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Author Topic: Sugar-free barbeque?  (Read 573 times)

Bedwyr

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Sugar-free barbeque?
« on: 08 September 2019, 14:21:54 »
Hey off-topic hivemind.

I figured that there might be a good population of clever BBQ chefs here, so I thought I'd bring up a conundrum and check with you all about options for cooking and barbecuing without sugar. My girlfriend is allergic to both sugar and honey. Alternatives like Stevia and agave nectar are alright, but real sucrose is basically a blanket no-go. That includes, unfortunately, molasses.

Some options I'm thinking about:
- a good dry rub long-smoke meat is almost certainly fine, but I'd have to find a good recipe that doesn't rely on molasses or brown sugar.
- Substituting agave for honey might very well work. I'm not sure if it can replace molasses in any capacity as there's nothing that's caramelized.
- Some other sauce that doesn't, actually, rely on sweetness to work well.

I still have to double-check
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Daryk

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Re: Sugar-free barbeque?
« Reply #1 on: 08 September 2019, 14:39:56 »
I think Carolina BBQ is based on vinegar, so that might be sugar-free.  Worth looking into at least...

glitterboy2098

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Re: Sugar-free barbeque?
« Reply #2 on: 08 September 2019, 14:53:18 »
most artificial sugar substitutes (sucralose [splenda], Aspartame [Equal/Nutrisweet], etc) have some pretty nasty chamical interactions when used for such purposes, so they aren't really an option.

my suggestion is to focus on a sauce and seasoning that doesn't rely on sweetness, and then just use the Agave nectar where a touch of sweet is required.

Feenix74

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Re: Sugar-free barbeque?
« Reply #3 on: 09 September 2019, 19:57:05 »
How is your GF with spicy food?

If she is ok with it then make your own Portugese Chicken seasoning: Paprika, Salt, Chilli (dried flakes), Oregano and a bit of grated Lemon Rind.

Usually it has sugar in there as well but it works fine without the sugar. Just rub onto chicken pieces/breast and then throw it on the BBQ grill over a medium heat (I usually fillet the breast so that it cook through evenly with out turning the outside into charcoal).


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Colt Ward

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Re: Sugar-free barbeque?
« Reply #4 on: 10 September 2019, 11:09:01 »
I think Carolina BBQ is based on vinegar, so that might be sugar-free.  Worth looking into at least...

BBQ is either tomato (acid) or vinegar (another acid) while still having some form of sweeteners- the acid is to break down & tenderize the meat.

I have a couple of ideas, but its going to come down to the what/how of the allergy- is it refined sugars?  I ask b/c natural fruit juices- like freshly squeezed- are a bit different than any of the refined sugar, heck even raw sugar will turn out to be different.

Feenix also has a fine point, how hot/spicy can it be?
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snewsom2997

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Re: Sugar-free barbeque?
« Reply #5 on: 10 September 2019, 11:13:57 »
Can she replace sugar with fruit juice? Is she OK with Fructose?

Apple-cider vinegar
Unsweetend Apple Juice
Salt
Pepper
Garlic
Paprika
Cayenne

If you cook the apple juice down, low and slow, and thicken it a little, it takes on molasses type qualities, Dark Brown Color, sweet, but its is a little more runny.
You can do the same with Agave, though it is not as sweet.

Bedwyr

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Re: Sugar-free barbeque?
« Reply #6 on: 10 September 2019, 16:29:47 »
Thanks for all the suggestions. So the allergy situation of the GF is that she's dealt with proliferating allergies for most of her life. Pets are mostly out, for example (she's ok visiting and enjoying doggo cuddles with maybe an antihistamine afterward).

AFAIK, Sucrose is bad, Fructose is ok. Spice is also fine within reason (no bhut jolokias).
Alas poor Photobucket. I knew him Horatio, a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy.

Colt Ward

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Re: Sugar-free barbeque?
« Reply #7 on: 10 September 2019, 17:02:48 »
As far as doggies, poodles IIRC and definitely Yorkies are for those with allergy problems- they have hair compared to fur.

If fructose is in, you will just have to experiment with juices- though I suggest concentrates from health food stores, you avoid having to cook down water to thicken it up.  Absolutely no ketchup (legal definition requires % of sugar), you will need to check tomato sauces if you go that route or vinegar base as mentioned- typically the vinegars include mustard IIRC.

