Posted by Chef Charles Knight on 9th Jul 2015
Article from the American Cancer Society
Getting your family and friends together for a Barbeque is one of the perks of the season, but backyard chefs should beware: some research suggests that
cooking meats at very high temperatures creates chemicals (heterocyclic amines, or HAs) that may potentially increase cancer risk.
In fact, a study from the University of Minnesota found that eating charred, well-done meat on a regular basis may increase your risk of pancreatic cancer by up to 60%. Heterocyclic amines (HAs) are created by the burning of amino acids and other substances in meats cooked at particularly high temperatures and that are particularly well-done. HAs turn up in grilled and barbecued meat as well as broiled and pan-fried meat.
You don’t have to give up your grill to stay healthy. You just need to choose sensible foods and use the right techniques.
Choose lean cuts of meat and trim any excess fat. Fat dripping onto hot coals causes smoke that contains carcinogens. Less fat means less smoke.
Line the grill with foil and poke small holes in it so the fat can still drip off, but the amount of smoke coming back onto the meat is lower.
Avoid charring meat or eating parts that are especially burned and black – they have the highest concentrations of HAs.
End: Advice from the American Cancer Society.
How to Cook the Perfect Steak
Personally, I’ve never been a big fan of cooking a steak on a grill. To me, the charred and smoky end product masks the wonderful flavor of a perfectly cooked steak. Note: if/when you go to any top steakhouse in town, you can pretty much bet that they do not cook over an open flame barbecue. Most good steakhouses cook steaks and chops on stainless steel flat grills. Great steakhouses cook steaks individually, in a pan.
Tips for Chicken, Steaks and Chops
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