You’ll never catch me in a Kiss the Chef apron, but tending an open fire and cooking over said fire is my version of heaven. Weather grilling with direct flame, or smoking for hours and hours, there is something about barbequing that scratches a primal itch. If you’re using a good piece of meat, like a local, pasture-raised lamb, there is little need for much else.
Nothing says summer like a dip in the lake and an outdoor barbecue. Barbecuing and outdoor grilling can be a delicious way to prepare food, provided we consider some precautions.
Research has determined two harmful chemicals that can form during the grilling process. Heterocyclic amines form when protein found in meat is cooked over high heat, and polycyclic hydrocarbons form when fat juices drip down to the heat source and cause smoke. The World Cancer Research Fund released a review and determined that people should avoid eating charred foods frequently or in large quantities. Research has also found links between overconsumption of sugar and protein (charred or not) and cancer as well.
Therefore pursuing the following helpful hints can be a great starting point to assure that grilling is both delicious and nutritious:
- If you enjoy the charred flavor on grilled meats, consider eating these foods sparingly – both in quantity and frequency.
- Enjoy vegetables on the grill abundantly. The charring of vegetables does not result in the harmful chemical that occurs in animal products.
- Trim fat before cooking to limit the fat dripping into the heat source.
- Limit the amount of time food is on the grill
- Consider using natural wood chips vs charcoal. Some charcoal products contain a petroleum product to make them light faster. We are not aware of any studies on this, but petroleum is something I personally would rather not have in my food.
Enjoy your summer BBQ’s and explore veggies on the barbecue they are delicious!!
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