The Grill Master

Husband loves to grill. Until last Thursday he had three grills. One is a classic Weber. One is a Kamado ceramic grill. The third was a large Charbroil that he has had for about 30 years. He discovered last week that the bottom was rusting out, and that it needed to be replaced.  All the grills are fueled with wood or charcoal.  He dislikes gas grills, and I would be afraid for him using such volatile fuel. He uses each grill for different grilling purposes.  I don’t even try to understand.

The Charbroil was too heavy for us to get in the back of his pickup to take to the landfill, so he got a local moving company to take it away.  It was a sad day.  He has an emotional attachment to his grills. He had a new grill in mind, and in about 11 weeks, a fancy, schmancy, Yoder Cheyenne griller/smoker will arrive from Kansas City.  It will arrive all assembled. It looks like a train engine, weighs 315 pounds, and has a separate compartment on one end for the fuel. It has a chimney.  He got all the bells and whistles on it.  Happy Father’s Day!

I like grilled food, and he is expanding his repertoire to make his grills do smoking and tandoori cooking.  We aren’t big picnic people and we don’t eat outside much but sometimes food just tastes better out of doors.

What do you like to take on a picnic?  What do you like to grill?  Got any good barbecue recipes or stories?

67 thoughts on “The Grill Master”

  1. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    This post is inspiring Me to cook tonight, specifically to barbecue.  

    We have two grilles. One is a gas grill that we use most often just because it is so convenient. The other is a Weber grill in which we use charcoal. I often put bundles of herbs, especially rosemary, on the charcoal when I grill pork. My favorite trick, when cooking a roast or chicken over coals, is to use indirect heat by piling the coals on one side, heating it all up, then putting the meat on the grille where the coals are not. If you add the herb bundle, the smoke flavors the meat. Very delicious.

    I am not as avid as Chris, but once again, I am prepared to appear in N. Dakota to sample his cooking.

    Liked by 7 people

  2. One of the few significant deprivations of my current living quarters is that we cannot have grills. Of course, that makes sense. Geezers + grills = fires, or at least jacked-up insurance rates. My favorite summer meal used to be chicken breasts butterflied and dredged in a vinaigrette salad dressing and lightly grilled. We would serve that with fresh corn on the cob, home-made potato salad and some chilly pale ale.

    That’s something I can only enjoy in memory while this sabertoothed virus is afoot, still stalking us. But one can remember and dream . . . .

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Thursday was made even more poignant for Husband when he went to the landfill with a load some hours after the Charbroil had been hauled away, and there it was, lying atop a pile of scrap metal.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We just bought son and DIL a gas grill for their new house. They weren’t sure which they wanted, but we figured charcoal grills are cheap so we got them the gas.

    I don’t remember ever having a grill growing up. We had lots of bonfires and hot dogs on sticks or wires (We unwrapped wire hangers and cut off the curly cue at the end and burned the paint off. They were kinda floppy and you had to adjust for that when cooking your hot dog. I’m pretty sure there is still a bundle of wires in the garage.)
    But we never had a grill.
    And yet I remember my brother cutting a small barrel in half, adding legs and finding a grate for the top… and then it sat in the shed and was never used. I threw it out as scrap iron a few years ago.
    So the first time we went camping with friends and it was my turn to cook that night, I didn’t know how to use a grill.
    Then we had the plain old Weber for a few years before we got a used gas grill from Kelly’s aunt and Uncle.
    We upgraded a few years after that and I’ve been in charge of grilling ever since.
    Nothing too fancy, we tried bacon once and that works if you don’t walk away for 5 minutes like I did. Black little strips of burnt char is how that worked.
    We’ve done spam slices. Corn seems like too much trouble and didn’t taste special. I’ve heard pizza can be done if you know what you’re doing which I don’t.
    My problem is I forget to get the meat out of the freezer soon enough. Again, growing up, marinade wasn’t a thing. Wack it with a knife was how mom tenderized it. Last week I tried some steaks; some pounded with the pointy hammer thingy and some wacked with a knife. The knife ones were better.
    I have done the salt rub and that does tenderize but they taste too salty. Kelly was always pretty good at making up a marinade.
    And I’m good at cooking them ‘just right’ so they’re not burned or dry.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. I have done many pizzas. The smokiness really is delicious. You do it with the indirect heat method I described for a roast or a chicken.

