Gluten Free Beer & Food Combos: The BBQ
Glorious summer, beer and barbecues; could there be a better Australian combination? Yes... when the food and beer is gluten free so that everyone can enjoy!
Unfortunately, the quintessential Australian meal – after an afternoon in the pool or on the beach – often comes with bread, salads, meats and beer... mostly containing gluten.
It's actually not that hard for hosts to create a gluten free barbecue, safe for everyone to enjoy – even if guests are gluten free or vegan.
How to BBQ for gluten free guests
1. Check for gluten free meat, condiments and salad ingredients at the butcher, grocery or supermarket, or make your own from scratch where you have time, energy and appetite – that way you know what goes into your food!
Food pairing BBQ with beer
Not much beats sitting outside drinking a cold one with a plate of ribs, chicken wings and potato salad, surrounded by family and friends. But it's not just about grabbing any beer from the esky. The beer that’s best with burgers probably isn’t going to do much for your chicken wings or prawns – and don't forget about the vegan bbq beer combos such as Jackfruit 'pulled pork' sliders with coleslaw matching beautifully with an XPA – the dialled up bitterness and hoppiness balancing strong flavours.
Whether it's steak and session ale, seafood and sour, poultry or pork and pale ale or sweets and stout, food and beer pairing always suggests best practice is to move from beers lighter in colour and body, to darker beers with each course. Food is usually the same – moving from appetisers and salads to deeper flavours and heavier foods, such as beef.
Beers such as Pulp Fusion Passion Fruit Sour – with lower IBUs (bitterness) – work well with the delicate taste of seafood.
IPA and other hoppy styles cut through the grease of a burger and provide that bitter kick that's missing, connecting nicely with the char of the burger’s grill-cooked patty.
Fatty and rich Sausages can also handle the bitterness of an IPA, or the fortitude of a stronger beer, but the best match is a German lager. The true pairing power lies in the interaction with common toppings – relish, mustard, sauerkraut and cooked onions balance beautifully with the soft maltiness of a pilsner.
Cooking BBQ with beer
Don't forget that it's hot work for the chef too – a GFB or Lager is perfect to have on hand to stay cool – but you can actually infuse beer to the food too.
For the more technical pit-masters out there, beer also works well as a marinade or brine or braising liquid. A lager, for example, will act as an acid to soften connective tissues and melt collagen and allow moisture in for beautifully tender and juicy meats.
By adding beer to a drip pan or water basin, beer can also act as a humidifier and impart flavour when using a rotisserie, roaster or smoker – and if you're using the drip pan to make a sauce, it'll already have those beautiful beer flavours.
As any experienced smoker will know, it's beneficial to keep things a little steamy – you can use beer in a spray bottle, or as a mop sauce to keep the outside of your delicious meal moist. This ensures that the smoky flavour sticks to the surface and penetrates the meat.
As mentioned above, beer also makes for a great barbecue sauce base. Add a few spices and sugar, and then simmer for sweet results – and remember to think about the style of beer, according to the style sauce!