How to Have a Healthier and More Eco-Friendly Grilling Routine

I am always looking for ways to incorporate healthier living into our home, as well as finding more sustainable options. There are ways to adjust your outdoor cooking, make healthier choices, all while reducing your environmental impact.

Here are some ways to make your grilling routine both healthier and more eco-friendly.

Choose the Right Grill

  • Choose propane, natural gas, or electric grills, which produce fewer emissions compared to charcoal grills.
  • If you prefer charcoal, choose lump charcoal made from sustainable sources. Avoid charcoal briquettes with additives.

Use Natural Fire Starters

Use natural fire starters like newspaper, dry leaves, or eco-friendly fire starter cubes instead of chemical-laden lighter fluid.

Select Sustainable and Healthy Ingredients

Buy fresh, organic, and locally sourced vegetables and meats to reduce your carbon footprint and support sustainable farming practices.

Incorporate plant-based proteins such as veggie burgers, tofu, and legumes. Grilled vegetables, mushrooms, and fruits are healthy and environmentally friendly.

Mindful Preparation

Use homemade marinades with fresh herbs, citrus, and natural oils. Avoid pre-packaged marinades that often contain preservatives and excess packaging.

Grill only what you need to avoid food waste.

Eco-Friendly Cooking Techniques

Preheat your grill only as long as necessary and cook in batches to maximize energy use. Keep the grill lid closed to maintain heat and reduce cooking time.

Use grill baskets, stainless steel skewers, or reusable grill mats instead of aluminum foil, which is less eco-friendly.

Healthy Grilling Practices

  • Lean Cuts of Meat: Choose lean cuts of meat to reduce fat dripping and the production of harmful smoke. Trim excess fat before grilling.
  • Avoid Charring: Cook at lower temperatures and avoid burning or charring food, which can produce carcinogenic compounds.

Serve with Reusable Dinnerware

  • Reusable Plates and Utensils: Use washable and reusable plates, cups, and utensils. If disposables are necessary, choose compostable or biodegradable options.
  • Cloth Napkins: Replace paper napkins with cloth napkins to reduce waste.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (Compost!)

  • Recycle Packaging: Set up recycling bins for bottles, cans, and other recyclable packaging. Encourage guests to use them.
  • Compost Food Scraps: Compost vegetable scraps, fruit peels, and other biodegradable waste. Avoid composting meat scraps if you are concerned about attracting pests.

Clean Up Responsibly

Use biodegradable and non-toxic cleaning products for your grill and outdoor cooking area. Avoid harsh chemicals that can harm the environment.

Opt for reusable grill brushes and cleaning cloths.


By incorporating these tips, you can enjoy a delicious and healthy grilling experience while making a positive impact on the environment.

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