Sunday, May 28, 2006

Grilling Gone Mad

I am quite happy with my Weber, it does what I need it to, I can; grill, smoke or bbq and that is what I use it for. I made beef ribs the other day, they were great. Slow smoked with a dry rub. Yum!
Pimp My Grill - New York Times: "As Memorial Day marks the official beginning of grilling season, many men will find themselves almost genetically drawn to throwing hunks of raw meat onto a fire and poking them with tongs. It's a pull that some will spend almost any amount of money to satisfy, said Pantelis A. Georgiadis, the owner of Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet, the grill manufacturer based in Michigan. 'There is a market segment we call the 'man cook with fire' types,' he said.

When Daniel Conrad, a lawyer, moved to Dallas four years ago from Pittsburgh to join the woman who would become his wife, his parents bought him a small Weber grill. 'It wasn't big enough for my ego,' Mr. Conrad, 34, said. 'So I got this giant enormous Weber grill.'

Now, he rushes home to his wife — and to his baby, a Weber Summit Gold D6, to slow-cook ribs or experiment with smoking turkeys. 'Grilling has become my creative outlet,' Mr. Conrad said. 'The only two extravagances I have in my life are my car and my grill.' He drives a Mercedes.

And like luxury car owners, many people who splurge on a grill that can simmer, bake and fry are looking to impress.

Last fall, Dave and Allison Petrullo of Commack, N.Y., installed a custom-built Cal Spas grill on their patio with an outdoor refrigerator. They spent more than $100,000 renovating their backyard with a new synthetic deck, masonry, a whirlpool and a pool waterfall, so $6,500 more for Mr. Petrullo to have a brick sanctuary with a Cal Spas grill as its central altar seemed like nothing. 'I told him to just go for it,' Ms. Petrullo said. 'And get your dream barbecue.'

Though they have actually cooked on the grill only three times since they installed it, it has been a hit with Mr. Petrullo's friends, who congregate around it at parties and give it a going-over like a pack of high school boys around a Corvette, Ms. Petrullo said. 'They like to lift up the hood and play with the knobs,' she said. 'They open the doors underneath, and they open the fridge next to it to check it out.'
The difference between men and boys is the price of their toys. As Joe Jackson wrote, "there goes your proof". Looks don't count for much, it is all about the talent.
The high-end grill market, which generally refers to any grill that costs more than $1,000, started quietly in 1990 when Dynamic Cooking Systems, a company based in California, introduced the DCS Professional Grill. The 48-inch-wide $5,000 appliance, which included H-shaped cast-iron commercial-quality burners, a heavy-duty side-burner and more B.T.U.'s per square inch than any other grill then on the market, was adopted by a few deep-pocketed souls on the grilling vanguard.
How many people have elaborate kitchens and grills and don't know how to cook? Part of the fun of barbecueing is all the work and attention to detail. My brother had this theory about why men do the grilling. Cracked me up. He said that it is because men can only pay attention to one thing at a time and since the frill can flare up at any time, you can station a guy in front of the grill with a beer to make sure things don't burn. Meanwhile, the little woman is prepping the rest of the dinner inside. Or something to that effect.

Two thousand degrees. Wow, that would really sear a steak in a few seconds. Then you had better move it somehwhere else or it will be carbon enhanced with the inside still raw. Any spice flavor would disappear and I am not interested in baking a cake or pie in my barbecue.
Many of these grills can reach temperatures of 2,000 degrees — hot enough to melt brass — if used improperly, but grill manufacturers say temperatures should stay under a safe 1,000 degrees (which can melt lead).

"If you load it up with charcoal and light 100,000 B.T.U.'s of propane under it, you're going to have a 2,000-degree fire going," said Russ Faulk, director of marketing for Kalamazoo. "It's not going to lead to cooking success." In addition to the owner's manual, Kalamazoo tries to give in-person training to new grill owners, as do most of the other high-end manufacturers. "
Like most things, it isn't the equipment that gives you success, it is the talent at the end of the tongs. Hopefully these guys aren't mortgaging their homes to pay for these grills. Those numbers aren't looking all that good lately.

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