      Liked by 5 people

  5. We’re not big grillers. When YA was little we had a charcoal grill, we really never used. Keep in mind that what we grill is almost always veggie burgers or veggie dogs which take about two minutes each side and to spend 45 minutes coaxing coals to the right stage for two minutes on each side seemed like a complete waste of time. That’s when we moved to gas. So we grilled pizza, we grill corn, we’ve done potatoes out there and of course veggie burgers and dogs.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. When I was growing up my folks had a really traditional division of labor, which meant that my dad never cooked a darn thing except for when he grilled. They didn’t grill a lot and when they did it was almost always my dad‘s big fat hamburgers. They were basically big meatloaf burgers with bread chunks and onions and all kinds of stuff in them. I don’t ever remember my dad grilling steak or any other cuts of meat, but most of my life steak would’ve been a luxury that my folks probably thought they couldn’t afford.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I am both too lazy and too impatient to cook on a grill. We had one for a long time that was the standard issue Weber – I had (and may still have somewhere) a “grill wok” that let me do grilled vegetables… so tasty! Burgers are also just better on a grill. But we let the Weber fall into disuse and it started to rust… and now, no grill. Maybe I should see if a person can still get a little grill like we had when I was a kid – a little tabletop Hibachi affair. Didn’t require as much charcoal or heating up and since we are a small family, it won’t matter that you can only do a couple burgers at a time…hmmm…

    Liked by 5 people

  8. I have ever been much good at grilling – we did put together, out of cement blocks and bricks, a sort of barbeque pit on the rock wall in Robbinsdale yard, but mostly just did the hamburger and brats thing, often overdone. But I love picnics, and Laurie Colwin’s More Home Cooking has this to say, after discovering what a picnic was like in Minorca – “We bought dozens of these whole-wheat baguettes, split them, sprinkled them with olive oil, and loaded them up with Mahon cheese, sweet onion, and tomato. Hands down they were the best sandwiches I have ever eaten… And I think that leftovers make interesting additions to any picnic. My particular favorite… is cold chicken.” And then there’s the “compose-it-in-situ school. You pack a knife, a hard salami, some cheese, a loaf of bread, and a cutting board..”

    Since I love egg bakes and quiches, and I, at least, like them at any temperature, they are on my list for picnics, plus they’re so portable. An off-beat potato salad that doesn’t contain mayonnaise is good… or cole slaw. And chips. And maybe cheesecake. Some fruit. : ) This could go on for a while.

    Liked by 5 people

        1. When we were in Italy, every morning I would go to the little deli shop near our hotel, buy bread, olives, meat, and cheese for three. We would have our lunch where ever we were when we were hungry. Heaven.

          Liked by 5 people

  9. I remember being in Paris when I was 21, and how lovely it was to grab a lunch and a bottle of wine and have picnic in a park. I tried to recreate the experience when I got back to Fargo, but it just wasn’t the same.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. One of my favorite picnics was in Norway with the cousins there I had recently met. We had our luncheon at what had been the family farm (still a farm, just not owned by family anymore). They had a stack of those little heart-shaped waffles, some gjetost (yummy goat cheese), fruit, jam, maybe something else that you could put on top of the waffles to make little open-faced sandwiches. So yummy. Probably because of the location and the company as much as the food. 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

  10. Growing up, my family didn’t own a grill, so grilling was not something I grew up with. As a girl scout, I did do a fair amount of cooking over an open fire, however, but usually not what you would consider grilling.

    Wasband and I at some point early in our marriage invested in a Hibachi. It’s small size convenient to our very limited storage space. Hotdogs, burgers and brats, with the occasional treat of scrimp on a skewer, were pretty much the extent of our grilling.

    When husband and I got married, Tia and Bob gave us a Weber as a wedding gift. Husband had even less experience with grilling than I, but being the alpha male that he is, he quickly made claim to being the grill master. That Weber lasted us a good thirty years, before we passed it on to one of our neighbors. At that point we invested in a gas grill for the convenience of it, but discovered that we really didn’t enjoy the food cooked on it, so that, too, was passed on to a neighbor. Then we invessted in another Weber, charcoal, but with a gas lighter which we really like. Very convenient and it doesn’t give the charcoal that nasty chemical taste of lighter fluid.

    Temperamentally husband is not really cut out to be successful at grilling; he’s too impatient and resists seeking or heeding expert advice. Need I tell you we’ve eaten a lot of burned, and thoroughly dried out meat over the years? We’ve also eaten chicken that I needed to finish in the microwave because it wasn’t cooked enough on the grill.

    Nowadays, I ask him to light the grill, and I’ll do the grilling myself. Nothing fancy, mostly burgers, brats, pork tenderloin, steak and an occasional chicken thrown in for good measure. We do like vegetables with a drizzle of oil and seasonings in foil packets cooked on the grill. We’ve done pizza a couple of times, and that was both fun and surprisingly good.

