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Gluten-Free Barbecue Safety

How to Prepare, and What to Watch Out For

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Updated July 02, 2009

Gluten-Free Barbecue Safety
Photo by Nick White / Getty Images
If anyone at your BBQ or cookout has celiac disease, you'll need to serve some gluten-free barbecue food. These days, many classic barbecue foods can be made or bought in gluten-free forms, so having celiac disease and being on a gluten-free diet does not mean anyone must miss out on the pleasures of grilling. Just follow these guidelines for gluten-free BBQ safety.

Buy or bake gluten-free hamburger and hot dog buns.
Gluten-free buns for hamburgers and hot dogs used to be dry and crumbly, but today's rolls and buns are much tastier. A variety of ready-made gluten-free buns are available in stores and online, or you can make your own.

Make sure all sauces, marinades and condiments are gluten-free.
If you like to use marinades and sauces when you grill meats and vegetables, make sure any that you choose are gluten-free. If you’re a guest at someone else’s barbecue, your hosts must be careful not to marinate your food in gluten-containing sauces and to keep your food off contaminated grill surfaces.

Keep gluten-free food off contaminated grill surfaces.
Gluten-free food cannot be cooked on grates that have been contaminated with drippings from gluten-containing sauces or marinades. Try to grill the gluten-free food first, when the grates are clean, or else reserve a section of the grates just for the gluten-free food (be sure nothing with gluten drips onto it). If these measures are not possible, grill the gluten-free food on aluminum foil or in packets that will keep it off the grill surface.

Avoid other sources of cross-contamination.
Make sure separate sets of utensils are used for gluten-free food preparation. In particular, be careful that utensils used to handle gluten-free food on the grill are not also used on food that been marinated or coated with gluten-containing sauces. Also, be sure the barbecue hosts understand how to protect gluten-free food from cross-contamination.

Enjoy traditional barbecue favorites!
There's probably a gluten-free version of almost every classic barbecue food. If your favorite recipes are not already gluten-free, here are some new ones to get you started.

If You Have Food Allergies
If you have any food allergies, additional precautions might be in order. (Celiac disease, of course, is not an allergy.)

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