Vegan BBQ Done Right: Sink Your Teeth Into Meatless Brats, Burgers, and Rib-Eyes

Vegan BBQ products on picnic table with man grilling in background
Sink your teeth into marbled ribeyes and brats bursting with meaty flavor. The catch? These “meats” are made from plants.Chris Wellhausen for Men's Journal

Vegan BBQ options for summertime grilling sessions have finally bounded beyond the ubiquitous—and undeniably bland—frozen bean and soy burgers of seasons past. Now there are loads of vegan BBQ products for those trying to cut back on their carnivorous impulses and help lessen the enormous impact raising livestock has on the plant.

 

 

From marbled rib-eyes and brats bursting with meaty flavor, you can now sink your teeth into a wide variety of “meats” made from plants, and still enjoy a good old outdoor barbecue session. The best part is not only do you get to experience the satisfying sensation of cooking over fire, but you can feel good about where your grilled goods came from.

These Vegan BBQ Products Are the Closest Thing to Real Meat

 

Make your next summer bbq a meatless one with these tasty plant-based alternatives.
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1. Beyond Meat Brat Original Sausage

A wizardly amalgamation of peas, fava beans, and rice protein is emulsified with potato starch and apple fiber to achieve the texture of pork sausage without soy or gluten binders. Beet juice provides color, and an algae-derived casing lends a satisfying sizzle. These links hold up beautifully on the grill, so you can get a full-on char. For a plot twist, slice them up for a killer addition to grilled pizza. Compared to pork brats, each link has 43 percent less fat and 2 more grams of protein (16 g).

[$7; beyondmeat.com]

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Make your next summer bbq a meatless one with these tasty plant-based alternatives.
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2. Impossible Burger Patties

It looks, cooks, and tastes like beef—but this juicy impostor has no antibiotics or animal hormones,
no cholesterol, and 19 g protein (same as 80/20 chopped meat) from soy. Impossible ferments genetically engineered yeast (more sustainable than the traditional method of harvesting soy plants) to create heme, an iron-rich, crimson-colored molecule that makes the patty “bleed.” These quarter-pounders also generate 89 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than cows do.

[From $5; impossiblefoods.com]

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Make your next summer bbq a meatless one with these tasty plant-based alternatives.
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3. Nasoya Extra Firm Organic Tofu

With just four ingredients (mainly water and soybeans) and very little sodium, tofu brings the greatest versatility to your grill. Stack cubes with vegetables and even fruit (think bell peppers, zucchini and pineapple), then play with marinades (marinate overnight to maximize flavor), sauces, and glazes for knockout kebabs. Thai peanut, pineapple teriyaki, or classic BBQ brings this low-fat, cholesterol-free food to new heights. While it’s lower in protein (9 g), it has all nine essential amino acids.

[$3; nasoya.com]

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Make your next summer bbq a meatless one with these tasty plant-based alternatives.
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4. Field Roast Classic Smoked Frankfurter

A little smoky with that signature snap when you sink your teeth in, these hearty franks pack 20 g protein. They’re made by forming a “dough” of water, wheat gluten, and plant oils with traditional flavorings: fresh onion and garlic, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, spices like paprika and celery seed, and hickory smoke. They’re steamed in an oven and come fully cooked. Just get these babies fire-licked, then load ’em up with all the fixings for a classic ballpark dog.

[$5; fieldroast.com]

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Make your next summer bbq a meatless one with these tasty plant-based alternatives.
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5. The Herbivorous Butcher Rib-Eye

Seitan is wheat gluten flour mixed with water. When seared, boiled, baked, and steamed, the fibrous texture builds to mimic the mouthfeel of steak, then vegan fat is folded in to create marbling. This rib-eye gets its iron-rich flavor from tomato paste. And while it’s flavored with soy, Worcestershire sauce, and Dijon mustard, you can still use your favorite marinades and dry rubs. A 4-oz serving has 26 g protein, less than 1 g sugar, just over 300 mg sodium, and 280 calories.

[$33; theherbivourousbutcher.com]

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