Whole30 and BBQ

Amber was doing the Whole30 diet for the month of June. I wanted to support her throughout the month so I participated. Basically you can only eat meat, fruits, and vegetables. Nothing processed. I even made smoked pork belly for breakfast. You know I love barbecue. It was going to be tough, but it worked out fine as long as you take the time to research and plan everything out. I could not have BBQ sauce, but I typically do not use sauce anyways. Here is what my BBQ eating looked like in June:

I stopped in at Schmidt Family Barbecue the first day of the month. I ordered brisket and chicken. Salt, pepper, and smoke. Simple. I stayed away from the ribs because there was sugar in the rub, and I had no idea what went into sausage they get from Kreuz Market. I made a rookie mistake. I ate pickles. The store bought pickles have a preservative in them, and that's a no-no. I fudged up on day one of the diet.
My blogged turned three on June 10th so I celebrated by going back to the place that got my blog off the ground. I wrote a review of Micklethwait Craft Meats early on, and Daniel Vaughn shared it to the world. I went with brisket, a pork rib, smoked strip loin, barbacoa (beef cheek), pulled pork, and sliced lamb shoulder. Tom Micklethwait uses a simple rub of salt and pepper so I was able to eat most of the menu. The sausage of the day had cheese in it so I stayed away. The homemade pickles were an added bonus.
I was writing a piece for Eater on Lockhart barbecue so I needed to get some newer shots of Chisholm Trail Bar-B-Que. I was able to order the Texas Trinity with no issues. You can get the pork ribs without a glaze. The sausage is seasoned with basic ingredients so I was happy with that. The pickles are only for show in this picture.
For one of my Sunday Project Smoke Days, I wanted to cook up some pork ribs. I seasoned the baby backs with just salt and pepper. I could not use a BBQ sauce or sugar for a sweet glaze so I had to find a way to add a touch of sweetness. I decided threw a third of a pineapple and a jalapeño in the Vitamix. Glazed the ribs an hour before they were done. The ribs turned out well. The meat was smoky, juicy, sweet, and spicy. A nice balance.
I had not been to Terry Black's Barbecue in a while. I also had never gotten a beef rib from there neither. Because I was limited to what I could eat, I knew I could finish the beef rib easily. Ordered a slice of moist brisket as well. Both were cooked perfectly. The beef rib had a nice crust and was super tender. Once again pickles were for decorative purposes.
Another Sunday, another smoke project. This time I decided to smoke chicken thighs and drumsticks. Once the chicken was close to being done, I covered them in a mango habanero (one mango/one habanero) purée. These were wonderful. Just enough sweetness with a good kick.
I am working on an updated review of Freedmen's Bar so I dropped in on a Friday. I ordered brisket, pulled pork, and sausage with grilled coleslaw. I checked with pitmaster Evan LeRoy ahead of time. He was very accommodating and helpful. The pulled pork has a finishing sauce that was not Whole30 approved so I asked for it not to be added. The sausage has pink salt. When I Googled pink salt, Himalayan pink salt was returned which was fine on the diet. Pink salt is actually a nitrate which is a preservative I found out later after the fact. Doh! The menu listed what was in the coleslaw (cider vinegar, caraway seed, cilantro), but it left out honey. The menu now says honey on it. The pickled vegetables added a nice change of pace.
My parents came to town and wanted to eat barbecue because they read my article on Eater. Hay's County BBQ is good, quick, and painless so I took them there. Amber and I ate the brisket, pork ribs, turkey, pork chop, and avocado. My parents ate that and everything else (also a ring of jalapeño and cheese sausage not pictured). Hay's has one of Amber's favorite briskets. My parents said it was the best barbecue they ever had. They have had bad experiences with BBQ in the past so do not eat it very often.
I lost 10 pounds in the month of June so you can definitely eat barbecue on a diet. I did miss not being able to eat the sides, banana pudding, and the homemade bread from Micklethwait and focaccia from Freedmen's. I only messed up twice on the diet. Both happened to be while I was eating barbecue out. With some careful planning, Whole30 and BBQ can coexist.

Until next time, happy smoking...

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