It's Time To Move On - We live for this stuff. Blog at - 308110

We live for this stuff.

It's time to move on 
Aug. 6, 2013 11:42 am 
Updated: Nov. 3, 2013 12:46 pm

The grill.   It's been a life-long struggle with me.   I started with the most widely used charcoal grill of all-time, the Weber.   Black, round, boring.  I started with this one because that's what my father-in-law used, and he could do absolutely anything with that thing.  Steaks, chops, loins.   You name it, he could do it.   Meanwhile, I could barely cook a burger and hot dogs on it.   I watched.   I thought I did what he did.   I didn't.   My attempts at man food were usually dismal at best.
Fast forward 20 years or so and I still have four out of the five grills I've ever owned.   Three of them I use regularly.   The fourth, that plain black round Weber resides behind my garage for the last 10 years or better.   It still looks like the day I put it there.   I moved on to gas after that one.
My first gas grill was also a Weber.   That one now lives at the lake.   I struggled with that one too.   My burgers and hot dogs seemed to do just fine, but my steaks were still lacking.   Over cooked, under cooked.   Burnt on this edge, barely cooked on the other.   There was no sense in telling me how you liked your rib eye done, because the only thing I could promise was that it would be dead, and usually really over cooked, no matter how many times I cut into them to check doneness.   I don't do that anymore.   I use the touch method.   This is the only way to go in my opinion.
Now fast forward a few more years and two more grills.   I'm starting to catch on.   I've learned that each grill is different and beautiful in there own way.   I've learned that hot spots can be used to your advantage rather being a  disadvantage.   I've also learned that not all grills are great at all things, but all are good for at least one thing.   At least that's the way it is with gas grills.
So last night, I made a special dinner for a special young man who is dating one of my daughters.   Twice baked potatoes, rib eyes, grilled shrimp, corn and a store bought Hot Fudge Sunday Cheesecake (really good!).   

I wasn't planning on doing a blog last night and that picture was only taken to tease someone that couldn't make it to supper.   Now I wish I would have taken a picture of the meal on the plate.   Anyways...
So this young man lost his father 6 or 7 years ago in a very tragic event.   Yesterday would have been his 49th birthday.   That was the occasion.   The meal came out perfect in every way.   Shrimp was excellent and not over cooked.   Steaks came out juicy beyond belief and cooked perfectly to everyone's desires and they were all plated at the same time.   Not a huge amount of steaks, but 6 plus 2 shrimp per person and all at once.   5 years ago, I couldn't have done this.   20 years ago?   HAHAHA!
The first time I did this, I thought it was a fluke.   I'm not that good of a griller.   No way, no how.   Now 10 or 20 times later, with it always being right, I'm being to think that I can be taught.   In fact, I'm pretty sure I can be.
I have two gas grills at the lake.   They are both great grills.   I wouldn't trade them for anything.   I have a huge grill at home.   Rotisserie and all.   I love this thing.   That's what that meal was cooked on.   And I have the charcoal Weber behind my garage.   My old foe.
I know how much better food tastes on charcoal versus gas, but I could never, ever, learn how to use that grill.   But because of my success with the gas grills,  I am pretty sure that I can learn  the charcoal.   I think it's time for me to move on, or rather backwards.    I am going to dig out the old Weber.   I am going to start with burgers and dogs.   Get a feel for it first, before I try steaks and shrimp, etc.   I hope that soon I can post pictures from that grill too.

