Anthony Bourdain once said
“BBQ may not be the road to world peace, but it’s a start”
Like such BBQ has become a culture States lifestyle. It’s 100% surely as you are a respectable contributor to those values. In family gatherings, for beautiful day-outs barbecues grilling are adding chilling memories. Even though everyone admires those superstitions, this passion for cooking makes some bad health impacts our lives on a significant level. Did you know Barbecue smoke is capable of giving you respiratory illnesses or sometimes even lung cancer? With keeping that in mind let’s join with today Know your facts – Is Barbecue Smoke So Bad? Read and enjoy.
Despite the Barbecue Smoke or not most of us well aware any sort of smoke is bad for inhale to the body. But it has been scientifically explained that these smoke particles are capable of go into the body not only through breathing but also through our skin and Barbecue foods. According to the records, if you are exposing to Barbecue Smoke in one day for one hour, you are at a potential health risk directly with many dangerous illnesses. ( Reference)
Before we get into the risk side of the topic let’s discuss How does Barbecue Smoke generate by this grilling process.
What the process of Barbecue Smoke?
If you are a good fan of Barbecues you do surely know there are several steps to be handled here.
According to professionals, smoking briskets is no easy task to be achieved. It takes more than several hours or days for the patient to keep the meat in smoke until it absorbs the smokiness inside.
There are 2 types of Barbecue Smoke in the cooking. One is cold smoking and the other one is hot smoking.
In cold smoking, we use a temperature range of nearly between 68°F and 86°F. Mainly precooked meat is used here, but under low-temperature levels, that method is not smoked as another method.
In the hot smoking method, a higher temperature range is used like 126°F to 176°F. Sometimes it’s higher than that.
Therefore, practically this smoke has included hydrocarbons, particles matter other particle impurities in a burn, etc. which are capable of going into food and hopefully you get the illness.
Also, smoke may increase a food’s VOC absorption when it exposes to higher temperature levels inside the smoker.
Barbecuing is also the same as smoking. But, it normally works with meat with hard skin like pork or beef.
This takes place to overheat with a temperature range of about 190 to 300°F in a longer period. That is why professionals use the phrase “slow and low” with barbecuing.
But, due to this reason, all VOCs release to the air re-absorbed by meat inside the closed hood traps.
Grilling is processed for a short period in a higher temperature range like 400°F to 550°F. Unless other method absorbances of volatile organic compounds are much lesser here.
But it generally produces a higher level of Barbecue Smoke to the outside.
So it is much risker to your lungs before your other body parts. In the grilling process, less amount of exposure is much expectable than other kinds of barbecuing procedures.
Almost every Barbecue Smoke is a health hazard but, it depends on how you are going to expose to it. Also, there are a number of contaminants in the Barbecue Smoke in a single release. Let’s check out some.
Toxin Compounds in Barbecue Smoke
1. Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)
This is one of the main compounds present in Barbecue Smoke as a toxin. The main dangerous part is it can trigger cancer cells in the body. PAHs are formed when fat and juices from meat grilled directly over a heated surface or open fire drip onto the surface or fire, causing flames and smoke.
You can understand how dangerous it is when it can be a presence even in cigarette smoke and car exhaust fumes.
In most times PAH formation can be depended on meat type, temperature level you use, and what type of cooking method you follow.
The main impact of the released PAHs level is it can damage the DNA by specific enzymes after its metabolize process.
Record has pointed out that it can give tumors of the breast, colon, liver, skin, lung, prostate, and other organs. This condition can mostly impact animals. But, it passes the specific dose level, a human can also a certain amount of impact. (Reference)
2. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)
In Barbecue, cultural charcoals are the most famous energy source in the community. Eventually, it can generate more energy than other sources and much convenient in outdoor activities.
But the issue is it can generate much air contaminates which can impact your body through food or while you are inhaling.
With the busy schedule of life and with new trends, the community is developing a culture of indoor barbecue food with charcoal ovens. Today it has become a direct reason to increase the air contaminants.
