Grilling on Keto

BBQ on Keto

Grilling season brings the irresistible aroma of sizzling meats and the promise of communal feasts. But for those on a ketogenic diet, traditional BBQs can be a minefield of hidden carbs. Fear not, keto enthusiasts! This guide is your ticket to mastering the art of low-carb BBQ without sacrificing flavor or fun.

BBQ on Keto
Credits to NYC BBQ

Imagine juicy steaks, succulent chicken, and even mouth-watering seafood, all grilled to perfection and still within your carb count. We’ll share the secrets to choosing the right cuts, crafting flavorful marinades that won’t break the carb bank, and preparing side dishes so delicious you won’t miss the potatoes. So grab your tongs and get ready to transform your backyard into a BBQ on keto paradise.

What is Ketosis?

Embarking on a ketogenic journey means embracing a lifestyle where low-carb, high-fat foods reign supreme. This section delves into the core principles of the keto diet and how it paves the way for a healthier you.

Ketosis is a metabolic state where the body, deprived of its usual glucose from carbohydrates, turns to fat for fuel.

This switch results in the production of ketones, which become the primary energy source.

Achieving ketosis not only aids in weight loss but also enhances mental clarity and energy levels.

What is Ketosis?
Credits to Boldsky

Keto Diet Basics

The keto diet emphasizes a drastic reduction in carbohydrate intake, typically to less than 50 grams per day, and a proportional increase in fats. This balance encourages the body to remain in ketosis. Foods to savor include meats, leafy greens, above-ground vegetables, nuts, and seeds, while sugary snacks, grains, and starchy vegetables are to be avoided.

Keto Diet Basics
Credits to Dr. Axe

Preparing for a Keto BBQ

The key to a successful keto BBQ lies in the preparation. From selecting the best meats to creating flavorful marinades, this section covers all you need to ensure your grill fest is both delicious and keto-compliant.

Choosing the Right Meats

When it comes to keto, not all meats are created equal. Opt for high-fat cuts like ribeye steaks, pork belly, or thighs over leaner options. These cuts not only align with the keto fat requirements but also stay juicier and more flavorful when grilled.

Keto-Friendly Meat Choices:

  • Beef: Ribeye, New York strip, and T-bone steaks
  • Pork: Belly, ribs, and shoulder
  • Poultry: Thighs and wings with skin on
  • Lamb: Chops and leg
Choosing the Right Meats for BBQ on Keto
Credits to The Today Show

Keto-Friendly Marinades and Rubs

Marinades and rubs infuse meats with flavor without adding carbs if done right. Use herbs, spices, and keto-approved liquids like apple cider vinegar, citrus juices, and olive oil to create a marinade that packs a punch without the sugar.

Simple Keto Marinade Recipe:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Two cloves garlic, minced
  • One tablespoon of Dijon mustard
  • One teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • A mix of your favourite herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano)


  1. Whisk all ingredients together until well combined.
  2. Pour over your chosen meats and let marinate for at least 30 minutes before grilling.

With these preparations in place, you’re all set to host a BBQ that will have everyone coming back for seconds, all while sticking to your keto goals. So light up the grill and let the flavours do the talking!

Grilling on Keto

Mastering the art of keto grilling is all about the right techniques and the perfect low-carb sides. This section will guide you through the process of cooking up a keto-friendly BBQ feast that’s as delicious as it is nutritious.

Grilling on Keto
Credits to Diet-to-Go

Techniques and Tips

Grilling on keto doesn’t have to be complicated. Start with a clean grill to prevent sticking and flare-ups. Keep the temperature moderate to avoid charring, which can add unwanted carbs. Use a meat thermometer to ensure your meats reach the ideal internal temperature without overcooking.

Keto Grilling Tips:

  • Preheat the grill to ensure even cooking.
  • Oil the grates to prevent sticking.
  • Turn meats only once to retain juices.
  • Let the meat rest after grilling for juicier results.

Side Dishes and Salads

No BBQ is complete without side dishes. On keto, you can get creative with salads and veggie sides that complement your grilled meats.

Side Dishes and Salads for BBQ on Keto
Credits to Redbook

Keto Coleslaw:

  • 1/2 head of cabbage, shredded
  • 1/4 cup of mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • One teaspoon of erythritol (or another keto-friendly sweetener)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Combine the cabbage with the mayonnaise, vinegar, erythritol, salt, and pepper.
  2. Mix well and refrigerate for an hour before serving.

Grilled Asparagus:

  • 1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Toss the asparagus in olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  2. Grill over medium heat until tender, about 5-7 minutes.

