Grilling-Gluten Free

As I sit here writing this, it is hard to believe that here in the United States, it is only two short weeks until Memorial Day.

It seems that for those of us in the U.S., Memorial Day is the official start to summer.

Summer has always been my favorite season.  I love the warm weather, the sunny days, the swimming, playing and cooking outside.  Unless it’s raining, you’ll find me outside, (and sometimes even if it’s raining.  I have a black lab pup that doesn’t care about the rain).

Now if you’re talking about cooking outside, 9 times out of 10, you’re talking about grilling.  I love to grill and in fact at my house I’m the grill master. 😉

Now being a celiac, there are a few things I need to watch out for when I’m grilling or going over to a barbecue at a friend’s house.

One thing to watch out for is cross contamination.  Cross contamination can occur when glutenous foods are cooked on the grill and then gluten free food is cooked without the grill being cleaned inbetween.

It can also happen when drippings from a marinade containing gluten, drips on your gluten free food, or on the grill before you place your food on the grill.  At my house, I just don’t use marinades with gluten in them.  There are just so many marinades out there that are gluten free that taste spectacular, that I don’t see the reason for risking it.

However, it’s very easy to avoid cross contamination while grilling by taking  just a few precautions:

Clean a section of the grill where only gluten free food will be cooked.  To clean the grill, it’s just a matter of using a stiff wire brush to scrape the surface of the grill while the grill is hot, to remove any residual glutenous food particles.

If  you are a guest at a barbecue and are concerned about cross contamination, ask your host if you can have your food cooked first, have a small section of the grill kept just for your gluten free food, or if you just don’t feel comfortable with those options, wrap your food in foil before you place it on the grill.

Happy Grilling.

Mary Blackburn has been gluten free since 1988 and is the owner of  She invites you to visit her site for more gluten free living tips and recipes.  While you’re there, take a moment to sign up for The Gluten Free Gazette, her bi-weekly newsletter filled with articles and answers to your questions about gluten, gluten free living and celiac disease.

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