A reader asks, which way of grilling is best for my health, charcoal or gas? I would have to say gas grilling is best, unless you use all natural charcoal…otherwise the chemical in charcoal briquettes is a deal killer.
Are you grilling it or killing it? Here is the low down, Food may develop carcinogenic compounds when it becomes charred. The American Institute for Cancer Research says it very plain, ‘Cancer researchers have found that grilling … causes ‘muscle meats’ (red meat, poultry and fish) to produce cancer compounds.’ These compounds, called HCAs, have been shown to cause tumors in animals and increase the possible risk of breast, colon, stomach and prostate cancer in humans’.
Another cancer-causing substance forms when fat from meat, poultry or fish drips onto hot coals or wood and then, via smoke and flare-ups, is deposited onto the food above. These carcinogens are called PAHs or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. So I would say how you grill is actually more important than what you grill with.
Ways you can reduce your risk:
Marinade meat, this has been shown to significantly reduce the amount of carcinogens – in some cases by over 90%. Easy & yummy…marinade all meats before grilling. There is some evidence to show that the acidic ingredients in marinades, like vinegar and citrus juices, acts a barrier. The recommendation is about 110ml/4fl oz marinade for every 450g/1lb food. You should turn the food in the marinade from time to time so that all surfaces will be in contact with the liquid.
Trim fat off meat and get the barbecue to the right temperature to avoid dripping fat and flare-ups. Take the skin off chicken and avoid high-fat meats like ribs and sausages.
Remove all charred or burned bits before eating.
If you can’t give up your charcoal briquettes, then try these all natural ones. I bet they would make food taste amazing & let’s be real, nothing taste as good as grilling with briquettes!