Photo Detail
Aug. 6, 2013 11:53 am
Great blog. I too have a few grills but in my opinion nothing can out perform the Weber Kettle. You can grill on it, direct or indirect and wet or dry smoke with it. If you want one of those magazine perfectly browned turkeys just put it on the Weber with indirect heat.
Aug. 6, 2013 12:00 pm
Look forward to hearing the out come! Good Luck!
Aug. 6, 2013 12:34 pm
Oh boy, can I relate. My husband used to do all the grilling. He tried so hard. I never had the heart to tell him that it wasn't done well enough because then it came out black. Since he passed away I a terrified to light it on my own. So it stays there in its corner for 13 years now. Congratulations on not letting it beat you.
Aug. 6, 2013 12:45 pm
Duboo, My family is from Regent N.D. My aunt if 103 and loves to tell stories about her life in N.D. I also cannot master the Weber Grill. I can NEVER get the coals the right temp. to grill whatever I am cooking. I have given up. I had a cast iron gas grill for 20 years and I was able to use it with no problem. Do you use a chimney to get the coals started? I do. Maybe that is the problem.
Aug. 6, 2013 12:50 pm
Ruth Rae, Regent is in the opposite corner of the state from me. I'm not sure with all of the oil exploration going on that I could live there. I've used the chimneys to start the coals, but I've also used those electric heater things. I tried to never use lighter fluid.
Aug. 6, 2013 12:57 pm
I for one am scared of the grill, or as I call it the BBQ. My husband does all the grilling and he taught our daughters who are not scared of the grill. Happy for you duboo, and hope you master the old grill. It was thoughtful of you to do what you did for your daughters friend.
Aug. 6, 2013 1:02 pm
Fun blog duboo. I am the grill master in this house. In the early years No Baking Papa's attempts at grilling were pathetic and rather than let me learn I chased him away from the grill. That was a BIG mistake. There is a learning curve to grilling well. I have a friend who swears by the Weber Kettle grill. There are some tricks to the technique and I have learned a lot from him. When he comes to my house and I fire up the monster gas grill I know he feels intimidated by it. For me, the Weber and the monster gas grill both have a place in my life. Too bad that neither of them have a place in NB Papa's life.
Aug. 6, 2013 1:08 pm
Next, I need to master using a smoker. I would love to be able to put that feather in my cap.
Aug. 6, 2013 1:14 pm
The smoker is on my to-do list as well BN.
Aug. 6, 2013 1:17 pm
I would love to have a charcoal grill and learn to use it, I have a gas grill and have cooked over a wood fire,but I missed the charcoal taste. Good luck with the weber, I hope you have more grilling perfection.
Aug. 6, 2013 1:54 pm
I am the grillmaster in our household, and I love, love, love my Weber Kettle grill. I've had it for many, many years, and it gets a workout any time the weather is nice enough to grill! Years ago, I had both a gas grill and the Weber, but I never, ever used the gas, so I gave it away. My Weber will have to be pried from me, LOL. I can do anything I need to do on that grill. I use a chimney for mine and lump charcoal usually. It may take just a bit more effort, but the flavor is far superior on charcoal IMHO. But as you can tell, I'm pretty prejudiced when it comes to grills. :) My smoker gets a lot of use, too, when I need to go low and slow but don't have the time to babysit the coals in the grill. Enjoy your grilling!
Aug. 6, 2013 3:01 pm
I am the griller in my household, and I depend on the ease of the Weber gas grill. I like the smell and taste of the old-style briquettes, but I don't like the smell lingering on in my clothes! And also I don't have time for that, even though I'm retired! Here in SoCal we use our grills year-round, and we use it several times a week!
Aug. 6, 2013 3:45 pm
Great blog, I have yet to master a charcoal grill, but the gas grill I have. I may one day try my luck at the charcoal, but I'm afraid of pushing my luck. I would love to master a smoker grill, I think that is in my future.
Aug. 6, 2013 4:00 pm
Good topic and interesting blog Duboo. My husband is the Grill Master & Master Smoker at our house. It doesn't matter if uses the gas grill, the charcoal grill or smoker, whatever he grills comes out perfect every single time. I think it's an art for sure. I don't know one end from the other on any of them...
Aug. 6, 2013 5:41 pm
it looks good
Aug. 6, 2013 7:40 pm
Good job! And I know just where you're coming from. Any BBQ is good, but over charcoal has a better flavor, IMHO. I bet if you master the Weber, you'll be a fan for life!
Aug. 7, 2013 5:30 am
For the past several years, grilling on my gas grill includes a smoker box that added the smoky flavors of various woods to my food. This year, I included the smoke box on my charcoal grill and, though it was good, just didn't improve flavor that much. The flavors from charcoal grill seem to be their own and better left to themselves. By moving the food to various "heating zones" of the charcoal grill, I can create flavor variations. The gas grill has been an expensive luxury in that the burners and deflectors are destroyed after a few years due to being closed/covered up and moisture being unable to escape.
Aug. 7, 2013 7:24 am
