9 Tips for Healthier Braaied Meat

1. Clean your grill to avoid flare ups. Less flare ups means less burnt meat.

2. Oil the grill and preheat before cooking. This keeps blackened bits from sticking to your food.

3. Don’t blacken your meat. Watch the temp and flames. Cut off any rogue black edges before eating.

4. Marinate meats in something acidic or rich in vitamin C. Turns out this simple and flavor-giving step can prevent HCAs (heterocyclic amines) from forming. For example, use a marinade containing: lemon, lime, grapefruit, or orange juice, vinegar, tomato juice, yogurt… even BEER! (And no, sweet BBQ sauce is not acidic enough. Put that on after you cook your meat). Aim to marinate for a few hours in the refrigerator or overnight before cooking, but even 30 minutes will help.

5. Season with fresh or dried herbs. These are not only super tasty, but packed full of antioxidants. Think rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, parsley, coriander… Maybe add a pesto after cooking,

6. Include fresh fruits and veggies with your meal. The antioxidants can “deactivate” the HCAs in cooked meat. The more colorful the better. Choose organic and locally grown if possible. Maybe a spinach salad? Side of blueberries and raspberries? Fresh Salsa? Veggies?

7. Use pasture-raised or grass-fed/finished meats. They contain healthier fats and more antioxidants that naturally may prevent HCAs from forming during cooking.

8. Skip the soda and drink unsweetened iced tea (optional). The antioxidants in tea help your body metabolize and eliminate the HCAs you’ve consumed. Save the sugar rush for a piece of dessert.

9. Last, but not least, go easy on the booze. Detoxification enzymes produced by your liver are key to getting rid of HCAs. If your liver is overloaded from binge drinking all day, it may not have the mojo to deal with HCAs. Instead, indulge in a few glasses of red wine (high in antioxidants like resveratrol) or some really good dark beer (the darker the beer, the higher the antioxidants).

Now go forth and BRAAI with confidence !

At Reservoir Hills Family Butchery, we can tailor pre-pack braai packs to meet any demanding requirement. We have a range of wet and dry rubs to complement your meats.