Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Grill Me Some Dinner

I have a confession to make.  I don't see my family nearly enough.

Yes, it's true.  They are- as a close friend would say- far, and I hate Mobile's summer weather, and, and...but I found a really good price on an airline ticket a week after the SHOT Show, and since I wasn't sure what my schedule would be like after my transfer to Civil Affairs went through, I thought I'd better go.

Maryland in January was wintry, but last Monday evening in Mobile, Alabama was an amazing and beautiful 68 degrees.  Little brother and I took advantage of the incredible weather to indulge a favorite pastime of mine: grilling.  While at Lowe's that afternoon, I was looking for charcoal lighter fluid when I found something very interesting.

Char-Broil Electric Charcoal Starter

Now, there are places where grilling might happen that do not in fact have electricity, but since grilling frequently happens on folk's patios, a reusable lighter that imparts no petroleum flavor, will not explode, and that- best part- only cost as much as two cans of charcoal lighter fluid was too good to be true, right?  I decided to take the chance.  After an unexpectedly complicated grill assembly, the charcoal briquettes were poured, and the starter was inserted, and covered with a layer of briquettes.

The starter (which I couldn't help calling the Loop of Doom) became hot almost instantly.  I had set my phone timer for seven minutes after reading the starter's instruction to unplug the starter after eight minutes, or life as we know it would end.  (Well, okay, actually, the starter is "only" going to reach over 1,000 degrees and melt, but that seems bad.)

After just 2 minutes
Some of the charcoal was smoldering within just a couple of minutes, and there were flames by seven minutes.

After seven minutes
I unplugged the starter at seven minutes, and pulled it out a few seconds later.  The plastic was cool enough to handle with bare skin.  After that was the simple matter of waiting for the charcoal to all achieve the right consistency.

Almost ready

The coals seemed to be ready sooner than most times when I've used lighter fluid.  The process was easy, there was no explosive danger, and no gas taste.  If the starter holds up to repeated use, it's quite a bargain.

Ready for grilling

The grilled bratwurst and potatoes were delicious. :-)


Unknown said...

good grief... some things never change. my dad used a very similar loop of doom for family bbqs. He passed away in 1959

J.R.Shirley said...

That's really neat. :-) Sorry he's gone, though...

Robert said...

I'm glad you had a good grilling experience. As an alternative, chimney starters rock if you don't wanna use electricity or lighter fluid. They can also double as LZ smoke markers (white only).

Old NFO said...

Yep, what's old is new again... :-)

J.R.Shirley said...

Robert, I do have a chimney starter, but it's at my apartment in MD.

NFO, yup.

Robert said...

Always good to have a backup plan.