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Napoleon Propane Grills & Outdoor Cooking, Not a Man's Sport Anymore
Men and the Grill
Writer Meghan Casserly for Forbes.com says, "the 'women cook, men grill' attitude somehow seems as American as apple pie, and strangely one of the most widely accepted gender distinctions in our culture." She's right. Why are women in the kitchen and men behind the grill?
Globally, the gendered division of cooking is an American phenomenon. Across cultures, women usually do the cooking. So what's contributed to this American construct? There seems to be no real answer. One guess is the construct of the mid-twentieth century and the rise of suburban living.
Family dynamics and attitudes toward parenting were changing and there was an increased expectation for fathers to spend more time with their families. Hanging out in the backyard became a way to connect. Weber sweetened this idea with the launch of outdoor cookery in the 1950's. Ever since, barbecuing has been a "boys club" activity.
For around 100 years, women have been fighting for the same rights as men. In the 1960's, radical feminism helped change traditionally accepted feminine gender roles. More women were working.
One of the best examples of this is the hit TV drama Mad Men. Set in1961, this show explores all the social conventions associated with living in the 1960's. Gender, economic and political issues of the time, as well as a "free" thinking constitute much of the drama that unfolds.
Therefore, I'll ask, is grilling man's work, or is there room for women, too? At least in American culture, women have been behind the stove and men have been behind the grill. Grilling isn't a gender specific sport, so why not bridge the great divide and get grilling. Ladies, if you can cook in the kitchen, you can manage a grill.
Women and the Grill
There are varieties of grills to make outdoor cooking easy. Napoleon propane grills use burners the same way a stove does, so it's not that far of a stretchto move from cooking in the kitchen to the outdoors.
If you really want to tackle the art of grilling, then get a charcoal grill and build your own fire. The Uniflame charcoal grill is a great option that includes side shelves for food prep.
Below we've listed a few simple tricks to the trade to make grilling easier, too.
- Like indoor cooking, you must maintain a proper temperature on the grill to achieve the desired results. If you're using gas, don't go above 500 degrees and if you're using charcoal don't use more than 50 briquettes. Manage the flame the same way you would on a stove.
- Know when to use direct and indirect heat. Direct heat means the fire is under the food and used for cooking things in 20 minutes or less. This method is ideal for burgers, shrimp, and skirt steak. The indirect method is best for bone-in chicken and fish fillets. In this case, the heat comes from the sides for slower cooking. Always preheat the grill for 10 minutes and coat your food in olive oil to keep it from sticking to the grate.
- There's not a lot of seasoning needed. Just use salt, pepper and a little bit ofolive oil.
- Turn your food once. Let it cook on both sides for a length of time without constantly flipping it over. Invest in 12" tongs to make this easier. And don't forget hand protection. Don't touch anything hot without a mitt.
- High heat and smoke bring out the rich flavor of beef, making it an ideal pick for grilling. And there are many low fat options that still taste good.
- Don't slather on BBQ sauce. It's too sugary and sugar burns when exposed to high heat for too long. You'll end up charring the meat before it's cooked through. Stick to marinades and spice rubs.
- Leaner meats can come out tough. The trick is to use acidic seasonings when grilling them like lemon juice or vinegar. It breaks down toughness. Also, marinate lean cuts for up to 12 hours before throwing them on the grill.
- Don't press burgers down as they cook. This squeezes out precious juices that keep them moist and tender.