Grilling food is as old as humanity. These days home cooks no longer grill because it’s the only means available – grilling remains popular because food cooked over fire is so delicious. Lately, though, studies have shown that red meat grilled over high heat develops carcinogens.
While we normally think of meats as best for grilling – hamburgers and hot dogs, steaks, jerk chicken, for example – there are a number of healthier foods that grill up beautifully. In keeping with lifestyle changes that have us eating more plant-based dishes, a good grill should accommodate a wide range of ingredients. Consider the following suggestions for healthier grill-cooked meals.
Healthy Food Grilling Tips
- Veggies also taste great when grilled – fire can bring out a sweetness and flavor in asparagus, peppers, cauliflower, zucchini and corn that you didn’t know was there. Or make kebab skewers, alternating big chunks of vegetable with chicken or pork.
- Grilled whole fish is also a delicious and healthier alternative to steak. You can wrap it in foil or banana leaves for cooking and enjoy the bonus of a quick cleanup.
- If you must have red meat, use a marinade, especially if it’s loaded with spice or herbs such as rosemary, as these can mitigate or eliminate carcinogen formation. The same anti-oxidant reaction holds true for beer and wine marinades. Let food marinate for only a few hours though – marinating for longer can dilute the benefits.
- Pre-cook in a microwave before grilling. That way, food spends less time on the grill.
- Invest in a meat thermometer and learn about degrees of doneness rather than cooking everything to the point of char.
- Use a wood pellet grill such as the Big Green Egg instead of charcoal. They are easier to ‘set and forget’ so you’re less like to over-do or char the food you are cooking.
If you’re looking for a lifestyle change and a grill that can handle all this healthy goodness to go with it, check out Unique PSB. They stock the Big Green Egg and many other types of outdoor cooker and accessories to get your grill on in the warm months to come.