Health, Environment and Barbecues - Basic and Environmental Tips for the BBQ Party

Environmental and health tips around the grill fun

Health, Environment and Barbecues - Basic and Environmental Tips for the BBQ Party: environment

From spring to autumn is the most popular time for grilling - whether meat, fish or vegetables, the Germans love their grill culture. There are no limits to creativity when preparing the food, even pineapple slices and pieces of melon can be barbecued.

However, to ensure that the barbecue is not at the expense of health or the environment, it is worthwhile to follow a few small tips. That is why you will learn here how to grill healthy and at the same time protect the environment.

Keep grill lighter safe

On toddlers, parents need to take special care at a barbecue. Because liquid barbecue lighters and lighters are not in the hands of children. In addition, there is a risk that younger children confuse the bottle with drinks and drink from them.

Barbecue lighters contain paraffin-containing oils. If the child swallows, they can enter the lungs in the worst case and cause severe chemical inflammation. As the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) pointed out, infants were involved in the majority of poisonings caused by barbecue lighters.

This danger can be avoided by barbecue lighters in bar or cube form, in which they are liquid components dissolved in cork or sawdust.

Health, Environment and Barbecues - Basic and Environmental Tips for the BBQ Party: environmental

Never fire the coal with liquid fire accelerator. Choose grill lighter in bar or cube shape.

In addition to safe storage, we recommend checking the barbecue and garden products. For example, petroleum-based oils should also be kept out of reach of children and labeled as toxic.

Never use old bottles for storage.

Similar to solid grill lighters, which are an alternative to liquid lighters, garden owners can change oil-based torches and lamps to rapeseed oil-based products.

If, despite the security measures, a person has drunk liquid grill lighter or lamp or garden torch oil, the following rules apply:

  1. Do not induce vomiting! (Vomit, and with it the oil, can enter the lungs!)
  2. Call immediately the poison emergency call of the responsible poison information center!
  3. Take the original packaging for product information!

Due to the high toxicity of these chemicals, even tiny amounts can cause severe poisoning. If the child experiences an immediate, persistent cough, a doctor or clinic must be consulted immediately.

You should take the original packaging with you. Based on the product information, the doctors can assess the further treatment and specifically treat the poisoning.

Avoid carcinogenic substances when grilling with charcoal

Health, Environment and Barbecues - Basic and Environmental Tips for the BBQ Party: tips


Avoid overcooking the food.

Many barbecue friends like to use charcoal, which gives the meat a smoky aroma. Caution should be exercised here: when grilling, fat drips onto the burning charcoal and decomposes in the embers; carcinogenic substances, such as benzo (a) pyrene and other decomposition substances, enter the meat via the smoke. Therefore, meat with a higher fat content is often heavier than lean food.

To prevent the fat from dripping into the embers, the grilled food should be placed in an aluminum dish on the grate. Through the tiny holes the majority of the fat is collected and the meat still receives its typical smoky aroma. Alternatively, there is a grill in which the ember bed is placed vertically and the fat falls into a collecting container.

Those who want to drastically reduce the burden of carcinogenic substances resort to grilling on a gas or electric grill.

Why is grilling with wood unhealthy?

Health, Environment and Barbecues - Basic and Environmental Tips for the BBQ Party: tips


Firewood should not be used for grilling.

In addition to the classic grill, more and more barbecue fans are using a smoker or garden fireplace, which - depending on the model - can also be fired with firewood. However, wood is not suitable for grilling, as harmful vapors are produced during combustion. The same goes for a camp fire when camping. Instead, you should rather grill with real charcoal or gas.

Which pollutants does wood contain?

Both fresh and stored wood, such as beech, oak, or spruce contains pollutants that burn almost completely in an open fire. Nevertheless, it is not comparable to charcoal, as wood causes harmful gases due to oxidation. These substances include, for. As carbon dioxide, formaldehyde, wood spirit, tar materials and resins. In the ash are calcium and magnesium oxide, or calcium and magnesium carbonate. In addition, wood vinegar is formed, which leads to a bitter to acidic aftertaste.