    Liked by 5 people

  11. One of the more memorable picnics I’ve been on took place in Greenland. Those of us working in the hotel kitchen were often invited on social outings because we could be relied on to bring good food. On this occasion, three of the kitchen staff were invited on a trip to the rim of the ice cap, roughly ten miles inland from the base and the hotel.

    We prepared several boxes with fancy open faced sandwiches, and brought along cold beer and a couple of bottles of champagne. We set out in three four-wheel drive jeeps. There are no roads leading to the ice cap, so we navigated by compass, and memory of a couple of the airplane mechanics who had been there before, over hilly and rugged terrain. We made several stops along the way to enjoy a cold beer and the scenery of rugged low mountains covered in wild flowers, sometimes spotting herds of grazing caribou.

    Remember that during the summer the sun never sets there, so I couldn’t tell you what time of day it was when we set out, it may well have been after dinner; I just don’t recall. When we arrived at the edge of the ice cap which rises abruptly in a giant wall of dirty ice, we settled in perhaps twenty feet from it. We spread our blankets, and while we unpacked the smørrebrød, the guys chipped some ice off the ice cap to chill our champagne, discarding the dirty outer layer. Soon we were enjoying our repast while several curious black arctic foxes sneaked ever closer. They were so unafraid of us that we actually had to shoo them away several times, otherwise they would have taken off with our food. In the end we did give them a couple of hard boiled eggs, but not until we were done eating, otherwise they would no doubt have been a nuisance. I still smile at the incongruity of eating very elaborate open faced sandwiches and sipping champagne in such a wild and unspoiled place. This will give you an idea of what I’m talking about:
    https://www.google.com/search?q=h%C3%B8jt+belagt+sm%C3%B8rrebr%C3%B8d&client=firefox-b-1-d&sxsrf=ALeKk01STr5N-BqKkZ8Oag9_PRx-x3lV9A:1591482243010&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=H1oAkg2J3GrPKM%253A%252CGjUU7aNrS23n3M%252C_&vet=1&usg=AI4_-kSCSJqJsURQ6Vg4cJMYgb9SO-0V9g&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwif4Iqune7pAhWTGc0KHf5nDj0Q9QEwBHoECAoQGA&biw=1430&bih=684#imgrc=Z2_u5_-nNU9CYM

    Liked by 2 people

      1. It is, and it’s equally delicious. Pretty labor intensive, and not cheap to make, but well worth the effort and expense for special occasions.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Son and a high school girlfriend were having a picnic by the reservoir just outside our town when they were chased by a mink. It was vicious.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, minks are pretty vicious little creatures. The foxes are pretty harmless. In the fall it was fun to watch them go from being black to white.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I once did battle with a weasel. It was an epic encounter, although I had a considerable weight advantage. Oddly enough, this is a story my grandson can tell well, although he had not been born yet. One lesson that seems obvious: do not fight mustelids. Ever. They are among the nastiest critters ever invented.

        Liked by 2 people

  12. Took my mom for a car ride today. It’s the first time since March they were allowed to go out. We took a long drive and she really enjoyed it and I picked up several tidbits of family news I’d never heard before.

    I asked if they ever grilled. No, she didn’t think they ever had a grill, and she said Dad wouldn’t have cooked anything if they did.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. They have something out here in Medora at the TR National Park called a pitchfork fondue. It consists of steaks impaled on a pitchfork and then deep-fried in vats of oil. It is grotesque.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. About a month ago making hot dogs and brats on the grill and I pretty much set the entire grill on fire. Burned all the grease out. And char-broiled all the meat too.
    It was kind of impressive.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Were the brats and hotdogs edible after that, or did you have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner. 🙂

      Like

        1. It reminds me though, many years ago we took a gluten free pizza to pizza Ranch because they didn’t offer gluten free but they said they could cook our pizza for daughter. So we give them a pizza, the rest of us do the buffet and shortly the waiter comes over and apologizes that they have burned her pizza.
          Well, we have nothing else, we kinda need that pizza. And they say “It’s burned.” Well, how burned? It’s pretty bad they say. But again, we don’t really have any options so bring it out. And it is burned. Like black. Like completely toasted. And Amelia says it’s ok and she eats it. But man that was burnt. We wonder if that isn’t what killed all her taste buds.

