With the onset of good weather, many of you might be polishing your BBQ s already!
With no intention of being a spoilsport, remember that grilling meat produces two potentially carcinogenic chemicals: PAH's from the smoke produced by the dripping fats and HCA's from the high cooking temperatures.
What to do?!
- Grill, Don’t Burn – Remember to cook meat until it is brown, not black. Aim for cooking meat until it is medium rather than well done.
- Go Lean – Lean meats are not only better for your health, but can also help stop the formation of PAH’s. Since fat drippings are key to PAH development, less fat means fewer carcinogens.
- Marinade- Is here a Mediterranean millennia old secret weapon: marinade your meat for 4 hours (in the fridge) with generous amounts of olive oil, garlic and fresh rosemary, with the addition of a little lemon juice.
This simple marinade can break down the carcinogens contained in meat up to 99%- and it will add a great taste! Rosemary and garlic create a real protective barrier against HCA and PAH , which can be further reinforced with any additions during and after cooking .
Every marinade consists of three elements : an acid , an oil and spices and herbs . For the latter, rosemary is usually the essential element , since it is- along with thyme- the most efficient anti-cancer agent (and it grows wild in the Mediterranean shrub land). For oily element , there are no doubts : extra virgin olive oil . While the acid element, in our case the lemon, can be replaced by vinegar, wine or beer .
If you are a vegetarian like me, check my veggie skewers recipe- no need to sit on the side line during BBQ season! (and veggies do not produce bad chemicals when grilled).
Enjoy the sun and the al fresco dining!