My greatest enemy

12 07 2007

Karen’s been after me for weeks to post this.

You’ve heard me rant against my oven. It preheats and then shuts off. It’s sabotaged my creme brulee, cinnamon rolls, and pizza. But it’s never beaten me. All three of those projects came out great. So what could be worse than an oven that shuts off?

It even looks evil, doesn’t it?

A gas grill.

Not just any gas grill, though, an EVIL gas grill. Okay, so perhaps all gas grills are evil.

I just don’t get it. I was great with charcoal. Those were the best burgers I’ve ever had. Come to think of it, I still make pretty good burgers on the grill. I make pretty good steaks on the grill too. I’ve even cooked veggies on the grill. But there’s one thing I’ve never gotten right since I started with this stupid thing.

Well it is called Mark Ruins Dinner


In the picture above you see my latest batch of Jerk Chicken, from July 4th. It was actually pretty funny. We had a guest, and he very graciously said nothing while politely avoiding the chicken altogether. I’ve made chicken at least half a dozen times this year, and every time they end up looking like this. Perhaps I get impatient and that’s why I close the lid, but as soon as I do I turn BBQ into something that’s becoming legendary in our house.

Chernobyl Chicken.

Last week Karen made an unwelcome comment to me, “Why doesn’t Bobby Flay burn his chicken like this?” Because Bobby Flay never cooks chicken on a gas grill. And it’s dead easy with charcoal. You put the coals in the middle and put the chicken around the outside of the grill. He doesn’t even close the lid, ever. The Jerk gets this great blackened skin (not burned) that’s delicious. Cooking on a gas grill with indirect heat is like washing my minivan with a toothbrush. That’s why I’m good with burgers and steaks. When God made cows he said “Thou shalt be cooked over an open flame.”

I used to be a proud non-owner of a gas grill. Now I’m a shamed owner of a gas grill that has truly beaten me. And since my Weber kettle grill died a grisly death last year I’m doomed for at least two summers to tinker, fiddle, and experiment, ultimately burning the chicken anyway.

Like my dad always said “They’re brown when they’re cookin’, and they’re black when they’re done.”



10 responses

12 07 2007

My poor jerk chicken. All those beautiful spices, wasted. It’s so sad.

13 07 2007

Is there any way you can fedex burnt meat to me the next time it happens. I sorta like how it looks…I’ve always had a thing for the crispy part of Trinidad BBQ so maybe I will like it….besides, once the inside is fine, who cares about the outside.

13 07 2007

Just out of curiosity, are you using the, ceramic “briquettes” with your gas grill. I could have written most of this post a couple of years back when my Weber Kettle finally went to that great barbecue in the sky.

However, when I started using the ceramic Briquettes (and putting the chicken on the upper rack, my issues with chicken went away. Yes, it took a bit longer to heat the grill, and the chicken took a bit longer, but it stopped coming out like it was just through a scene in Backdraft.

Lava Rocks (to me) just heat too unevenly and since they actually absorb the grease from food are far more prone to flare ups and burned food.

13 07 2007
mark - in my own defense

Yes I’m using fake briquettes in my gas grill. Further proof that gas is inferior to charcoal. If gas was better why do they sell these fake briquettes to simulate charcoal?

13 07 2007

Mark, that chicken looks lethal…………lol

16 07 2007
Daddy Forever

Hey, our gas grill died this week. Must be part of the evil thing you speak of.

16 07 2007
mark - in my own defense

congratulations. Did you make it look like an accident?

17 07 2007

Last last comment got my screen snotty. Do like I do, Mark. Weber makes a smaller version of their kettle grill called Little Joe that we bought for camping. When we do chicken it visits us from the camper.

If I HAVE to use the gas grill, Miz Wah pre-boils or partially bakes the chicken before hand. It seals the outside and keeps most of the moisture in the meat.

13 08 2007
Michele B

Ahem…if you had any of the grilled chicken – done on a gas grill – at my party last week you see it came out perfect (of course I can’t take any credit for that as my friend Ed actually did the grilling. Maybe I could rent him out…) Since I never learned how to grill on charcoal I don’t have any of the charcoal sentamentality many of you have. I suppose it’s better not to have it to compare to…

26 05 2008
Officially summer « Mark Ruins Dinner

[…] scared because it’s almost 7:00pm and I’m just now making dinner and if it’s Chernobyl Chicken we’re eating it anyway. Then the spices on the skin turn this really encouraging shade of […]

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