Get grill savvy
For starters, limit grill time, suggests Allison Stowell, a registered dietitian in New York. “Thinner cuts of meat, precooking in the oven, or skewering small pieces of meat will reduce the amount of time meat is cooked on the grill at high heat and therefore limits the potential for the carcinogen production that can increase when food is cooked over a direct flame,” she says.
Trimming the fat before grilling is not only more healthful for you, but it also reduces the potential for drippings that cause flare ups (and ultimately charred meat), she adds.
Tip #1: Marinate Carefully: Thinner, vinegar-based marinades are a better option when it comes to reducing the risk of developing potential cancer-causing compounds when grilling. “Thicker, carbohydrate rich sauces (with honey or sugar) are more likely to cause charring,” Stowell says.
Tip #2: Hold the Sauce: If you love traditional barbecue sauce, use it once your meat is cooked. “Cook the meat at a lower heat and wait until the end to add barbecue sauce to reduce the potential for charring and increase your potential for juicy meat,” she says.