Skip to content
Join our Newsletter
Join our Newsletter

Pique n' your interest

A man’s place is by the BBQ

Let’s look on the bright side of the 2002-03 season ’cause there’s nothing else left to do now.

If we don’t dwell on the icy runs on the mountain or the fact that we haven’t had any snowball fights this year, there is at least one good thing that’s come out of all this mild weather.

BBQ-ing season hasn’t come and gone. Instead, it has stuck steadfastly by us, allowing us to grill outdoors to our heart’s content throughout this year’s pitiful winter.

My boyfriend and I bought our first BBQ in January and not liking to do things in half measures, we bought the granddaddy of all BBQs. It’s the deluxe, souped-up model, with lots of gadgets and buttons.

(I’ve since mentioned to my boyfriend that I’m writing this article and he informs me that we have a very middle-of-road BBQ. It is not the Cadillac. It’s not the $900 model with attached stove. We could have gone much, much bigger he says.)

Of course, I’m not too up-to-date on all the finer details of this particular BBQ – its features, its functions and its powerful capabilities. All I know is that it’s black, it’s expensive enough and it’s taking up a good portion of our deck.

Since it arrived, I haven’t been allowed near it much. I certainly wasn’t allowed to assemble it, although I’m almost sure if I had there wouldn’t be left over screws and bolts. I’m also pretty sure that I would have been able to hook up the ignite switch from the get-go. But I digress.

I haven’t even been allowed to turn the BBQ on since our new monolith took up its home on the deck.

Last week I was given express orders to flip the roast while my boyfriend was taking a quick shower. Little did I know it was my first test with the BBQ and I failed with flying colours.

I had a friend over at the time and we were in mid-animated conversation when I remembered my duties outside. So I got bundled up and headed out onto the deck with our new 10-pound tools in hand. I opened the grill, turned over the roast and closed the lid. I’ll admit that I didn’t actually LOOK at the meat – it wasn’t part of my duties. My friend and I quickly slipped back into conversation and I promptly forgot about the roast as I finished making the veggies. (Multi-tasking while I cook is not one of my strong suits.)

Five minutes later a blackened mound of meat appeared before my face. My eyes travelled down the metal tool to my boyfriend’s look of complete amazement.

"I knew I shouldn’t have taken that shower," was all he said. The thing is, I’m more than happy to forgo my BBQ-ing duties. He can stand outside shivering over raw meat while I’ll stick with the simple salads and corn.

So at the risk of offending ever member of my sex and setting the women’s movement back a good century or two, here are my reasons why I prefer to leave the BBQ-ing to the boys.

#1 – I don’t want to get blown up. No matter how I might reassure myself that there’s no way of setting myself on fire, I still can’t help cringing and ducking down when the time comes to fire up the grill. I know it’s unreasonable. I know it’s pathetic. But the story of my friend’s mum who singed off the front section of her hair when she opened the lid of the BBQ, always flashes through my mind pre-gillin’ time. You see I’m the person who has burned every single one of our plastic measuring cups in the past six months on our gas elements. (We now have metal cups). I’m the one who has singed more than one dishtowel. And I’m finally willing to admit that I also warped the handle of the can opener by leaving it too close to the stove. I don’t cope well around open flames, apparently. And while, the BBQ is hardly an "open flame," the potential for me to wreak havoc outside on the deck is really too much for me to handle.

#2 – It’s cold outside. We haven’t had a lot of snow but it’s still pretty chilly out there. Nothing could really induce me to trade making the salad to flipping the steak outside, standing in the snow, taking my boots on and off. I’m more than happy to take my turn shoveling the driveway (sometimes) or starting the car first thing in chilly dead of the morning (rarely). But when it comes to shivering over dinner, it’s just not on. Maybe I’ll be more inclined to BBQ in the summertime, if I’m allowed near the BBQ by that time.

#3 – The tools scare me. The BBQ tools that we bought are absolutely massive, with big metal clamping jaws and teeth. They’re so big that they can’t even hang off their allocated spot on the BBQ. I’m not really sure why you need a metre of metal stick to flip your meat. I’m not the most co-ordinated person at the best of times so extending my arm by about a metre really presents a challenge.

#4 – Cooking the meat to perfection. People can get quite particular about their meat, myself included. I know how I like my meat done but actually getting it to that point is a whole other mystery. Everyone has rules and tricks of the trade and for good reason. Let’s face it, there’s nothing worse than ruining a nice tender piece of filet by leaving it on the grill too long. Or a roast beef for that matter. I’ve decided that I don’t need that kind of pressure. I’ll let my boyfriend try and then blame him if it doesn’t turn out to perfection.

#5 – Manhood. I do think BBQing harkens back to some Neanderthal gene some of us still have lurking in our blood. Whenever we go to the park in the summer, it’s always the guys standing by the grill, while the girls are doing other duties. And we’re in the 21 st century. It’s just like dinner at the Sopranos.