8 Gas Grills for a Healthy Backyard Barbecue

Make grilling safer this season with these smart buys. 

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Grilling is a summertime must, but that charred flavor you may love is not so great for your health—and may even increase your risk of cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, cooking muscle meats (including beef, fish, pork, and poultry) at extremely high temperatures can cause heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) to form. Lab experiments have shown that HCAs and PAHs may cause DNA changes that increase the risk of cancer. To put it simply: “The smoke and flames created when juices drip down onto the coals exposes your food to known cancer-causing substances,” says Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, Health's contributing nutrition editor.


There are plenty of ways to have a healthier barbecue, such as using an alcohol- or vinegar-based marinade or simply grilling at a lower heat. Using a gas grill over charcoal also reduces your risk of exposure to HCAs and PAHs. Charcoal burns hotter, which chars meat more easily. Plus, when meat drips onto the coals, it creates carcinogen-containing smoke, which rises up over the food.


If you’re in the market for a new grill, one of these eight models should suit your needs, whether you're a city-dweller without much space or a barbecue master out in the suburbs looking to really amp up your outdoor cooking. 

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