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WPCNR  THE GRILLING LIFE. By The American Grillman. Reprinted from The CitizeNetReporter Archives. July 5, 2008: 

Monday is  the come home day of another Memorial Day Weekend in White Plains, coming home for that Memorial Day picnic. After Monday’s Memorial Day Parade starting at 10 AM in downtown White Plains tomorrow,  it is time to usher in summer officially.

Thanks to the chimney charcoal starter and its glowing orange coals, the backyard American barbeque DNA macho in the amateur chef is once again the equal of the overpriced steak cooked indoors at any restaurant.

Steak was raised outside, it was born to be cooked outside, and the barbequed steak on orange charcoal’s glow puts the Cartier- priced steakhouse in its place!

In this griller’s opinion, ourdoor grilling proves once again to be the equal and superior to the overpriced artificial-tasting steak that sleek decor and atmosphere cannot duplicate backyard orgins. The economy may be a press secretary’s fantasy, your home price declining, your taxes going up,  but remember,  even the hobo can grill!

To do real steak right , you have to do it outside on charcoal.

The instinct of generations of the American backyard barbeque tradition passed up from  the cave, enjoyed at Valley Forge, bit into by cowboys  around chuck wagons on the prairie and up from the Southland  barbeque inbred and passed on from American father to American son – cutting across nationality and station – gives you real steak – not $100 technology  enhanced cuts. Flaming charcoal makes steak a living thing in your mouth!

I think America can pull itself out of this temporary hiccup in the American economy and “anything-but-the-issues-politics”. as long as the American grilling tradition is handed down, the pioneer “can-do” spirit lives!

Why pay $100 for a  steak dinner unless your company or your political contributor  is paying for it, when you can tap your inner griller and say I can cook steak better?  The difference is the air, the smoke, the way marinade just drips down into the coals and gets into the meat. It’s chemistry!  Fire and flame and meat become one in a mystical, before time experience.

What is it about the American Grillman that’s so special that his or hers backyard cuts beat the insider  professionals’ inflation-friendly ostentatious steaks?

It’s the unique chemistry of being American and charcoal flame.  You’re not really part of America unless you’re grillin” like an American.

And on Independence Day Weekend coming up, it’s not really chillin’ on July 4 unless you’re grillin’.

There’s just something about the searing intensity of glowing charcoal combining mystically with the testosterone and instinctual synergy between red meat and the dedicated outdoor griller —  it beats in taste, juiciness and texture the contrived technology of the most expensive restaurant equipment.

No matter how tasty the megabuck meat is in the swank sticker shock steak palaces, there’s always that articificialness packaged taste that marks the indoor steak. The butteryness. The soft crust of the black topped surface of the indoor steak just does not have the nubile grizzled roughhewn flamed yield of the outdoor one-on-one grilled steak that fights your bicuspids every cillemeter.It is like a showgirl seen from a distance who looks older the closer you get.

Only one whose money is easily parted would pay $50 and up for a buttery indoor steak dinner when you can do it yourself in the backyard even in 20 degree weather even in the rain – the steaks done to perfection with the juices sealed  in.

The chimney starter – the secret to the hot start. No more charcoal fluid needed. Take a copy of The Journal News and scrunch up the news section or the sports section in the bottom of the Chimney Starter. (Experience shows that copies of the Journal News — any Gannett paper — burn better than the New York Times which is very slow-starting)

Pour in a helping of those ultimate black beauties, Kingsford charcoal briquettes into the chimney top. Fifteen minutes before the wife has the sides ready, take a wooden match to the aperatures in the base of the starter and light up the edges of the newsprint. Within 10-15 minutes you’ve got coals a firey orange red. You’re ready to outcook the pros.

Eat Your Heart Out, Mr. or Ms. Professional Food Designer and Celebrity Chef!  After the Griller’s wife has marinated the meat –  these Stop and Shop trimmed New York Strips sizzling in the caressing deep searing heat of glowing orange briquettes – 3 minutes a side and deft turning and surgical rareness checks – the seasoned grillista simply has a feel for the meat – passed genetically down from generations of American grillers. The combination of cauldron, flavored steel grill rods coated in the char of former grillings, and perfect licking flames create the branded grillmarks that deliver the natural taste of the backyard steak – impossible to achieve for any price in the tehnologically nuanced, high tech steam tables of today.  No one can do a great cut like you can, Mr. America!


As any redblooded American Grillman will tell you when doing a steak – you can’t deliver a steak by manual or instructions. You have to feel the meat. Feel it cook. You just know its time.

Every cut is not the same. The American Grillman becomes one with the meat. With eye and knowledge of the hue of red – you just  know  by instinct when she’s done. Cooking is slowed down by moving the meats to the side off the heat to keep the American beauties warm

With the wife’s deft presentation, sweet potato fries, corn pudding, fresh beans and mushrooms without the sog of infrared glare, the Grillman’s natural art relegates the indoor steak out of the taste sweepstakes.

Gentlemen, start your grils and   fire up to get that taste of summer you cannot get in any indoor steakhouse no matter how much you pay.

And–gas grills, are you kidding me?

Only charcoal does it the American Way!

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