You’ve planned this party for a long time. You’ll be having old friends over for a backyard barbeque, some you haven’t seen since high school. You’ve been practicing up on your recipe for baby back ribs and you have some corn you want to cook in the husks. You’ve got hash browns all nicely packaged in foil and you made sure you parboiled them so they would cook more evenly. The ribs are marinating in the refrigerator, the corn is nicely prepared and stacked up on the kitchen bar, ready to go. The potatoes sit just beside the corn, beside some extra spices. You’ve got your grilling hardware and tools all washed and lined up and the deck is all ready with table set, candles and torches burning, soft music wafting through the trees in your backyard.
Ring! The doorbell announces the first guest’s arrival. You welcome them, and as you are heading back to light the grill, the rest of your dinner companions filter in. Your wife is making her special blender concoctions and readying the salad. Things couldn’t be going more smoothly. You lift the hood of the grill and can’t believe your eyes. It’s filthy...the whole insides look like a mud-flinging bomb went off. What you’re actually looking at is the remnants of last week’s barbeque sauce that was too thick and would not stick to the chicken. And you did not clean it up. Now, you have hungry guests ready to eat, everything is set and your grill is filthy. You proceed to light the grill, avoiding eye contact with your guests. Anyone attempting to engage you in conversation is quickly thwarted. You want NO ONE to see your grill.
The frantic grilling process is over, and everyone sits down to eat. The meal goes fine and good conversation proceeds. But YOU are just sick. Everything you cooked on the grill reeked of last week’s BURNED barbeque sauce. That’s right, the potatoes, the corn and the ribs all tasted like badly burned BBQ chicken.
Tragedies like this don’t have to happen. There are no more excuses for a dirty grill. Next time, you’ll be able to steam clean the grill after you’ve started it but before you cook. Let everything have it’s own flavor, and not taste burned. Steam is your answer.