Cooking food at high temperatures — for example, broiling or barbecuing meats — can lead to the formation of minute quantities of many potent carcinogens that are comparable to those found in cigarette smoke. Pre-cooking meats in a microwave oven for 2-3 minutes before broiling shortens the time on the hot pan, which can help minimize the formation of these carcinogens. This does not necessarily mean that there is a significant hazard. The gastrointestinal tract sheds its outer layer continuously to protect itself from carcinomas, and has a high activity of detoxifying enzymes. Spring is around the corner so enjoy your barbecue!