A few weeks ago I went to the Brewers game with some friends from work. One of the girls I work with brought her boyfriend who brought his grill. My original thinking when I saw this was "sweet, now I can just drink and mess around while this dude cooks." However, after about five minutes I realized this dude had no idea what he was doing. It was a mess. Pouring the lighter fluid on the coals without removing the cooking surface, rearranging the coals once it was starting to go, covering the top completely. It was a mess and I just couldn't believe that someone wouldn't know this. It drove me nuts. So I guided him along and when everything was all said and done we all enjoyed some lighter fluid tasting burgers. Hooray.
Here's the thing, I don't want to do this again. It wasn't fun. I don't want to have to show people how to do these things. This is something that people of a certain age should know. I don't know how to clean a fish. It's embarassing, but it's true. It's embarassing because I should know how to do it. Before the next time I go fishing, I'm going to figure it out. I'm going to go on google and figure it out and then when I'm out there doing it wrong and my friend says something to me I can say "oh man, it's been awhile" and play it off. That's what this is for you, dude that doesn't know how to start a grill. Try to remember what you can and when you screw it up and someone says something to you, you can just go "oh man, first tailgate of the year" and everything will be all good.
- First of all, if you don't know what you are doing buy the self-starting coals. A piece of paper, some matches and you're done.
- TAKE THE GRILL PART OFF.
- If you don't get those however, here's how you do it. Build your coals in a pyramid-esque shape, only flat at the top, Like an A without the ^.
- Pour some lighter fluid if you want, but paper works a lot better. Not notebook paper, but like a paper bag that you get from the grocery store. This will get your coals going. Maybe a little lighter fluid, but don't overdo it. Try and remember that it is GAS and gas tastes like crap.
- Once it gets going, don't mess with it. Leave it alone. Put the cover on, but only half way. Or leave the vent open on top if it's a windy day. Don't move them around, don't do anything. Just let them burn. Drink a beer.
- They are ready when they all look ashy grey and they are warm. I feel ridiculous even writing this.
- Coals last longer than you think they do, you don't need to add more. Here's how you know your coals aren't good anymore: they aren't there anymore. That's how you know you need to add more.
- Dispose of them properly. Nobody thinks a dumpster fire is funny. It's really just annoying.
So, you got that? You can skip half of those and as long as you remember not to mess with them and take the grill part off, we're fine. Seriously.