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Delicious Worry Free Grilling

Timeless Nutrition Tips...

Buy the right burger and bring back the barbecue! If you feel the need to give up the tangy pleasure of grilled food for fear of carcinogens, you've missed the point.

It is true that grilling meat creates cancer-causing chemicals called heterocyclic amines. However, grilling is not the problem, the meat juices sizzling on open heat is what causes these carcinogenic culprits.

Delicious Worry Free Grilling

High heat reacts with protein in red meat, poultry and fish to create chemicals linked to cancer, especially of the colon and breast. Heterocyclic amines are the name of the chemicals. The chemicals that form within the cooked meats and you cannot remove them by scraping off char.

Scientists have come up with ways you can dramatically reduce the hazard. Following are the measures you can take to protect yourself from the harmful chemicals and enjoy your grilled foods with ease of mind.

  • Flip your burgers often. By turning burgers once a minute and cooking them over a low heat you reduce HCAs and kill potentially deadly E. Coli bacteria. In addition, use a meat thermometer to make sure the meat reaches 160 degrees. This is the temperature needed to deactivate E. coli. The appearance of the meat being brown does not mean it is thoroughly cooked.
  • Use the right marinade. Marinate raw meat in a thin, liquid sauce for at least ten minutes. When thick commercial sauces are used, the HCAs triple. Dilute thick sauces.
  • Microwave first. Partially cook burgers, poultry, ribs and fish in a microwave oven for at least ten minutes before grilling. Be sure you discard juices when done. By practicing this procedure, you eliminate 90-percent of HCAs.
  • Add anti-cancer soy. Mix 1/2-cup of textured soy protein into a pound of ground meat before grilling. This cuts 95-percent of the expected HCAs in burgers without affecting taste.
  • Enhance with vitamin E . Add vitamin E to raw meat grinders. 120 milligrams of vitamin E powder mixed into or sprinkled on 3.5-ounce patties can reduce HCA formation as much as 72-percent. You can use a capsule of vitamin and crack it open for contents.
  • Try a fruit burger. This will not be for everyone but the fact is if you mix a pound of ground meat with a cup of tart, ground cherries before grilling, you suppress 90-percent of HCA formation. Other deep -colored fruits rich in antioxidants work as well. These include grapes, blueberries, and plums.
  • Add garlic and herbs. Garlic, rosemary and sage reduce HCAs when mixed into burgers. In addition, use them in marinades or just eat them in a meal with grilled meat. Antioxidants in citrus fruits also block HCAs.
  • Do not order meat very well-done. The longer you cook meat at high temperatures the more HCAs you produce. This applies in grilling, broiling and frying. If you cook a steak well done as opposed to medium-well, you double HCAs.
  • Drink tea with your barbecue. Chemicals in black and green tea help detoxify HCAs. Hot or iced tea from bags or loose tea is what you want to drink. Bottled teas or powdered, instant teas are not beneficial. If you wish, you can also marinate meat, poultry and fish in concentrated tea. Let the tea bag steep in 1/4-cup of hot water for five minutes.
  • Skip meat entirely and grill greens. Fruits and vegetables do not contain creatine, the animal protein needed to make HCAs. Pineapple and peppers are very good when grilled. In addition, eating fruits, vegetables and green salads along with barbecued meat lessens the cancer hazard.

Fish Tip. When grilling fish, make sure the grill is very hot and brush oil on the fish before placing on the grill.

Reduce HCAs when grilling burgers

Grilling to Perfection

Cookouts are fun but can carry a hint of danger in the form of food poisoning if we do not follow safe grilling practices.

Following are some tips you should make habits for cooking out and you will no longer need to worry about preparing an "unhealthy" meal!

Keeping Your Meat Safe

Delicious and Worry Free Grilling with a Vegetable Burger Before you begin to cook or eat, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. Whenever you switch tasks, wash them again to avoid cross-contamination.

Always use one cutting board for raw meat, poultry and fish preparation and a separate one for other food preparation, such as slicing vegetables. Mark or color-code your boards to remember their purpose.

When marinating raw meat, poultry or fish do so on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator, never at room temperature. Your refrigerator thermometer should read below 40-degrees.

Boil marinades for at least three minutes before you use them for basting on the grill. Keep just-grilled foods on a separate plate from the one you had raw meat on. Try this: use a red plate for raw and a green plate for cooked. Use separate utensils as well.

When threading skewers, leave a small space between meat, poultry or fish pieces to allow for even cooking of each piece.

Do not leave uncooked meat, poultry or fish out at room temperature for more than two hours or outside in the sun for more than one hour. If you have any cooked leftovers, refrigerate them right away.

