Grilling season is upon us and I wanted to address a question that I was recently asked: is grilling safe?
What do you think? Can grilling make you sick?
For years now I’ve heard rumors that grilling causes disease and that sautéing, baking and broiling are safer cooking methods. While barbequing may produce heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) (which are known carcinogens) as well as compounds that develop during high temperature cooking called glycation end products (AGEs), which have been linked to inflammation and accelerated aging, it’s not time to throw out your grill. After a little research, MealDiva has discovered 6 ways you can limit your exposure to deadly altered compounds while grilling:
- Carcinogens are produced when fat drips onto the coals and smokes back up into the meat. Choose lean cuts of meat and trim off the visible fat.
- Keep the grill clean and change charcoal pieces often.
- HCA and PAH content is high in burnt areas of food so try not to char your meat.
- Avoid long cooking times. Partially pre-cook meats and finish them on the grill.
- Don’t BBQ daily. Save it for parties or the weekend.
- Limit oils in marinades and opt. for vinegars or lemon juice (both vinegar and lemon juice have been linked to the reduction of the formation of harmful compounds).
Personally, I LOVE to grill and if done in moderation, it’s one of the best ways of cooking! If you’re looking for some recipe inspiration, check out Meal Diva Approved, grilled steak, sweet potato salad and corn. Happy grilling!