When you get the grill going on the Fourth of July, take care to BBQ safely. Grilling puts you near cancer-causing chemicals, warn Dana-Farber Cancer Institute doctors -- but with a few precautions, it’s easy to have a safe and healthy holiday.
Doctors said there are two cancer risk factors while grilling -- the high-heat can transform meat proteins so they become cancerous. Second, grill smoke contains cancer-causing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; when smoke sticks to the meat, it can make that food dangerous.
Here’s how to keep you and your family safe without having to give up the burgers. Stacy Kennedy, a nutritionist at Dana-Farber, writes in a news release that “it’s really about planning ahead and making wise choices.”
1. Go for lean cuts of meat and thin marinades.
Leaner meats will drip less often and give you a less smoky cooking experience. You should also always trim your meats to get rid of excess fat or oil. Thin marinades help avoid charring and protect the meat from that harmful smoke. Try a marinade with vinegar or lemon.
2. Keep your time at the grill short, and flip your burgers often.
Thaw the meat ahead of time, or partially cook it in a microwave before grilling. You want to avoid spending too much time exposed to the smoke -- and prevent fire flare-ups.
3. Blaze-proof your grill.
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