Easy Griller

Grilling for the Rest of Us

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My hat's off to folks who grill with special sauces, fillet knives, and meat thermometers.

With dedicated study of the culinary arts, years of practice, and the finest equipment, it's possible to create dishes on an outdoor grill that are as complicated as what comes out of a four-star restaurant's kitchen.

There's an easier way to grill. All you need is a grill, an LP cylinder, frozen meat, a few tools, a watch, and a little patience. That's the way to be an Easy Griller.

Find out how a non-chef like me creates meals that are worth standing outside in the rain to make.

-Brian Gill

(One more thing: EasyGriller.com is a new site. Someone has told me that Easy-Griller.com needs pictures. That person is right.

Another one more thing: You may have noticed that the URL, or Web address, that your browser is showing isn't EasyGriller.com. For now, most of these pages are sitting on another site of mine.)

Born to Grill

Aside from the occasional hamburger flambé and incinerated marshmallow, grilling was not a part of my formative years. So my wife was surprised that, when we finally got an outdoor grill, the challenge was not so much inducing me to prepare the occasional meal, as keeping me inside during severe weather warnings.

How I started

My family and I got along without a grill for many years. At first, it was an out-of-reach luxury. Our budget dictated a bargain priced apartment. There wasn't room in either for an outdoor grill.

Later, our sense of fiscal responsibility got in the way. A grill, even a small one, is not cheap. And, there was always something that we needed more. There still is, but that's a whole different topic.

One day, for reasons which I still do not fully understand, my wife decided that it was time for the family to relive her memories of hamburgers grilled in the back yard. We took a look at what was available locally, and purchased what looked like a good starter grill. That's when the Easy Griller was born.

I remember my early days of grilling when, user's manual nearby, I first opened the valve and ignited the escaping gas. Hearing a soft "foof" and not singeing a single hair on my hand was a satisfying experience. Then, placing hamburger patties on metal frame and carefully timing their exposure on each side, I removed meaty disks which not only recognizable, but fit for human consumption.

In fact, the hamburgers tasted pretty good. That was the start of my life as a year-round weekend griller.

With a little practice, I learned how to grill burgers with brown-verging-on-black outsides, brown insides, and that grilled taste that only comes from hood-down grilling on a veteran grill.

Preparing food that occasionally transcends such concepts as "edible" and soars into the realms of "tasty" or even "delicious" still fills me with a warm glow.

Food grilled over briquettes, even using LP gas, has a taste that can't be duplicated. One reason I don't bother with fancy recipes for grilling is that simple over-hot-coals cooking with a well-seasoned grill yields results which sauces and marinades would only mask.

There's another reason I don't bother with fancy recipes.

I am Not a Chef

I had to look up the word "marinade" when I started writing this. At that point, I thought it would be a good idea to find some likely looking recipes, try them out, and report on the results.

Then I decided to stop kidding myself. I like to grill, and I'm pretty good at starting with frozen meat and walking away with tasty, nutritious hamburgers, steaks, and chicken.

But away from the grill, I am not so much unwilling to prepare food, as inept. In the early days of our marriage, I burned the popcorn. That event has, to this day, encouraged my wife to keep a safe distance between me and kitchen appliances.

So, you won't find any recipes for fancy dishes here. You know the sort of thing I'm talking about: something with a name like Mallard au Marinade de Tofu a la Grille.

I don't even use an old-fashioned charcoal grill. Taking care of one of those things would make grilling too much work to be fun, for me at any rate.

An Easy Griller's way of grilling is so easy, and so satisfying, that most weekends see me out at the grill around noon. Sometimes my wife lets me grill for the evening meal, too.

I only skip my grill time when work or family schedules call me far from my back yard briquettes.

Or sometimes my wife insists that a hailstorm or blizzard is too intense to allow outdoor activities: even one as rewarding as grilling lunch. Far be it from me to question her judgment in this matter. Years of association have taught me that she often understands the benefit/risk aspects of situations like this better than I do.

Besides, I know that she likes the results of my grilling too much to miss them for any trivial reason.

Next: Tools

Copyright 2005 Brian H. Gill