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Thread: Sugar-Free BBQ?

  1. #1
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    Sugar-Free BBQ?

    My wife and I are trying to make healthier choices in our lifestyle. This extends to what we eat, and by extension, to what/how we cook. One of our goals, if you can call it that, is to reduce (ideally eliminate) sugar from our diet. I'll be honest I'm struggling with this one because of how many of BBQ favorites include sugar in either the rubs or the sauces. The sauce bit doesn't bother me so much, because typically I can just skip the sauce. But that only works if the meat is seasoned and cooked properly. Unfortunately, most of my favorite recipes include sugar (sometimes seemingly copious amounts) in the rub. True, there are times when I can just omit the sugar and the food turns out well (for instance with Jim's All-Night Brisket Rub featured on this Virtual Weber Bullet Cook), but there are others where there is so much sugar that I fear skipping it will completely change the flavor profile and potentially the texture (The Renowned Mr. Brown for instance).

    Anyway, I figured I'd take a shot in the dark and see if anybody here has a favorite low-/no-sugar rub or sauce recipe that they'd be willing to share with me. Because if I can't find a good solution, I fear I'll have to hang up my BBQ tongs or settle for bland food.... and really what's the fun in that?

    So... can you help a tvbb-brother out?
    -Brian
    18.5" WSM, 22.5" OTG, 18.5" OTG-ish (Modified from OTS)

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    Don't hang up your tongs just yet. I have quite a few BBQ sauce recipes in my collection. Before I start typing up a storm, are there any no no's other than sugar I should know about? Like the first recipe I came across is called Tandoori-Style Barbeque Sauce, but it does call for 1/4 cup of plain yogurt. Is that ok? I will keep looking. I also have quite a few recipes for rubs. Checking them out.
    Last edited by Joan; 08-07-2019 at 05:20 PM.

  3. #3
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    Brian, how is this for starters?

    "This rub is a little sweet, a little hot, with just a hint of clove. It can be used on just about anything that you plan to barbecue, that is, to cook over low, indirect heat for a long period of time. For large red-meat roasts, such as leg of lamb or standing rib, increase the cayenne pepper from one teaspoon to one tablespoon and substitute one teaspoon cinnamon for the ground cloves. Rub keeps for up to 6 weeks if tightly covered and stored in a cool, dark place."

    All-Purpose Barbecue Rub
    makes 1 cup

    1/2 cup paprika
    2 TB. ground cumin
    2 TB. chili powder
    2 TB. ground black pepper
    1 tsp. cayenne pepper
    1/2 tsp. ground cloves

    Mix all ingredients in small bowl.

  4. #4
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    I found one from Jamie Purviance

    New Orleans Barbecue Rub
    makes about 3 TB.

    1 TB. smoked paprika
    1 tsp. granulated garlic
    1 tsp. granulated onion
    1 tsp. dried oregano
    1 tsp. dried thyme
    1 tsp. kosher salt
    1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper

    In a small bowl mix the ingredients

    Source: Weber's Time to Grill - Jamie Purviance

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    I'm not the biggest fan of yogurt, so you can save that recipe (or you can share it for someone else to enjoy). So aside from my personal tastes, there isn't anything else that needs to be avoided.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Johnson View Post
    I'm not the biggest fan of yogurt, so you can save that recipe (or you can share it for someone else to enjoy). So aside from my personal tastes, there isn't anything else that needs to be avoided.
    You didn't say anything about the rubs. I am going to assume that they are not to your liking also.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joan View Post
    You didn't say anything about the rubs. I am going to assume that they are not to your liking also.
    Sorry, I got distracted. Kids melting down at bedtime etc. Anyway, both of the rubs you posted sound good. Think I'll try one on some ribs this weekend!

  8. #8
    Moderator Chris Allingham's Avatar
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    There's Sugarless Texas Sprinkle in this spareribs article.

    Sugarless Texas Sprinkle Barbecue Rub

    1/3 cup table salt
    1/4 cup paprika
    3 Tablespoons chili powder
    2 Tablespoons ground black pepper
    1 Tablespoon ground cumin
    1 Tablespoon granulated garlic powder
    1 Tablespoon cayenne

    Makes about 1 cup of rub.

    from Paul Kirk's Championship Barbecue Sauces

    It should also be mentioned that you can use a 50/50 mix of kosher salt and coarse black pepper on any meat and call it Texas barbecue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joan View Post
    Like the first recipe I came across is called Tandoori-Style Barbeque Sauce, but it does call for 1/4 cup of plain yogurt. Is that ok?
    Sure, why not? I have a Cooks Illustrated recipe for Tikka Masala. The chicken is coated with yogurt/oil/garlic/ginger and broiled. It’s excellent. There is really no yogurt left but it makes the chicken moist and tasty.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Johnson View Post
    I'm not the biggest fan of yogurt,
    You should try it on chicken as a marinade once. It really does wonders for the chicken as a coating that you don’t taste when it’s done.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Allingham View Post
    There's Sugarless Texas Sprinkle in this spareribs article.

    Sugarless Texas Sprinkle Barbecue Rub

    Paul Kirk's Championship Barbecue Sauces
    Chris, thanks for reminding me of this book. I have it. I forgot all about this, "Oklahoma Vinegar Barbecue Sauce". I copied it some years ago and never made it. It sounds like what I would like not only as a mop, but also as a dipping sauce. Recipe on request.

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