The sound of a steak sizzling on the grill can make anyone hungry. In fact, grilled food has a separate fan base that is increasing every year. Grilling gives a unique smoky flavor to meat, fish, and poultry. The process is also simple as it requires less attention as compared to cooking on the stove. However, grilling has some downsides too. Here we are going to discuss the drawbacks of grilling and the ways to avoid them.
Here is what science says about the downsides of grilling
PAH: While grilling the fat from the meat drips on the charcoal and forms polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). Research indicates that PAH is a toxic chemical that is considered a carcinogen. It may lead to colorectal cancers.
HCA: When the meat is grilled, it forms a charred outer layer that contains heterocyclic amines (HCA). If the meat is cooked to complete doneness then the inner part can also contain HCA. Heterocyclic amine is listed as a carcinogen and is believed to cause pancreatic cancer. This is why people who prefer their steak slightly raw or medium done are less prone to cancer than those who prefer well-done steak.
Risk of high blood pressure: Often marinades for steaks contain a high amount of sugar and salt which can lead to health risks like high blood pressure and diabetes.
Increases inflammation: When the steak is grilled at high heat, it creates a by-product called advanced glycation end product (AGEs). As the food is grilled, the level of AGEs multiplies leading to increased inflammation.
Environment hazards: Grilling increases carbon footprints as the process involves the burning of charcoal. It also leaves residual ashes which further pollutes the environment. A live grill emits certain toxic fumes that can be harmful to the human body. Hence, it is better to grill food in open places or at least in a place that has good ventilation.
Ways to minimize grilling downsides
Food science is complex as we all know. With the research done to find the cons of grilling, food scientists have also conducted studies on minimizing their ill effects. Here are three popular ways.
1. Natural marinade: A marinade made from raw garlic and turmeric can reduce the formation of harmful chemicals in a grilled steak.
2. Natural antioxidants: Rosemary, onion, honey, etc. have natural anti-oxidant properties that can block harmful chemicals.
3. Gas grills: Most of the toxic chemicals are produced from charcoal grills. As a result, a gas grill can be a safer option as no charcoal is required to generate the heat.
While all these ways seem to minimize the ill effects of grilled food, they do not vow to remove the health risk completely.
For more great ideas on how to get the most of your Bradley Smoker, check out the awesome articles on our Bradley Smoker Food Smoking Blog for more tips & tricks.