Barbecue Party Tips

The barbecue season is in full swing, and you may already feel, confusedly, that all this burnt fat, salt, chips, sweet drinks are not doing your body any good.

You’re right: barbecue coal releases dioxins, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and toxic heterocyclic amino acids in large quantities.

According to the environmental association Robin Hood:

“The burning of the two kilograms of charcoal used during a two-hour barbecue evening, with a grill of four steaks, a grill of four pieces of turkey and a grill of eight large sausages, generates twelve to twenty-two nanograms of dioxins, the equivalent of one hundred and twenty thousand to two hundred and twenty thousand cigarettes. “» [1]
Of course, this comparison involves swallowing all the smoke from a barbecue for two hours, which is obviously impossible.

However, barbecuing, as it is usually done, provides a huge amount of advanced glycation products (or AGEs), toxic compounds that are formed by the intense heat of embers on meat proteins.

So here are five useful tips for healthy, more successful and enjoyable barbecues:

1) Marinate your meats in wine or beer before grilling.
Wine, especially red wine, is rich in antioxidants, which penetrate into the meat and partially neutralize the free radicals produced by barbecuing.

You will enhance the effect by adding antioxidant-rich spices and herbs to your marinade: pepper, turmeric, paprika, thyme, curry, thyme, thyme, tarragon, garlic, etc.

In the past, marinades were mainly used to soften meat, to remove its taste when it was too “advanced”, when there was no refrigerator. However, always leave your marinades in the refrigerator.

2) Pre-cook your meat in a steamer or oven at low temperature (80°C)
If you take your meats out of the fridge and put them directly on the barbecue, you will have to leave them longer – too long – so that they are hot inside.

Steam or bake your meats in a low temperature oven, and only use the barbecue to finish them. You will avoid charring them, but also drying them out.

3) Use a vertical barbecue
The classic barbecue is horizontal: the grill is placed above the embers. Your meats do not only harvest heat: they also gorge themselves with the carcinogenic hydrocarbons from combustion.

In professional roasters, you notice that the meats are placed next to each other, not above the flames.

The vertical barbecue is the solution.

It should be noted that, in the absence of iron brooches or grids, it is likely that our hunter-gatherer ancestors would place their food beside the fire, placed on large hot stones, rather than above.

4) Plan ahead for everything you need
This is a very simple advice, but it is perhaps the most important on the list.

Make sure you have everything on hand before you start: meat, marinades, vegetables, dishes, fuel, utensils, herbs, aprons, aprons, towels, sopalin and handles, and even cold drinks at hand.

The goal is to avoid leaving the barbeque on the way.

The barbecue is always delicate. It must be followed like milk on the fire. Experience shows that it is usually when you leave that everything starts to burn and you find your charred meat, therefore particularly toxic.

5) What to eat and drink with meat?
You can already guess what I’m going to say: if the barbecue is so bad for your health, it’s also, and perhaps above all, because of all the “junk food” we eat and drink with it.

Too often, all the energy is put into lighting it up, grilling it, and the rest is just uncorking beer or soda cans, opening a packet of chips or aperitif cookies.

The pleasure of barbecuing will be multiplied if the grilled meats are accompanied by a good green salad with lemon, olive oil and fresh herbs, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, onions that may also be grilled, olives, homemade iced tea, melon, watermelon, etc.

You will not sacrifice anything of the festive spirit of the barbecue by eating all these good things. On the contrary, it will be an opportunity to do it more often, without scruples or ulterior motives because you will eat healthy.