Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hot Stuff

This summer we have been eating a lot of grilled stuff because I hate sweating over a stove when it's 90 out... So Ethan will grill while I stay cool inside and make the salad/ side dishes. Then I come outside to join him and we drink some cold tasty beverages in the shade
I know that most people nowadays prefer cooking with a gas grill because it is more convenient. But when you have your first piece of meat grilled over hickory lump charcoal after years of gas-grilled meats, you will realize that convenience is definitely NOT everything. Using lump charcoal made from real wood adds a smoky richness to food that is really unique and special.
Also, a basic Weber grill costs only about $80 and will last almost forever because it has no movable (breakable) parts. The downside to the basic Weber is that there is no place to put your grilling utensils, and without lighter fluid it can take potentially FOREVER to get the thing hot enough to use:

This is a picture of the first night we got our Grill. It was taken at about 11 PM because it was the first time that Ethan had ever tried to light a charcoal fire without lighter fluid. I think we ended up eating our hamburgers around midnight.

In order to have faster and more efficient grilling, Ethan and I (but mostly Ethan) had to pimp our grill. No, we didn't add a flat screen TV and 20" rims.

We DID add some simple S-hooks to the grill handle, in order to have a place from which to hang the grilling utensils. S hooks cost like a dollar.

Second, Ethan stuck a small metal organizing basket into the bottom part of the grill where the charcoal goes. This keeps the charcoal more organized, so you can use smaller pieces (which light faster) and you can use less charcoal. He then uses strips of twisted paper grocery bags as wicks, which he inserts and lights through the vent holes at the bottom of the grill. This way when the paper begins to burn, the heat rises, in turn lighting the charcoal.

With this advanced grilling technique, Ethan has made such wonderful things as:

hot-dog shaped hamburgers for when you have the wrong kind of bun!

Aussie-style hamburgers

He's also made really awesome steaks, brats, hot dogs, salmon steaks, salmon patties, turkey burgers, chicken, fajitas, and pork chops, but I don't take pictures of everything we eat (I don't think a picture of a grilled chicken breast is super exciting).

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