Best Practices for Grilling Safely
Regardless of how much experience you have grilling, there’s always risk involved when it comes to working with fire. If you’re planning a cookout for your friends and family, it’s important to know the best practices of grilling. Read on for five tips for grilling safely.
1. Go with a Gas Grill
Traditional grill masters may favor a charcoal grill over a gas one for the flavor, but the safety benefits of a gas grill outweigh the former. Charcoal grills release three times as much carbon emissions as their gas counterparts. They also burn hotter and controlling the temperature is more difficult than with a gas grill. Grilling safely is easier to do with a gas grill than a charcoal one.
2. Stay Away from Charred Food
The National Cancer Institute informs us that when foods are cooked with high heat as they are on a grill, the food, especially meat, will release polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and heterocyclic amines. These chemicals are housed in the charred bits of food and have been linked to causing cancers in certain animals.
Avoid charring by using leaner meats and keeping the meat that you cook from becoming too overdone. Medium-rare meat contains fewer heterocyclic amines than well-done meat.
3. Keep Your Grill Clean
While it can slip your mind to clean off the grill after you use it, it’s important to make the effort to clean your grill once it’s fully cooled off so it’s ready for your next use. Using the grill without cleaning it from the last use can cause those same chemicals, bacteria, and food remnants to blend with the fresh food that you are cooking.
In addition to keeping your food safe, a clean grill reduces any grilling-related accidents. Grilling safely means reducing the risk of anything catching on fire. By cleaning your grill of any old bits of charred food and oil, you’ll better avoid the risk of flare-ups.
4. Always Remember to Turn the Gas Off
Gas grills are in many ways easier than charcoal grills. Instead of dealing with charcoal and lighter fluid, a gas grill requires very little effort to cook up the perfect summer meal. However, when it comes to shutting things down for the night, turning off a gas grill goes one step beyond simply putting out the fire. Failing to turn off the gas for your gas grill is an easy way to lead to a grilling disaster.
Grilling safely is all about making responsible choices as you prepare the food and use your grill. Try these five tips the next time you’re grilling to make sure everyone stays healthy and safe.
Bonus Tip: Marinating Meat with Antioxidant-Rich Marinades
Antioxidant-rich marinades help to reduce the higher levels of chemicals in meats before they are grilled. Use either a homemade or store-bought marinate made with thyme and rosemary. In addition to improving the health of your meats, marinades will always make your food juicer and more flavorful.