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Barbecue with benefits: top 3 culinary techniques that minimize the content of carcinogenic substances

Lubov NatochiyLS Food
Meat should be baked, not smoked
Meat should be baked, not smoked

It turns out that it is possible to make barbecue less harmful by simply minimizing the content of carcinogenic substances. All you need to do is marinate it properly and add certain spices.

1. The point of marinating is to make the meat softer by breaking down the fibers. This happens in an acidic environment, but not every acid is suitable for this.

Ordinary table vinegar not only gives off a pungent odor and is not good for the stomach, but it also has the opposite culinary effect: acting too aggressively, it destroys the protein structure so much that the meat juice leaks out and the dish becomes even tougher. A more acceptable choice is a small amount of natural vinegar (wine, apple cider vinegar) or diluted juice of sour fruits (lemon, orange, kiwi juice).

A number of studies have also defended marinating in dry wine, which is rich in antioxidants. And researchers from the University of Porto consider dark beer to be the best option. Their experiments have shown that marinating in such a drink halves the formation of carcinogenic substances formed during baking. However, the taste of beer marinade is for the amateur.

Barbecue with benefits: top 3 culinary techniques that minimize the content of carcinogenic substances

2. The best spices are fresh herbs. "And it's not that fresh plants, unlike dried ones, have ten times more vitamins and bioactive substances," explains Boris Skachko, a therapist, herbalist, and medical blogger, "the role of parsley, basil, or cilantro in a marinade is to improve the taste. After the herbs give off their flavor, they are thrown away, as is customary in Georgian cuisine. Dry spices stick to the meat and release carcinogens when burned. In this case, eating barbecue can be equated to smoking cigarettes.

3. Bake, not smoke – by following this rule, we again minimize the amount of harmful substances. Even when kebabs are laid out over coals that have already burned well and do not smoke, there is room for a common mistake. When the fat drains from the meat, the fire flares up, and in order to dampen it, water or marinade is usually poured over the coals. What do we have in this case? That's right, carcinogens formed from the combustion of fat, plus carcinogens contained in the vapor and smoke streams formed after extinguishing. Therefore, when an open fire appears, you should temporarily remove the skewer from the grill, wait until the fat burns out, then turn the coals over and continue cooking.

Are you ready? Now it's time to think about herbs again – they will perfectly complement the meat!

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