Plant-Based BBQ Explained:

To define Plant-Based Barbecue precisely would be difficult. A collaboration between old and new, Plant-Based Barbecue revolutionizes today’s food choices while remaining true to a classic flavor profile and technique. Plant-Based BBQ is the most straightforward approach to a plant-based lifestyle. Smokiness, Sweetness, Spice, Savory – all familiar qualities in food most of us know and love. Subtracting meat products from this flavorful equation in no way eliminates nostalgia or tastiness. In fact, a more plant-forward approach to BBQ enhances what we already know. Expanding the knowledge of a home cook or BBQ Pitmaster to include plant-based products is ultimately beneficial to all of us who are obsessed with Barbecue.


We all love BBQ. We don’t all love the strenuous process it takes to achieve mouthwatering BBQ successfully. Introducing plant-based products – tempeh, seitan, tofu, and vegetables – relinquishes some of the time constraints often experienced with traditional BBQ. For the Pitmasters and BBQ experts, incorporating these products enhances an already established technique. 

Plant-Based Barbecue lends itself to easier preparation, less time in the smoker, and quicker turnaround for family meals. Compared to a more meat-centric alternative, plant-based options allow for peace of mind and variation when planning weekly meals and larger-scale catering events. Are you entertaining guests for a summer backyard BBQ? How about mesquite-smoked eggplant with tempeh ribs? A 200 person wedding reception? Why not BBQ pulled Jackfruit tacos? The ease and adaptability made possible by a plant-based BBQ menu are reason enough to consider those tempeh ribs. 

Hesitation for fusing traditional BBQ techniques with plant-based products is understandable. Those of us that commit years of practice, dedication, and effort to the art of perfecting traditional meat-driven BBQ techniques are understandably skeptical. Given the regional disputes already deep-rooted in the meat-loving BBQ world, imagine throwing tofu into the mix! However, the proof is in the sauce, and consumers are speaking through their pocketbooks. Dry Rubs and BBQ sauces free of salt, sugar, and meat products are flying off shelves and piling up in online carts every day. Even the meat-eating customer understands the versatility, adaptability, and variety that comes with purchasing a plant-based BBQ sauce or dry rub. Not to mention, it’s delicious!

Your Health Matters

Adhering to a plant-based diet, especially for a BBQ lover, seems like a giant undertaking. Deciding on the plant-based lifestyle and forgoing the foods you once loved can be tragic. But leave the tragedy with Shakespeare! Plant-Based BBQ is not a loss of what you once loved; it’s an enhancement to your palate and your health. Adopting plant-based products in your BBQ repertoire is an enjoyable way to lighten up your diet, yet not miss out on the robust flavors of classic BBQ. 

Now more than ever, managing our health is of utmost importance. As the data piles up, we can no longer ignore the health risks associated with some diet choices that we so blindly made in the past. Artificial colorings, high fructose corn syrups, exorbitant levels of salt – all proven to be detrimental to your physical wellbeing and all present in most commercial BBQ sauces and dry rubs on the market today. Not to mention the high level saturated fat found in most meat-products, directly raising your blood cholesterol. 
Diet and health are subjective, so making specific health claims about plant-based BBQ is futile. However, according to recent data by the Journal of the American Heart Association, plant-based diets are associated with the reduction of cardiovascular disease mortality. While eliminating meat products from your diet might seem drastic, reducing your consumption will affect your health positively. So why not start with BBQ? The anecdotal evidence is piling up as well. More and more people are reporting drastic weight loss and reversal of life-threatening cardiovascular diseases after administering a plant-based diet. As a Pitmaster and an all-out lover of BBQ, I was able to lose 120 pounds and reverse six illnesses that were potentially life-ending by lightening my diet with plant-based BBQ. 


Data provided by The American Heart Association

After all, It’s Still BBQ

Consuming Plant-Based BBQ is not activism, and it’s not a political statement; it’s healthful, and it’s delicious. Developing these products and sharing them with consumers is about inclusion, not elimination. The existence of these products provides options for those who want to take a deep dive in the plant-based waters or merely wade in the shallow end. The goal is to appeal to the home cook and Pitmaster by presenting quality sauces, rubs, recipes, and equipment that anyone can use regardless of diet. Judgments aside, Plant-Based BBQ is flavorful, healthful, and, yes, it’s still BBQ!

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