Grilling seeps into the essence of cooking, precisely. This opens up tremendous ways of cooking food on your grill. As exciting as this seems to be, it brings with itself the risk of producing carcinogens or cancer-causing compounds. Daily consumption of seared meat might increase the risk of pancreatic cancer. The statistics are staggering at a 60 percent rise in the risk if a study by the University of Minnesota is to be trusted. The reason for this process can be attributed to chemistry. Grilling meat leads to the formation of organic compounds such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and heterocyclic amines which are acute cancer-causing compounds. Panic not, there is a way of reducing this potential risk. Read on to know how to do it.
First things first
You may consider choosing lean meats, trimming the fats off them before going on to grill them. Dripping fat adds to the production of the aforementioned compounds. When your meat is on the grill, you can flip it more often than normal so as to avoid charring. If, however, charring does occur, cut if off of your grilled meat before consumption.
Do not skip the marinade
It is a known fact that marinade has the tendency if shielding your meat against the formation of carcinogens. Researchers state that marinating your meat for about 30 minutes before grilling can hinder the production of carcinogens to an appreciable degree.
Keep cooking times short
Spending a sufficiently long time on the grill makes way for more exposure to flames and thus more exposure to carcinogens. To reduce time on the grill, you may consider cooking your meat in a microwave oven for some time before actually chucking it on the grill. This also ensures a proper doneness while lowering the risks. But also ensure that there is no delay in transferring the food from microwave to grill. Or rather, you can go for fish that takes time shorter than chicken or any other meat.
Avoid these foods altogether
Your sausages and hotdogs may taste heavenly on the grill but they are more prone to developing carcinogens. To be on the safer side, avoid grilling these items all together.
Go for low heat
If it is not required, try keeping the heat lower to stave off excessive charring of meat. You can even oil your grill grates properly before cooking food over them. Another way is to envelop your food with aluminum foil to keep the flames away as far as possible.
Try vegan items
This sounds gross but is quite pertinent in safeguarding against carcinogens. Meat is more prone to carcinogens than vegetables would ever be. Furthermore, vegetables and fruits are also loaded with phytochemicals which can perform the diametrically opposite action of carcinogens. So veggies are good.
The grill may be your love but you need to be careful in some places for your own good. Avoiding cancer is much more important than the taste of food. With that, happy grilling!