In this list VOC (volatile organic compounds) one of the main reasons for making you ill. Mostly it can be emitted from fried foods on a hot pan above a charcoal burner.
Most of these VOCs can directly give your health hazard conditions like an irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, loss of coordination, nausea, damage to the liver, kidney, and central nervous system.
Mostly in restaurants, customers consider Barbecue Smoke as the freshness of the food. So even though it gives some unpleasant vibes most of them try to enjoy it as part of the tradition.
But it comes with serious health conditions anyway. (Reference)
3. Hetero Cyclic Amines (HCAs)
Heterocyclic amines are also chemicals formed with PAHs when heating meats at a high temperature. Studies show compounds like amino acid compounds, sugars, and creatine or creatinine react in high temperatures and form these HCAs.
But unless PAHs compounds HCAs cannot be found in food at a significant level.
Most of the well-done, grilled, or barbecued chicken and steak got a high level of HCAs in food preparation.
Same as the PAHs, Heterocyclic amines are capable of cancers including leukemia and tumors of the gastrointestinal tract and lung. Most for animals.
It cannot be predicted certain level of the exact level of HCAs or PAHs gives you cancers in humans in Barbecue Smoke. From person to person activity of the enzymes with these compounds can be changed.
Therefore, minimize that impact is the best thing you can do to get rid of that risk. (Reference)
4. Carbon Monoxide (CO)
CO also known as “silent killer” is one of hidden dangerous air contaminant formed due to low oxygen content. It is a colorless, tasteless, odorless gas that is non-irritating, and very hard to detect.
If you inhale CO in any accident it gives headaches, nausea and vomiting, exhaustion, drowsiness, dizziness and light-headedness, flu- like symptoms, chest pain and losing consciousness and palpitations.
Also if you are in a place where fell and die easily, CO most has become a factor of giving silent death in any quick.
CO can be formed due to low ventilation in any place where has oxidation(burn). And Barbecue Smoke is one good example of that.
As I mentioned already, today indoor Barbecue restaurants have become a trend where can easily develop many contaminants and CO is of them. Most in charcoal ovens lower heat up process can easily lead to the release of many total burnt carbon dioxides as expected.
If there is no proper oxygen supply it is an obviously expect CO in the outcome.
Therefore, you are camping, a small gathering even outside, always be worry about better ventilation location for a barbecue. Which is much recommended.
So what can we do to get rid of this Barbecue Smoke?
If you are planning to have a Barbecue party getting above mentioned bad impacts is unavoidable. But you can manage to minimize the conditions following certain steps.
- First things first, you have to replace the energy source with another better one – Charcoal is a mostly used source for heat up process early days for barbecues. But nowadays there is some practical issue to supply charcoal as needed. Most people use propane and natural gas in their grill instead as a substitute.
- Always select a ground with much ventilation – One of the best options to stay away from Barbecue Smoke is always to stay in a fresh air location. It is much helpful in avoid the absorbance of barbeque smoke into food. And stay away from other air contaminants developed in the cooking
- To Reduce the HCAs, PAHs formation always flips meat them time to time change the location. Stay from the same location and expose to the same condition and temperature is a good motivation to develop inner toxins mostly.
- Precook- Without exposing too much heat at once, using already cooked meat is a much better way to stay away from the food from very high temperatures.
- Use lean meat – For better and fast cooking use of small and less thick meat layers are much helpful by reducing the time of food stay in the oven
- Grill vegetables- By grilling vegetables you can stay ways from the many unwanted contaminants touching with oven
- Change the clothes– After a barbeque party, it’s always to keep in mind to change your exposed clothes. That where most of remained Barbecue Smoke is left. Even though you stay away from bad practice by the oven later it might give nightmares to the respiratory system
Anyhow, a much better way is avoiding Barbeque smoke is by reducing the use of barbeque foods usage. Acting on tips is also much help anyway.
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