“Everybody traces back to barbecue,” says champion competitive grill master Danielle Dimovski. “It was the first way to cook food.”

Sweet, sizzling, delicious grilled meat is a wonderful treat for barbecue fans everywhere. But it doesn’t seem like a particularly green or eco-friendly activity.

So Metro asked Dimovski, head of the top-ranked Diva Q grill team from Barrie, Ont., if there’s any good, green news at the grill.

Is there such a thing as eco-friendly barbecue?

“Traeger Grills has a system where they use compressed wood pellets,” Dimovski explains.

“The hardwood sawdust that they’re using is recycled, and would otherwise have just gone for waste.”

Also, they have a burn system that has an efficiency rate of 98.8 per cent. That fuel-to-air ratio basically provides you with much lower emissions and a reduced carbon footprint.”

Can I make my current barbecue grill cleaner?

“Number one: You have to keep your grill very, very clean,” she says.

“All the extra build-up of food? That actually burned. And that’s not good for anybody. You need to burn cleanly, using a charcoal that has no additives or fillers.”

And don’t just turn on your grill and do one hot dog. If you’re going to grill, use it to the max. If you’re going to do a pork shoulder and it’s going to take eight hours, make sure your entire grill is full.”

Are there greener and cleaner grilled foods?

“Yeah,” she says. “They’re probably vegetables. We’ll typically let meats sizzle on the grill, and that’s not really the best thing environmentally. I’m going to guess that vegetables would grill more cleanly,” she said.

But she’s openly and admittedly not thrilled with the idea.

“They’re really not my thing,” Dimovski concedes, going BBQ old- school.

“Not ever, on this planet, will I ever be doing that.”