It’s that time of the year again. Time to brush down the old grill and get ready to cook out.
Cooking food on an outdoor grill is nearly as much a part of the summer as music festivals and hanging out at the pool. It’s even better when the cook pays as much attention to nutrition and food safety as to the heat of the grill.
“It’s important to take some basic precautions when preparing food outdoors, and to make sure that you’re eating a well-rounded meal, not just gorging on bratwursts or burgers,” says registered dietitian Hannah Manella, MS, RD, CSO. She offers these tips for making your cookouts safe, healthy and even more delicious.
1. Don’t overcook meats.
Darkness is a great background for fireworks, but it may be harmful when it comes to the color of grilled meat.
Heterocyclic amines (HCA) are unhealthy chemical compounds that can form when animal proteins (beef, pork, fish, poultry) are cooked using high-temp methods that result in blackening. Similarly, smoked meats can form polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH).