I absolutely love BBQ....ribs, pulled pork, pulled chicken, 1/2 chicken, brisket, etc. The meat is cooked low and slow and falls off the bone and is super juicy. I am getting hungry just thinking about it.
Most restaurants BBQ their meats with their own special rubs and sometimes BBQ sauce and then top it off with additional BBQ sauce. Most BBQ sauce contains tons of sugar from a variety of sources but if you ask for it dry they won't add more BBQ sauce. With that said, how paleo is traditional BBQ if you ask for it dry knowing the meat is probably cooked with some sugar in the rub and definitely sugar in the BBQ sauce.
It also begs to question if there are any other known non-paleo ingredients in the rub or sauces?
Most traditional BBQ places aren't going to share their "secret" recipe, though they may tell you if it has sugar in it.
Some rubs use sugar, some don't. Some rubs with use nightshade spices, which aren't an issue for most people, but could be for others. Pretty much every sauce, even the vinegar based ones will have some sugar.
Personally, I would try to keep it to eating the BBQ about once a month and not worry about the sugar. Order it the way you love it.
If this is something you are eating once a week or more, order it dry and make your own "Paleo" BBQ sauce.
I don't think that having some BBQ periodically is that bad. I would view it as more of a "cheat" or "vice". That being said, if you want to eat it often, I would definitely request a list of ingredients, or at least ask what the sugar content of the rub is.
If you find some BBQ without any sugar, go for it! Slow cooked meat is totally paleo!
I've actually made my own cream based (yes, cream based!) 'BBQ' sauce. Not paleo, but at least primal.
Take your pan drippings, add in some tamarind paste, tomato paste, chili powder, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and any other spices that grab your fancy (but that ought to do it). Then add cream!
Sounds really weird, but tastes pretty decent.
Sorry I don't have any exact measurements, I always do it by eye/smell/taste.
BTW, I've tried preparing my own tamarind paste from raw tamarind pods, but it's an awful lot of trouble and using a prepared paste is just so much easier.
Get a smoker if you can afford one and eat bbq until your belly hurts. If you can't afford a smoker, you can go a long way with an oven and a grokpot. I love bbq, dry, or with a vinegar based sauce. Pulled pork, brisket, oh my.
If/when you make your own, try Son of Grok's BBQ sauce: http://www.sonofgrok.com/2009/06/sog-zesty-bbq-zauce/
I haven't tried it yet myself but it comes highly recommended.
And yes, MSG it a common commercial BBQ ingredient, while worchestershire (even Lea & Perrins' so called traditional recipe) typically contains HFCS.
I fry all of my meat for a long time at a low temperature in the absence of sugars to decrease the carcinogen load. Seems like even finding a "safe" BBQ sauce would only address part of the problem.
Edit: Just re-read the title; yeah I guess it's "paleo."
Perhaps worse than sugar, many "sauces" contain the devil's fat in high concentrations (i.e., omega-6 PUFAs from vegetable seed oils).
Simple Paleo versions of most any sauce or condiment are quite easy to make; if you can't find a recipe outright, just find a conventional receipe and adjust accordingly to make it paleo (e.g., forego the sugar, and replace any veg seed oils with healthy alternatives).
Let your meat slow cook until it falls apart,but isn't dry.Then add a good mustard/vinegar sauce, a side of homemade slaw(cabbage,carrot,shallot,sour cream,salt,pepper,dill and a pinch of garlic) and some sweet potato fries.Good eating.
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