The scenario is the same in most households. In the summer, the guys come out of hibernation. They grab their tongs and mark their permanent domain by the grill.
They start the fire, slap on some meat, drink a few bottles of beer, burp and laugh it up with the other guys until dinner is ready.
Why would this be something a girl would want to be part of?
Because grilling is awesome, and the guys know that.
They get to forget about TV, computers and video games and enjoy the outdoors.
They get instant gratification in seeing a juicy burger sear to perfection.
They get to pretend like grilling is hard work that deserves a refreshing beverage.
They get praise for plating up a delicious dinner.
And they don’t have to do the dishes.
Since guys have marked this premium territory, some girls are afraid to give grilling a shot. I’ve heard all sorts of reasons:
“He’ll criticize me and tell me I’m not doing it right.”
“It’s hot and dirty.”
“What if I ruin dinner?”
These are legitimate fears, but we’re going to help you overcome them with a few simple steps on how to gradually become a griller.
Let his criticism be your teacher
If you swoop in and take the tongs and take charge, he will likely get defensive. Think about something that you love to do. What if your man were to all of a sudden decide that he wanted to take charge of that household activity? It would probably catch you off guard.
Instead, ask him to be your teacher. Grab him a beer and stroke his ego. Let him know you want to learn some of his grilling techniques.
Buy the traditional meat that he likes to cook along with a vegetable that you both like. As he teaches you how he grills the meat, pull out the prepped veg and let him know that you want to give it a try.
Grab him another beer, pour yourself a glass of wine, and enjoy the meal you created together.
In time, the grill will become a shared domain.
Here are a few recipes to get you started.
Grilled Shishito Peppers
You can stand the heat
Some ladies say grilling is a man’s job because they think it’s hot and dirty.
Grilling is no hotter than cooking on the stove. If you’re worried about reaching over a hot flame to turn the meat, you can fix that with the proper grilling tools.
Unlike cooking in a pan on a single burner, the heat of the grill is spread out over the entire surface. Using a long-handled spatula will keep you at a safe, cool distance.
With convenient gas grills, grilling is actually the opposite of dirty. There are no pans to clean. No stovetop to wipe down. And you’ll probably end up eating outdoors on paper plates, leaving very few dishes to wash.
Practice makes perfect
Start with something simple and inexpensive like hot dogs or frozen burgers. This way you can get the hang of your grill. Then, gradually work your way up to chicken, pork chops and steaks.
Another way to get great practice is to grill for one. Sometime when you’re alone for lunch, pull out a piece of meat and give it a shot. If it’s not perfect, no one else will have to know. Once you’ve got it down, surprise your family by grilling a platter of chicken breasts for everyone.
And remember, we’re all human. I’ve been known to ruin a few things on the stovetop and in the oven. That’s what microwave pizzas are for.
Buy him a new toy
If you want to take over the family grill, upgrade him to a smoker. Something shiny and new will distract him and give him a new sense of ownership and pride. And if you’re lucky, he’ll be less focused on what you’re doing on the “old grill.”
Have the grilling conversation
Believe it or not, some men are only behind the grill because they think that’s where they’re supposed to be. It’s become a gender-defined household task kind of like mowing the lawn or doing the laundry.
There are plenty of men out there who admit they’re not very good at grilling and wish their women would show interest.
When you’re ready to start grilling, maybe all you have to do is ask.