Saturday, May 27, 2006

Live life like you're gonna die

...because you're gonna.

Apparently, charred food contains at least two carcinogens. And this being the start of the cookout season, our friends at NPR's Morning Edition tested out some of the "recipes" which are supposed to keep those chemicals from forming.

Steamed hamburgers? Cherries in your ground beef? Is it worth it to lengthen your life only by the number of extra minutes you spend griping about the bad food? And if we eat our leafy greens and some baked beans, and use a whole wheat bun for our perfectly seared burger, and drink a dark beer or a glass of red wine instead of a bottle of BudMilCoors, do we come out ahead or behind?

Once again, we're looking for the simple answers to complex questions. But there's a more important issue at stake here. As Deborah Franklin points out in her article, it's hot, dry cooking which causes these compounds to form, and moving toward slow, moist cooking methods reduces them.

A low, slow fire? With sauce and maybe some smoke? Well, now you're talking barbecue, son.

That's right... barbecue is health food. You read it here first.

I'm not half the grill master Tom is, but I do know a little bit about roasting on my Weber grill. When we bought our house, the oven on the stove didn't work. But my brothers gave us that grill as a first anniversary present, and it didn't take long before we were dropping roasts and butterflied chickens on it.

My 'cue technique still needs a lot of work... but if it's the magic bullet to fight cancer, well, everybody's got to do their part.

So think of the children, and look forward to collard season.


Blogger TeacherRefPoet said...

And a quote from my favorite cut from one of my favorite albums of recent vintage...

1:21 AM, May 28, 2006  
Anonymous swankette said...

Everything in Moderation, including Moderation. That's my approach to life, especially in the culinary area.

6:30 PM, May 29, 2006  
Blogger Rob said...

It's nice to know I'm not completely killing my friends when they join us for an al fresco dinner this summer! However I probably have to learn how not to light the @#$% burgers on fire in my grill's hotspots.

11:57 PM, May 30, 2006  
Blogger tommyspoon said...

Leaving aside the praise from this blog's proprietor, here are some grilling tips:

** Rob, do yourself a favor and fire up your grill and find out where the hotspots are. Every grill is different and hotspots will vary. One thing I can recommend to you is to position your grill in an area where winds are minimal. Wind is the chief exterior contributor to hotspot generation.

** Speaking of testing, you should rehearse any neato-keen Alton Brown homegrown hibachi trick that you'd like to show off to your friends. This is especially true when it involves a Memorial Day Block Party. Because if you don't, you will get to be really good friends with your broiler. (So I hear, anwyay...)

** Invest in a remote thermometer. Makes your life so much easier.


8:59 AM, June 02, 2006  

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