The barbeque season is in full swing and delicious grilling aromas can be smelled throughout your neighborhood. Don’t’ waste time getting outdoors and getting some tasty treats onto your barbeque. Go with the classic hamburgers and hotdogs or try something a little more interesting like vegetarian kabobs or pizza.
In recent years with the rising concerns about health and diet, the barbeque has taken a few hits to its global popularity, based on some new research. When meats are cooked on a high heat like the grill they will sweat out their fat and grease. That grease then falls into a grease tray. Once the grease tray reaches a certain temperature, it can start to vaporize this liquid that will then float back up into your food on the grills.
The vapors known as Heterocyclic Acid (HCA’s) and Hydrocarbons can be dangerous to your health. These substances that are found in most meats have been connected to certain types of cancers. But don’t give up the grill just yet. With careful preparation and proper cooking instructions you can safely reduce the number of these carcinogens from adhering onto your food and ruining your favorite BBQ recipes.
Cook Over A Lower Heat
When you are using your grill, it is habit to crank up the heat to get your cooking going faster. It’s fine to throw it onto high to heat up, but once there is meat added to the grill, it’s better to turn the heat down while cooking. This may take a bit longer but it will be safer in the long run.
Cooking on high is what causes the HCA’s to start dripping into the pan, starting the vaporization process. Well done meat is where the danger lies. Take your time and cook your meat thoroughly but slowly and you will be able to reduce your risk significantly.
Precook in the Microwave
For beef, chicken and pork, you can use your microwave to precook the meat for just a few minutes. Using your medium heat setting on your microwave, cook meats for up to two minutes. This will allow some of the juices containing the HCA’s to run out before you put them on the BBQ grates. Drain the juices and pat the meat dry before transferring it to your barbeque.
Grill More Veggies
The only risk with grilling vegetables on the barbeque is getting your taste buds blown away. Many people don’t think to add vegetables to the grill but it’s just as fast and easy as over the stove. In fact, the heat radiation from the barbeque will help to bring out all of the natural flavors and sweetness of your vegetables. There is no need to worry about HCA’s and you will be doing your health and diet a favor.
Marinade can be the key to added flavor and safety from HCA contamination. A spicy marinade can contain a good level of antioxidants that will counteract the effect of harmful vapors rising into your food. Using herbs like Rosemary, Thyme, Garlic and Sage can reduce the amount of HCAs up to 90%.
Add Wine Or Beer
Some of the tastiest marinades have a base of either red wine or beer. The alcohol in the spirits can eliminate up to 60% of the HCA’s in the meats you are cooking. They are also great for tenderizing your meat for more even cooking and add a great flavor to your meal.
Written by Guest Author for The Healthy Moms Magazine and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured image provided by Declan Rex