Grilling food is one of the great joys you can experience during the nice weather. It’s a skill not everyone is blessed with. To be a good barbeque specialist means you must have the patience and the knowledge essential to cooking great meat for your guests.
What Are Your Doing Wrong?
However there are other risks associated with grilling, more often than not people will complain about their food being undercooked, but what if I told you there are dangers lurking when meat is overcooked. How would you feel about that?
Chances are you’ve never really given burnt, or browned meat a second thought, with regards to health risks. But I urge you to start today, start paying attention. Carcinogens are produced whenever meat is cooked, but especially when the meat is browned in a frying pan or on the grill.
Heterocyclic amines, or HCAs, have been linked to the formation and worsening of prostate cancer and also breast cancer. However, there are also other dangers that are lurking within your meat, like the production of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs. This carcinogen has been linked to hormonal issues within the bodies of both men and women.
So what does this mean? It means that the longer you cook your meat the more carcinogens will develop in your steak, or your burger. If we’ve learned anything over the years it’s that food and cancer typically go hand in hand with regards to causing and preventing these deadly diseases.
But there is a solution to this problem; actually there are several solutions. Here are 10 healthy tips that will help eliminate and prevent carcinogens.
1. Trim the Fat!
Fat that drips into the heat of the grill causes PAHs. To avoid this trim the fat on the meat you are cooking. Also avoid stabbing your meat with a fork or knife, this adds to the dangers of generating carcinogens.
2. Remember to turn
Turning your meat frequently prevents it from becoming too hot, which can cause HCAs to form, and from charring, which can cause the formation of PAHs.
3. Cook in Parchment Paper and Foil
Consider wrapping the meat in parchment paper and then foil prior to grilling. Parchment paper is heat-resistant (unlike wax paper) and virtually non-stick (unlike aluminum foil) but must not be exposed to direct flame. When grilling, it’s best to place it on a steel tray, roasting pan or aluminum foil before being set on the grill or top rack. Also, the barbecue temperature must not exceed 425°F (218°C).
4. Marinate the Meat in Turmeric-garlic or Teriyaki Sauce
Marinating the meat in these sauces can have a 50% less chance of generating HCAs than un-marinated meat. However, marinating in barbeque sauce can actually increase the chance of HCAs developing, so be careful.
5. Add some spice
Research shows that adding rosemary, turmeric, or fingerroot to beef patties when cooking can reduce HCA levels by 40 percent. These spices contain phenols, a type of antioxident, and have numerous health benefits. Marinating steaks with rosemary and other antioxidants before cooking can also decrease levels of HCAs.
6. Cook the Meat at Lower Temperatures
Carcinogens are created when the heat surpasses 300 degrees. Your best bet is to turn the heat down and let the charcoal become low burning embers, also keep the grill slightly higher than you normally would. This tip is perhaps the most important of them all.
7. Smaller Cuts of Meat
The main point of this tip is to cook the meat faster, which gives carcinogens less of a chance to produce. Remember this key tip!
8. Don’t rush to add barbecue sauce
The sugar in barbecue sauce forms PAHs when exposed to heat. The less time barbecue sauce spends on the grill, the better off you are. Don’t add sauce until just a few minutes before you expect your food to be ready. Better yet, wait until the food has already been served, and pour the sauce from the bottle directly onto your plate, or avoid barbecue sauce altogether and use herbs and spices to add flavor.
Don’t forget that the high levels of sugar in commercial barbecue sauces can cause additional health problems.
9. Think about the rest of your diet
Adding healthy fruits and vegetables with antioxidant properties to your meal could help prevent some of the damage barbecued meats can cause. A healthy, clean diet and clean lifestyle throughout the year will minimize your overall cancer risk.
10. Clean the Grill
Built up grease and whatever else you cook with will cause carcinogens to grow. Clean your grill with an all-natural solution. To do this you must first turn the heat of the grill up all the way, and then close the lid until it has completely cooled.
However, sometimes you may need a new grill, if so don’t purchase an aluminum grill because they have a tendency to chip. If the aluminum grill chips it could contaminate the food you are cooking. You typically want to go and get yourself an iron, stainless steel or porcelain coated grill. They are easy to clean and will ensure no funny business will regards to your food.
Good luck next time you decided to grill up some juicy steaks, and remember food and cancer don’t mix so avoid the production of carcinogens for your own sake!
Marinating adds flavor and helps tenderize lean meats, so you get top-notch flavor without the high price and fat. And marinating meats before grilling may reduce the cancer risks of HCAs.
Impress dinner guests by presenting them with their very own parchment pouches, simply transfer the parchment package to a dinner plate.