Tips on Grilling Meat for Memorial Day

Tips on Grilling Meat for Memorial Day

POSTED: Friday, May 22, 2009 - 2:07pm

UPDATED: Thursday, February 25, 2010 - 12:33pm

Just in time for the Memorial Day cookout, a new study finds people who eat well done meat on a regular basis may be more susceptible to pancreatic cancer.

While it's not proof that grilling causes the disease, it does add weight to evidence that cooking meats at very high temperatures creates chemicals that may raise the cancer risk. The good news, scientists are also uncovering strategies that can help protect foods and people, medical reporter Helen Chickering has details.


More tips: Line your grill with foil poked with holes to allow the fat to drip down. That, and avoiding smoke flare-ups, which also contain cancer-causing substances that coat the meat, will lessen your exposure.

Science: Grilling at high temperatures causes meat to form compounds called heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), both of which are known carcinogens. Baking and stewing are not a problem. Studies show that HCAs begin to form when these foods are cooked at temperatures above 352F. after about 4 minutes. PAHs are created when fat drips onto hot coals or stones, which are deposited back onto food by the smoke and flare-ups that blacken meat. Studies have also proven that we ingest these harmful substances because they show up in human blood samples.

Marinade Ingredients:
Equal parts of your favorite vinegar (balsamic, red wine or white wine vinegar), Extra Virgin olive oil
1-2 tsp grainy mustard.

Whisk with extra virgin olive oil and add 1-2 tsp of grainy mustard.

Use equal parts of your favorite vinegar (for example, balsamic, red wine or white wine vinegar), your favorite citrus juice + zest (for example, lime or lemon) - whisk with extra virgin olive oil and add your favorite fresh herbs (for example, rosemary, dill, or cilantro). Or try adding in minced fresh garlic or onion for some zing. Suggested Marinade time: Fish - 1 hr Poultry- 4-6 hrs Beef, lamb, pork - 6-8 hrs or overnight

Grilled Peach Salad with Goat Cheese and Toasted Almonds - Denise Snyder Denise Snyder, MS, RD, CSO, LDN, Nutrition Researcher Duke University School of Nursing

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons honey, 3 peaches, peeled, pitted and each cut into 6 wedges , Cooking spray , 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil , 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper , Dash of kosher salt , 1/3 cup sliced almonds , 10 cup spring mix (about 10 ounces) , 2 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese, 1 1/2 tsp fresh mint finely chopped


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread almonds in a single layer in a shallow pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 7 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Cool completely, and set aside.

2. Bring vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat, and simmer until balsamic vinegar is reduced to 2 tablespoons (about 2 minutes). Remove from heat; stir in honey. Cool to room temperature.

3. Coat grill rack with cooking spray. Prepare grill to high heat - move rack to highest setting.

4. Place peach wedges on grill rack; grill 30 seconds on each side or until grill marks appear but peaches are still firm. Remove from grill; set aside.

5. Combine oil, pepper, and kosher salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add spring mix, tossing gently to coat. Arrange spring mixture on a platter. Top with peach wedges. Drizzle with balsamic syrup; sprinkle with cheese and mint to taste.

6 servings (serving size: about 1 1/3 cups spring mix , 3 peach wedges, 1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic syrup, 1 teaspoon cheese, 2 1/2 tsp almonds, and 1/4 tsp mint)

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