Hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill are as American as fireworks on the Fourth of July. Nonetheless . . . . no two families cook outdoors alike.
Outdoor entertaining can be fun and time consuming. At our house the topic of conversation was should you put aluminum foil on the grill or not.
Why do men enjoy slaving over a hot barbecue? Because they’re cooking caveman style – throw meat on a fire. It’s their domain, that’s why. My family is no exception. The men cook out while the women scurry to get the rest of the meal. Any minute the cook will announce that the food is ready.
I was raised on grilled food. A burned, crusty taste is what I remember. When my father cooked, he’d grill a hamburger so that it was burned on one side and almost raw on the other. My sisters and I would tell him that it was both too burned and too raw, but he refused to cook any other way. Eventually we got to like it.
My neighbor puts non-stick spraying oil on the grates. I wonder why, when you see him prying to get the hamburgers off. When he fixed cooked cabbage on the outdoor grill, his back yard had a smell for a week.
My cousin grills corn on the cob, alongside the main dish. Without a doubt, the corn is done before the meat, but he never listens. We eat crisp, charred corn on the cob every time.
A friend of ours had a bad experience with turning and basting a lamb on the grill once. He now refuses to cook anything but hamburgers and hot dogs.
My uncle always cooks in an area super organized. The spices, tongs, fork, wire brush, kitchen towel, spatula, even a cutting board all in place. Everything in its place to grill out.
At my friend Larry‘s house, he grills with no meat. No meat? Yes, his wife fixes a totally vegetarian kabob. The skewers are filled with green, red or yellow bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, carrots, onions, potatoes, pears, pineapples, even apricots. He’s tried about every vegetable on the grill other than avocados. Let’s face it, avocados are one of those acquired taste.
Yet; my father never did learn the knack of using the rotisserie; the chicken would still be pink on one side. Just like his hamburgers.
So, foil on the grill or not? My brother-in-law said it best. “I’m the guy cooking, so we use aluminum foil.”
My nephew interrupted, “You’re not stacking the charcoal like Dad does.” A new controversy – yet an old conversation.