With these techniques and side dish recipes, your keto BBQ will be a hit. The key is to focus on the natural flavours of the food and the joy of grilling. Enjoy the process, and your guests will enjoy the results!

BBQ on Keto Recipes

Transform your keto BBQ with these delectable recipes that are sure to impress. Whether you’re a meat lover or a seafood aficionado, we’ve got you covered with dishes that pack a flavorful punch while keeping carbs at bay.

Meat Lovers’ Feast

For those who revel in the rich flavors of meat, these keto-friendly recipes will be the highlight of your BBQ.

Keto Beef Brisket:

BBQ on Keto Beef Brisket:
Credits to Middlebury Coop
  • 3 lbs beef brisket
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper (optional for heat)
  1. Combine all dry ingredients to create your rub.
  2. Massage the rub into the brisket, ensuring all sides are covered.
  3. Let the brisket sit with the rub for at least an hour.
  4. Grill over indirect heat at a low temperature for 4-6 hours or until tender.

Keto Pork Ribs:

BBQ on Keto Pork Ribs
Credits to Ruled Me
  1. 2 racks of pork ribs
  2. 1/4 cup brown mustard
  3. 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  4. 1 tablespoon chilli powder
  5. 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  6. 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  7. Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs.
  2. Mix mustard and vinegar and brush over the ribs.
  3. Combine the dry spices and sprinkle generously over the ribs.
  4. Grill over medium heat for 1-1.5 hours, turning occasionally until done.

Seafood Selection

Seafood is a fantastic option for a lighter yet equally satisfying keto BBQ dish.

Grilled Lemon-Garlic Shrimp:

Zesty Grilled Shrimp BBQ low-carb recipes
  • 1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, paprika, salt, and pepper.
  2. Toss the shrimp in the marinade and let sit for 15-30 minutes.
  3. Skewer the shrimp and grill for 2-3 minutes on each side or until opaque.

Spicy Grilled Salmon:

BBQ on Keto Spicy Grilled Salmon
Credits to Whip It Up With Jay
  • 4 salmon fillets
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (or coconut aminos for a soy-free option)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
  • 1 teaspoon erythritol
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
  • 1 clove garlic, minced


  1. Combine soy sauce, olive oil, Sriracha, erythritol, ginger, and garlic to create the marinade.
  2. Coat the salmon fillets with the marinade and let them sit for 30 minutes.
  3. Grill the salmon for 5-7 minutes on each side or until cooked to your liking.

These recipes are designed to make your keto BBQ not just a meal but an experience. Enjoy the rich, smoky flavors and the satisfaction of sticking to your keto goals. Bon appétit!

Eating Out: Keto BBQ Restaurants

Even when you’re not manning the grill, you can still enjoy a keto-friendly BBQ experience. This section provides tips for selecting the right restaurant and making smart choices that align with your keto lifestyle.

What to Look For

When searching for a keto-friendly BBQ restaurant, look for places that offer a variety of meat options and are willing to accommodate special dietary requests. Restaurants that smoke their meats without adding sugary sauces or glazes are ideal.

Key Features of Keto-Friendly BBQ Restaurants:

  • A clear indication of low-carb options on the menu.
  • Availability of high-fat cuts of meat.
  • Transparency about ingredients used in marinades and sauces.

Navigating the Menu

Once you’ve found a promising spot, it’s time to navigate the menu with a keto-focused lens. Opt for dishes that feature meats without breading or sugary sauces. Don’t hesitate to ask for modifications, such as swapping out fries for a side salad or extra vegetables.

Smart Keto Choices:

  • Smoked Meats: Brisket, ribs, pulled pork—ask for them dry (without sauce).
  • Grilled Options: Steaks, chicken, fish—seasoned with herbs and spices.
  • Sides: Look for green salads, grilled vegetables, or coleslaw made without sugar.

Final Thoughts

As our exploration of keto-friendly BBQ comes to a close, we reflect on the savory journey we’ve embarked upon. We’ve uncovered the secrets to grilling sumptuous meats that align with the stringent requirements of a ketogenic lifestyle, and we’ve discovered that a world of flavor awaits us, even within the boundaries of low-carb living.

The art of BBQ on keto is not just about maintaining a diet; it’s about celebrating food and the joy it brings to our lives. It’s about gathering with friends and family and sharing a meal that’s both healthy and heartwarming. It’s about not compromising on taste while we commit to our health goals.

So, as you stoke the flames of your next BBQ, remember that the keto way doesn’t mean missing out. It means reimagining the possibilities of what a BBQ can be. With the right knowledge and a bit of creativity, every BBQ can be a keto-friendly feast.

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