Healthy grilling - Part 1: You should avoid these 5 harmful substances


Barbecuing produces a lot of harmful substances that are a burden on the body. But you can avoid many of them. If you want to grill healthy, you should simply follow these 5 grilling tips.

1. Grill health trap "smoke"

The traditional charcoal barbecue is still very much in demand - it offers rustic barbecue pleasure with real fire and smoky aroma. Unfortunately it also produces a lot of harmful substances. Charcoal or briquettes smoke heavily and throw harmful particles such as fine dust and soot into the air.

Tips for healthy barbecuing:

  • Let the charcoal glow through well and then place your barbecue food on the grill - preferably on the edge of the barbecue. This way it gets less smoke off.
  • A gas barbecue emits far fewer pollutants to the food to be grilled, because it does not come into direct contact with the flame.

2. Grill health trap "dripping marinade

When it hisses and sizzles vigorously during barbecuing, another pollutant is produced: carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). They form when marinade, fat or beer drips into the embers. These hydrocarbons then rise as smoke and can attach themselves to the barbecue food.

Tips for healthy grilling:

  • Do not pour beer on the meat.
  • Place the food in ceramic grill pans or in enamel-coated pans. Special silicone grill mats are also very practical. This prevents liquid from dripping into the embers - the danger of harmful substances is eliminated. A tasty side effect: the food stays nice and juicy

3. Grill health trap "burnt meat"

Some like it extra crispy. But when chops and co. burn, heterocyclic aromatic amines (HAA) are formed. These probably cause cancer.

Tips for healthy grilling:

  • Don't let grease or beer drip into the embers. The rising smoke will then settle on the grilled food and the meat will burn.
  • Cut off burnt areas.

4. Barbecue health trap "cured"

Barbecuing cured meats produces carcinogenic nitrosamines.

Tip for healthy barbecuing:

  • Do not barbecue cured meats and sausages such as bacon, ham, bockwurst, meatloaf, pork sausage and smoked pork. In any case, there are much better alternatives for tasty barbecuing such as vegetable skewers or grilled fish.

5. barbecue health trap "aluminium"

Aluminium foil or even aluminium grill trays are very popular for barbecuing. But especially with salty or sour dishes such as sheep's cheese in brine or fish with lemon, the aluminium can literally dissolve and get into the food.

A tip for healthy barbecuing:

  • Barbecue trays made of ceramic or stainless steel, or grill mats made of silicone are harmless. They are also more environmentally friendly as they can be reused.
  • Or use an electric grill with a ceramic surface.

Climate friendly and fair grilling

Charcoal is popular: the Federal Environment Agency estimates that 243,000 tonnes of charcoal were imported into Germany in 2012 alone. Tropical forests are often cleared for this. In many countries, especially Brazil, the coal is produced with the help of child labour. Those who prefer charcoal from sustainable forest management and fair production choose products with the FSC seal and pay attention to the country of origin.