Gender segregation in the world of outdoor cooking is uniquely American. Something happened in the 1950s when Weber popularized the backyard grill; women were left with their cake mixes and domestic proclivities, while men relished in the primal triumphs of searing meat atop a mountain of charcoal.
In many places across the world, these divisions never really existed. Take the culture of street food in Southeast Asia, for example. It’s not to say that ladies totally dominate the scene of whipping up barbecued treats, but it is common to snag something delicious from a fellow female.
Well, we’re ready to get our grill on! Though ‘50s-inspired style will outlast the ages, gone are the days of shying away from exploring one of the greatest joys summertime has to offer. Gals, fire up your grills. It’s time to take back the barbecue.
Here’s a how-to on safely igniting your grill — and the recreational cooking revolution!
1. Clean those grates.
New to the grill scene? Skip this step, or keep it in mind for your second venture. If this isn’t your first rodeo in the BBQ arena, then you already know that keeping your grates pristine with a wire brush or steel wool pad is essential. A clean grate makes for a happy plate.
2. Arrange your coals into a nice and neat mound.
If your coals are left in a haphazard pile, the fire won’t spread evenly, leaving your food torched in some places and undercooked in others. Coal-to-coal contact is key!
3. Carefully add lighter fluid to unlit coals and light immediately.
Follow the packaging directions on the lighter fluid closely for this step, just to be safe.
4. Oil the grates.
Once your grates are preheated from the coals you cautiously and lovingly ignited, use tongs and a paper towel dipped in cooking oil to thoroughly coat your cooktop. This is to prevent things from sticking, and it also means less cleanup for later!
And now, a recipe to celebrate your successful setup:
Chili Garlic Zucchini with Parmesan (No Frills, All Flavor)
What you’ll need:
Chili garlic paste
Shredded parmesan cheese
1 Slice zucchini longways, then coat both sides with olive oil.
2 Place zucchini on grill facing down (skin up) and cook until desired. I personally like some char marks.
3 Flip zucchini, then carefully add garlic chili paste and parmesan cheese.
4 When the cheese has melted, remove zucchini from grill and serve while hot.
One small snack for summer, one giant leap for ladykind. Happy grillin’, gals!