here to tell you that you can and should continue to enjoy your grilled and BBQ meals.
- What Is The Difference Between Grilling & BBQ?
- Why Grill On The Low FODMAP Diet?
- When To Grill & BBQ
- Enjoy Your Grill and BBQ While Camping!
- 18 Favorite Low FODMAP Grill & BBQ Recipes
- The Best BBQ and Grill Ingredients
- 10 Favorite Low FODMAP BBQ Sauces & Oils
- Get Ready To Grill! BBQ & Grill Tools & Equipment
- The Takeaway
Why Grill On The Low FODMAP Diet?
While aroma, flavor and texture are all qualities that we look to when assessing our enjoyment of food, taste is the #1 reason folks say that they grill. The quality of the heat and the caramelization that occurs is unparalleled. Grilling food can make an ingredient that you typically cook in one way into a totally different experience just by the way it is cooked.
Most of the time grilled foods use few and simple ingredients – which is great when you are following the low FODMAP diet as it means you can have more control over what goes on your plate and into your body. More on that below.
And then there is the fact that the grill brings folks together!
Lori Aldridge, from Smoke ‘n Sanity low FODMAP certified seasonings, put it so well: “Casual barbecue and grilling is more our style. We do come from a competition BBQ background but now we are more about casual grilling and enjoying food with friends. Food brings people together and all of our camping friends have pulled together to make sure that I get to enjoy foods on my low FODMAP lifestyle.” You couldn’t ask for a better combination! Great friends and great BBQ.
When To Grill & BBQ
Apparently, the Fourth of July here in the U.S. is the most popular holiday to fire up the grill, but a very smart 73% of American grill owners also say they need no special reason. It’s Wednesday! Let’s grill! And we heartily agree. We don’t need a reason other than we feel like it, and we simply love the way food tastes when it comes off the grill. And as New Englanders we have found ways to keep the grill going all year ’round!
Enjoy Your Grill and BBQ While Camping!
We have an entire article all about camping and cooking while following the low FODMAP diet. So if you love to camp and grill this article is for you.
18 Favorite Low FODMAP Grill & BBQ Recipes
For some folks “grilling” and “BBQ” means meats and poultry, but we are more equal opportunity grillers. Bring on the steak, burgers, hot dogs, chicken, seafood, vegetables, even tofu. Heck, we have even grilled lettuce (more on that below)! When the grill is hot, we are inspired to cook.
Low FODMAP Grill and BBQ recipes:
- Quick Grilled Pork Tenderloin
- Grilled Vegetables
- Grilled Ribeye with Smoked Salt & Charred Vegetables
- Hangar Steak with Charmoula Sauce
- Spiced Yogurt Grilled Chicken
- Grilled Swordfish with Grilled Oranges & Fennel
- Grilled Swordfish with Tomato Olive Salsa
- Grilled Halloumi & Melon Salad
- Grilled Corn with Garlic Herb Butter
- Grilled Corn Salad with Parmesan & Parsley
- Grilled Corn Salsa
- Grilled Squid with Chiles & Mint
- Grilled Butterfly Leg of Lamb with Mint Salsa Verde
- Marinated Chicken & Vegetable Kebobs
- Grilled Tomato Peach Salsa
- Grilled Pineapple Kiwi Salsa
- Grilled Fish Kebobs with Lemon Dill Marinade
Let’s hit some high points of what makes low FODMAP grilling different.
The Best BBQ and Grill Ingredients
As with any cooking with the right ingredients on hand your experience will be more enjoyable, and you will get better results. Sometimes we grill something that is quite involved, but more often than not, less is more. You just need to use high quality products and get them on the fire.
Find all of your low FODMAP ingredients in our shop or download one of our Monash FODMAP trained RDN curated low FODMAP product supermarket shopping lists to make your trip to the market stress free. And be sure to have your pantry, fridge and freezer stocked with everything you need to stay on track with the diet.
Still feeling a bit anxious when shopping for low FODMAP products? Then you may want to read:
Choosing Excellent Quality Meat and Fish
Whether you are grilling meats or vegetables, buy the best you can. One of the best ways to ensure you always have high quality, humanely raised, affordable meat or poultry available is by subscribing to Butcher Box. And our choice for very high quality and sustainably sourced seafood is Vital Choice.
Spices and Seasonings Make All The Difference
Then hit the spice cabinet. Whether we are adding a dry seasoning and/or whipping up a sauce, herbs and spices comes into play.
And if you are a BBQ aficionado, you know that pretty much every conventional BBQ sauce out there contains garlic and onion, which are high FODMAP. What can a FODMAPer do?
