6 Ways to Make Your Barbecue a Healthy Experience

By Amy Taylor on March 29, 2012

Many studies suggest that eating char-grilled meats can increase the risk of cancer. Here’s the thing, there are two chemical compounds that are formed when foods are cooked with intense heat and flame. They are Heterocyclic Amines (HCA) and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) – both are carcinogenic. Nonetheless, it doesn’t mean we can all give up our delicious barbecue. Both adults and children love the idea of going outdoors and having some food trip. And what could better satisfy their taste buds than some warm, juicy, and delicious barbecue?

Healthy BBQ Grilling Tips

If gaining extra pounds is your concern or if you have been advised by your doctor to avoid barbecues, you don’t have to frown. There are a lot of ways to make BBQ more fun, appetising, and healthy! It’s time that you kick off the unhealthy ways of charcoal grilling and make your barbecue treat more special and free of health risks!

1.       Clean the grill before using it

The first step to healthy cooking is keeping the entire process clean. The same is true with BBQ. Before you start lighting your barbecue grill, make sure it’s free from any kind of dirt – rust, dust, soot, etc. If your grill has been stuck for a very long time, it’s best to wash it before using.

2.       Remove excess fats from foods

If you’re BBQ grilling some meat, you want to choose the leaner part. Beef has the highest amount of fats while chicken has the lowest. So if you’re on a diet, you may want to have chicken meat (ideally the breast part) for your BBQ adventure. 

3.       Use olive oil for marinades

We all know that olive oil is among the healthiest types of oil available for home cooking. You can also use the juice from citrus fruits such as lemons, orange, and grapefruit for your barbecue marinade. They will not only make the meat more tender and tasty but will also reduce the amount of carcinogens produced upon BBQ. That’s according to American Cancer Research Institute. 

4.       Avoid flaring up the food

Keep the fire low when BBQ. If you want, you can use electric grill instead so you can adjust the heat produced and no flame will come out. The charred part of grilled foods contains the highest amount of HCAs and PAHs so you may want to remove it before serving your barbecue.  

5.       Add some herbs on your barbecue

Orange juice is best combined with rosemary and coriander. Lime is more flavourful than lemon juice. Make your barbecue more special by adding herbs like basil, mint, cilantro, and the like. Aside from enhancing the taste, herbs are great source of vitamins and minerals. Basil for instance is rich in antioxidants, beta carotene, vitamin A and K, and many other nutrients while coriander is known to aid in the treatment of swelling, diarrhoea, digestive problems, menstrual pain, and high cholesterol. 

6.       Grill vegetables!

Make your barbecue more appetising by skewing chopped vegetables and fruits like broccoli, cauliflower, apple, tomatoes, pineapple, and so on. They taste the best when roasted. You can also make an all-veggie barbecue by grilling tofu and vegetables, or fish, and seafood instead of meat.

See, BBQ foods can be a delightful, yummy, and exciting experience. If you will do it the right way, you can prepare the healthiest barbecue that your family and friends will truly enjoy.

Do you know of other healthy BBQ grilling tips or BBQ recipes that you like to share? Please feel free to add your comment below.

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