The glories of the grill

Many of you readers will respond — and rightly so — to the following post with the simple statement: Duh! But that's because you are much smarter than I, and therefore, have known about the glories of grilling for a long time. I have only really understood the glories of the grill for 17 days, for it was on July 3, 2005 that my grilling life was changed forevermore.

The event? A simple large fillet of salmon grilled on a nice round Weber over 100% hardwood charcoal. The result? The flavor! The perfection of the fish! The texture! Everything conspired that evening to change me profoundly, and for all time. Going forward the idea of "grill" means charcoal only, no more gas. And 100% hardwood, no briquettes.

Late last week, we ventured out and bought our own grill: a 22 1/2" Weber One-Touch® Silver. The first night we started simply (and with guidance) by preparing a grilled t-bone steak featured in the June 2005 Gourmet. Success! The next night: grilled corn and portabella mushrooms. Again we were met with success! Who knew grilling could be not only so good, but so easy? A few nights later, we reproduced the salmon that started it all. And yum! Last night we grilled lamb rib chops and made a (grilled) bread salad to accompany it. And because I can't stop, I grilled a nectarine for dessert. Topped with a nice chiffonade of basil and some heavy cream, mmm, mmmm, it was grillicious!

Anyway, all this crazy grilling has led to a bet in the household: whether one can actually taste the difference between an item grilled over gas or charcoal. My money is on Yes, you can. Someone else's money is on No, you can't. Stay tuned as we put the grills to the test and learn even more about the glories of the grill.