Bringing Flavor To BBQ & Grilling The Low FODMAP Way
Smoke ‘n Sanity’s products are all Monash lab tested and certified low FODMAP and were born for this exact purpose – to bring flavor to those following the low FODMAP diet.
You can read our interview with the four founders (Lori, Travis, Brad and Michelle) in our article, Smoke ‘n Sanity: Bringing Flavor To The Low FODMAP Diet. These two couples are so serious about their BBQ that they competed heavily for years on the KCBS (Kansas City Barbeque Society) competition circuit. This is the big time, folks. And then Lori developed IBS.
That diagnosis was not going to keep them from eating well and Smoke ‘n Sanity was born. When we want to grill a steak, vegetable kebobs, or that lettuce we often find ourselves reaching for Smoke ‘n Sanity seasonings.
What We Love About Smoke ‘N Sanity Seasonings
- We have to start with SPG. This is Smoke ‘n Sanity’s Salt, Pepper, Garlic blend. Garlic? That’s right! This is a salty, peppery, garlic flavored seasoning that has been lab tested and certified low FODMAP by Monash University, as have ALL of their blends. We use this on everything! (And not just when grilling; how about on your morning eggs?)
- Our next fave is their SnS Triple S All Purpose Seasoning, which combines several chile peppers with salt, brown sugar and additional spices. It adds a hint of spice but is more complex than many “chili powder” blends (which are also typically high FODMAP), and that is what makes it so versatile. Grilled salmon, pork chops and chicken are particularly delicious seasoned with this versatile seasoning.
- OK, the aforementioned lettuce. Take Romaine hearts, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with either Smoke ‘n Sanity Garlic Parmesan or their Supper Club Ranch and grill until lightly charred. You will thank me.
- For a change of pace, try Smoke ‘n Sanity Sweet Maple Dust. This is not as dessert-y as it sounds. It begins with maple sugar and syrup, but spices like cumin, paprika, mustard flour, black pepper and a chile pepper blend round it out. Try it on salmon or even sweet potato fries. Or bacon!
- Garlic and onion lovers can get their fill. Think of Smoke ‘n Sanity’s Essence of Garlic Salt and Essence of Onion Salt as the workhorses of the low FODMAP kitchen. And yes, they are certified low FODMAP!
- Tex-Mex your thing? Grab a shaker jar of their Taco Seasoning, containing ancho chilli powder, salt, a blend of cumin, oregano and cayenne pepper and a small amount of sugar. Adding to ground beef or turkey for a taco is the obvious way to go, but how about a vegetarian taco with sautéed low FODMAP vegetables topped with a low FODMAP amount of avocado?
- Meat lover? The Smoke ‘n Sanity SteakHouse is all you need. Salt, basil, black pepper, bay leaf, thyme and some special seasonings make this a one-stop shop. And don’t stop at steak – this is fantastic with burgers and even steak fries.
- When I was a kid, my Mom always had Lawry’s Lemon Pepper around. She would take an inexpensive cut of steak, sprinkle it on and I loved it. Unfortunately, it contains both garlic and onion. Smoke ‘n Sanity Lemon Pepper to the rescue! Now I can enjoy this classic seasoning with the assuredness of the low FODMAP Monash certification. I use it on steak, fish, even veggies either roasted in the oven, grilled or kebobs.
- Partial to a bit if heat in your life? The Cajun Creole Seasoning features a combo of the Essence of Garlic and Essence of Onion along with paprika, additional seasonings and pure smoke flavor.
And Smoke ‘n Sanity is adding new products all the time so be sure to keep an eye out on their website and in this article.
More Good News
Smoke ‘n Sanity products are all manufactured in the USA, certified gluten-free, will never contain MSG and many are dairy free and/or kosher.
Another feature we love is that their products are available in easy-to-use-shaker containers, and many of them also in 1-pound (455 g) bulk bags for economy.
10 Favorite Low FODMAP BBQ Sauces & Oils
If you are looking for a wet sauce for your BBQ, we have several recipes for you, too.
Most infused-oils on the market are olive oil based, and that is great for some cooking, but vegetable-oil based infused oils are sometimes preferred. Try Tourangelle Garlic-Infused Oil if you want to purchase one ready-made.
For BBQ sauces, we have a bevy of choices:
- Low FODMAP BBQ Sauce 2.0 – a similar approach to the one in my cookbook The Low FODMAP Diet Step by Step (that’s the 1.0).
- Low FODMAP Sweet & Sticky BBQ Sauce – this is just like the ever-popular Sweet Baby Ray’s!
- Rhubarb BBQ Sauce – make in the spring and early summer when rhubarb is fresh.
- Orange Marmalade BBQ Sauce – a little sweet and easy to make with low FODMAP orange marmalade.
