Is black soot on food from grill safe to eat?
You probably have grilled some meat and noticed that there’s some black soot on it. Some people may have no problem eating it – black soot on meat and all – but there are those who wonder about its safety.
So, what’s the deal with the black soot, and is it really bad for your health?
Discover whether you are putting your health in harm’s way, or you are perfectly fine from that black residue on grilled food. Here we go!
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Black Soot On Food From Grill Safe To Eat?
Barbecue and grilled food fans out there know that nothing beats home-grilled meals. Whether it’s pizza, steak, potatoes, or chicken, it’s always a treat to enjoy that delicious meal you have just made.
However, grilled meat can also be a cause of health issues for some people. Food-borne illnesses do happen, which is why it is very important to preheat your grill before using and scrub it well to remove residue. This will help to prevent all the nasty soot from getting on your food.
Do take note that your grill harbors food debris for several days, weeks, or up to many months. Any small items of food on the grill can attract insects, birds, and other animals. Moreover, these can result in bacteria growth on the surface of your grill. To make things worse, food bits left on the grill can result in unusual flavors or odors in the food you cook over them.
In the case of black soot, that’s another thing worth looking into. This component includes harmful chemicals such as benzopyrene and dioxins that are dangerous to the body. This is why long term, you may reap the bad effects of black soot that you eat along with your food.
How To Prevent Black Soot On Food
With all these things in mind about the bad effects of black soot on food, you need to do a bit of work to prevent it from happening.
If you want to fire up your grill and cook your meat, then you need to prepare your grill first. The last thing you want is to have those remnants and bits of last night’s (or last week’s) meat cause you cramping, bloating, vomiting, and diarrhea because of the bacteria in them.
Flames blast away the germs but then again, they are not completely effective. The best thing to do is to clean your grill first before you cook, then you can be more confident about using it. Your mind will be at ease knowing that it’s free from bacteria and all the nasties.
With that being said, here are some tips on how to clean the grill to prevent the nasty health effects.
1. Preheat your grill.
This is a VERY important first step that you simply should not skip. When you preheat the grill for up to 10 minutes, this helps to destroy the bacteria that may have developed over time. It alsos burns away those food bits stuck on the grill, which destroys the bacteria. Moreover, preheating primes the grates since they are too cold to cook your food properly.
When you stick some meat on the cool grill grates, it will only end up bonding – so it will be a pain to remove the meat afterwards. So, what you’ll get is tears and shreds of the meat and without those beautiful sear marks.
The ideal preheating time for gas grills is 10 minutes or even up to 15 minutes since it takes some time for the ceramic rods or metal bars to produce radiant heat and get warm enough for optimal cooking.
On the other hand, charcoal grills generate more radiant heat. This is why heating them up does not take too long.
2. Clean the grill surface.
It is not even worth scrubbing up a cold grill. Instead, you should spend more time cleaning the grates right away after preheating it and before you cook again. This is the time when residue and grease on the grates are quicker to remove, as well as any food debris.
When cleaning grates, it is best to use a wire brush. But if the bristles end up popping loose as you clean, throw it away – the last thing you want is to have loose wires on your food!
3. Oil the grates as needed.
There are many foods that don’t stick well to heated grill grates. On the other hand, delicate food items such as fruit, vegetables and fish stick easily because these are more tender. So, to prevent them from sticking to the grates, you should oil up the grates. This also prevents residue on the grates that will later on become a target for bacteria infestation.
We recommend using canola or corn oil, as long as the smoke point is high. Avoid olive oil since it burns easily and leaves a bitter or odd flavor to the food. You can quickly oil your grill by dipping paper towel in a bowl with oil. Using long tongs, grab the oiled paper towel and rub over the grates.
In case there are flames coming up from the burners, wait for a bit until they have died down. Otherwise, you might ignite the paper towel!
Read more: Are Pellet Grills Good For Burgers?
We hope this answered your question, “Is black soot on food from grill safe to eat.” Now, you are more aware of what black soot can do to your body and what you can do to avoid it on your food.
All it takes is some preparation to prevent black soot on food. Be sure to get your grill clean before cooking by following our tips and you can avoid consuming the nasty components in black soot that impact your health.