There’s something about cooking over a fire that’s just primal. There’s a reason that even the most ardent “cooking is women’s work” jerkwad will drop that crap the moment it’s time to start grilling. Since that’s the case, I asked my favorite barbecue master, Jonathon LaForce to work up a series of guest posts on such tasty subjects as grilling and smoking meats.
“I love the smell of napalm in the morning.”
So spake Robert Duvall in Apocalypse Now. In the summer time, men and women all over North America try their hand at the use of flame outdoors to create meals. More often than not, the end result looks like any VC hiding in the tree line when that air strike came rolling in: Burnt, crispy, dry. That burger patty could be used for sandpaper, the hound just turned up it’s nose at your over-flambeed hot dog, and the chicken looks like it’s been damned to a flaming circle of hell.
It happens every year. Like clockwork. Never mind that you and your neighbors and kinfolk never do anything on the grill besides what I just mentioned. Oh sure, you looked good firing up your grill. You had the slick tools, the fancy grill gloves, your wife bought you a “Kiss the Cook” apron for Father’s Day. Your male friends all gathered around the grill telling you how nice it all looked and how manly you appeared as you plied your trade, the avatar of the fire god Hephaestus himself. And then they lied to you, as they choked their way through what had been meat and is now blackened carbon. Add a little more pressure to it and you could make diamonds out of it!
I see this every year. And it disgusts me. What happened to men who knew and understood that the proper application of fire to meat, fish, poultry and all sundry items given to us for consumption produces incredible results? I’m not sure, but I have ideas on why. Whereas humility is not a martial virtue, it is not one which I have made the effort to cultivate. Nor will I attempt to engage in it now. If I say do something in the course of these articles, it’s because I know by experience it works or doesn’t work. Simple as that.
People have asked me, repeatedly- “Jon, what’s the secret to your barbecue tasting so good? Is it the wood? Do you have a special butcher you use? What is it?”
Don’t be afraid. Shall I repeat myself? DON’T BE AFRAID. Continue reading “Guest Post: Barbecue Basics: London Broil”