Following the article are some tasty, healthy delicious worry free grilling marinade recipes.

Looking to Slim Down Summertime Cookouts?

Here are three quick tips on how you can easily slim down your summertime cookouts without losing fun or flavor.

1. Significantly reduce the fat in marinades by replacing all but one tablespoon of oil with fat-free broth or mild flavored fruit and vegetable juices.

2. Buy healthier franks made from turkey or chicken instead of the usual high-fat beef and pork hot dogs. Or, if you love the beef - we relate - buy the lean, all-beef varieties of weiners and be sure the package states "NO fillers".

3. For fat-free flavor, use wood chips that are available in most specialty food stores. Soak them in water before placing them over hot coals. Try:

  • Alder for seafood and poultry.
  • Apple for vegetables.
  • Hickory for beef.

Slim Down Meats

  • Trim visible fat from meats and remove the skin from poultry before eating.
  • Bake, BBQ, broil, microwave, poach, or roast instead of frying.
  • When you roast, place the meat on a rack so the fat can drip away.

Go Meatless?

A safe alternative is vegetable burgers instead of beef burgers. No meat, no meat juices!

Vegetable Burger Here are three of the best of the best rated on the market:

  1. Morningstar Farms Spicy Black Bean - Best selling veggie burgers! Made with black beans, roasted corn, brown rice and chili peppers for a little kick. Contain 73 percent less fat than regular ground beef. Regular ground beef contains 15g total fat per serving (67g).
  2. Gardenburger Savory Mushroom - A delicious whole grain burger made from fine portabella mushrooms, Mozzarella, wild rice, fresh onions and rolled oats.
  3. Boca Burgers All American Classic Made With Non-Gmo Soy - A barbecue favorite made with Non GMO soy and Cheddar cheese.

Because veggie burgers are so much lower in fat, and don't have the same juices and fat that a beef burger has, you need to oil your grill to prevent them from sticking. Clean your grill - scrape off any bits and pieces. Take a paper towel dipped in oil and rub it thoroughly across the grates. Alternatively, you can spray your grill with a non-stick cooking spray.

Ten Tips for Good Grilling

  1. Clean the grill rack of any encrusted food every time you grill.
  2. Moisten a cloth with olive oil and rub it on the grill rack just before heating the grill.
  3. Preheat the rack four to five inches above the coals or heating element for fifteen minutes before cooking.
  4. Dry your meat or fish with paper towels, dispose, then lightly rub or spray with olive oil before placing on the grill.
  5. Grill fish or meat over a medium hot fire to brown while cooking to ensure it is cooked thoroughly.
  6. When grilling fish fillets, grill flesh side down first (with the exception of snapper fillets, which curl when turned) to create a golden-brown surface for serving.
  7. To avoid sticking and tearing, brown and lightly crust before moving.
  8. If you like a smoky flavor to your fish, cover the grill while cooking so the smoke penetrates the fillets.
  9. Cooking time is determined by the thickness of the meat or fish you are cooking. 1/2 to 3/4 inch thickness requires five to eight minutes with the exception of brats. Those require a much longer cooking time and must be done thoroughly for safety.
  10. If a fillet or steak is translucent, or very pink, when cut into at its thickest part it is not done.

Grilling Fish

If you enjoy grilling fish and a recipe calls for red snapper or tuna fillets but none are available to you, there are substitutions.

  • Red Snapper: Bass, Catfish, Cod or Scrod, or similar fish such as Hake and Haddock, Flounder or Sole, Grouper, Halibut, Monkfish, Orange Roughy, Perch, Trout
  • Salmon: Arctic Char, Mahi Mahi, Shad, Steelhead, Tuna
  • Tuna: Arctic Char, Mahi, Mahi, Pompano, Salmon, Shad, Trout.

Healthy Delicious Worry Free Grilling Marinade Recipes

Teriyaki Sauce

1 garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup lite soy sauce
1/2 cup water
Mix all. Pour over meat, fish or poultry. Marinate at least ten minutes. 1-cup


Turmeric Garlic Marinade

2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 cup orange juice
Mix all. Pour over meat, fish or poultry and marinate at least ten minutes. 1/2 cup.


Rosemary Fresh

Rosemary Tea Marinade

1/2 cup concentrated tea (two bags brewed in 1/2 cup hot water for five minutes)
1 teaspoon crushed rosemary
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons Kikkoman Lite Soy Sauce
Add rosemary, garlic, honey and soy sauce to hot tea. Cool slightly. Pour over steaks, ribs, burgers, chicken or fish. Marinate at least ten minutes. 1/2 cup.

Printable copy of the marinade recipes (new window).