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Grill Safely Without the Toxic Risks

Grill Safely Without the Toxic Risks

When the weather is just right, it’s hard not to fire up the grill. Eating a lot of grilled protein amps-up the risk of pancreatic cancer and some studies point to increased risk for stomach and rectal cancers. Turns out potentially harmful carcinogens latch on to charred animal protein when dripping fat flames up. They’re the same bad-guy carcinogens found in car exhaust and cigarette smoke!

Other toxins that grilling creates on meats, poultry and fish come from high-temperature cooking of amino acids and sugars (BBQ sauce just makes it worse). So before you put that shrimp on the barbie, reduce your risks -- and increase the flavor.

  1. Marinate, marinate, marinate, that’s our summertime cooking mantra. If you do that for 30 minutes before grilling, it reduces the harmful stuff by more than 90%. Try using a combo of healthy oils and citrus: Salmon is tasty marinated in a lime, olive oil, fresh herb mixture -- add a dash of sriracha for fun!
  2. Pre-cook (skinless) chicken in the oven; finish it on the grill. That cuts grill time by 75% and reduces charring (cut off black bits before serving).
  3. Clean your grill to remove harmful residue. And turn down the flame; aim for a cooking temperature below 325F. 

Medically reviewed in August 2018.

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