A dirty little secret about your blackened burger: Cooking animal protein over an open flame can produce substances known as heterocyclic amines (HCAs), which have been linked to stomach and colorectal cancers.
Here’s how you minimize your risk.
1) Position meat away from direct flame and flip frequently.
2) To reduce exposure to high heat, pre-cook meat in the microwave or oven for a few minutes prior to tossing it on the grill.
3) Use a marinade or rub to create a barrier between your food and the flame.
4) Drain off excess juices before eating—they contain concentrated HCAs.
5) Cut away overly blackened areas before serving.
6) Clean your grill after each use to prevent damaging chemicals from building up.
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