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Make Your BBQ Healthier in Five Steps!

Grilling is a fun way to cook foods – but isn’t always the healthiest preparation method. Learn how to make your BBQ habits healthier, while still delivering the taste that makes grilling so delicious!

It's delightful to grill outdoors when the weather is warm. Unfortunately, grilling meats can lead to the production of carcinogenic (potentially cancer-causing) chemicals called heterocyclic amines (HAs) as well as unhealthy polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The good news is it is simple to reduce both of these, making your BBQ healthier yet still as tasty for you, your family and your guests.


  1. Limit the quantity of meat you grill, and make grilled vegetables or wild Alaskan salmon the main course.
  2. Pre-cook your foods in the oven or on the stovetop and finish them off outdoors - less grill time means fewer carcinogens.
  3. If you do grill meat, cook it thoroughly, but avoid charring or blackening it (don't eat any blackened parts).
  4. Marinate your meats. Marinade may help reduce HA formation, especially if it's made with spices such as ginger, rosemary and turmeric.
  5. Avoid charcoal lighter fluid or self-starting packages of briquettes in a charcoal grill - they will leave residues of toxic chemicals in your food. A healthy alternative is an inexpensive chimney lighter that uses a small amount of newspaper to ignite a mass of charcoal in a large metal cylinder. Gas grills are good alternatives to those that use charcoal.

Click through to see our Healthy Grilling Visual Guide!