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Beginner’s Guide to Grilling

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For men, grilling is not just cooking. It is an art form. Doing it is like creating a masterpiece of culinary delight. Treat it lightly and your reputation as a man will be forever tarnished. Grilling is not simply throwing down slabs of meat, flipping them once, and then taking them off the grill. There is a certain amount of skill, knowledge, and a little bit of luck that goes into cooking meat over an open fire. So before you take a chance on forever being known as the guy who calls the McRib barbeque, take a look at our beginner’s guide to grilling.

The Grill

This is obviously your most important tool; without it, it is pretty hard to actually cook the meat. First thing you have to do is decide on whether you want to go with gas, wood, or charcoal. Some guys say it does matter, but in reality it’s a personal thing and that’s it. However, what you do need to keep in mind is the size. Yes, size does matter (ever hear that one?).

Think about what you might be grilling for. If you got a ton of buddies that may be coming over , get a big one. If you are thinking small family affair then keep the size moderate. Yes, size can be good, but if you don’t know how to use it, well, it’s an accident waiting to happen (sound familiar Tiny?).

The Tools

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Failure to have the proper tools can result in catastrophe. There is nothing more damaging to the griller’s ego than losing his meat between the slats on the grill (if only the girlfriend would buy that excuse, “Baby I lost my meat and it just turned up with that girl Trixie”).

Proper tools are a necessity. Be sure you have a spatula you can use for a grill (metal, nice long handle), one of those things that look like a huge fork, a brush (for spreading sauce), and a flame source. A griller that can’t light his fire is almost as bad as a porn star that can’t — well, you know.

The Fixin’s

You can’t just throw the meat down on the grill and call it quits. What really makes grilling an art form is in discovering what combinations of sauces, marinades, oils, and seasonings will bring out the best flavor possible in your meat (ever say that to your girl?). Instead of using trial by fire and risk screwing up a lot of good meat, do a little prep work, and find out what tends to work well with what. Watch what your buddy uses at his next cook out; check out the TLC show BBQ Pitmasters and other cooking shows.

Now that you have an idea of what to use you are ready to cook. Don’t get too outlandish at first. Try to stick to the basics, get good and get good at them before experimenting.

The Day of Cooking

Now that you have your grill, your tools, and the fixings it is time to cook. Crack open a beer, light your fire, and grill your meat. However, before you actually throw your meat on the grill (if you are using a charcoal or wood grill) give the flame a chance to die down. You want to cook on the coals; cook on the flame and the outer 1/8th of an inch of meat will be asphalt black while the rest of the meat is still raw.

Start with the meat surrounding the coals at first. You want to be careful about giving the meat too direct of a heat source because you’ll risk burning the meat. Once you have the meat on the grill and seasoned according to taste, close the lid (with the vents open). That will trap the heat inside and cook your meat more thoroughly.

Once the Cooking is done…

Clean your mess up! A man who does not respect his grill will not be blessed with good meat from it. Fail to take care of your tools and they will rebel against you as well. A man is only as good a griller as his tools permit.

Now go forth and grill! Grill I say! Grill!

  • Travis PulverCOED Writer