Wanting to open a can of worm, are you? The question is, is charcoal grilling/smoking hazardous to your health?
The short answer is yes… but then again, most things are done in excess harm to our health, including drinking too much water. It should not pose any long-lasting effects if done occasionally as a treat. Just like eating dessert, done in moderation, your body should be able to deal with it.
What are the dangers of eating BBQ food?
- High temperatures of meat cooking have been linked to cancer in some cases (not just charcoal cooking).
- Overeating meat (red meat in particular) has been linked to cancer and other diseases.
- Smoke from charcoal can be carcinogenic if overeaten of it.
- Eating processed meat in particular (hot dogs, sausages) is linked to cancer.
Do you see a pattern here?
- Too much of anything is not good for you.
- If you are worried about cancer or have cancer, you should limit your intake of meat and charcoal grilling.
How can you reduce the health risks associated with grilling?
- Cut back on grilling red meat and processed meat.
- Grill more vegetables.
- Grill at lower temperatures and don't char meat.
- Marinate meat for at least 30 minutes (it reduces the formation of hydrocarbons).
- Cut the fat off your meat.
If you think of grilling and smoking a bit like dessert, it will typically be a treat you enjoy from time to time. But not necessarily with every meal.