It is assumed among men that all guys know how to cook on a grill. Sadly for anyone that has eaten a raw on the inside but charcoal on the outside bit of meat, this isn’t the case. We went down to the Men’s Shed to see what the fellas had to say about being a BBQ master.
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“I’m hopeless at it,” Kevin said with a laugh. “Where the hell did people get the idea that just because of what I’m packing downstairs that I would have a bloody clue as to what to do on a barbie? My mother did all the cooking and she would boil everything! There was no grilling when I was growing up, unless it was done at a mate’s house. Needless to say though when I became a Dad somehow a grill and a pair of tongs were thrust into my possession. I try. But it either comes out raw or burnt so bad you wouldn’t be able to tell what it was supposed to be.”
“My sons love to brag about how many burners and all the gadgets that their BBQs have,” Darryl shared, “but when the opportunity comes they want good ole Dad to cook on his beat up charcoal grill. I don’t like cooking on the gas ones because I don’t have control like I do with charcoal. I can move the coals to one side so I have a hot and a controlled area, I can add different woods to give my cooking that smoky woody flavour. It’s a dang art that no amount of gadgets will give you.” Darryl smiles and said “I’ll give you one tip for free. A dirty onion. If you love onion with your food, there is no reason to peel, slice, oil, and cook. Chuck the thing skin and all into the hot coals. Leave it in there while you are doing your thing and then take it out when you’re ready to eat. Peel the burnt layers off and you, my friend, will have the tastiest and best cooked onion to go with your food you’ve ever had.”
“I’m with Darryl,” David said, “You cannot grill without charcoal. The flavour that you get from it is unbeatable. Plus you don’t have to worry about if the bottle is out of fuel, just pick up bag and you are good to go. I do a lot of smoking my own meat because it is the best. If you are going to cook on a charcoal grill though get yourself a good variety of good woodchips because you will not believe the flavour they pull out of your food. But it’s not all about meat, my daughter is a vegan and loves the veggie burgers I made for her out of mushroom, chickpeas, and potato. Throw in some hickory wood chips and you have a meal even a meat eater would be happy to chow down on.”
We would have discussed the topic a bit more but the boys all agreed that they were hungry. Luckily, David keeps a small charcoal BBQ in his ute for just such an occasion and after a quick trip to the local butcher we had a great lunch. Kevin was happy to get the cold drinks.