4 Tips for Safer Summer Grilling

A few wrong moves on the grill can come at a cost to your health. Luckily, our cookout fixes are easy--and result in even more delicious barbecue fare. Read on for 4 quick food tips.

1. Start With A Soak
Marinating meat in a mix of vinegar (or lemon juice), fresh herbs, and garlic--as we did with our pork--adds flavor and helps prevent the formation of carcinogens called heterocyclic amines (HCAs). If the mixture contains oil, be sure to let the excess drip off the meat (or pat it dry with a paper towel) to avoid flare-ups.

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2. Get Finicky About Fat
Before grilling the skirt steak in our Asian BBQ wraps, we took the time to trim any excess fat. The smoke caused by fat dripping onto the hot grill contains other harmful chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). And don't press down on your burgers--you want to keep the juices in the patties, not in the flames.

3. Avoid Overcooking
Don't char your meat. Scraping off burned parts won't get rid of the offending compounds. A few light grill marks are fine--don't go further than that.

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4. Clean The Grate
A dirty grill is not only unsightly but unhealthy. You wouldn't want those charred bits to hitch a ride on your next meal. Clean the grate after you finish cooking (while the grill is still hot but not turned on), using a long-handled steel-bristled brush.

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TELL US: What are your favorite foods to grill during the summer?

--By Lori Powell, Prevention

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