Healthy grilling on your propane BBQ
Nothing beats a summertime meal cooked on a propane grill. The question is, can you make that meal as healthy as it is delicious?
You can, if you follow a few simple precautions.
The key to healthy grilling: avoiding PAHs and HCAs
The main health risk associated with grilling is that it can cause carcinogenic Heterocyclic Amines (HCA) and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) to form as a result of bringing together high heat and fatty meat.
The good news is that you can virtually eliminate HCAs and PAHs by following these five healthy grilling rules:
- Use leaner meats – Choosing lean beef or pork or skinless chicken will get you started on the right foot.
- Use more fruits and vegetables – PAHs and HCAs don’t form on grilled fruits and vegetables; try adding tomatoes, onions, peppers, zucchini, pineapple, mango, and even apples to your grilled meal (they’re full of antioxidants, too).
- Marinade with olive oil – What you put on your meat when you cook it can reduce the formation of HCAs by more than 90 percent. Here are some tips to making a PAH/HCA-busting marinade:
- Olive oil is one of the strongest anti-HCA agents; use it liberally.
- Basil, mint, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and sage can also reduce HCA formation dramatically.
- Never baste your grilled food with the liquid the meat was marinating in; it will pass raw juice to your cooked meat.
- Marinate meats and poultry for at least 1-2 hours, fish and vegetables for about an hour to get maximum PAH/HCA prevention benefits.
- Grilling for less time – Cook your meat long enough to reach its healthy internal temperature, but not longer than that. Smaller portions such as skewered meats cook faster and spend less time on the grill.
- Flip food frequently – Flipping frequently helps avoid charring and reduces HCA production.
Cook healthy on your propane grill this summer! Contact Allied Propane Services today to learn about Camp Chef smokers, Mr. Heater cast iron and stainless steel portable stoves, TEC Infrared Portable and built-in patio charbroil grills, and other propane cooking and outdoor equipment for your Northern California outdoor living space!