Grilling- It's What's For Dinner

US Wealth Napolitano |

By: Tom Fletcher, CFP®

Though you likely wouldn't be able to tell by stepping outdoors for the past month or so, allegedly summer is right around the corner. The good news for the Fletcher clan and of course many others, is firing up the previously dormant gas grill and cooking up some hearty fare.

We actually have two grills at our house that are plumbed into our home gas. One upstairs and one downstairs. For the life of me, I can't seem to make the one upstairs produce anything that's not either raw or completely charred. We've only had it for about 10 years though. I figure in the next decade or so I'll eventually get things sorted out. In the meantime I'd like to apologize to the house guests I've sent away with stomach upsets or worse. A good gastroenterologist can solve most GI problems pretty easily these days.

Despite my travails upstairs, I've had mostly opposite outcomes with the other grill. This particular model is a Weber Genesis. Speaking from experience, Weber knows how to build grills and this one is a reliable machine. Estimating the grilling season lasts April through October, I'd guess I've used this gem 500 times or more with very few known poisonings along the way.

I'm pretty comfy grilling up the usual suspects: sausage, hamburgers, hot dogs, steaks, etc.  Recently I've tried to think outside the box. Last year I bought a rotisserie that was retrofitted to the grill. I've only cooked a few chickens with it so far, but the reviews have been positive (except from the chicken community). And really it couldn't be any easier in terms of the cooking process and the cleanup afterwards. I'd highly recommend getting one.

In the past I was obsessed with grilling an edible pizza. It was quite a lengthy process of trial and elimination to perfect my results. I'd like to state here my thanks and appreciation to my family that served as guinea pigs. Similar to what would happen upstairs, my pizza either came out with a charred crust and unmelted cheese on the top or vice versa. By using hi-tech instruments such as a flattened foil pan and tin cans, I've eventually tamed the beast and perfected the process. My son tells me it's the best pizza he's ever had; I think he's trying to get a raise with his weekly allowance.

Since I got the pizza thing going I've next been trying to perfect cooking bread on the grill in conjunction with a Dutch oven. The first "loaf" I produced required a chisel to remove the residue on the bottom of the poor pot. After many tries I had the old familiar failures - results that were either raw or hockey pucks and nothing in between. Not to be dissuaded, by using my hi-tech instruments noted above, last week I finally came up with my first winner (pictured). Fingers crossed, hopefully there will be more edible loaves to come.

I'm not sure what's next. Pudding anyone?