We are in the heat of summer here in the Pacific Northwest. This is the perfect time of year to take cooking outside to the grill for social gatherings and delicious food. Here are five tips to keep in mind for healthy, safe, and tasty grilled food.
2: Keep it cold and watch the time.
o Keeping cold foods below 40°F prevents the growth of foodborne illness causing bacteria that grow rapidly between 40°F and 140°F. If food is above 40°F for more than 2 hours or 1 hour when outside temperatures are above 90°F, it is a high risk for causing foodborne illness.
o The same guidelines as above apply for hot foods: keep them at or above 140°F. Also, be aware of time in the "danger zone" (40°F to 140°F) to keep yourself and guests safe at outdoor eating events.
o Use coolers, ice, and ice packs to keep cold foods below 40°F. Use insulated containers and wrap food well to keep it above 140°F until serving.
4. Make your grill and plate colorful.
o Grilling fruits and vegetables and adding them to your plate is an important way to provide vitamins and antioxidants, while reducing carcinogen intake. Carcinogen formation is minimal when grilling fruits and vegetables in comparison to meats. They will add visual appeal to your plate and benefit your health! Certainly a win-win worth celebrating!
5. Be careful with grill cleaning tools.
o Metal bristles on grill brushes can break off and stick to your grill grates and attach to your next batch of grilled food. This is a major hazard that can harm you and your guests. There are wooden tools available that allow you to scrape down your grill, while the wood falls on the heat source. Another option is to use a scouring pad type utensil. If you use bristle brushes, make sure to inspect your grill closely for any broken pieces that you or your guests might end up accidentally consuming.
These are a few tips we covered in our Summer Grilling cooking class at Verdant for a healthy and safe grilling experience!
Ready for recipes that are full of flavor and nutritious? See below for a few we tried.
Happy summer grilling!
-Emilyann Kinlaw, RDN
1Gibis, M. Effect of oil marinades with garlic, onion, and lemon juice on the formation of heterocyclic aromatic amines in fried beef patties. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2007 55(25):10240-10247.
2Melo, A.; Viegas, O.; Petisca, C, Pinho, O, Ferreira, I. Effect of beer/red wine marinades on the formation of heterocyclic aromatic amines in pan-fried beef. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2008 56(22):10625-10632.
3University of Arkansas, Food Safety Consortium. Brush on the marinade, hold off the cancerous compounds. ScienceDaily. 28 June 2007. Accessed 21 July 2017.
A place for our consultant Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) to share nutrition science, yummy and healthy recipes, tips on seasonal ingredients, and other nutritional musings. Enjoy!