How to Make Healthy Grilled Food

Grilling can easily be almost as healthy as any other cooking method, if you do it right. The distinct culprit that makes grilling unhealthy is the formation of aromatic hydrocarbons, which is a component of gasoline that causes cancer. This is because the fats in food can be converted to various substances normally found in gasoline through the high direct heat levels. Using the steps below will not only reduce the formation of such substances but will also lower the fat content of the food. A badly grilled piece of meat can easily contain more carcinogens than an equal sized amount of tobacco!


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    Try to avoid using lighting fluid. Use a gas grill instead. If you elect to use charcoal, put the coals on the gas grill and let the gas ignite the coals. Lighting fluid is made from gasoline and contains many of the same components.
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    Choose cuts of meat that contain less fat. The worst substances are all formed from fat dripping onto the hot coals, causing flareups which also compromise the taste.
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    Buy cuts of lean meat such as sirloin or London broil, and avoid cuts that contains large pieces of fat that are hard to remove, such as beef chuck.
    • Ground beef is one of the worst things to grill because it contains very high amounts of fat and must be grilled to well-done meaning that not only will there be a lot of flare-ups but the meat will be subject to the burning for a long time.
    • Trim all visible fat off of the meat to be grilled. Remove the skin off of poultry. Use all of this scrap in soup, don't throw it away.
    • Bones increase cooking time and should be removed if possible. Some pieces such as chicken drumsticks cannot have the bones removed.
    • Choose visually smooth cuts of meat without any nooks or crannies. Rough meat causes uneven cooking, and makes more fat drips.

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    Marinate the meat after trimming the fat and bones if it is at all possible. The easiest way to marinate it by opening a bottle of Italian dressing, pouring it in a plastic bag, and putting the meat inside for 8-24 hours in the fridge.
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    Reduce cooking time. This can either be done by pre-cooking the meat to a certain extent by pan-frying or microwaving, or simply serving the meat at a lower level of done-ness. Remember all pork, chicken, and ground meat of any kind must be cooked to well-done. If you must grill burgers, pan fry it until it is medium well, and transfer it in the last 5 minutes to the grill.
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    Grill at as hot as the recipe can allow without burning the food. This reduces the time of cooking, lets the meat retain more juices (meaning less drips), and makes it more flavorful.
    • Open the grill once every 3-4 minutes if possible to prevent over-smoking of the meat.
    • If a large flareup does happen, find the offending piece and finish cooking it the pan-fried way.
    • Take the food off the grill as soon as it is finished cooking and let it sit somewhere else for for the juices inside to settle.
    • Eat. Enjoy a piece that is cleaner and more flavorful than on another person's grill!
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  • Install a sluice if possible to catch the drip and divert it away from the coal/flames.
  • Don't burn the meat itself. Burning the protein also produces some carcinogens, though not nearly as bad as burned fat. If there are burned places, use a knife to remove the larger black areas and throw the stuff away.


  • The healthiest way to cook is still by boiling. No matter how careful you are, there will be at least one or two flareups. However, with these methods, the risk is diminished greatly to a small fraction of what it could have been before.

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Categories: Barbecue