Ultimate Keto Macros Grilling Guide
With a protein heavy diet, many will gravitate to a grill or BBQ.
Grilling up some keto diet friendly foods is easily done when you apply a few tips and techniques to your efforts. Seasoning, marinades, and a few simple tools deliver amazingly tasty results to satisfy your stomach and your ketogenic macros. Our keto grilling guide will help you on your food prep journey.
The BBQ is a staple of meal prep efforts on our Keto Macros diet, not only does it add flavor without carbs, but it allows you to prepare multiple meals worth of protein in one session. As we follow a protein focused methodology, chicken is a common staple item in our household. If we are cooking steaks as a nice end of week treat, another 4 – 6 pounds of chicken will go on the grill as well. Having proteins prepped ahead of time will make mid-week low carb meals much easier to pull together, especially so on days the meal plan doesn’t work out. Whether it be from surprise guests to food spoilage, things do happen to derail the best laid keto diet meal preparations.
Having proteins prepped ahead of time will make mid-week low carb meals much easier to pull together, especially so on days the meal plan doesn’t work out. Whether it be from surprise guests to food spoilage, things do happen to derail the best laid keto diet meal preparations.
You can make any size or type of grill or BBQ work for Keto Macros meal prep.
We use both propane and charcoal depending on what is being made, how much of it, and the amount of time available. While the flavor from mesquite lump charcoal is hard to beat, you can use alternate methods on a propane grill to still deliver that wood fired taste. Well soaked wood chips in a metal container really help to bridge the gap between charcoal and gas. Either way, you will end up with low carb breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.
With two adults on a protein focused Keto Macros diet, our household’s protein consumption is higher than most. As much as I would love to just eat a prime ribeye everyday our food budget and keto macros won’t allow for that. Chicken provides a great amount of protein while being lower in fat, especially lean white meat. My preference is for thighs, but even with those we have to be cognizant as they are much higher in fat than breast meat. Pricing and quality generally run fairly even for both, with options available at a range of price points.
Making up the bulk of our protein it’s important to change up seasonings and marinades, doing so will keep it interesting and desirable. A low carb diet incorporating a variety of flavors is much easier to adhere to.
To make chicken shine on the grill preparation is of upmost importance.
Chicken is the meat where we really experiment with a variety of sugar free brines, low carb marinades, and keto friendly seasonings. Brining is the process of submerging meat in a liquid solution of salt, sugar, and seasonings. For a low carb approach we will leave out the sugar and not taste any significant difference. We usually opt for a combination pickle juice, salt, garlic, onion, and herbs.
Allowing your meat to sit refrigerated overnight in the brine will prevent it from drying out while cooking at high heat. The end result is moist chicken with flavor throughout. Prior to grilling remove the chicken from the brine and toss with olive or avocado oil to prevent sticking and to help sear the exterior. Chicken needs to be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees for food safety so monitor temperature carefully. Doing so will ensure your chicken is not overdone and you will be rewarded with perfectly cooked low carb meals full of flavor.
The second most popular item to grace our BBQ are a variety of red meats. Typically, we will rotate through a variety of Ribeye, New York Strip, and Top Sirloin. Prime is the gold standard of meat grading but it also comes at a very significant markup to other Choice and Select grades. Most Keto Macros dieters will be quite pleased though with Select grade instead as it strikes a good balance of fattiness to lean tissue.
Grilling a steak requires much less preparation than our chicken endeavors. Success is centered on following a process and allowing the meat, rather than seasonings, to shine.
To ensure even cooking throughout allow the steaks to come up to room temperature and season prior to cooking.
Salting the steak is important and there are a million different methodologies and viewpoints on it. Generally, I will either salt immediately prior to cooking or at least 45 minutes prior. Each achieve slightly different effects upon searing and flavor, but both result in the taste and flavor profile we enjoy. On occasion we will also dust with other low carb seasonings varying from garlic powder to a coffee rub. While that can be unconventional, don’t let others rules dictate how you make your food, experiment and enjoy the results.
Grilling red meat simply requires a watchful eye and high heat. Start by placing the steaks on a hot grill and allow to sear for approximately 4 minutes, aiming for a nice crust to lock in the juices and flavor. Flipping the steaks is the midpoint of the cooking process and the remaining time will be dependent on the temperature, thickness of cut, and level of doneness preferred.
We prefer our steaks medium rare, so once they reach an internal temperature of 130 degrees they are removed from the grill and placed on a plate. Loosely tenting with foil will cause the internal temperature increase to 135 degrees, giving you perfectly cooked medium rare steaks. For medium doneness remove at 140 degrees and medium-well at 150 degrees. Allow the steaks to rest for at least 5 minutes to allow juices to settle and not be lost when cutting.
Notice how closely the doneness will vary based on a few degrees? That is why a reliable Food Thermometer is of upmost importance.
It will ensure you are cooking chicken and pork to a safe temperature and not overcooking pricey steaks. While being one of the least expensive tools we use for meal prep, it is one that would be hard to live without. Being able to consistently cook low carb proteins will make your Keto Macros diet much simpler.
Fortunately, the tools and accessories for keto grilling are at a reasonable price point. It’s well worth the small cost differential to purchase quality items that will last and be enjoyable to work with.