MYTH: Bar­be­cue smoke isn’t bad for you RE­AL­ITY: In­hal­ing any kind of smoke is bad for your lungs

Friday - - Health -

“It’s an in­stinc­tive thing to turn away from smoke, yet at bar­be­cues people stand over it and breathe it in,” says Ali­son. “It’s very dif­fi­cult for our lungs to ex­pel heavy par­ti­cles that we in­hale – we have to cough them up again. Just think how greasy and dirty the ex­trac­tor fan of an oven is – that’s what we’re in­hal­ing if we stand over a bar­be­cue.”

Mi­tun adds, “Smoke re­leased when burn­ing char­coal and wood pro­duce hy­dro­car­bons that can ag­gra­vate heart and lung prob­lems. Fat also drips from the meat in to the char­coal which in­creases the vol­ume of

smoke and these car­cino­gens get de­posited on the meat.”

What to do

1 Place your grill down­wind of your guests’ din­ing area.

2 Get the fire blaz­ing and keep feed­ing the flames un­til the coals are red hot. Then let it die down be­fore cook­ing any­thing. This may take up to two hours, but be pa­tient as it will lead to less smoke.

3 If the bar­be­cue starts flar­ing up, dampen it down.

4 Use lean meat like chicken, and cut as much fat as pos­si­ble off the other meats to re­duce smoke.

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