So you think you can barbecue, junior? Finally ready to take on your old man and assume your rightful place at the grill? Got dang, I've seen sides of beef with more fight in 'em than you.
The history of cooking can be neatly divided into four periods:
Is it still cannibalism if they're unbearably annoying?
These are the basic methods of barbecue:
It's like staring into God's heart
Mmmm, just picture that grilled up cajun-style with some corn-on-the-cob
Propane has its place, but of course, prop-heads have to go and get contentious, touting their superior choice. They're basically the Mac users of grilling.
A good man, but tragically flawed
This animal died for you. Where's the respect? We're not making panini here.
First, start drinking. It's important you get a buzz prior to playing with fire.
Prepare your meat with a dry rub of spices. You may also want to marinade a bit so the meat doesn't dry up like an eighty-year-old nun. The amount of spices necessary is inverse to how likely the animal could accidentally kill you. Chicken wants a bucket of flavor (cripes, have you ever tried unspiced chicken? You'll puke.) whereas pork treads between a little and quite a bit. Steak needs almost none. Presumably velociraptor comes off the bone tasting like a steak milkshake swirled with melted butter.
Some people like to tenderize their meat by pounding it with a studded hammer between sheets of wax paper. Whatever gets you off, man.
While the meat's perfumating, prep the rest of your barbecue. You've got a bucket full of hot coals there. What are you going to do, let that heat go to waste, son? Sure, and you probably let the car idle and run the faucet for ten minutes before you get in, just like your mother. What are you, made of money? The cave men never did this back when only way to get kindling was to gnaw down a tree yourself. Several generations committed themselves to the 22-year process of collecting timber, at which point the mammoths were extinct and there was nothing good to eat anyway.
Man, can you imagine how good mammoth must taste? Plus, they were probably jerks, so you don't have to feel as guilty as you would for eating real elephant.
Look at that bastard begging you to eat him
Anyway, one good thing to make is shish-ka-bobs, which are metal sticks loaded with vegetables and meat cooking unevenly, so you flip them, at which point everything falls into the fire. Or you can use wooden sticks soaked in water, which will hold the meat better, right until they dry out in spite of your considerate efforts and break in two. So it's really up to you how you choose to waste time and money.
Prepare your coals by dousing them in butane, lighting a match and running like hell. Once the fluid has burned off, the coals will be extinguished. Repeat until they turn bright red below their ashy exterior. Coals are the meth heads of the barbecue world.
You can also use a chimney smoker for your coals, which has the effect of reaching that white-hot, sweet spot faster, but they won't last as long. People like these because they don't require you to smooth the process with fluid. Wow, using a smoker is like taking someone's virginity, but with more blood.
Just like behind your cousin's shed.
Sear both sides, trapping in the juices. This is completely fictitious, but at least your meat gets a nice tan. The real reason to sear is to mix up the flavor, lending that delicious crispity, crackly, caramely goodness to the outside. The inside of the steak's going to taste insulated anyway, no sense in the outside tasting like the inside.
Move the steak off the direct heat and close the grill to trap it in there with enough smoke to asphyxiate a horse. Especially if you're grilling horse, you ungrateful madman.
Then stand around sipping beers with your dad while he gives you awkward but loving advice on how to avoid knocking a girl up. Here's a good way for you two to start:
"Son, I know you're having fun with the 'hotties' but make sure YOUR hot-hottie and HER hot-hottie don't actually touch. Be careful, son. I love you."*
Check on the steak every five minutes. Tell the old bastid you love him too.
Withdraw the steak once it reaches medium-rare (brown outside and sweating like a fat kid dancing with the cheer captain). Toast to life.
Yep, like that.
Brendan McGinley once drove 700 miles just to get some real Texas barbecue.