My suggestion to for starting off with substituting juices is to look up Caribbean Jerk recipes, I will have to check mine at home but it has OJ, fresh squeezed lemon and I add limes at time.  Look at the meat/portion to juice ratio and you should be able to figure out how much you need to get it to work as sweetener.  One other thing you might consider is looking at diabetic or other special diet recipes- https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/recipes/jerk-chicken has a smaller amount of sugar than other recipes I spot checked, makes it easier to substitute.

Another possibility is using stuff like raspberry-habanero preserves as a component.  Not jellies- IIRC they use lots of sugar.  Preserves have the highest fruit ratio, and again you lose a lot of the moisture from a juice that you would need to reduce.  From what I can quickly find, berries are usually best for sugar-free preserves- it mentions blackberries, strawberries and raspberries in particular.

Hmm, I might have to sneak some raspberry-habanero preserves into the caribbean jerk recipe next time.
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Bedwyr

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Re: Sugar-free barbeque?
« Reply #8 on: 10 September 2019, 17:37:24 »
Basically it sounds like there's still a need to get good caramelization and that cooked fructose/fruit products might fit the need.

My old go-to rub was pretty basic and simple: brown sugar, pepper melange, garlic powder, salt, cayenne, chili powder. It works pretty well on a lot of cuts including salmon. I'm pretty amenable to creating something totally different, but also seeing if there's a way to make a similar smoking recipe to the old standby.
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CrossfirePilot

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Re: Sugar-free barbeque?
« Reply #9 on: 14 September 2019, 00:06:17 »
Wife makes a great rub for chicken and pork. I'll ask if she has something for you.

Kidd

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Re: Sugar-free barbeque?
« Reply #10 on: 14 September 2019, 00:19:56 »
I haven't tried it myself, but my friend says that replacing sugar with stevia in baking and sweetening foods works. Just look up the proper equivalent amounts and bung in that many stevia tablets dissolved in a bit of water.

For barbecue, try the stevia trick on your wet marinade and sauce, and delete the sugar from your dry rub. Yes you'll miss some of the caramelisation, but at least the taste  should still be roughly thereabouts.

I'm avoiding refined sugar too and to get my fix I make applesauce and coconut water popsicles. Other people I know eat sugar beets but I dislike the taste.


Ruger

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Re: Sugar-free barbeque?
« Reply #12 on: 14 September 2019, 07:07:45 »
I haven't tried it myself, but my friend says that replacing sugar with stevia in baking and sweetening foods works. Just look up the proper equivalent amounts and bung in that many stevia tablets dissolved in a bit of water.

For barbecue, try the stevia trick on your wet marinade and sauce, and delete the sugar from your dry rub. Yes you'll miss some of the caramelisation, but at least the taste  should still be roughly thereabouts.

I'm avoiding refined sugar too and to get my fix I make applesauce and coconut water popsicles. Other people I know eat sugar beets but I dislike the taste.

I tried Stevia as a sugar substitute back when I was first trying to cut out as much sugar as possible. Couldn’t stand the taste of the result.

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Kidd

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Re: Sugar-free barbeque?
« Reply #13 on: 14 September 2019, 08:04:07 »
Oh yeah, can your girlfriend take unsweetened chocolate?

Usually chocolate is off-limits to allergy-prone people, but just trying to cover bases here

You could do a mole style BBQ with unsweetened chocolate and I think that'd be pretty unique and smash the tastebuds

Another possibility is pure maple syrup, my friend who can't take sugar or honey, says that he can take that

I tried Stevia as a sugar substitute back when I was first trying to cut out as much sugar as possible. Couldn’t stand the taste of the result.

Ruger
I agree, ****** knows it's like H2O for chocolate, but it tastes better than aspartame and sucralose anyhow

That's why I still have to eat fruits to get that kick
« Last Edit: 14 September 2019, 08:05:45 by Kidd »

R.Tempest

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Re: Sugar-free barbeque?
« Reply #14 on: 15 September 2019, 22:12:42 »
 May not be barbecue but you can try a coffee rub. This works on steak (I don't think it would work on pork or chicken & certainly not on any seafood). Take couple of tablespoons of instant coffee. Grind it into a fine powder (I use the back of the tablespoon). Take the meat and lightly score it with a sharp knife, making the cuts about an inch apart but no more the a millimeter or so deep. Rub the coffee over the meat, trying to get any large bits of the coffee in the cuts. Let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour. Grill as normal. The coffee should caramelize a bit.
 Don't be surprised if your other guests go crazy trying to figure out why this tastes so familiar to them, it's not what people expect to taste from steak.

