As a lover of all things food, I often reminisce about my childhood culinary experiences to find the driving force. Although I enjoyed congregating around the kitchen table to discuss our day-to-day activities during a meal, the sight of smoke coming from our backyard still transforms me into Pavlov’s dog. In my eyes and in the eyes of many of my family and friends, my dad is a certified grillmaster. And over the years, I learned many life lessons via the art of grilling.
Quality: My dad would always purchase his preservative and hormone-free meats from a local butcher in South Jersey. With something as time-consuming as charcoal grilling (I hate gasoline), the end result will be greatly affected by the lack of quality. Never go cheap with what you eat.
Preparation: A wise person once said luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. My father would often recite this and it has lead to my relentless work ethic. Prior to throwing the meat on the grill, make sure it has received some tender loving care. There are a plethora of recommendations on how to properly season the meat but find what works best for you. I prefer a zesty dry rub over the liquid bath. In addition, soak some wood chips to have handy once the four alarm blaze begins.
Patience: Never take shortcuts in life or on the grill. When choosing between gas or charcoal, the choice is simple. The charcoal and wood infuses such great flavor in the meat that I will never touch a gas grill. The low and slow approach ensures that the fat has been rendered properly leaving a delicious product. Unfortunately, this often requires sitting outside for long hours to ensure proper cooking. You can either embrace the solitude and plan your next takeover, listen to some tunes, or chat it up with company. Whatever you choose, just don’t rush.
Choose your friends wisely: Now that the meat has been prepped and prepared, you have to have the right accompaniments to make this meal a fanciful feast. Whether its a cold craft brew, grilled vegetables, or light and refreshing salad, you really can’t go wrong. I love to drink saisons and belgian ales, dubbers, and tripels with barbecue. I also prefer lighter sides since the meat is still the star of the show.
Although I could never repay my dad, I decided to man the grill and prepare a feast for my family. My Father’s Day Menu included:
BBQ Pork Spare Ribs, Pastured Chicken Breasts & Wings, and Wild Salmon
Grilled Asparagus, Zucchini, Squash, & Pineapple
Smoked Beet Salad with Arugula, Herb Goat Cheese, Pistachio, and Pomegrenate Lemon Vinaigrette
And a Bodacious Blonde Hunny Courtesy of Wild Wolf Brewing Company