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Really Good Meat, Sans Worries

Julia Bainbridge

Really Good Meat, Sans Worries

Photo credit: Cottage Pie, Everyday Food

If you haven’t already, it might be time to add grilled and fried meats to the Everything We Like Causes Cancer list.

As Slate points out, the “evidence linking cancer to cooking meat over a combustion source has been accumulating for decades,” starting with smoking, moving on to frying, and ending with generally cooking meat over high heat. While scientists are still figuring out just how direct the relationship between the chemicals emitted during these cooking processes and cancer is, the implication is that there probably is one. So while you don’t need to quit your backyard barbecues just yet, it might behoove us all to cut down on grilling and frying.

Here are some other, potentially healthier ways to cook your meat.

Put it in the oven: When roasting or baking meat, you’re generally going for a relatively moderate temperature—around 350 degrees—for one to three hours, depending on what you’re cooking. Many recipes will tell you to either pan-sear or essentially broil the meat beforehand, in order to get that brown crust, but you can avoid this step if you want to play it ultra-safe. Encrusting the exterior of the meat with herbs or mustard also allows you to skip that step without sacrificing flavor.

Put it in some liquid: Whether this means poaching the meat in broth, simmering it in a soup, or braising it slow and low, cooking it in liquid is a surefire way to end up with juicy, healthy protein.

Put it inside dough: Pies aren’t just for blueberries. Try a savory shepherd’s pie! Or a chicken pot pie!

Put it in nothing: Eat it raw! It’s time to try your hand at making a classic tartare (try lamb or beef) at home. Just be sure you source your meat well, since you won’t be cooking out any bacteria.