Like many Canadians across the country, I cooked several meals this weekend on our barbeque. The one thing I forgot to do: properly marinate the meat. So thought it would be a great time to remind all of us of why marinating produces a healthier grilled dinner with some advice originally from Best Health’s associate editor Lisa Hannam.
Should you use beer or wine in your marinade? According to a study done in Portugal, marinating meat using red wine or beer reduces the carcinogens from grilling by 90 percent, compared to meat that hasn’t been marinated. The researchers suggest that the antioxidants and polyphenols in both red wine and beer clean up free radicals, thus targeting specific cancer-causing chemicals. According to the findings, beer is faster at reducing these chemicals than wine. When marinating beef, the reduction occurred after four hours in a pilsner beer, and after six hours in red wine.
Are you sure you have enough? Experts recommend that you mix up a half-cup (125 mL) of marinade for every pound (500 grams) of meat or poultry. Also, limit the amount of oil in your marinade to avoid smoke.
What about fish? When possible, keep the skin on. A study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that cooking salmon and sardines with the skin and scales left on reduced the formation of cancer-causing compounds.
Need a simple marinade? For 1 pound (500 grams) of meat, use 1/2 cup (125 mL) beer of your favourite beer, 1 clove garlic,1 Tbsp (15 mL) minced ginger and a squeeze of lemon juice. Make sure you store the marinating meat in the refrigerator.