Saturday, October 27, 2007

Grilling Lessons

I realize that I have mentioned the Fall Festival at E&B's school about ten times now; but that's what I've been doing, and that's what I'm going to write about. If it doesn't interest you, read something else. I promise that we will return to our regularly-scheduled whisk(e)y-and-shoes focus soon. A significant portion of my time yesterday was spent manning the stand selling hot dogs and sausages on a stick. I figure that this experience makes me an expert, so here are my infallible grilling lessons:
  1. Propane rules. I'm not disputing that charcoal can burn hotter and impart a better sear and better flavor than propane can. However, we're not talking about a gourmet experience. We're talking about grilling mass quantities of sausages and hot dogs. There's a limit to how good those can be, and outstanding flavor isn't the primary concern. Efficiency is. Charcoal is messy, slow to warm up, and must be supplemented with more periodically. Furthermore, it's difficult to use the space efficiently on a typical round charcoal grill. Propane grills warm up faster, have easier temperature regulation, and have a larger and better-shaped grilling surface. Propane wins. Call Hank Hill.
  2. Sausages on a stick are supposed to be eaten without a bun. That's what the stick is for. But a lot of people want the sausage but don't like this arrangement, so you wind up giving buns away for sausages. Therefore, you need more buns than you have hot dogs.
  3. However many food service gloves you think you need, double it.
  4. However many foil squares you think you need to wrap the sausages, double it.
  5. Speaking of foil, wrap the hot dogs in foil. It helps keep them warm.
  6. You need a lot of aluminum roasting pans. A whole lot.
  7. Prime time for hot dog consumption is after noon. Therefore, while you need to have some ready in the morning to serve the early adopters, cooking too many early can lead to wastage.

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