Healthy holiday grilling

Created: 05/22/2014 8:31 AM
By: Erika Edwards, NBC News

(NBC News) -- Hamburgers and hot dogs are typical and tasty Memorial Day fare, but there are a few ways to make your cookout a little healthier.

You may have heard cooking meats at high temperatures creates carcinogenic compounds in the form of char.

A recent study found that marinating meat with beer can cut down on that char build-up.

"Dark beer worked the best, but you could use any beer, lighter beers, and non-alcoholic beer worked as well," says Chef Robert Brener of Johnson and Wales University.

Fat that drips from meat causes flare-ups which can contribute to those carcinogenic chemicals.

Chef Robert recommends leaner cuts of beef.

"My personal favorite is skirt steak, and it's very inexpensive because nobody uses it, but it's really delicious," he says.

You can also expand your Memorial Day menu beyond burgers and dogs by loading the grill with veggies like asparagus, lettuces and peppers, and try grilling fruit like peaches and watermelons to intensify their sweetness and add a smoky flavor.

They're all sure-fire ways to get your summer off to a sizzling and healthy start to summer grilling.

Photo: NBC News

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