Modern Man And The Barbecue Grill.

Here’s the puzzle of the barbecue grill…..

Two customers have complained today and one of my suppliers just isn’t providing the quality of materials that I need. In short it’s been a rough day "at the office". I’m a bit down but as soon as I get home and I soon perk up. My children greet me and are itching to tell me all about their day and there’s a wonderful smell of cooking coming from the kitchen.

I give my wife a hug and ask "Hey, what’s cooking?"

Tonight will be oven roasted chicken thighs on a bed of vegetables roasted in olive oil. A ciabatta loaf is warming in the oven and there’s a bottle of merlot open to breathe on the kitchen table to round it all off. What better way to start the evening?

I know without any further inspection that what my nose tells me smells good really is good simply because my wife has many years experience, she enjoys cooking and therefore knows the subject inside out.

OK so I may be taking it a little to the extreme to make the point and before you all start shouting back, let me point out that I do the family’s ironing and I clean the bathrooms so I’m part way from "Neanderthal" to "modern man". I’m sure there’s plenty of us out there, sincerely I hope so.

My point is that considering all this talent my wife has and all her experience at cooking, why is it that when it’s time for a BBQ cookout it’s me that takes on the grill duties? The man of the house! What qualifications do I have? How much experience do I have?.........Zip! I cant even follow the most elementary smoker grill recipes.

If I were applying for a job in journalism, which newspaper in their right mind would employ me? Yet armed with the most abysmal gastronomic CV I’m trusted not to poison the family and if that weren’t enough, we invite our best friends round in the honest belief that I won’t poison them too!

Ever been to a BBQ cookout where the burgers are burnt on the outside and frozen in the middle? I’m sorry to say that while we might have moved someway towards modern man with the housekeeping duties, we’re still light years away when it comes to the barbecue or smoker.

Now it has to be said that lighting the barbecue is definitely a man’s job. C’mon guys who doesn’t like playing with fire? So how ladies, do you eat safe in the knowledge that you’ll live until tomorrow? Well I’ve got one simple barbecue tip:-

Give him the matches and the firelighters but don’t give him any of the food – at least not for 45 minutes if charcoal, 15 minutes if gas. Believe me, if you bring it out any earlier it’ll be a cremation rather than a BBQ party.

The best tip for good barbecue food is gentle cooking, heat is good and flames are bad. Fat dripping onto the coals creates the smoke that flavours the food but that same fat also can cause flames if the coals haven’t been allowed to settle. So in short, the coals should be hot and the flames not.

How do you keep your man away from the food without a padlock and chain on the refrigerator door? Give him a beer……or two! After all – I am a man!

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