Americans love fried foods. While it’s not always good for us, it does happen to be a fact. There is nothing that we don’t love to deep fry, including even ice cream. While the taste is out of this world, it’s not necessarily good for you. So is broiling any better than frying and why? Would it help to grill our foods?
Which cooking method actually adds the least amount of fat to your food and are there any other surprises that we need to know about?
Realistically, common sense says that adding fat to a deep fryer or a frying pan adds fat to something that is already fatty, namely meat, which is the most commonly fried item. The lowest amount of fat that will be added is when the food is broiled, because the flames, or the electric broiler are going to cause the fat to melt away from the food.
In a test done at the University of Pennsylvania, the differences were quite incredible. Three samples were done, one broiled, one lightly sautéed and the third deep friend. The broiled sample of meat, done under a broiler had about one percent added fat, while the sautéed variety was about twice that much, but shockingly it was nearly exactly the same as the deep fried variety.
Where the problem comes in is that we generally put a great deal of the deep fried meats and other things into batter. The meat doesn’t honestly absorb that much fat on its own, but the breading and other factors take in a vast amount of it.
Now using a lean fat, we see that frying may not be as heinous as you actually thought, but… and there is always a but in the equation isn’t there, many of us are not content with just frying, we pay little attention to the kinds of oils that we fry with, often times purchasing the cheapest variety rather than the one that is best for us.
There are good fats and there are bad fats. Butter can be taken in moderation and if you fry your food in it you’re asking for heart disease in your future. Vegetable oils, pure corn oil perhaps are the way to go if you’re going to fry and forget that flour or breading. Fry without it to keep the fat absorption to a minimum.
Clearly, broiling is the best way to cook your food, provided that you do it on the kitchen stove. Some of us however thought that grilling our food outdoors was the answer.. It does lower the fat but t there are some considerations to the grilling factor too.
California scientist James Felton studied the effects of cooking over barbecue coals, the traditional variety and he believes that some barbecued foods may actually cause cancer.
There are two ways that it can happen but the most traditional way, according to Felton is when the fat from the meat drips down onto the hot coals, causing a chemical reaction when the flame flares up to blacken the meat. If you move the hot coals to the one side so that the fat doesn’t drip directly onto the coals it tends to prevent this. Cooking on gas grill may also be some help in this battle.
You might also try cooking at a lower temperature as well as moving the coals if you’re going to grill over your traditional coals and also try using regular wood as opposed to charcoal to barbecue your meat.
If none of that appeals to you, the reality is that broiled foods seem to be the best bet. Firstly, the flame comes from above and the fat drips to a pan below, secondary to that, there is less fat than with frying, and thirdly, the grill just may be doing things to your body that you’re not ready for.
Do we need any better reasons to broil your meat or fish?