Charcoal grill is one of the most popular pastimes in recent times for many reasons. We like it more in the winter. Charcoal is less expensive than other fuel sources such as gas. Many people like it for the unique smoky flavor as well. Did you ever think about whether it is healthy or bad for your health? In this article, we will try to find out the answer to this burning question of whether charcoal grilling is bad for you or not.
Is grilling good or bad?
In general, grilled foods are good for our health. They can be a good option if you want to avoid foods that are fried or cooked in any other method. The charcoal grill is one step ahead in this regard. It will take the fats away from the meats. It is less expensive compared to other cooking methods. Additionally, it provides a smoky flavor to the food that you’ll never get from anywhere. Therefore, foods cooked with charcoal grill is good for us if we follow the right techniques.
Grilling at high temperature
Cooking at high temperatures is not good. It produces a chemical substance called heterocyclic amine or HCA. Although it is debatable whether this component is bad for the human body, scientists have found cancer-causing elements while testing on animals.
The charcoal grill is not the only cooking method that is responsible for HCA. Any kind of cooking at high temperatures may result in this compound. If you consume grilled food occasionally, then you are less likely to catch up with any harm. Boiling, baking, and frying may also produce HCA if the temperature is high. Therefore we should control the amount of heat during the preparation of anything we eat.
The danger of charcoal grilling
During ignition, we use lighter substances such as gasoline. These highly inflammable substances may create serious burns. Therefore we should carefully consider the number of lighting fluids during ignition.
Other than this, charcoal is a material that is made of carbon. When we burn this substance in an enclosed space, there is a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. It may also cause danger if the fire goes uncontrolled. The smoke and fire can damage the house and cause problems in the long run.
Therefore, below are potential problems and dangers by charcoal grill –
- Production of heterocyclic amine (HCA) when cooking at high temperatures.
- Burning of foods when using highly inflammable substances.
- The danger is caused by carbon monoxide ( CO) if we operate the grill in a closed space.
- The potential danger is caused by uncontrolled fire if we use the grill casually.
How to mitigate the health risk?
The potential risk caused by a charcoal grill is not a unique problem to it. It may happen in any cooking method. Below are some important tips for you to subdue the risk of any unwanted incident –
- Do not cook at burning temperature. While you are grilling, it may not be possible to control the temperature perfectly. Therefore, do not consume charred food frequently.
- White charcoal is a good alternative to the traditional black one. The chemical property of white ones differs from black. They can be used as electromagnetic wave absorber and bathroom deodorizer.
- Be careful when handling inflammable substances. Use proper safety equipment when cooking.
- Use the charcoal grill in an open space. It will reduce the danger of toxicity due to carbon monoxide.
Whether it is healthy or not, no harm to keep cautious. A charcoal grill is good for enjoying your leisure. It is inexpensive and produces a unique taste. But my final suggestion is not to overdo it. Follow the guideline that I have discussed. I hope you will enjoy the smoky grills without any harm.