pyrokinetical fiasco

It wouldn’t be the 4th of July without a little bit of fireworks, so in true American fashion Steph and I had Justin and Hannah over for a little pre-evening-celebration hamburger cookout. Steph’s brother, Theo and Joey, are staying with us over the next couple weeks, so we figured we’d go ahead and grill a bunch of hamburgers that they could eat while we’re at work the next couple of days.

So we get the big tub of meat – 4lbs of ground beef. And I’m feeling good that this is going to be a great grilling day… I’ve got my Lawrys, I’ve got my parika, I’ve got my red pepper flakes, and I start making some of the most beautiful hamburger patties I’ve ever seen. Got about 14 of them ready to go, fire up the grill, let it warm up for a bit, and then start just stacking on the most wonderful array of meat ever to lay across a 4th of July grill.

Things are going well. I step inside for a bit to talk and…..

* disaster strikes *

Something happened in the 30 seconds I was in the kitchen, because when I looked out the back porch window moments later, my entire grill was engulfed in smoke. The porch area is filling up quickly with toxic fumes, so I run outside, grab the lid of the grill and throw it open. Flames are spewing forth like a flamethrower. Helplessly I grab my BBQ utensils and start shoving meat around. Smoke has clouded up the porch door now – my family and friends are peering out in stark horror. Even the cat is unsettled. I truly don’t know what I’m doing at this point – something has gone terribly wrong. I do the only thing I can think of and start turning off burners. This doesn’t help. The entire inside of the grill is on fire and every time I touch meat more grease drips off and sets off a new wave of smoke, flames, and chaos. I pull Justin outside with me… not because he can necessarily help, but because I want to be in this together with someone, and when the girls start ridiculing me later and I need him on my side.

I start moving burgers around, stacking them on top of the other, sacrificing the bottom burgers to the raging inferno to give the other burgers a chance. There are no grill burners on now – I’ve got a perpetual conflagration of grease that is going to burn these things to a crisp. Somehow I finally get to the point where I am managing mass chaos and get a system going where I am cycling all the burgers through a warm area of the grill to cook while the rest of the fire burns down. Before each one goes through I have to use the sharp edge of my spatula to chip off charred cow in an attempt to get a decently even cooking experience.

Drama I tell you, drama.

The majority of the burgers turned out fine, save two that ended up looking like charcoal lumps that I literally had to pry away from the grill. Happy 4th of July.

    • uncle tim
    • July 6th, 2007

    dude…they’re not burgers unless they engulf your grill in flames. Sheesh. kids….they don’t make ’em like they used to.

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