Healthy propane grilling 101
Spring is here – and nothing beats a springtime 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.
Avoiding PAHs and HCAs
The biggest health risk associated with grilling comes from bringing together high heat and fatty meat – a combo that can lead to the production of cancer causing Heterocyclic Amines (HCA) and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH)
Fortunately, you can virtually eliminate HCAs and PAHs by following these five healthy grilling rules:
- Use leaner meats – Since fat encourages PAH and HCA formation, choosing lean beef or pork or skinless chicken will get you started on the right foot.
- Add 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).
- Choose olive oil-based marinades – 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; this passes raw meat juices 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.
- Reduce your grilling 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 spring and summer! Contact us today to learn about grill Broilmaster options for your ultimate outdoor kitchen.