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Outdoor cooking: Fired up for grilling

By in Press Enterprise on January 13, 2018

By Contributing Writer

Istarted salivating the minute the truck pulled up with our new outdoor grill, an electric wood-pellet cooker that looks like a cannon and weighs just as much.

“Over here, no over here! Maybe in the garage.” I try to steer the poor delivery guy and his gigantic overweight parcel around the patio like an awkward dance partner. He is demonstrating more patience than I deserve.

The box lands with a thud. I am eagerly tearing it open before the truck is down the street.

I had been waiting for this. For the past year and a half, DC and I had been sentenced to cooking only indoors. Today, we were about to join the 75 percent of U.S. adults who own an outdoor grill, according to the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association.

We were like two inmates just released from kitchen jail. I could already smell the wood fire and taste the mesquite-infused chipotle chicken. DC could not assemble the grill — a Traeger Eastwood 34 — fast enough.

After the grill was together, we cooked outdoors every night for a week. We grilled burgers and kabobs. We seared steaks and roasted veggies.

We wondered why we had waited so long.

Why? Because choosing a backyard barbecue is not as easy as it used to be. Do you want gas, charcoal, electric, or the wood-pellet burning variety? What size? What color? Built-in or free-standing? I just want dinner.

I did my homework, then let DC pick. And he did. After DC had cooked up a couple excellent meals, I asked for his review.

“It’s the best grill I have ever used,” said DC, who has had both fancy gas and charcoal grills before.

“I like that you don’t need to worry about a propane tank running out or blowing up, a gas line or a supply of charcoal. I like […]    

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