Are you a man? More specifically, are you a man with a charcoal or gas grill? Do you have a preference between charcoal and gas? Do you wear monogrammed oven mitts? Have you ever received a chrome spatula and fork for your birthday? Do you believe yourself to be the creator of a “secret sauce?” Have you argued passionately in the defense of a rub or baste?
If so, you are probably somebody who barbecues, although if somebody suggested that with those words, you’d be offended. The proper term is “griller.” Listen, it doesn’t matter what you call it. You’re just cooking, Sally. Put on a skirt for full effect.
I’m not above slapping some meat onto my Weber. I just have some perspective. I realize that I am merely doing what I could have done in the kitchen. Except now I have an excuse to drink beer. And my wife thinks I’m cooking dinner.
Except I’m not. See, Meghan is still at work, making beans or toasting bread or setting the table. Not me. I’m standing importantly around my grill, drinking beer and wondering when I should flip something. Meghan probably does more work when I decide to barbecue (my preferred term) then when I offer to make egg sandwiches for dinner.
“Grillers” argue that the act of grilling is far more challenging than applying heat to meat. They talk about baste and sauce as though theirs was developed in a secret bunker at Oak Ridge. Here’s a hint, Emeril: a guy named Kraft makes a decent sauce.
Okay, here’s a wild, uninformed guess from me, but I’m betting 90% of “grillers” claim the secret to their secret sauce is beer. People who make this revelation public always have the same dopey look on their faces – the smug look people display when claiming to be afraid of clowns. (Here’s anther secret: Nobody is afraid of clowns. Nobody. Quit pretending you are.)
Beer is not a secret ingredient. If it’s Coors beer, it’s not a secret ingredient.
Don’t say I’m jealous because I have yet to perfect my “grilling technique.” Fuck you. I’m more likely to find something good on the Lifetime Channel than spend time experimenting with rub.
I don’t begrudge you for your little cooking hobby. I just don’t want you rolling your eyes at me when I’m trying to flip a hamburger. And yes, I’m going to pour a whole fucking can on lighter fluid on my inexpertly stacked coals. I might even remove my chicken before sticking a thermometer into it. Why? Because I’m not a Grilling Snob, that’s why. I’m only here to eat.
The Memphis Barbecue Fest (What? Not the “Grilling Fest?”) is coming up. It’s a contest much like logrolling or a quilting bee. The only difference is that many of the contestants are completely hammered from consuming too much secret ingredient. I don’t find anything wrong with this, except that some people train all year for this. In fact, the convicts from the Dirty Dozen experience less training than some of the most dedicated “grillers” in the contest.
I’ll bet George W. Bush fancies himself a “griller.”
The modern man doesn’t have a whole lot to cling to anymore. Few social milieus can be claimed as his sole domain. Funny how that man, in his desperation to secure his masculine identity, has embraced the traditionally feminine activity of cooking as his own. I think that’s cute.