          Liked by 3 people

  15. I don’t do much grilling, but when I do I fall back on some sort of kebab. Usually onions and peppers and some marinated chicken. I also like little red potatoes in foil, with osoe olive oil and herbs. I’ve never been into steaks.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. i screw around in the grill same as i do in the kitchen
    a normal range of stuff for my carnivores and i now have a daughter and a sister that are veggies so i consider them if they’re around . love corn on the cob with all the variations of butter herbs olive ike concoctions and or mayo herb stuff
    veggies in oil in the grill pan are a favorite
    chili with hickory smoke is wonderful
    i got into smoking meat for the family they like brisket and ribs and turkey and i kind of contour up a marinade /rub/sauce to go with my brain at the moment raspberry jam and hot sauce with a tomato olive sauce
    i’ll get inspired along the way and do a veggie meat loaf with black beans inions mushrooms and oats that eggs pull together in the skillet
    i used to feel bad i had nothing but crappie veggie burgers to cook and then realized with a pan i’m bulletproof do i have a cast iron slab with pancake surface in one side and grill surface on other along with 8 or 10 cast iron skillets for potatoes onions chili veggie meat in a slurry a little of this a little of that and now sourdough pizza crust with the daily throw out of the sourdough concoctions i have brewing

    chris will love the yoder
    the big old plate steel grills are cool
    the chimneys and air flow are a cool challenge. the pellet grills are all the rage today but i think the combo of weber kimodo and yoder is about right
    i have a notion the correct way to do it is to have a cooking area with multiplex of grilling options to choose from
    gas charcoal ceramic plate steel smokers and big flat grill for pancakes and taters
    i would live to get a set up like that
    i proposed a grill family with interchangeable surfaces when i was in the grill business
    i saw it in a different format in the store the other day
    maybe i’ll get back to that project some time

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yup. My erstwife tried to roast a turkey in our grill. Because spiders had built webs in the propane gas lines, the lines caught on fire. Which meant the whole grill caught on fire. We called 911. A gang of about four firemen showed up with medieval weapons and attacked the fire, which by then was blazing and issuing a terrible moaning sound. My clearest memory is the moment a fireman reached out with a pike on a 10-foot-long pole, lifted the lid, and said in an encouraging voice, “Ma’am, your turkey is coming along real good.”

      Liked by 3 people

  17. OT YouTube post. As a kid, I believed all people would eventually assume their personalities and know who they were . . . maybe by the time they were 30. Oh, my, how innocent that was! Instead, personality is a major enigma that we can spend our lives trying to resolve. I figured out things about myself at 76 I had never known before, and now that I’m uneasily perched on the precipice of 78 I just understood some new facts about who I am and why in hell I do the stuff I do.

    Anyone who continues to be intrigued by such issues might enjoy a YouTube channel called Psych2go. I’ve just discovered this. The site is filled with comments on psychology, delivered by a pleasant person and illustrated by appealing cartoon figures. I think it is all grounded in good psychological research. The problems with such studies is that they can be blazingly obvious or shaky because they push one or two studies to silly extremes. This site has found the Goldilocks center on that issue, being neither obvious or unfounded.

    I’m a bit less enthusiastic about Dr. Grande. The first commentary of his that I viewed struck positions I rejected. But I’ve made my peace with him since then, for he seems fair and informed as he comments on controversial people or issues related to psychology. I just wish he had a sense of humor.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. For Jacque: being in the middle sounds perfect. I’m a through-and-through introvert who is capable (at times) of fooling others into thinking I’m an extrovert.

          Like

  18. Something I failed to mention about Psych2go. I was wary of it when I first encountered the channel, maybe ten days ago. I was reassured by learning that the site has about 3.5 million subscribers. That’s a LOT of people!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. OT – I just signed papers for my mom to be in Hospice – she’s been, at times the past several days, refusing food, meds, water, and oxygen, and oxygen level is very low. I will finally get to see her this afternoon (in “hazmat soot” – full PPE – for the first time in three months. I hope she’s not scared silly – think I’ll tell her it’s a costume, because I don’t think she understands about Covid 19.

    My sis is flying in tonight, although it still could be a while, but Mom seems to be on her way. I’ll see you all sporadically this week, whenever I can.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So sorry to hear this, BiR. This has to be very hard on everybody, but perhaps hardest for you because of your proximity to her. So close, and yet so far apart. I’m hoping that she’ll have a lucid moment while you’re there.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Naturally, every case of dementia progresses in its own way. My only experience with that progression was with my own mother and towards the end she was long past recognizing me no matter what I wore. I could have been in a gorilla suit- it wouldn’t have made any difference. 

      I’m sorry you’ve come to this stage. I’m glad you can be there in person and not behind a window. Can you touch her with a gloved hand? In my case, being able to squeeze Mom’s hand was the level of our communication.

      Liked by 3 people

    3. I got to see her! She was mostly napping, but seemed to recognize me for the parts when she was awake… I could tell because she asked “Where shall we go?” (I would always take her somewhere off her floor when I visited.) It is a big relief to have seen her.

      Liked by 6 people

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