Easy steps for safe summer grilling - | WBTV Charlotte

Easy steps for safe summer grilling


When it gets too hot to turn on the kitchen stove, you know it's grilling season.

While grilling is fast, easy, and delicious – there is the potential of carcinogens being absorbed into the meat.

First things first: choose leaner meats and trim the fat before you fire up the grill.

Oncology Nutritionist Specialist Michelle Ray says when cooking meats at high temperatures, flare ups can cause unhealthy fumes to be released.

"When we have fatty meats especially when juices drip down and they flame up and it's absorbed into the meat that you're grilling," said Ray.

Regular cleaning of your grill is also very important.

"When too much food cakes in on the grates and on the inside of the grill bacteria can actually form in particularly in the hot summer sun," said Lou Manfredini with Ace Hardware.

If you grill frequently and want to play it safe trim off the burned sections of the meat before eating.

"We don't want you to give up grilling because it really is a healthy and a fun way to enjoy your food especially in the summer," said Ray. 

"One thing is don't eat the charred parts on the meat."

Another way: put a piece of aluminum foil under the meat that you're grilling and then poke holes in the foil.

"Then that allows some of the juices to drip down but it prevents the flare up of the unhealthy gases," said Ray.

That means you don't have to opt for a raw food diet out of pure fear, and keep on grilling. 

A new study from the MD Anderson Cancer at the University of Texas suggests marinating red meat could make it healthier by prevent some of the harmful fumes to ever form in the first place.

Scientists aren't sure why, but a marinade acts like a barrier between your meat and carcinogens. The American Institute for Cancer Research says marinating meat for at least 30 minutes can reduce the formation of HCAs (heterocyclic amines).

You can also try this marinade.

Serves 6


  • 3 medium crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. grainy mustard
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 lime , juiced
  • 1/2 lemon , juiced
  • 6 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Pepper to taste
  • 6 chicken breast halves


Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Season with pepper. Marinade. Enjoy.

Happy grilling!

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