It is hard to resist the temptation of grilled food, especially when someone is cooking in the close proximity. Grilled food is scrumptious, aromatic and healthy. Burgers, hotdogs, chicken, steak, vegetables and fruits taste a lot better when taken off the grill and served hot on the plate. Having a quality grill such as Traeger Renegade grill, which can cook food at precise temperatures without adding any unwanted flavors in the food make whole grilling experience a lot better.
But, do you know that there are certain health hazards associated with this outdoor cooking method. This is what we are going to discuss today because if you have a passion for outdoor cooking, then you must know all the drawbacks so that you can avoid those in the future.
7 mistakes while grilling that can make you sick:
1. Not giving ample time for marinades
Marinades are made with juices and spices that are rich in antioxidants. Marinades will act as a protective layer against dangerous grilling by-products. There is a cancer-causing compound found in meat, fish and poultry products by the name of Heterocyclic Amines (HCAs), which can be prevented from getting into the food if you choose to marinate for 10 minutes or so. This compound is formed when meat, fish or poultry products are cooked at high temperatures.
2. Not preheating for long enough
If the current preheating time is between 3-5 minutes, then you should extend it a bit. Make it up to 20-30 minutes because there are bacteria and other pathogens that are present on the grill that could cause illness. If the grill gets heated for 20-30 minutes, then the chances of getting in contact with bacteria and pathogens reduce significantly.
3. Using a single cooking method
Cooking food in the open is great, and we all know that. We have discussed the presence of HCAs in the food when cooking on the grill. But, that can be reduced up to a great extent if you choose to cook the food especially meat in the microwave for a few minutes. After cooking in the microwave, you can put it on the grill, and this small change in the cooking process can save you from cancerous compounds.
4. Playing with fire could be dangerous
At times, the fire goes wild while grilling, which is due to the fat content in the meat. So, if you are expert in grilling and know how to control wildfire, then keep grilling in the way in which you are grilling. But, if you want to play it safe, then reduce the amount of fat from the meat by making leaner cuts in meat such as round, loin, flank, skinless or boneless. Trim off any visible fat off meat, and remove extra marinade as well. Don’t add anything over meat when it is on the grill because it could result in a flare-up.
5. Not measuring the temperature.
It’s always exciting to grill over an open flame, but it is also important to take note of the temperature at which the food is being cooked. The color of the food is one of the indicators, but it is not always reliable. Therefore, it is important to have an accurate tool, i.e., a thermometer to be 100% sure about the temperature at which the food is being cooked.
6. Risk of Cross Contamination
Do you use a single tong and spatula while cooking food? If yes, then this may prove dangerous when grilling food because there are chances that the juices of raw meat could get mixed with prepared food. You need to wash utensils with warm water and soap before using them to manage cooked meat. A much better alternative would be to use a second pair of utensils.
7. Not taking care of cleanliness and hygiene
It is extremely important to cook in a clean and safe environment because if the grill grates are left in a dirty condition, then it leads to the accumulation of harmful residue and eventually, bacteria growth. You can make use of coffee to remove the grease from the grill grates.
If you are able to take care of these mistakes, then you will be only left with mouth-watering food to enjoy alone or with your family and/or friends.
Author Bio: Monica Henin is the author of this blog post. She has written a wide range of blogs and articles on food tips and healthy recipes, which are published on top websites all over the web. She is also a regular contributor on AddonKitchen.com, another top site for all food and kitchen related info…