Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Brilliant Idea ... or maybe, NOT SO MUCH!

Last Thursday I grilled my turkey. In my Webber Kettle. I love my Webber. I am not afraid to cook with briquettes. I can follow directions. I am inventive.

A lot of women seem to freak out about BBQing/Grilling. OMG, fire! And matches! And hot things! I just don’t get it.

Here’s the deal. If you cook for a long period of time with briquettes, you have to replenish them in the kettle. Turkey takes a long time to cook, and uses the “indirect” method. That means having coals on either side of the kettle, but not directly under the item cooking. (‘cause that would be the DIRECT method!)

So – Thursday – the Webber guide tells me 2 ¼ to 3 hours of cook time for a 14-16 pound turkey – approximately 50 briquettes – 25 on each side. No problem! Mit is on it! A half an hour before I want to start cooking I load the chimney up with the briquettes and hide a paraffin cube here and there. Wad up a little bit of paper for under the chimney and light it. Easy as pie.

My timing is perfect. Half an hour later the coals are nice and red-hot. I pour them behind the dams on either side of the kettle, bend the juice pan to fit between the dams, add the top grate, and put the turkey on, then cover with the lid.

Back in the house I begin to think about this … hmmm 3 hours with coals … that’s an awfully long time for them to retain the same level of heat output …. I better look at those directions again. Yep, there it was – the small print …add 15 briquettes to each side for every additional hour of cooking.

Crap! How the hell am I going to get them started? My grill sits on a wooden deck. The whole side of my house is a wooden deck. There is no place to set the chimney without it being on the wood. And that won’t be good, because the coals will fall through the bottom … and then … things could catch on fire.

What to do, what to do.

Brilliant Idea!

I can place the chimney INSIDE my Dutch Oven. And THEN, the falling coals won’t be on the wood! How resourceful! How smart! How inventive! Of course I did have to work out the technical part about tilting the chimney so it had some air flow under it, but other than that, it worked like a champ. Both times, I had hot, live coals to add, at exactly the right time.

When the turkey was finished, I replaced the kettle top and went on about my merry way. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday I didn’t go outside to put away the chimney or retrieve my Dutch oven. There was a little misty rain on Sunday. Monday before I went to work I noticed it REALLY looked like it could rain a lot. Better get the grill covered, put away the chimney, and get the Dutch oven back in the house, I thought to myself. And so I went outside. Put away the chimney, covered the grill, hauled the ashes to the garbage, and picked up the Dutch Oven to knock the dead coals out of it and bring it inside.

I picked it up – knocked the shit out of the bottom – (not too successfully, I might add), and as I turned to head indoors I noticed it was still dry where the Dutch Oven had been. Of course, I mean water doesn’t run UNDER things. But hey … why is that dry spot so … dark? Hmmm – it looks almost like a shadow, instead of a dry spot. But there’s nothing to make a shadow in a perfect circle … like … that … and … you … know … my deck … is, uh … painted red … and this is so dark … it’s almost … charcoal colored …. OH FUCK!

Funny that. Apparently 500 degrees – through the bottom of a Dutch oven is hot enough to BURN the deck.

As I told my car pool mate … I’m SUCH a guy!

I just haven’t figure out if that’s good or bad.

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