Ten top tips for smart grilling

It’s definitely time for the thrill of the grill. But considering just how long the BBQ season has become, practicing some grilling smarts is a wise idea. They not only promote healthier options but also keep foodborne illnesses at bay.

Here are ten tips for enlightened grilling:

© Amihays | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

© Amihays | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

•    Bump meat from its leading role

All too often, when the barbecue is fired up, meat is the star attraction. Vegetables tend to be minor players, garnishes and such,  if they appear at all.

By upping the role of veggies and fruits, it’s easy to cut down on the amount of meat and its accompanying harmful chemicals. Instead of a plain slab of steak, go for skewers of meat, vegetables and/or fruit. Or grill vegetables to have on hand for lunches and dinners for a few days.

•    Keep flare-ups to a minimum
Avoiding charred food can decrease the production of cancer-causing compounds. When grilling meat and poultry, trim visible fat and keep a spray bottle of water handy to fight any ferocious flames.

•    Cook food on the barbecue in foil packets.
While you may not use packets every time you grill, if you barbecue a few times a week, it’s a healthy alternative.

•    Pre-cook some fare
With options, like chicken on the bone, that require longer cooking, consider pre-cooking them for a few minutes in the microwave before putting them on the grill.

•    As with any food preparation, wash your hands
Do it before, during and after the grilling, especially if you’re the cook. Munching on some finger food offerings after you have placed some raw food on the grill could be cooking with fire – and not in the way you might like.

•    Marinate foods in the refrigerator, not on the counter.

•    If using the sauce used as a marinade to baste the items on the grill, boil it for a few minutes before serving.

•    If you are pre-cooking items before grilling them, do so right before the grilling so that they don’t sit out at a temperature that promotes microbial growth.

•    Be sure to use clean utensils and platters to remove cooked food from the grill.

•    Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. And to avoid the risk of the potentially fatal E. coli contamination, cook burgers until they’re no longer pink inside.

What are your favourite grilling combos. Please share in the comment section below.

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Categories: Food Safety, Tips and Tricks

Author:Rosie Schwartz

Rosie Schwartz is a Toronto-based consulting dietitian and writer.

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  1. Ten top tips for smart grilling « RD FRESH Manitoba - May 29, 2013

    […] Ten top tips for smart grilling. […]

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