Grilling it Right

At Lloyd’s Landing, we are proud—nay, I say, boastful—about the lack of a gas grill. Over the years, I have learned that many people, including several family members who I love dearly, are not only incapable of cooking on a charcoal grill, they cannot even imagine how they might do it. One brother recently declared, “I can’t cook with charcoal—I don’t have an extra 30 minutes!”

Silly brother. Watch, and learn.

You don’t have to watch too many cooking shows to know that all the grill masters use either charcoal or wood or a combination of both. This sermon will focus on charcoal; once you master this simple product, your mind will be free to consider all the aromatic woods at your disposal.

The first rule of charcoal is this: if you love your family, or the environment, or your reputation as a cook, do not—under any circumstances—use that nasty lighter fluid. I know, I know, your parents used it. I’m sure you recall the titillating stress of wondering how high the flames would erupt once Mom dropped that match on those saturated coals. It might have been funny to see your dad’s eyebrows singed after he lit the grill with his face right over the Weber. You may have used that pre-packaged bag of coals and fluid at a tailgate on a crisp autumn Saturday and thought it was OK.

But those days are over. It’s time to grill for real. That’s why Lloyd’s Landing provides, at no additional charge, the grill chimney.

So simple, so easy….

So simple, so easy….

It’s a very simple device, and it heats the coals in far less than 30 minutes. (A-HEM, Mikkel) All you need to do is this:

  1. Stuff newspaper in the bottom section and put the required amount of coals on the top.

  2. Put the chimney on the lower grill grate and light the newspaper with a match.

  3. Go crack open a beer.

  4. Tell your wife that vacation looks good on her!

  5. Scan the lake for egrets, eagles, and loons.

  6. Go back to the grill and check the coals. If they are turning grey, dump the contents of the chimney onto the grate and arrange them as needed with the utensils provided. If they’re still black, give your wife another compliment and come back to the briquets in three minutes.

If you are new to real grilling, not that cooking method that involves propane and propane accessories, you may not know how many coals you need. For further instruction in technique, I must refer you to that oracle of all things charcoal, the Weber Grill website.


Oh, and one more thing: there is no second rule of charcoal grilling. Make the experience your own, and have fun.

Amy Anderson