There are three smells in the world that will surely drive most of humanity crazy – the smell of freshly baked bread, freshly brewed coffee and fire-cooked meat. Let ‘s open the secret: it all has to do with the Maillard reaction, which occurs between amino acids and sugars on heating. When our brain catches the characteristic aroma of this reaction, it is as if a magic lamp is lit inside it: “Oh yes! That’s what I need! “
Today, we have many kitchen tools at our disposal that allow us to cook meat obtained in the store without much effort: we can fry, steam, boil or cook. Or we can even put it in the microwave or entrust the preparation of dinner to the slow cooker. There are many options, but, you see, neither boiled nor even fried makes us feel like we cooked on an open fire (somehow we are not far from the cave people). And so in our life there will always be a place for a barbecue in nature or a grill party at home.
The benefits of “fiery” meat
Of all the cooking methods, grilling can be considered one of the healthiest (with the exception of steamed foods). Judge for yourself:
- such foods retain the most useful substances because they do not enter water or oil.
- Excess fat is partially drained into the coals and does not enter our body.
- we do not need to use extra fats (oil) for cooking.
Properly cooked meat and especially vegetables are perfectly suited to a healthy diet and many diets.
from the other side
As wonderful as the meat is, which has absorbed the smell of smoke and fire, this delicacy is not elusive. And most of the time, barbecue lovers fall into the trap called “too thick”. Within the barbecue menu, there are two major disadvantages.
This disadvantage is obvious: When we rely on bacon, pork, sausages and chicken legs, we run the risk of getting carried away and taking in too many calories, saturated fats and cholesterol.
The second disadvantage is less well known – they are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heterocyclic amines (HCAs). The former are formed when the fat from the meat drips on burning coals or on the grill, the latter when the meat is really burning. PAHs are deposited in food through direct contact with food and growing smoke. These hydrocarbons are carcinogenic and dangerous in that they can cause the development of oncology. HCAs appear directly on the surface of meat-based foods if left to brown too much.
What to do? Give up your favorite food? In no case! There are ways to enjoy barbecue without the risk of contracting dangerous diseases.
Ten simple tips for a healthy grill
In this section of the article, we have compiled some life hacks for you on how to make barbecue with maximum health benefits.
- Before you start cooking, make sure that your barbecue (grill, skewers and other mysterious items) is in perfect clean condition. They should not have leftovers from the previous meal.
- Only put the food on the grill / grill when it has reached the required temperature for cooking.
- If you often grill, choose the most dietary types of meat whenever possible. Yes, it is clear that fat pork and skinned chicken legs are superior in taste to turkey breast, but now we care about our health and not just primitive instincts. If you really want a thick one, save these pieces for the last batch so that the coals stay clean for as long as possible. By the way, it is really better to remove the skin from the chicken legs and other parts.
- Grill less ready-made semi-finished products: sausages, sausages and other similar foods are not initially the best choice for eating.
- Do not keep the meat on the fire for a long time: the more you do this, the more carcinogens accumulate on the surface of the food. To reduce the cooking time, cut your kebab into small portions that will cook faster. Another way to speed up the process is to make several piercings on each piece. Ideally, a portion of meat should reach the desired state in no more than 8-10 minutes (but that, of course, you still need to know).
- A good way to protect meat and especially fish from overheating is foil. Do not hesitate to experiment with it!
- To avoid HCA, use marinades more often. Marinades are a great way to reduce these dangerous compounds in your dinner. Choose low-fat options – with lemon, vinegar, ketchup, wine, soy sauce, honey and spices. There is information that marinated meat is 90-99% less exposed to HCA formation.
The most convenient way to marinate the meat is in a large zippered bag. Place the open bag in a medium bowl, fill with all the ingredients and seal to remove excess air. As a result, the meat must be completely surrounded by marinade. Store the package with the future barbecue should be in the refrigerator.
- Do not water the meat that is over the coals, the remnants of the marinade – it already contains meat juices and fats. If you like this technique, it is best to add a little clean marinade beforehand.
- You often turn the meat to avoid excessive exposure to fire and heat, which lead to the formation of HCA.
- Be sure to fill the meat with vegetables. Roasted on charcoal, it is a delicacy no worse than protein food. In addition, with this method of preparation, they retain the maximum of useful substances. And do you know what the most beautiful thing is? PAHs are not formed in vegetables! So do not hesitate to put on the grill sweet peppers, tomatoes, red onions, zucchini, zucchini, eggplant, young corn and carrots. For the more adventurous, there is still fruit – this is also very tasty and healthy. We advise you to try pineapples, apples, pears, peaches and plums (fresh, of course, not canned).
What is your favorite grilled dish?