Marinating your meats with herbs and spices before grilling.

Safe Summer Grilling: Marinate Meats with Herbs & Spices

A favorite summer pastime—cooking meats on the outdoor grill—is also known to cause carcinogenic HCAs (heterocyclic amines) to form. So this report will be welcome to backyard gourmets everywhere: in addition to enhancing meat’s flavor and keeping it juicy, marinades reduce the formation of cancer-causing compounds in browned meats.

While studying food science at Kansas State University, Doctor Fariba Emamgholizadeh, MD marinated steaks with three different commercial marinades one hour before grilling them at 400°F and compared them to similarly grilled unmarinated steak. In the marinated steaks, HCA levels were reduced an average of 71%. The doctor also found that using only the bases of the same marinades (without any herbs or spices) did not have the same protective effect.