Sunday 17 June 2012

Barbeque Season

Building a wood-fired barbeque has been on my list for some time now.
When I was a child, charcoal was the popular grilling method.
Propane gas then became the all-time grilling favourite in Canada.
I expect that the ease and convenience were the driving factors.
For those purists however, nothing beats the character and flavour of cooking over hardwood.

I have always cooked over campfires, but I didn't get a good look at real wood grilling until I was travelling in the Balkan states.
There, it is a real treat and not as simple as walking out onto the deck and turning on the grill.
Sure, there are lots of people here who grill with wood, but it is uncommon.

Tonight was the Food Friendzy potluck, and of the fare, there was meat;
to be cooked on a wood-fired grill.
It was such a stark reminder of why we had always planned to grill over hardwood instead of gas.
It was also the inspiration I needed to speed up my plans.

Certainly, I have enough on the list without spending so much time on a low priority project.
But since we are out of propane as it is, I thought of something less involved than a masonry barbeque.
I will be happy to finally absolve our household of propane.
I don't plan to ever buy it again, for countless reasons.

Now, I don't have all the details in yet, and once I do, I'll be sure to post it.
The idea is to convert our existing gas grill into a wood-fired unit.
"How?", you ask.
I don't know exactly,
but the barbeque is in fairly good shape overall.
It just needs a firebox to hold the wood.
Otherwise, it shouldn't need much modification.

The smell of food being cooked over hardwood is truly aromatherapy.
Even the lingering odours that permeate the evening air after dinner,
are soothing and speak to something prehistoric in our being.
This is likely why grilling is most often a special occasion spent with friends and family.
Propane made it easy, but it's cold and heartless compared to wood.

Thanks to our hosts tonight for a feeling of comfort and contentment.
And for the inspiration.

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