Saturday, June 1, 2013

Grilling meat unsafe?

Did you see the latest headlines? Apparently, grilling meat, or otherwise cooking it at high temperatures, creates carcinogenic compounds.

Aw. Sum.

So I kept reading. And googling. And reading. I couldn't find anything on PubMed. What I did find ranged from blog posts to news reports. No telling how concerned I should really be.

I did come across this number a few times: 300F. According to various sources (and who knows how credible the sources really are), the meat should be cooked below 300F to prevent any delicious charring, which would make the meat more delicious potentially create the carcinogenic compounds within the meat. It seems that everyone writing these articles agrees- the delicious charred and blackened meat is what is unsafe. This would include drippings, like bacon grease, which may be used to make gravy.

How did I deal with this? I rushed off to buy some ground beef for burgers. But before firing up the grill (a charcoal grill, using hardwood coals), I put our basic over thermometer on the lower grate, next to the coals. The burgers were above the coals, but I'm estimating the temperature wasn't too far off. The coals never reached 250F. We grilled the same way we always do. I'm sure sometimes the grill is hotter, and cooks burgers faster, but this was totally sufficient.

Just my unofficial, non-professional, two cents. I was excited to add my oven thermometer to the grill and water to share that idea.

Now, back to my dinner!