‘Eating healthy’ has become a buzzing word in every sphere of our civic life. But the irony is that most of us don’t even have enough knowledge about the foods we eat. Although many of us would like to pretend that we know a lot about our diet, in reality, we don’t. Lately, some of my friends and colleagues had the crazy idea of comparing grilling and smoking with unhealthy fast food items. As a grill lover, I was actually a bit offended by their comments and felt the responsibility to clear some misconceptions in this regard. In this article, I am going to share some healthy grilling techniques that can make your grilling sessions more healthy and enjoyable, no matter if you are using an electric, gas or a pellet grill.
What Makes Grilling Unhealthy?
In grilling and smoking, the food is cooked with the direct heat of the flame with minimal help of fats and oils. Technically this cooking way is healthier than frying with fats and oils. However, if you like the taste of charred meat, you should reconsider before eating any charred meat, especially charred red meat. The reason is that charring meat causes the formation of HAA (Haloacetic Acids), which has been linked to cancer by medical researchers. Furthermore, it is common in the grilling process that the fat of the meat drips on the open flame and produces smoke. This can lead to the formation of PAHs (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons), another Carcinogen. Carcinogens are substances that can promote carcinogenesis, the formation of cancer cells in our body.
But, if we follow these six simple healthy grilling tips, grilling can be the most healthy form of foods you can ever take. Here are some life-saving techniques.
6 Healthy Grilling Tips
- Remove the Fat from Meat
Avoid grilling fatty meats as much as possible. If you are grilling pork or lamb you should remove the fats from the meat first. This will help reduce the fat dripping smoke that we talked about earlier. It is a good idea to consider grilling fish and shrimps. They are tasty and provide the much-needed nutrients. Grilling chicken is also a good option since it has less amount of fat and it goes well with every kind of recipes.
- 2. Add More Colourful Vegetables, Explore Your Options
Grilling and barbequing doesn’t always have to be about meats. If you have enough grilling ideas, you definitely know there is the opportunity to grill vegetables as well. It is great to include vegetables along with grilled meats in your BBQ party. You can follow the style of the most Asian cuisines where the number of vegetables is high in respect of meats. The rule of the thumb in the case of grilling vegetables is including more colorful vegetables. Colorful vegetables taste good when grilled and they are able to give you some extra points in terms of the food appearance.
- 3. Marinate Properly
Marinating your meat can have a quality impact on your grilling experience. Marinating meat helps increase its anti-oxidation properties. You should marinate your meat for at least 30 minutes with lemon, vinegar, and other local herbs. It reduces the possibility of forming Carcinogens. Moreover, it increases the aromatic flavor of your food.
- 4. Introduce Spices
Do you ever wonder why Indian and other Asian cuisines use lots of spices? Although spices don’t have that much caloric value they have an important role in the cooking process. Spices have antibacterial properties which enhance the shelf life and quality of meats. That is why regions near the equator line use more spices in their foods than those northern and western regions. Moreover, spices help increase the aromatic properties of your grilled food and certainly, they make your grilling process more healthy.
- 5. Clean Your Grill thoroughly Before Grilling
It is important to clean your grills or smokers before you start grilling food. The reason is there may be some leftovers of the previously grilled food on the grates of your grills. These chunks of foods can produce HAA or PAHs. You should grow the habit of cleaning your smokers before starting the grilling process. Cleaning the grate of smokers is easy and some of the best offset smokers (click here for details ) come with easy cleaning features.
- 6. Don’t Burn Your Meat
Charred meat may taste good but it is unhealthy to eat this type of meat. Don’t overburn your meat in the grilling process. You should use oil or marinating paste to soften the meat while grilling. It is better to grill your food over low or medium heat. It may take a longer period of time to cook but certainly, it would be healthier, more tasty, and well cooked.
Grilling is certainly a much healthier option than frying. Following these healthy grilling tips will help you make your grilled food healthier and more delicious. If you are a BBQ enthusiast like us, don’t let anyone compare grilled foods with the junk foods prevalent in our postmodern cultures.
Source: Grills Forever