Barbecuing is one of the most popular pastimes especially during summers. According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA), many people love grilling because charred meats taste more savory. Because there is no oil in grilling, cooking meats by direct heat is considered one of the healthiest ways to cook food. The following are the 10 tips for a healthier way of grilling. We hope you like this 10 tips for a healthy BBQ guide.
- Choose lean cuts of meat. The lesser fats that drip on the coal is the healthier way to grill a meat.
- Go marinade. Not only a good marinade make meats tastier and jucier but also healthier. Study shows that marinading reduced the formation of HCAs by 99%. Olive oil, cedar vinegar, spices and even lemon juice help lessened HCA formation. If possible, opt for low-fat marinade. Meats are marinated for at least 2 hours while only an hour for fish and vegetables.
- Precook. Precook meats and poultry using an oven and finish them on the grill. Microwave meats for 2 minutes and pat dry extra oil to avoid dripping during grilling. Also, frozen meats should be thaw ahead of time before they are cooked over high heat temperature.
- Wrap foil around the meat and poke holes in it. This reduces smoke reaching the meat and limit fat drippings.
- Toss frequently. Flipping meats frequently deters the formation of HCA especially when grilling burger patties. Heterocyclic amines (HCA) are carcinogenic compounds formed when meats are overly cooked. Use tongs (not fork) when flipping meats.
- Cut off charred parts of the meat. Eating charred spots contains HCA which increases the risk of cancer.
- Use spices. Rolling meat in turmeric, rosemary or any other spice cuts down the risk of HCA production by 40%.
- Keep hands clean. Proper hand washing is a mandatory food safety practice. Dirty hands can contaminate food easily.
- Combine meats with fruits and vegetables. Add some cuts of fruits or vegetables to the grill. They produce lesser fat and do not form HCAs
10. Clean the grill. Scrape out residues after grilling to eliminate accumulated grime or gunk. Consolidated residues are concentrated with HCAs which are bad to health. Charred-free grill is not only a healthy practice but also reduces flare-ups when grilling.
Remember: Keep hands clean. Proper hand washing is a mandatory food safety practice. Dirty hands can contaminate food easily.