There's nothing like a nice burger or hot dog or other favorite barbeque item coming right off the grill. It speaks of summer, and it's something that my wife and I have tried to do regularly since we first started dating.
I look at where we were two years ago and where we were today, and I realize that I enjoy barbequing ten times more than I did just two years ago.
- The grill – I bought a grill from Big Lots in 2006 or so for less than $100. You get what you pay for and we sure did. It was propane, which is what I use, and it started off well enough, but it quickly began to deteriorate. There wasn't much rust protection, and I found that the heat distribution really didn't exist, no matter how many of the silly grill lava rocks that I spread around. Eventually the grill burners began to break down. Good ones, I guess, are made of stainless steel. These weren't. Pretty soon, the low setting was anything but. The entire thing had to be scrapped. Luckily, we are now the proud recipients of my parents old Weber grill, purchased probably sometime in the mid-1980's. It needed a few new parts and some paint, but other than that it still works great, and just having a grill with actual temperature control is fantastic.
- The barbeque sauce – One of the things I could never stand grilling was chicken. I would practically hide under the grill when it was time to barbeque the chicken. The grill problems certainly didn't help, but I was always afraid of overcooking it or undercooking, and the fact was that it just didn't taste very great to me. Turns out it maybe had something to do with the sauce. My wife had always purchased Open Pit, likely because it was what her mom used, but it really was the pits. One day in the dead of winter we went out to a restaurant. I ordered chicken strips with BBQ sauce and it was amazing. I'm sure I've had it before, but when I asked what it was, they said it was ‘Sweet Baby Rays' sauce. We bought some and haven't used a drop of anything else since. And, Ive found that I actually enjoy grilling chicken. I still worry about it being over or under cooked (it's usually over cooked, just to be safe *lol*) but the taste part no longer bothers me. Because the BBQ sauce we used is great.
The grill and the sauce. Two pretty big components, I guess, that could make or break a good barbeque. Now that we've got these two items out of the way, it's night and day from what it used to be. Off to fire up the grill!
Do you barbeque? Any tips on grilling? Any favorite sauces?