One of the joys of summer is being able to slap a steak on the charcoal grill. There’s only one problem: grilling meat can cause it to become cancerous.

Carcinogenic heterocyclic amines are created from the amino acids in the meat when it?s grilled. Actually, any kind of extreme heat does this: grilling, searing, pan roasting, frying. But grilling also creates unique compounds called polycyclic hydrocarbons, which come from the smoke.

One thing you can do to minimize the danger is precook food that takes a long time to grill by microwaving it or boiling it. This way, it will spend less time over the coals. Or you can fix food, like kabobs, that don’t take as long to cook on the grill as chicken and hamburgers.

You can also reduce the amount of smoke. Smoke creates charring, which deposits dangerous residue on the food. If you have flare-ups, squirt them with water. Make sure the food isn?t too close to the flame?6 inches from the heat source is best. Don?t use oil on the food, which makes it smoke?marinate the meat instead.

It seems like everything causes cancer these days, doesn’t it? Try not to let it ruin your summer.

NOTE: This news story, previously published on our old site, will have any links removed.

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