Much recent news has linked grilled meat to cancer, which can make you feel anxious about throwing a barbecue this summer. However, there are other simple ways to follow a healthy lifestyle besides enjoying backyard cooking.
When fat from beef, poultry, fish, and ready-made meats such as bacon and sausage drip onto the grill and burn, it emits smoke containing PAHs. This chemical has been linked to cancers of the skin, lung, bladder and stomach. You can reduce the risk of PAHs by removing the fat from the meat before grilling, as well as wrapping the grill with foil to capture the dripping fat before it touches the heat source and emits smoke.
Some argue that removing the fat from meat means that it has lost its delicious flavor. To combat this belief, we offer a suitable all-purpose seasoning mix recipe.
The suitable seasoning mixture for all purposes
- 3 tablespoons salt
- 3 tablespoons chipotle pepper powder
- Two tablespoons of onion powder
- Two tablespoons of garlic powder
- Two tablespoons of dried oregano spice or dried thyme
- Two tablespoons of ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
Add all ingredients together in a resealable bowl. Close the container and shake well. Apply the seasoning mixture so that it covers the meat and rub it. Leave the meat in the marinade for 15 to 20 minutes before grilling.
Reduce the heat
When protein in meat, poultry, and fish is exposed to high temperature and open flame, it produces another carcinogen called heterocyclic amines. One of the best ways to reduce variable ring amines is to cook meat raw or undercooked at a lower temperature. Some research shows that fully cooked meat contains more than three times the variable ring amines found in half cooked meat.
Creative BBQ Ideas
A 2012 study showed that levels of Cyclic amines vary with meat. Bacon contains the highest levels, followed by pork, beef and chicken. While fish contains a minimum of variable-ring amines, fruits and vegetables are distinguished by not containing this type of amines.
So, make sure you have some pieces of corn, portabella mushrooms, peppers, onions, eggplant, or other plants on the grill. Grilled pineapple or stone fruits, such as peaches and plums, give a delicious taste and a healthy sweetness. Here is an easy recipe with portabella mushrooms.
3 ingredients grilled portabella mushrooms
- 8 pieces of portabella mushrooms
- Olive oil
- Lemon pepper
Use the brush to apply olive oil to the portabella mushrooms, then sprinkle with lemon pepper, to taste. Grill over indirect heat for 8 to 10 minutes per side. Use as a side dish or add to a bun with other spices and vegetables to enjoy a delicious vegetarian burger. Provides 8 servings.
Season with salt water
Research has shown that soaking meats in a mixture of salt water and vinegar without adding sugar for at least 30 minutes greatly reduces the formation of Cyclic amines – this is because the salt water contains acids and antioxidants.
Another study showed that teriyaki salt water eliminated variable ring amines by 67 percent, while salt water with garlic and turmeric reduced them by 50 percent. Basil, mint, spices, rosemary, sage, and thyme are also low in Cyclic amines.
Besides, stay away from the barbecue sauces that are sold in the supermarket. The sugar in them mixes with the amino acids in the meat to produce heterocyclic amines. Here is a quick and easy recipe for garlic and rosemary marinade.
Garlic and rosemary quick brine
- ½ cup of white wine
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ¼ cup of vegetable oil
Mix all ingredients together in a zipped plastic bag, then add meat, tofu or even vegetables to the bag. Squeeze the bag around the ingredients to make sure the outside is covered with the mixture. Get as much air out as possible before sealing the bag.
Leave the meat to soak in the refrigerator for 6 to 8 hours. Make sure to turn the bag over halfway through. Once you are done soaking in the salt water, grill the ingredients to your liking.
Follow these tips to enjoy healthy and safe cooking conditions this summer and throughout the year.