Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Fire Up the Dinner Incinerator

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Fire Up the Dinner Incinerator

Article excerpt

The Memorial Day weekend is the traditional time to wheel out the ol' propane grill for the first cookout of the season.

Propane has replaced charcoal as the fuel of choice for today's back yard barbecuer for the simple reason that it allows him to set the food afire much faster than before.

With charcoal, you had to wait nearly an hour before the briquettes were hot enough to reduce a $15 ribeye steak into a greasy, smoking pile of gray ashes. With propane, you can achieve this level of doneness in one-tenth the time.

Strangely, this aspect of outdoor cooking is largely overlooked in the barbecue cookbooks. There is a great deal of discussion concerning marinades, sauces, basting techniques, etc., but almost no mention of the proper use of a garden hose in extinguishing salmon florentine.

But before you can incinerate your food, you must first "fire up" the grill. Many propane grills come equipped with a push-button ignition switch that starts the fire safely and easily, assuming it is working, which, of course, it isn't.

The reason for this is that you assembled your propane grill yourself, probably late at night while drinking beer and watching Three Stooges reruns on TV. (Some cynics have suggested that these are the same conditions under which Ford engineers assembled the ignition switches of the 1988 Ford Escort, but that is not true. They were watching Beavis and Butt-head.)

So what you have to do in this situation is turn on the gas and flip lit matches in the direction of the grill. The grill will eventually "catch," producing the telltale mushroom cloud that lets neighbors several miles away know you are either doing some outdoor cooking or conducting an experiment in nuclear fission.

After getting your burns treated at a local hospital, you are ready to begin grilling. If you are cooking hamburgers, it is a good idea to "sear" the meat first. …

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