SE | You Suck at Grilling | Pt. 1
*This is part one of an ongoing series about tips to help you stop sucking it up at the grill
The best thing about summer? Besides the warmth, flip-flops, Twins baseball, and women not being bundled up in parkas and Ugg boots is of course… The Grill.
With the grill, we get to return to our more primal roots. The application of fire to meat brings us back to the days of our ancestors the cavemen as they hastily skewered and roasted the fruit of the day’s hunt over open flame. Not much has changed… Well besides the body hair, the harnessing of said flame, and the fact that we’re charring pre-packaged beef patties covered in Lawrys as opposed to mastodon, but you get the picture. Aside from extremely rough, unshowered sex– grilling is as primal as it gets.
In the pissing contest of life, every man claims to be master of the grill.
Every man has a secret technique or a special seasoning that he claims make his burgers juicier, steak tenderer, and chicken deliciouser (?). But the truth you, like most men, are terrible at the grill. Your burgers are as dry as hockey pucks, steaks as tender as shoe leather, and chicken as delicious as a sip from the mat that all bars keep under the taps to catch the run-off. The only thing that saves your grillouts is your wife’s awesome potato salad and that cooler full of 12 ounce fermented yeast and hops receptacles that you never seen to let go empty (good man).
Bottomline, a man needs to know his limitations. I not very good at basketball, but I’m the pinnacle of perfection when it comes to rhythmic gymnastics. You suck at grilling– Let me help.
Gas and charcoal both have their pros and cons.
For gas, the pro is that you have instant, even heat and you have complete control over temperature. The con is that you lose out on the flavor that charcoal provides. The con against charcoal is the time that it takes for the coals to become embers. Also a con is that people tend to use WAY too much lighter fluid and also don’t let their coals burn down enough. You need the coals covering in a nice, grey ash before it’s time to toss the meat on.
A lot of people use chimneys to start their charcoal, but I’ve always used the pyramid method. Check out this article from eHow for more tips on grilling with charcoal. For starting a gas grill, I usually start with the ignition switch…
As far as the grill goes, there are many new grills that run $500-$1000 or more that have all of the bells and whistles. 40+” grilling area, 8-burners, dual side burners, 10 kagillion BTUs, oh my!!!!! When it comes down to it, unless you run a catering service or you’re a polygamist family, you will never need a grill that size. The grill that my family used growing up was a dinky, 2-burner, 25k BTU grill that we got at K-Mart for like $40. It may not have been the prettiest gal at the ball, but she put out the best food you can imagine for the better part of a decade.
Bottomline, you don’t need to over spend to get a great grill, $100-$250 will get you a fine machine that will char meat for years. Spending more than that just adds imaginary inches to your _____.
Steel wire brush. Wide metal spatula. A nice pair of heavy-duty tongs. THAT IS ALL YOU NEED.
If you even think about using that stupid fork that comes standard in all of the grill accessory packages, I will literally come to your house and stab you in the neck with it.
Many a once juicy steaks, chops, and brats have been mercilessly skewered and turned to cat food because of this instrument of culinary death.
To end on a positive note, a temperature gauge (digital or dial) would be helpful as well.
Finally! I was getting bored…
…Wait. This is the end of Part 1? Son of a…. Anyways, check back next week as we dive into You Suck at Grilling, Part 2- Steak!