Using this recipe, scientists from Lawrence Livermore Labs in Livermore, California, eliminated 95 percent of HCAs in poultry. While they're still not sure how it works—it may have to do with the marinade cooling down the meat—any oil-and-vinegar marinade should be protective.
Another study from Livermore Labs found that turning burgers every minute reduced HCA formation by up to 99 percent compared to burgers that were flipped every five minutes.
Zapping meat to a half-cooked state before grilling removes some of the substances that react to heat and greatly reduces the chances of creating HCAs.
- Cook on the Cooler Parts
Move your food to the edge of the grill or to a spot where food won't drip directly on the heat source. If your propane or gas grill has a "dual burner," turn one burner off and cook on the other side.
- Buy Lower-Fat Meat
With leaner red meat, chicken and fish, you'll reduce the amount of fat that drips onto the grill and the amount of PAH created.
- Regulate Temperature
The heat should be high enough to cook food thoroughly, but low enough to prevent charring.
Use a squirt bottle to douse flames that get too high.
- Avoid Mesquite
Burning this wood generates lots of PAHs. Instead, use oak or hickory.
- Steam Vegetables in Advance
That way, they spend less time on the grill and have less of a chance to absorb smoke.
Will this warning about cancer-causing agents in grilling change your behavior? Share your thoughts in the comments area.
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