It’s summertime and that means it’s time to break out your charcoal or gas grill and get to grilling. According to the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association, over 80% of U.S. households own a grill, with nearly half of those people grilling at least 1-2 times per week during the summer months. This summer, I want you to be safe and enjoy your grilling adventures.
Grilling is a tasty way to prepare your meals, and cooking outside also keeps you from heating up the house by turning on the stove or oven. There are a couple of dangers associated with grilling that you may not be aware of! They aren’t enough to save you from grilling, but it’s essential to be aware of them.
Danger #1: Smoke
BBQ smoke contains Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) which is a cancer forming agent. Fat from cooking meat drips on to the coal and generates airborne PAHs, which you then inhale. The drippings often develop on the bottom of the grill, increasing the amount of smoke that creates. Make certain to keep your grill’s drip pan clean to prevent not only smoke, but also inadvertent fires which may spring up if those fats catch fire!
Risk #2: Char
Many men and women love a nicely charred steak. It not only makes your grilled food look more appetizing, it even makes food tastier. Unfortunately, Heterocyclic Amines (HCA) form when you char your food. HCAs form when meat and high heat are combined to make a blackened crust. Even though the research testing was done on lab animals exposed both to PAH and HCA, studies do show that eating charred meats may be associated with increased risk of certain forms of cancer.
Good Grill News
Here’s the good news: There are steps you can take to reduce the risk of HCA and PAH formation so you can still enjoy the grilling season to its full potential.
• Clean your grill: Be sure that after each use, you wash your grill and remove the excess food that remains.
• Reduce the fat: Trimming the excess fat from meats is very important to your health and choosing lean meats is best.
• Melbourne Wildlife Control: Using herbs like basil, mint, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and sage on your marinades greatly reduces the development of HCA and PAH. The antioxidants found in these herbs also work to prevent free radicals from developing when your meat hits the heat.
• Be fearful of flare-ups: Avoid flare-ups since they tend to cause more smoke and burn food. The burnt food can usually be seen as black pieces that look like charcoal. Be certain that you remove these bits from your food before eating.
• Marinate your meats: Using marinades that are based with olive oil, citrus juices and ginger can help decrease the creation of HCA and PAH. It is very likely that the marinades act as a”barrier”, keeping flames from directly touching the meat.