It’s time to scrape the char off the grill and refill the propane tank. And while fire–roasting your chow gives it that rustic flavor, it can heat up the risk for ingesting carcinogens. Before you cook up those kabobs, learn these tips for cooling down exposure to cancer–causing agents:
- Lower the flame. Studies find that direct contact with high temperatures not only makes your meat crispy, it triggers a chemical reaction that produces heterocyclic amines — compounds known to generate malignancies in humans. Prebake your meat, fowl, or fish to reduce time on the open flame, and raise the rack when it comes time to throw them on the grill.
- Stop prodding. Avoid frequent turnover, flipping only once if you can. Use tongs instead of forks to cut back on the chances of spilling flammable juices into the pit and igniting flare–ups. Amputate well–done portions.
- Favor veggies. Studies show that grilled vegetables are less vulnerable to the cancerous whims of poultry and beef. Try tossing a veggie burger on the grill, or thread a skewer with mushrooms, squash, peppers, onions, tomatoes, and nectarines for a vegetarian cookout. If you can’t shake your carnivorous spirit, add a few pieces of beef or chicken onto the stick, which will satisfy your appetite for meat while limiting the amount you eat.