- Low FODMAP Hot & Tangy BBQ Sauce – just like it says: a balance of spicy/hot and tangy.
- Low FODMAP Blackberry Maple BBQ Sauce – this features low FODMAP maple syrup and the FODMAP Friendly lab tested and approved amount of blackberries.
- Low FODMAP Pineapple Whiskey BBQ Sauce – you do taste the whiskey, but just a tad.
- More to come from our Test Kitchen! What flavors would you like? Let us know in the comments below.
- For commercially prepared, try Fody Classic BBQ, unsweetened Fody Chipotle BBQ Sauce and Fody Maple BBQ Sauce.
Get Ready To Grill! BBQ & Grill Tools & Equipment
Let’s talk about grills, from simple to fancy, and about some of the tools that we find indispensable. You can enjoy all of your favorite BBQ and grilled dishes even if you have IBS and are following the low FODMAP diet. We have the recipes, you have the friends, grill and tools.
Our Top Pick For Grills
When it comes to grills themselves there are choices that fit your space, from a balcony to large yard, as well as your budget. There are even choices suitable for tailgating, camping or by the pool or pond. These are our top choices.
And as luck would have it, we just got notice from our favorite source for all things grilling – BBQ Guys – that they are having a major sale between April 19 – May 4th!
Have you seen the newer propane-fueled camp stoves? That can go with you anywhere. They are small enough for quick set-up on balconies and smaller outdoor spaces. Check out this CampChef Pro 60x 2-Burner.
Weber has a portable option; their Weber Q 1200 Portable Gas Grill – and you even have a wide range of color choices.
And then there is the classic charcoal-fired hibachi. Is this everyone’s first grill? It is a great way to get started; budget minded, easy to store and tote.
Gas grills range from small to very large, and also luxurious built-in models.
There is nothing like a Weber for quality and they have several entry-points depending on your needs and budget. The BBQGuys have a great system for shopping where you can view by “Economy” models, “Practical”, “Premium” and “Luxury”. They feature Weber as well as dozens of other brands. And they can answer any grill related questions you may have.
Spirit Line – These models are Weber’s more budget minded choices. The Weber Spirit E-310 is a great way to experience this quality brand. For a more indepth review the folks at Barbecue Logic provide a good overview here.
Genesis Line – The Genesis consistently rates high in consumer tests. We use a stainless-steel Weber Genesis II S-435 in our Test Kitchen. It features a side burner, prep surface and covered storage cabinet and plenty of hooks along the side for our tools.
Summit Line – If you have the budget the Summit grills are elegant workhorses and are a great choice if you often cook for larger groups. The Weber Grill Center (model 291001) has side burners, tons of storage and comes ready to go with a rotisserie.
For a high-end built-in check out the DCS Series 9 Evolution. 48-inches of cooking surface with rotisserie. This is a serious piece of equipment.
OK we admit it, we have both propane as well as charcoal grills at the Test Kitchen because frankly, we look at them as different cooking appliances. There are certain recipes, like Grilled Pizza (coming soon) that we believe must be made over charcoal. And then there are more everyday items like our Grilled Vegetables, or our Burgers, that we like any which way.
Again, charcoal grills vary in cost and you can find a price point to suit you.
Economy Charcoal Grill – The Weber Original Kettle Grill (18-inch model) can often be found discounted and offers Weber quality at a great price.
Classic Mid to High-Range Charcoal Grill – The Weber Master Touch 22-inch model has a one-touch cleaning system that saves time, muss and fuss. This model also features corrosion resistant construction, a built-in thermometer and plenty of hooks to hang your gear.
A discussion of charcoal grills is not complete without addressing kamado grills. What is a kamado grill? You might have heard of the Big Green Egg, which is an egg-shaped, ceramic grill and it is a popular brand of kamado-style grill, but there are other brands. Kamados feature ceramic walls which hold in heat in a way unlike other grills, making them unique in their structure, the way you use them and the results you get.
Kamado Joe Big Joe – This model offers 18-inches of cooking surface (there is a 24-inch model, too). This model comes with a grate gripper, ash tool, flexible cooking rack, accessory rack, and a heat deflector. It’s ready to cook whatever you fill it with!
Primo Oval Junior 200 – This kamado comes with a steel cart, offering prep space and storage beneath.
Those who love to smoke foods are in a class unto themselves; they would never be without a dedicated smoker. Smoked brisket anyone?
Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker – This is an 18-inch diameter smoker with an easy-access aluminum door for easily adding fuel while cooking. Adjustable vents control air flow and temperature. Smoke any meat from pork to a full-sized turkey.