Good on you for not giving up. The grill and the smoker are mostly RNGrampa's domain, I use them occasionally, but I prefer to leave that part of the cooking up to him, makes him feel involved. Since we have worn out 3 smokers over time, we prefer the smoker to the grill for many dishes. Keep grillin'
Aug. 7, 2013 7:30 am
Duboo-you are making me hungry with your grilled steaks and shrimp. I let my hubby grill ever since the knob broke off the grill. So, now pliers are needed to turn the heat up and down. We need a new grill for sure. We have a charcoal smoker, an electric smoker and a new propane gas smoker. Smoked turkeys and ribs are our favorite. The hardest one to use is the charcoal smoker and the easiest is the propane smoker. Now, I am hungry for some smoked ribs.
Aug. 7, 2013 1:03 pm
I feel your pain and applaud your success with your dinner. We are a grilling, smoking, BBQing family here. It's taken us a few, quite a few, years to get where things do come out just like we want them. The 3 grills- Weber, smoker and gas grill can attest to that! Thanks for sharing!
Aug. 7, 2013 2:29 pm
When I was growing up grilling was done on one of 3 grills. A round, no name grill about the height and size of the Weber but uncovered, the Hibachi, or the stone fireplace my dad built in the yard. Dad was in charge of all grilling and he was GOOD at it! The man who couldn't boil water, go figure. My husband thought that the male chromosome brought grilling skills and never would take any advice. When my kids mutinied, he finally gave the job to me.....the building where I live doesn't permit charcoal or gas grills so I have to make do with an electric model. I doubt I will ever buy another gas grill, but I'd like a Hibachi.
Aug. 7, 2013 9:48 pm
I'm with you on grilling. Its something you need to do often inorder to get a feel for cooking different foods. I like to grill vegs. And shrimp, but steaks are tough. I just purches a Weber electric grill not sure yet if I like. Will see
Aug. 9, 2013 6:25 am
I'd suggest the Cook's Illustrated Guide to BBQ and Grilling for excellent lessons on grilling with charcoal. It has detailed instructions for getting the right level of fire and precise recipes for grilling everything over charcoal. It's come to be called "the bible" in our household! Since we started using it, we've almost exclusively cooked on charcoal with great success. Good luck!
Aug. 9, 2013 1:46 pm
Thank you all for your comments. I wasn't able to check this for a couple of days so it was nice to come back and see such positive responses.
Aug. 10, 2013 2:57 pm
Being around a fire builds camaraderie. Teach that young man how to man a grill like you do! Great blog.
Aug. 11, 2013 2:00 pm
Grilling, we do a lot of it 12 months a year. My hubby and I share the grilling, and I must say neither of us are proficient at the "touch method" for testing doneness. But that instant-read meat thermometer is never far away. Very nice thing that you did for your daughter's friend, and so glad everything was cooked perfectly! Nice blog.
Aug. 11, 2013 2:11 pm
I relate to this story in a few ways....We grew up with the Charcoal Weber. My dad was the master at it and could make a whole chicken or a perfectly cooked burger. I, on the other hand, never developed the talent for the charcoal preparation, the cooking procedures you endure etc...Gas is quick, easy, however not slow roasted. I am improving my gas grill skills, figured out how not to burn everything etc... Its a start. I much prefer the gas...You are a good dad to think of your daughter and her friend. I bet she appreciated it and so did the young man.
Nov. 3, 2013 12:46 pm
We have a tregar pellet grill/smoker. We love it. We smoked a turkey last year and I have even baked bread using pecan pellets. Like your blog.
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Langdon, North Dakota, USA

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Oct. 2009

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Grilling & BBQ, Slow Cooking, Mexican, Italian, Southern

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About Me
Dad of two great girls and husband to one equally great lady.
My favorite things to cook
I like Italian and Mexican. I enjoy a challenge and tend to move on once I have it mastered.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Mom taught all of us boys (and girls) to cook. It's always nice when Mom has us over and I get to carve the meat for her.
My cooking triumphs
My favorite triumphs are cooking twice for my daughters and their friends proms. Both years I served about 15 and stuck with my own Italian recipes. The kids all loved the meals. Now the girls (in college) and their friends try to make a point to come out for my cooking, which usually turns out! I love having them here and the cooking helps! Also once a year I have to make pies for a local fundraiser and last year, the old ladies thought I had bought the cheesecake with the pretty swirls and passed it off as my own. Nope. Sorry ladies!
My cooking tragedies
Yep, I've left the giblets in the bird once. I also believed the pop-up thermometer one time when I shouldn't have. Yea, and I did a rotisserie chicken in 7 minutes flat. Forgot to turn the grill down from preheating. That wasn't pretty.
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