Grilling Goes Healthy

It’s late spring and it’s time to grill.  Challenge yourself to get creative this summer and make something other than hot dogs and burgers, while delicious, there are many more options to grill.  With any grill, most meats need a good marinade before cooking.

Why marinate?  It helps add flavor, moisture, tenderizes the meat, plus could reduce the production of potentially cancer-causing compounds in grilled meat.  Marinating meats before grilling them may reduce the amount of heterocyclic amines (HCAs) that can form on meat exposed to high cooking temperatures. Studies have shown that in some cases, even briefly marinating foods can reduce HCAs by as much as 92% to 99%, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research. Scientists aren't sure exactly what causes this.  A marinade may act as a barrier, or the protective powers may lie in the ingredients, like vinegar. Here’s some ideas for marinades.  

Italian Herb

Basil Balsamic

Sweet and Spicy Ginger

Before you start cooking, be sure to have clean grill grates.  Don’t let the charred buildup on your grill transfer to your meal. Use a wire brush to give your grill a good cleaning. Then wipe it down with a cloth or wadded-up bunch of paper towels to make sure that no grill-cleaning bristles will get into your food.  Use metal tongs to grasp the cloth or paper towels as you wipe down the grates.

Use a cleaning solution like Weiman for deep cleaning.   There are natural solutions such as Grill Grate or Traeger.

Look for these grill tools on your next Home Goods trip or check your local grill guru. We love Code 3 BBQ Supply in Collinsville, IL, for help from the professionals.

  1. Grill basket: A grilling basket is a wire basket made out of usually large-weave mesh. ... Grilling baskets can be used for vegetables, seafood or small pieces of meat that might fall through the grate of your grill down into the flames or coals.  Grill baskets or kabobs allow you to grill smaller pieces of meat so if you’re looking to save time, smaller pieces will cook faster if you're in a hurry.

  2. Thermometer: A meat thermometer or cooking thermometer is a thermometer used to measure the internal temperature of meat, especially roasts and steaks, and other cooked foods.  They even make wifi enabled meat thermometers now so you can keep an eye on the temp and step away from the grill.  

  3. Long, metal tongs:  I have several pairs because I use tongs for everything.  I keep the extra long ones for the grill to easily move food around without getting to close to the heat.  

Listen to the full episode for more on making complete meals on the grill.