Enjoy healthier summer grilling with these easy-to-remember tips

It doesn’t matter if you’re in the deep woods camping or just having friends over for a barbecue, there’s something genuinely pleasurable about grilling out.

While there is nothing wrong with cooking up some simple burgers and hot dogs, it’s also a good idea to find healthier ways to enjoy cooking over an open flame. Keep these tips in mind the next time you fire up the grill:

SAFETY FIRST

Try to have at least two sets of tools and utensils for handling meat: one for raw products, the other for fully cooked foods. A food thermometer is the only reliable way to ensure meats have been cooked properly and are ready to eat.

Keep your grill clean to cut down on adding extra meat char to whatever you are grilling. To help reduce the char, place a layer of foil between the heat source and meat or try to turn the meat with increased frequency.

POWER PROTEIN

When it comes to grilling your proteins think low soaked and lean:

  • Low: High heat can overcook the meat and replace rich flavors with crispy char. When using charcoal, make sure the flames have died down and the coals are spread evenly.
  • Soaked: Marinades can bring dynamic flavors to your beef, chicken, pork, fish and tofu selections. Choose a marinade low in sugar to reduce char.
  • Lean: There are 29 cuts of beef that meet government guidelines for lean (10g of total fat, 4.5g of saturated fat). Fats from beef, chicken, pork and even fish can cause flare ups when they drip through the grill onto the heating source.

VEG OUT

It doesn’t matter if you are using kabobs, a basket or direct grilling, flame-kissed vegetables pack incredible flavor and add variety to your cookout. Lightly oil the grill to keep food from sticking. Wash then chop your produce without peeling to lock in more flavor and nutrients. Add a little cinnamon when grilling fruit to help maximize the flavor.