We often argue that chicken is healthy. As a matter of fact, it is. There is no denying this fact. We also know that grilling has the capability of enhancing the flavor of the chicken manifold. Grilled chicken is also the tastiest food in this world(arguably). But does health really vanish when we find a good flavor? Baking, on the other hand, is generally considered a healthier alternative to cooking food in oil. We see it becomes a war between taste and health. But without proof, any argument would be baseless. To come up with better terms, we need to go ahead and create a theory of what is healthier. In this write-up, we do just that. Without stretching the matter further, let us look out for answers.
Flavour enhancement and the fat content
You would be surprised to know that both baking and grilling are considered to be low in fat. Also, these cooking methods do not really require huge amounts of fat for cooking. We tend to marinate chicken before dealing with it. Marinating helps in seeping flavor into the chicken so that it does not depend heavily on the methods of cooking for flavor. However, baked chicken leads to very high sodium contents in it. This, in turn, increases the calorie count in your chicken. But this can be avoided by marinating before baking.
Carcinogens associated with grilling
Grilled chicken is prone to developing certain harmful aromatic hydrocarbons which are potential carcinogens. Charring and smoking increase the risk of production of carcinogens. However, the development of carcinogens normally occurs at prolonged high temperatures even when the method of cooking is not grilling.
How to reduce the production of carcinogens
While baking, it is easier to reduce the production of carcinogens. Little tweaks such as lowering the temperature of baking can do the trick. However, completely eradicating them during the process of grilling is not quite possible. They can be reduced by ridding charred parts of the chicken after grilling it or by cooking it partially in an oven before going on to grill so as to reduce the time of heat exposure. During any of the two processes, you may try turning over the chicken more often to minimize the production of carcinogens.
Perils of consumption of carcinogens
Carcinogens can be lethal and may easily increase the risk of pancreatic cancer in humans, as studies have shown. Though there is not any concrete evidence that the chemicals produced during the process of grilling can actually cause cancer. However, the studies do show that there is an increase in the potential risk of cancer. Also, some researchers concluded that these chemicals also increase the risk of prostate cancer in men.
So, baking somehow beats grilling in this head on tussle. As stated earlier too, there is no concrete evidence of the repercussions but prevention is always better than the cure. You cannot really avoid grilling for that sake though, you can only try to minimize the risk associated with it. Happy grilling!