Can BBQ dinner really cause cancer?

Is barbecuing bad for your health? questions and answers

Why does the meat change color when grilled?

In addition to a lot of protein and water, meat also contains a little sugar. From around 150 degrees Celsius, sugar molecules combine with amino acids, the components of proteins. The French chemist Louis Camille Maillard was the first to discover these highly complex chemical processes. After him they are called "Maillard reactions". The golden brown color is a visible expression of the Maillard reaction. The taste also changes and becomes spicier - not only with meat, but also with bread and cheese, biscuits and French fries.

Is barbecuing bad for your health?

A number of substances that are produced during grilling are in fact considered to be harmful to health. The more fat and meat juice drips onto the charcoal, the more smoke rises. It contains so-called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). Some of the 250 or so chemical compounds of this type are carcinogenic. The meat should therefore not be deglazed with beer. In addition, so-called HAA, heterocyclic aromatic amines, can form in the brownish crust of meat and fish at temperatures as low as 120 degrees Celsius. You are suspected of causing cancer.

Do you grill more healthily with gas and electric grills?

Even if there is hardly any general answer: In principle, it is like that. The food to be grilled does not come into direct contact with flames, nor does it form a harmful crust. Normally, no PAHs are formed either. Ultimately, however, it depends on the device you are using - there are also electric grills that burn fat. This is probably one of the reasons why a trend can be observed: more and more charcoal grills are being replaced by appliances with gas or electrical connections.