Not Your Father's Kettle Cooker

Not Your Father's Kettle Cooker

Food & Drink

Not Your Father's Kettle Cooker


Remember the classic Weber kettle, the 22-inch model in black or red with the tri-pod legs and saucer for catching the ashes? The one your dad or granddad used, squirting the charcoal liberally with Gulf lighter fluid (or, in my dad’s case, gasoline)?

Okay, so this antique is still around, and used with fondness by a few diehards out there. But, since the turn of this century, Americans have found a whole new way to turn their steaks, burgers and chicken on the grill.

In fact, the entire outdoor cooking experience has changed. We now find monster gas grills with side burners, griddles, rotisserie units, and lights for nighttime cooking. These modern marvels can run into the thousands of dollars.

Many families seem willing to pay it. They now prefer to cook the entire meal outdoors, rather than going back and forth from the kitchen to the patio or deck. Mom and Dad can share the experience, rather than splitting off with dad enjoying the great outdoors while mom sweats it out cooking side dishes over the kitchen range. The new super gas grills let you cook almost anything out on the deck where the sun is shining and the birds are chirping.

Doing It All Outdoors

For some, the ‘Outdoor Kitchen’ concept includes additional amenities such as fire pits and outdoor heaters for when the weather turns chilly, and patio furniture that wouldn’t look out of place in a formal dining room. Even giant-screen projection TV entertainment can be part of the backyard scene. You can prepare the entire dinner outside, eat everthing out there, and then stick around for the wide screen show afterwards. It’s pretty sweet if you’ve got the money to spend.

In this impressive contemporary setting, would a humble hamburger have enough sizzle to feel at home? Of course, but it better be an awesome burger, right? Well, we’ve got the recipe for one very simple but superb burger. We believe you’ll think this to be among the best burgers you’ve ever tasted, whether you prepare it on one of those behemoth gas grills, a quaint Weber kettle, or that old Hibachi mini grill you still have from college.

Plus, you’re going to want to take a look at the grilling tips article, Grilling 101, a quick refresher for the experienced grillmaster (with a few new nuggets), and a good place to start for the novice.


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