Grilling Meat In Dark Beer Reduces Carcinogenics, So Bring A Six-Pack Of Newcastle To Those Summer BBQs (For Marinating Purposes, Obviously)
As the weather gets warmer, it’s good to keep in mind that roasting slabs of meat on a grill is generally understood to be bad for your health, as it produces massive amounts of carcinogens. But a new study proposes a surprising method to alleviate those health drawbacks: Soak the meat in beer before grilling it. And make sure it’s dark beer.
How does this work? Well, a number of chemical processes involved in grilling meat produce carcinogens: The smoke, the dripping fat, the decomposition of organic matter in intense heat, and so on. These carcinogens — officially called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) — have been linked to tumors, birth defects, and reproductive problems in lab animals. It’s been known for some time that alcoholic marinades can reduce their potency, but no one had tested how effective different types of beer were on them.
Until now. In a study published by the American Chemical Society, researchers marinated pork for four hours in three different kinds of beer: Pilsner, a black ale, and a non-alcoholic Pilsner (which barely qualifies as beer, if you ask us, but never mind.) Then they grilled it, and compared the results to a slab of pork that hadn’t been marinated in anything.
As it turns out, the dark beer was more efficient at eliminating PAHs than any of the others, and it was really efficient: PAH levels in pork with a dark ale marinade were 53 percent lower than in any of the other meats. The Pilsner reduced PAHs by 25 percent, while even the non-alcoholic beer caused a 13 percent decrease in carcinogens.
So, when you’re planning your next spring barbecue, make sure you grab a pack of Newcastle, which you were probably going to do anyway.