I had a bit of fun this weekend with my grill. It was probably caused by one too many Anthony Bourdain episodes, but I was remembering fondly the cooking styles in India. Namely the wood fired ovens and grills. Now I’m not real great with wood baked breads. So naan was ruled out, but I am pretty good with meats on a grill, so I thought I would try my hand at some pork and chicken cooked over wood heat.
Now, do I have a nice, open sided wood fired grill? No, I most certainly do not. I have my charcoal grill, and a little rocket stove. I could have used the rocket stove, it’s designed for use with the small sticks I collect. I didn’t really want to cook my meat pieces one at a time over that small rocket stove though. So I made do with the charcoal grill.
The main problem was that the grill goes in on top of the coals, and there’s not room for a big log in there, just broken up small stuff. This meant it took forever to build up a bed of coals, then I had to make sure the grill went on at the right time, I didn’t want to be trying to feed the fire through the grill filled with meat, and I didn’t want to run out of heat before the meat was done. I marinated the meats, but I think the hour I gave it was probably not as long as I should have.
It was a lot of fun, in spite of all of that. I used up a bit of my stick pile that was getting unwieldy after all the burn bans last year. It was nice not to worry about how much money I had just burned in charcoal. I loved the taste of the meats. Although Hubby, who is a unused to such things, declared there was too much char on the meat for his taste.
The whole experience just reminded me of all the reasons I love doing things the “hard” way sometimes. I save money, I get some practice at great emergency skills. It usually ends up being a usable finished product and no small bit of fun.
It also reminded me that I wanted to try my hand at some grilled breads, and sketch out some of the “must haves” for the wood burning oven/grill I want to build at the Doomstead.
Where do you like to do things the “hard” way? What do you feel you get out of it? Any great ones we all should be trying our hands at? Shout out in the comments!
– Jennie Erwin