Putting black pepper and other spices on raw meat before slapping the flesh onto a grill grate can eliminate nearly 100% of its HCAs—cancer-causing compounds.

A mix of 1g of black pepper and 100g of ground beef also inhibited HCA formation, but was too pepper-heavy to be palatable—so researchers from Kent State University recommend adding other spices like garlic and oregano to adjust the taste. They found that the most effective spices were rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, sage, marjoram, clove, and allspice.