Friday, March 30, 2007


I have what I like to call a "caveman grill"--an old wheelrim, with rocks on the bottom, over which I spread out both wood and hardwood charcoal. It has no moving parts, just a grate that lasts 1-2 years before I need to get a new one. I found a wide lid for an old broken-down wok, and I use that as the cover--it fits just right.

Oh, I also have a larger propane grill, but I tried this primitive style a few years ago and never looked back. We have oak, hickory and birch trees in our yard, so we always have plenty of good wood for the grill. However, if we go for too long without rain, the wood gets dry--I need to soak it or it'll burn too fast. I use the charcoal to extend the length of the cooking time. For wood alone, it can cook hot for ~25 minutes, but with 50/50 charcoal it will cook hot for ~45 minutes.

I love using this primitive system for new grilling challenges. It is like my own little jihad, a noble struggle to fashion refined and delicious creations using crude tools. Occasionally I am opposed by the elements, adding an additional layer of challenge. But these are just hurdles by which God helps me make the most of the grilling abilities he has given me.

A few months ago I grilled a standing rib roast, ~5 pounds. We made an onion/rosemary/parsley rub to start:

As you know, rib roast is a fatty cut, so we had to worry about flareups. What I did in this case was to construct a drip pan by folding up some aluminum foil. I put the pan in the center of the bottom of the grill, and then put the wood and coals around the drip pan, on the perimeter. This enabled the large roast to be cooked evenly all the way around, the fat to drip down without flaming, and plenty of great smoke circulation. I turned the meat for a little time on each side, to get the sides a little crispy. After about 80 minutes (2 batches of coals and wood), here was the result:

And what is rib roast without some horseradish sauce? Along with wine, rice pilaf, and asparagus, it was a great dinner!

My grilling jihad was successful--Baruch haShem!


Anonymous said...

Only a man would think this was a great roast phil. lol


Jewish Odysseus said...

Well, Chase, I sincerely hope the only time I see your posts will NOT be to insult the chef!

What's wrong w/that roast?!