Go beyond grilling the ubiquitous hotdogs and hamburgers before the year ends and continue the “tradition” in 2014. Expand your culinary repertoire and venture into the world of gourmet recipes to include grilled chicken, calamari, vegetables, lobster, lamb, shrimp and even pizza! The smoky flavour, the delectable aroma and the succulent taste are qualities of grilled food that have relegated anything flame-cooked as either good or bad.
Over the past years, grilled food has taken some bad rap, but this is mainly because the meats being grilled don’t have their fat portions trimmed and are therefore short of being considered as healthy food recipes that are high in calories, cholesterol, and saturated fats. And then there are the PAHs or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and the HCAs or heterocyclic amines, compounds that have the potential to cause cancer.
The Downside of Grilling: It can be Avoided
HCAs are formed when poultry, fish, and red meat meet high heat temperatures directly such as those in grilling. When meat fat drips onto hot flaming coals or the grill element during cooking, PAHs are formed and subsequently deposited on the food itself because of the rising smoke that penetrates the food being grilled.
That said, there are some ways to counter the adverse effects of HCAs and PAHs when grilling food. After all, grilled food is a healthier choice because there is no dripping grease or batter coating. Below are some recommendations which may be considered before embarking on a grilling spree.