Use wood for barbecuing, vaporize the carcinogenic resins and tar, and use the smoke to get into the grilled meat. This is especially unhealthy in grills in which the grilled food is hot or cold smoked, for example, a smoker or smokehouse. Therefore, such a smoker grill or oven should only be fired with charcoal.

Health, Environment and Barbecues - Basic and Environmental Tips for the BBQ Party: environmental

Fish is a healthy alternative to the typical grilled meat

More barbecue tips for the health

  • Place the food to be grilled on the grill as soon as the charcoal is thoroughly cooked, recognizable by the light ash layer that covers it.
  • If charcoal is refueled in between, remove the entire food from the grill and wait until it has burned again until the new coal has burnt through.
  • Cured goods such as bacon, pork knuckle or pork knuckle are unsuitable for grilling. Due to the high proportion of nitrite pickle salts (ie: E250, sodium nitrite, potassium nitrite), harmful nitrosamines are formed. Likewise, sausages often include Niritkökelsalz.
  • Vegetarian barbecue with vegetables or fruits instead of meat and sausages, z. Paprika, eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, corn on the cob.
  • Use aluminum trays for grilled food with and without marinade, so that no fat drips into the embers.

Health, Environment and Barbecues - Basic and Environmental Tips for the BBQ Party: environmental


It does not always have to be just meat: try some asparagus wrapped in bacon from the grill.

Tips for environmentally friendly barbecues

Health, Environment and Barbecues - Basic and Environmental Tips for the BBQ Party: tips

Charcoal from Germany protects the tropical forests.

For environmental reasons you should:

  • Avoid smoke, eg. B. with an electric grill
  • Do not use charcoal from tropical wood
  • Low-waste shopping, d. H. Do without plastic wrapped goods and take recyclable returnable bottles instead of cans

Choose eco-friendly charcoal

Anyone who pays attention to the country of origin when purchasing the charcoal, thus protects the environment. Because between the charcoal of untreated wood from local forestry, there are also charcoal from tropical woods, which were transported here over a long transport route.

Grill fans should therefore primarily buy charcoal from Germany and at the same time pay attention to the DIN certification mark. This identifies products that meet the minimum standards in terms of quality and low environmental impact.

As part of the production process, environmentally harmful substances are caught and distilled in the so-called retort process, which would otherwise escape during grilling. Another reason for the local charcoal: Since it is made of untreated wood, it contains no admixtures, such as pitch.

"Wild BBQ" in nature - allowed or forbidden?

Health, Environment and Barbecues - Basic and Environmental Tips for the BBQ Party: barbecues


On green areas, a fire may only be lit at signposted barbecue areas.

Again and again you come across grill rounds in nature or in the park, without it being an official barbecue. This "wild crickets" is contrary to popular belief no trivial offense, almost everywhere prohibited and will be punished with severe penalties. Therefore, you should limit the barbecue to public barbecue areas, which exist in certain places in parks and outdoor pools. In addition, you can use free barbecue areas in many cities by prior notification.

The ban on wild barbecues should not only prevent people from spontaneously celebrating barbecues in public places. Rather, safety is the focus. So wild barbecues can trigger dangerous smoldering fires or even forest fires, especially in summer.

Only on private land it is possible, with the owner's permission, to barbecue in nature. The following should be noted:

  • No barbecue near the forest.
  • No crickets near flammable substances.
  • Use only suitable barbecue charcoal or briquettes. Even simple campfires should always be fired only with untreated wood.
  • The grill must have a secure footing.
  • Always set the grill in the lee of the house. In case of strong refreshing wind extinguish the fire.
  • Never leave the fire or grill unsupervised.
  • Before leaving the barbecue, make sure that the fire is completely extinguished. The coal remains must never afterglow.
  • All waste must be taken back or disposed of in the appropriate waste containers.

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