grilled chicken

With the middle of August somehow already here, fans of open-flame cooking are right to embrace the last stretch of grilling season with as much fervor as possible. But is it possible to fire up the grill without flaring up the health risks?

By now, many of us have heard about the potentially harmful chemicals known as HCAs and PAHs that form when meat, fish and poultry are cooked at high temperatures. The good news is, a few basic practices — particularly ones that shorten cooking time and scale back on charred areas of food — can help reduce exposure. While you’re at it, adopting a few commonsense rules (like scrubbing those tongs and also marinading properly) will serve everyone well on the food safety front. Here’s a late-summer refresher course on healthy grilling practices.

Start with a Clean Slate (That Is, a Clean Grate)
In the heard-it-before-but-worth-repeating category: Be sure the grill, utensils, your hands and prep surfaces are kept squeaky-clean to limit the spread of bacteria. And brush the grill before (and after) each cooking session to reduce the build up of burnt gunk on your food.

Pick Your Protein
Opt for quick-cooking and lower-fat cuts of meat to …read more

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