MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – We are in the heart of grilling season! But during the grilling process harmful substances can form that could be dangerous to your health.

Sue Moores, Kolwalski’s Markets Nutritionist, showed WCCO some techniques to reduce the production of cancer-causing substances.

READ MORE: Investigative File, Squad Cam Footage Released In Hennepin Co. Sheriff DWI Crash

“They change sort of the DNA in our cells and can make cells less healthy, potentially tripping the trigger for a cancer,” Moores said.

Moores said the first thing to keep in mind is the intensity of the heat.

“[When] they’ve gotten char and that’s a clear indication that you’ve have some harmful substances that are on your meat,” she said. “Just by clearing off, just literally scraping some of that excess black area, will get rid of harmful substances.”

Moores said flip your meat to avoid char. And the utensil you use matters.

“Using tongs instead of something like a fork which could pierce it. When you pierce it is makes the juices come out, it makes the flames come up [and] it makes the smoke come around it.”

READ MORE: Minneapolis Home + Remodeling Show

Another way to protect your meat is to use a barrier.

“Something like a wood plank. Cooking meat or fish on the wood plank putting it on the grill and using that as a way to form that barrier or something like an aluminum tray,” Moores said. “To get the nice grill marks on there right out of the chute, then transfer it to aluminum tray so that the balance of the cooking, the full cooking through, is done on that tray. And again, you miss the flames and the smoke getting around it.”

Cut down the time your meat spends on the grill by using a smaller cut.

“If you move to a kabob to cook that’s going to cook a lot fast then a steak,” Moores said.

Another great solution to keep that char away is to use marinades. There are so many packaged marinades available and rubs also work, as does steeped tea, which has antioxidants and adds another health benefit. You can cut the potential of dangerous substances forming by 75 percent by using a marinade or a rub.

It’s good to remember that the small cancer risk associated with grilling meat isn’t so great that you need to skip hamburgers and hot dogs altogether. But if you’re grilling several times a week it’s good to have a balance.

MORE NEWS: Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

Moores suggests subbing some veggies or fruit on the grill every once in a while, because unlike meat, vegetables and fruit don’t create carcinogens when they char.