Monday, October 15, 2007

Gaseous Wonders

I will start off with a confession. There was a time, and that time was not that long ago, when I claimed quite vociferously that I would never, and I mean never, have a gas BBQ. What was the point, I would argue, you might as well just use the grill in the oven. This position remained unchanged, resolute, until my lovely wife got fed up with yet another meal being delayed because the heat wasn’t quite right and with the god awful mess that I made clearing away the ashes, that she dragged me by the ear and we bought a gas BBQ.

Now I have to say when I saw this huge gleaming metal cooker with ‘BEEF EATER’ blazoned across the side I was hooked, I mean how macho is that?! We bought a four burner affair the size of a small car, with a lid I can barely lift and enough dials and knobs to keep even the most fidgety of fiddlers happy for weeks. No charcoal burner could get close to this monster!

I am now a convert, pure and simple. I love the fact that I can get home, fire up the Barbie, and be cooking within ten minutes. I love that fact that I can control the heat, that I can have one side of the grill blazing hot to quickly sear steaks and the other side not so hot to slowly cook chicken thighs. I love the fact that I no longer have a ‘window’ of prime heat and cooking lasting about 20 minutes that you get with charcoal and I really love the fact that when I’m done, I just close the lid and walk away, no scraping out buckets full of ash and having half of it blow across the terrace.

Now that we have the gas beastie we barbeque a lot more than we use to, it was always such an effort to lay the coal, get the fire going, wait around for an hour whilst the thing heats up, and then mad panic dash to get everything cooked before the heat starts to wane. Now the whole process is a lot simpler and a lot less stressful.

Purists will of course argue that a gas barbeques never impart the real smokiness and flavours of charcoal and if they are talking about cooking over wood I would agree. However, no one cooks with wood in Dubai and the only flavours I ever get when I eat food cooked over a charcoal BBQ is fire lighter and paraffin, which, call me old-fashioned, I could actually do without.

I can guarantee that once you’ve converted to gas you’ll never look back.

The defence rests M’lud.

1 comment:

Mufaddal said...

Well first i must admit that i havent ever cooked on a gas barbie but i dont seem to inclined to try either.

Beef Eater or not i kinda think its a bit un-manly to give up on charcoal.

i have fond memories of family barbeques and friday outings either on the beach or at the parks and firing it up once in a while always made it seem somewhat special.

i thnk i'll stick with the ash and dirt version of the sacred altar of fire - no pain no gain...