Monday, November 19, 2007


Considering that this blog is called "The Grill" I figure that it is finally time for me to write a post about my experience with one of God's greatest creations... meat. Meat plays a very important role in both my life, and my young culinary career. Let me start by stating that I love eating meat. All different kinds. Beef, steak, pork, lamb, ground meats, ribs, it doesn't matter. If it comes from an animal, I will try it. If it's cooked well, I'll like it. It's as simple as that. I am a carnivore.

When it comes to cooking meat I have tried many different styles. I often braise, roast or pan-sear a nice roast or a steak, but for the most part I seem to be connected at the hip to a good grill.

I am still searching, however, for my favorite type of grill. At home I have a gas grill, not necessarily to my liking. I do enjoy the control that a gas grill offers, but I don't always like the way that the meat is cooked. I feel like it loses some of its flavor, and that a lot of the juices are sucked out of the meat from the flame. I find that if I'm not careful I can end up with a piece of leather for dinner on a gas grill.

At school I am the head of MEAT club. We meet as a community to grill different kinds of meat together every other Friday. At school we use charcoal, which I tend to like much more than gas. The flavor of the meat is generally kept intact. I find that when charcoal is used the meat sears better, with a crisper outer layer. This crispness seals in many of the juices and smoky, salty flavors that the meat has on its own. It also helps to keep in whatever flavors may be added to the meat through a marinade. There are two problems with this method, however. One problem is that it takes a very long time to get the charcoal fully fired up. At school there is only so much time during lunch, and I need to get as much meat cooked as possible. Because of this I sadly turn to the help of a slightly lesser evil... lighter fluid. I know, I know, lighter fluid is the marijuana of cooking. It is the gateway to other culinary blasphemies, but there are times when it comes in handy. School lunches are one of those times. I am trying to cut out the use of lighter fluid by using a cone for my coals, but until I get it fully figured out I may continue to use the terrible substance. Hopefully this changes soon.

My favorite way to cook meat on a grill would have to be by using wood to fire the grill. The biggest problem with this method is controlling the flame, but overall it gives the best overall taste to the meat, and is not too much harder than using coals. I hope that I will get to cook using this method more often in the future.

I’m not sure what the solution to my grilling needs will be. I am going to continue experimenting with many different cooking methods until I find my favorite way to make my favorite food. I want to be able to find an answer to the issues that I have with my current barbeques so that I can continue enjoying meat to the fullest.

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