The Grill Master
Heather M. Tressler, Registered Dietitian | 07.01.13
A lot of my grilling know-how comes from what dad taught me.
My mom may be the head chef in her kitchen, but my dad is the “Grill Master.” It’s true. It says so right on his apron. My parents host cookouts all summer long. Once the cover comes off the pool, family and friends are a regular site in my parent’s backyard. My dad is responsible for manning the grill. Dad has been hooked on cooking shows since Emeril’s first “Bam!” From that moment on, he has been testing his grilling skills in our driveway. He concocts some pretty awesome marinades for chicken and vegetables and sears our steaks to perfection.
A lot of my grilling know-how comes from what dad taught me early-on. For example, he is a stickler for proper internal temperatures of meats (chicken: 165 degrees; ground beef: 160; steak: 140-150 for medium-well) and strictly reinforces the importance of marinating meat before grilling to reduce cancer causing carcinogens (It’s true. Marinating meat for a minimum of 30 minutes before grilling creates a protective barrier between the protein in meat and the heat of the grill and reduces carcinogens up to 90%).
Grilling is a healthy way to prepare meals all year round.
As a registered dietitian, I like to look for the spin on health and nutrition. Here are the top reasons why we are thrilled with the grill include:
- Grilling is a low-fat cooking method. Grilled meats have lower fat content compared to fried meats because excess fat drips off and cooks away. Grilled foods also retain more moisture and therefore you can choose leaner cuts of meats and use less fat in cooking and the food still tastes juicy and delicious!
- You can grill your whole meal. I’m all about convenience and I can not only throw my meat, chicken, or fish on the grill but put it right alongside red potatoes and asparagus. Voila! A complete meal. Furthermore, the nutrients of grilled vegetables are preserved raising the bar on their nutritional value!
- You can grill all year round. Even in the snow. We will fire up our grill in 10 degree or 100 degree weather. We truly take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy grilled foods no matter what the season!
Hopefully some of these tips will inspire you to move beyond the traditional burgers and dogs and begin to concoct some new awesome culinary creations right in your own backyard!
Written by Heather M. Tressler, Registered Dietitian
Heather Tressler, MEd, RD, LDN, MCHES
Heather Tressler serves as the Health Management Implementation Specialist at Capital BlueCross. In this role, Heather is aligned with new Capital BlueCross customers to provide health and wellness consultation and assist with implementation of health management programming within the workplace. Heather brings to Capital BlueCross over 13 years of experience as a Registered Dietitian and Health Educator in hospital, worksite and community settings. In her career she has provided nutrition and health education programming in the form of health fairs, lectures, trainings and outreach. Heather Tressler received a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics and Nutrition from Immaculata University in Immaculata, PA and her Masters of Health Education at the Pennsylvania State University. She attained the Master level Health Education Specialist Certification from The National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEH) and is a Licensed Dietitian in the state of PA. Heather resides in Hummelstown, PA and enjoys cooking and traveling with her husband, Matt and their four children.
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