Fear Factory

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Re: Sugar-free barbeque?
« Reply #15 on: 15 September 2019, 22:21:31 »
Sweet natural things to try:

Coconut Sugar
REAL Maple Syrup
Stevia
Agave Nectar - low glycemic, high in fructose

glitterboy2098

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Re: Sugar-free barbeque?
« Reply #16 on: 15 September 2019, 23:43:25 »
I agree, ****** knows it's like H2O for chocolate, but it tastes better than aspartame and sucralose anyhow
must be a relative tastes thing, i find i prefer sucralose to anything else. i've found that a 50/50 stevia surcralose mix works pretty well.

(half my family is diabetic and my mom is allergic to just about anything but stevia and sucralose. so we've gotten pretty good at finding the right mix for stuff. for BBQ we've mainly just switched to dry rubs though. we were never too fond of the sugary seasonings on those to begin with)

CrossfirePilot

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Re: Sugar-free barbeque?
« Reply #17 on: 16 September 2019, 15:29:21 »
My wife uses a simple rub of salt, pepper, garlic and lime juice.  Seems to work great on chicken and pork.

Daryk

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Re: Sugar-free barbeque?
« Reply #18 on: 16 September 2019, 16:50:18 »
Heck that sounds like it would be good on beef too...  ^-^

Kidd

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Re: Sugar-free barbeque?
« Reply #19 on: 16 September 2019, 18:49:44 »
must be a relative tastes thing, i find i prefer sucralose to anything else. i've found that a 50/50 stevia surcralose mix works pretty well.

It's all literally a matter of taste of course

Possibly there are differences by manufacturer

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Re: Sugar-free barbeque?
« Reply #20 on: 17 September 2019, 01:49:03 »
Strange as it may seem, Down Under we wouldn't tend to use sugar in barbequeing at all. Spice rubs & marinades would be the go. Get a jar of tandoori paste, rub it on pieces of lamb or chicken, and let it sit half an hour. Then bbq very hot. Harissa, likewise, for beef. Dukkah for lamb or chicken. Garlic & soy sauce for chicken or fish.

Or - dangerous as it may seem - season the meat with salt & pepper, & bbq like that. Radical, I know ;)
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Bedwyr

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Re: Sugar-free barbeque?
« Reply #21 on: 17 September 2019, 01:52:45 »
Pork cuts or brisket will probably be on tap, I think.
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Re: Sugar-free barbeque?
« Reply #22 on: 17 September 2019, 09:51:17 »
My wife uses a simple rub of salt, pepper, garlic and lime juice.  Seems to work great on chicken and pork.

I do similar once in a while.

Garlic powder, Onion Powder, Fresh Cracked Black Pepper, Sea Salt, and Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice on chicken.

It comes out really well.

Colt Ward

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Re: Sugar-free barbeque?
« Reply #23 on: 17 September 2019, 11:59:23 »
worktroll, some of it gets into chemistry . . . sugar & salt 'cure' the meat which due to prep & duration has different effects.  Same sort of reasons most of your (in US) sauce & marinades use a acid as the base w/ tomato or vinegar.  I think the OP is not just asking about sauces to put on while its cooking but to leave sitting as a marinade.

Not sure if this was mentioned, but another thing you might want to try is a unsweetened apple sauce as part of it, I would think it would be a vinegar base using apple cider vinegar.

In regards to the afore mentioned salt/sugar curing.  My folks had pigs butchered and we got really fresh unprocessed pork from the packer.  We tried to salt cure some of it once- basically sit the cuts in salt water overnight, drawing out excess water from the meat & fat as well as some of the fats.  It was a mess, and I am not sure we did it right though the meat did 'shrink' a bit and was less fatty/greasy than some of the other we used.  Generally I prefer salt cured pork instead of sugar cured stuff.
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Kidd

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Re: Sugar-free barbeque?
« Reply #24 on: 17 September 2019, 19:22:53 »
Besides, it tastes good

We're biologically programmed to favour food sources dense in nutrition. Which is why we like sugary, fatty, meaty foods. Not so much the low calorie grass and trees....

 

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