Texas Original Pits Pearsal Vertical Offset Smoker – With 20x54x40x22-inch dimensions, this powerhouse is 1910 square inches between the main chamber, vertical chamber, and firebox for smoking and grilling. Hand-forged 1/4-inch steel double-welded to guarantee a leak-free, fuel efficient system. Framed grill grates designed for durability and long-lasting use. Two 3-inch temperature gauges so you can keep track of the heat in the vertical and main chambers. Includes built-in pot warmer, firebox clean-out tool, and 2-inch long 1-inch diameter grease drainpipe with pail hook.
Pellet grills have gained popularity as they offer an alternative and convenient heat source. Traeger is a well-respected brand.
Traeger Pro Series 22-inch – You can smoke, grill, bake, roast or braise. for multiple cooking options. Their Digital Pro controller system keeps the preset temperature within +/- 15 degrees Fahrenheit for precision cooking and dual probe meat thermometers allow you to grill different cuts of meat to different temperatures. Large capacity hopper (18 pounds) features easy clean-out for quickly changing smoke flavors.
Traeger Timberline 1300 Wi-Fi Controlled Wood Pellet Grill – This is top of the line with WiFi capability. Grill, smoke & monitor your Traeger wirelessly using the Traeger smart phone app, Google Home or Amazon Alexa! 1300 square inches of cooking space over 3 tiers. All adjustable. Double-walled stainless-steel interior insulates for superior temperature control. Extra-large 24-pound capacity hopper features a pellet sensor to monitor fuel levels and alerts you when running low.
Grill accessories are vast, but there are a few we think you must have.
For your larger units (maybe not that hibachi) we highly recommend that you buy a cover at the same time as your grill purchase to protect your investment. Or buy one now. It is never too late! You can buy generic covers for less money, but we do find that if a manufacturer has taken the time to have a cover made for an exact model, it is usually worth it.
For instance, for our Weber Genesis II S-435, we use THIS premium cover.
Please don’t grill with a dirty grill! Cleaning approaches and tools differ depending on what grill you own. Follow your manufacturer’s instructions. We have found a brush and a scraper to be indispensable. Also, stainless-steel mesh scrubbers are quite handy.
Chimney Starter/ Fire Starters
When we want to fire up our charcoal grill, the first thing we reach for is our chimney starter. They never fail and for many folks, getting the fire going is the one part they worry about. Worry no more.
Other folks like fire-start cubes and similar products. You can certainly go that route if your appliance allows (Not all do. Read your usage instructions).
Tongs & Mitts
Playing with fire is no joke. Be safe and protect yourself with high temperature mitts and extra sturdy, long utensils.
Wusthof Outdoor 4-Piece Stainless Steel BBQ Tool Set – With this set you will be prepared for anything. I find tongs get the most workout. They are a must.
BBQ Dragon Extreme Heat Grill Gloves – While I love the glove shape of these mitts, I have to say, someone has to start making mitts for small hands. If you know of any, let us know!
How do you tell the temperature of your fire or your food? We use a variety of thermometers often:
Instant Read – Rated #1 by Cook’s Illustrated, the Thermapen® Mk4 instant-read thermometer is the one we use in our Test Kitchen and it is accurate and easy to use. Lots of colors, too.
Infrared – Point and shoot! Assess the temperature of surfaces easily and safely with this Industrial IR (InfraRed) Gun.
Probe Thermometer – Want to be able to walk away and have a probe thermometer keep tabs on your cooking? The Signals™ BBQ Alarm Thermometer with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth® Wireless Technology features 4 channels for multiple meats, splash-proof molding for durable outside use, and magnetic backing for added placement options, 6 probe style choices, backlighting, a rechargeable battery and more.
Remote, WiFi, Multi-Probe – When it came time for us to get a probe thermometer for our Test Kitchen that would offer long-range, 165-foot Bluetooth connection and multiple probes with a wide range of temperature monitoring we chose the MEATER Long Range Smart Wireless Thermometer.
You can go crazy buying grill accessories, but a grill basket is versatile, and we use one often; great for potatoes, eggplant, summer squash, tomatoes, mushrooms and so much more. Try this one:
Weber 6434 Deluxe Large Stainless Steel Vegetable Grill Basket – It is 14 by 12-inches and fits on grills larger than 18 ½-inches. They have a smaller version, too.
Get out there and grill! The low FODMAP diet does not need to hold you back from these enjoyable activities – and if you have the right ingredients around it will be simple to do. Load up your spice drawer, make some do-ahead sauces and get grilling. Spice blends from Smoke ‘n Sanity make your cooking easier than ever and will inspire creativity. Your non-FODMAPing friends and family will enjoy your low FODMAP grilled foods, and your tummy will, too.