How one bad day with a gas-fired barbecue turned us into charcoal lovers for good—plus enter to win A Time To Grill, a hot, new BBQ cookbook.
BACK TO BASICS | My searing romance began a few summers ago after an unexpected breakdown. The collapse occurred on that first sunny weekend in May that signals the beginning of barbecue season. My husband, who claims zero finesse when it comes to cooking indoors, turns into K-Paul the instant he slips on an chef’s apron and grill mitts. On this particular Sunday, he was suited up and ready to go when he ran into problems with the barbie.
(Instructions on how to WIN YOUR OWN COPY of the book at the bottom.)
Our first BBQ meal of summer is a ritual: fresh salmon, grill-toasted sourdough and corn on the cob, if we can find it. While I pulled the last bones from the fillets, the Grill Master went outside to remove the dust cover from our gas-fired barbecue, which is when I heard the cry of wounded human.
“Wouldja look at this,” he yelled in to me. Over the winter the glass in the lid had shattered and chunks of glazing had wedged themselves in among the grease-caked lava rocks. “How am I supposed to cook,” he groaned. “You can’t,” I commiserated. “We need a new unit.”
We had planned to follow the herd and pony up for an outdoor kitchen, but it was supposed to be part of a larger renovation. We hadn’t planned to start it that summer, or even that year. “We can’t do this,” I said. “We need drawings.”
“And more cash,” he added.
Weber Kettles Are For Serious Cooks
The next thing I knew, we were in our neighbourhood Home Hardware looking for a stop-gap unit when I noticed a shiny round blue kettle among the sea of stainless boxes. “You must be a serious cook,” said the salesman, who could see the Weber transfixed me. “I love the way this looks,” I said, “but it uses charcoal.”
“Most of our charcoal kettles are purchased by chefs—hey, I had one in here yesterday who bought the same one you’re looking at. These things have a cult following.” I could feel myself warming (I’m a sucker for feeling insider).
But what about mess and cooking time, uneven heat and all of the other reasons people switch to gas? “These things won’t be a problem, you’ll see. Once you try this unit, you won’t go back to gas.”
He was right. We now count ourselves among the Weber kettle converted—not because the units are cheaper than most decently made gas models but because food cooked over charcoal tastes good. And what of our dreams of an outdoor kitchen? Well, they vanished sweetly (and permanently) in a haze of hickory-infused smoke. —C. Rule
We found the Weber One Touch Gold kettle in basic black online at The Home Depot for $179. www.homedepot.ca.
Enter To Win Weber’s new Time To Grill Cookbook
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I’ve entered to win a Weber’s Time to Grill cookbook from @teamfrugalbits. Go to http://wp.me/pCoOh-sY to enter to win #FBwebergiveaway
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Weber’s Time to Grill has more than 200 recipes, each one with its own photo. Who knows grilling better than Weber, and their latest must-have cookbook written by New York Times bestselling cookbook author Jamie Purviance, is dedicated to the time-crunched like us. Yeah!
Photo: Courtesy Weber-Stephen Products LLC., www.weber.com