How to Estimate Calories: BBQ

One of the most daunting things about counting calories is the lack of knowledge on how to do it when you’re eating out.

Sure, chains like McDonald’s and Chick-Fil-A have started putting their nutritional information online, but what do you do if you go to a more local place that doesn’t have that info? Just throw your hands up in the air and eat whatever? Hell no. That’s why I’m here to help.

I live out here in Houston, TX and there is a very well-acclaimed barbecue joint here called Killen’s BBQ. Unfortunately, it’s got so much of that acclaim that the average wait times in line are 1 to 2 hours:


Whatever. I’m here to embark on a mecca towards brisket holiness. A little wait time won’t scare me.

Anyway, off the top, the most important thing to know is that if you can’t find nutritional information on your food, there will be a pretty close counterpart for every food that you will ever eat. Sure, Killen’s brisket might not be in their database, but Rudy’s BBQ is:

rudys brisket macros
Found on

Seeing as the serving size for my brisket was about a quarter pound (4 oz.), I can estimate how much was on my Killen’s plate based on nutritional data from Rudy’s.

Obviously, brisket is pretty high in fat content. If I had to rank common BBQ meats from leanest to fattiest, it would shake out something like this:

  1. Turkey
  2. Chicken (white meat)
  3. Chicken (dark meat)
  4. Pork Loin
  5. Ribs
  6. Brisket
  7. Sausage

So if you’re looking to keep your BBQ meal as light as possible, you’re going to want to opt for some turkey breast or rotisserie chicken, along with some veggie sides like coleslaw and beans.

Here’s how I counted my entire meal:


killens macros
(FYI, I only ate about half of the coleslaw and potato salad)

Overall, the macros for this meal weren’t great. I could have made this meal a lot more diet-friendly by just getting turkey instead of turkey and brisket, but f*** it. It’s July 4th weekend. Have a good one, guys! =)


3 thoughts on “How to Estimate Calories: BBQ

      1. Aaah ok. At least you’re honest about a) the science b) your own “weakness”.. unlike most people!

        Personally, the longer I stick with keto, the fewer my sweet cravings are..

        Anyway, good luck and good blogging!!

        Liked by 1 person

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