Summer Grilling Season

Aloha and E Komo Mai! (Hi and Welcome!)

Well it is now the middle of June and BBQ season is in full swing! Although I continue to grill everything year round – even in Colorado because all food tastes, smells and looks better and can be is healthier for you if you follow a few simple rules.

There has been a lot of discussion about the potential dangers of grilling meats from the Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH ) resulting from fats dripping down onto the coals and deposit on the meat being grilled. Another chemical of concern is Hetrocyclic Amines (HCA) which is when beef, chicken, pork or fish meets high heat and begins to char.

Although both PAH and HCAs carcinogens are bad for you, there are ways in which to avoid these dangers. Try a marinade that contains rosemary or tart cherries at least and hour before hitting the grill. Marinades made with rosemary or tart cherries have shown to reduce the formation of PAH and HCAs significantly because of the compounds they contain and as an added bonus, cherries slow oxidation and spoilage!

Additionally many herbs such as oregano, basil, thyme, mint, sage, savory, garlic and thyme also help to reduce the dangers of carcinogens while enjoying your grill. Try exploring new tastes by mixing up fresh herbs into your marinades along with honey which also blocks the production of HCAs

Making a marinade is simple dependent on your taste and what you’re grilling. With chicken, pork and fish/shellfish I will add lemon or lime juice along with dragon fruit, mango or pineapple to my selection of herbs and spices. Usually it is mint, ginger and freshly zested orange or lemon peel. With my marinades is add a little (1/8 c.) of toasted sesame oil because it intensifies the flavors of the mix. For beef I make up a marinade that contains wine as below:

1 c. red wine

½ c. olive oil

2 tbsp. toasted sesame oil

¼ c. balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp. salt

2 tsp. oregano, rosemary, thyme, red chili garlic and basil

Mix everything in a large bowl and pour into a big zippy bag and put in meat and let soak for at least 1 hour. The longer it soaks the more flavor to the meat.

There are many great sites that can help give more marinade recipes to explore such as or or be adventurous and try mixing a marinade based on you taste desires.

Michiko Burns

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