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Healthy BBQ: Grilling Meat at High Temps

It's barbecue time again, and I couldn't be more thrilled. I love grilling, but it's important to keep food safety in mind when firing up the grill. I always try to marinate the meat before cooking, in hopes of reducing the production of carcinogens, but the high heat can also produce chemicals with cancer-causing properties. This does not mean you should skip the grill this weekend (or all Summer); just follow these simple tips from the Harvard Health Letter for keeping grilling safe:

  • Cook smaller pieces: They cook more quickly and at lower temperatures.
  • Choose leaner meat: Less fat should reduce flames and therefore smoke.
  • Precook in the microwave: Doing so for two minutes may decrease heterocyclic amines by 90 percent, according to some research.
  • Flip frequently: That way, neither side has time to absorb or lose too much heat.


Join The Conversation
kia kia 9 years
Good tips. I am the griller in the family and with most meat I try to go low temps and rely heavily on my meat thermometer.
rpenner rpenner 9 years
Nothing beats a good bbq. Thanks for the tips Fit but I agree with the posters who aren't going to repeatedly flip their meat.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Thanks for the tips.
LaurenG22 LaurenG22 9 years
I would rather eat cancer filled grilled meat then cancer filled fried meat. We are going to get cancer either way.
teacherturtle1 teacherturtle1 9 years
hahaha. and how cooking a burger on the grill, and press down on the patty. but that's right, don't really need to flip a steak so much.
mondaymoos mondaymoos 9 years
Preach on, onabanana! I'll admit... I'm not wondering about carcinogens when I'm looking at some deliciously grilled food...
onabanana onabanana 9 years
You shouldn't flip the meat often it's counter productive as it takes longer to cook and often dries out the meat. You should flip it once. If you're going to grill do it right. It's like eating fake ice cream, what's the point? I would rather limit quantities and enjoy the dish than have a lot of something half as good.
teacherturtle1 teacherturtle1 9 years
nothing beats a rib eye steak cooked on the grill at least an inch thick! seasoned with some sea salts and fresh cracked pepper. but i guess i don't eat rib eyes to be healthy. good tips though, since hi heat does have issues. and i know that marinated chicken cooked slowly on a grill is really good too. :)
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
Cooking chicken at a lower temp longer also helps keep it from drying out. And my other grill fave is tri-tip which we cook on low too. Mmmmmm I love grilling
hippiecowgirl hippiecowgirl 9 years
Thanks! We're grilling out tonight so I'll keep these tips in mind.
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