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can this marriage be saved

char buddychar buddy Posts: 562
edited 1:22AM in EggHead Forum
Friends, this is a call to action, an intervention to save a marriage.[p]In today's New York Times a columnist talks about how her husband was going to get a BGE and then got cold feet. She imagines the good times and the good food if only he'd follow through. I believe that she wrote today's column (see below) in a desperate plea for help. [p]I say let's find her hubby, stiffen his backbone and save their marriage.[p]Are you with me people.[p]Moving Up to a Grill With Extra Sizzle[p]July 3, 2003
[p]THE latest domestic crisis began with the collapse of the
flavorizer bars. [p]My husband was the first to notice the unusually thick
plumes of gray smoke engulfing our trusty old Weber gas
grill. [p]"It's on fire!" I shrieked. "Turn it off!" [p]It seemed like sensible advice, given that the metal
support bars that catch drippings at the bottom of the
grill had crumpled into the grease-catcher tray below.
Orange flames flared up excitedly and started licking the
metal grill case. [p]But my husband, a man so attached to his barbecue rituals
that his own children call him Mr. Secret Marinade, looked
at me as if I were crazy. "The steak isn't done yet," he
said. [p]That anecdote is pretty much all you need to know to
understand our marriage. I am a scaredy-cat. But my husband
embraces adventure, takes risks and pushes the limits in a
lifelong pursuit of the perfect menu: a six-course meal
consisting entirely of charred meats. [p]We had very different reactions to the grill fiasco. [p]I
saw it as a reason to replace a filthy, carbon-spewing
contraption whose hulking, grease-spattered presence poses
a daily threat not only to our health but also to the view
from the kitchen window. [p]But the wily Mr. Marinade saw it as an opening in his
long-term campaign to obtain a Big Green Egg, an expensive
ceramic cooker-smoker thing shaped like a FabergÈ fever
dream. It requires charcoal. It collects ash that you need
to clean out. It weighs more than 100 pounds. It gets far
hotter than our old Weber, and to control the temperature
you have to slightly open or close a hole that my husband
likes to refer to as a dual-function metal damper top. It's
too complicated for me ever to want to use on my own. He
thinks that's a benefit. [p]Could the marriage - and the steak - be saved? Of course
the Internet provided ammunition for both sides of the
argument. [p]The next day, I caught him at the computer, gathering facts
at "I could probably make do with the
medium," he mused. "But to cook a turkey, I would of course
need the large." [p]"How much does it cost?" [p]"You have to phone to get prices," he said, to buy time.[p]
Usually I can sense when I am about to be outmaneuvered.
But in this case I had to admit that a Big Green Egg in the
hands of Mr. Marinade would lead to some pretty stunning
results. It would be like buying a Porsche for Mario
Andretti. So a day later, when he wasn't around, I phoned
(not toll-free) to find out just how much a large egg would
cost. [p]"$539.95?" I said in stunned disbelief. "Plus $225 for
shipping it from Atlanta to California? Isn't that a lot
for a charcoal grill?" [p]That price didn't even include the egg's metal nest.[p]
"Have you tried looking for local dealers?" the helpful
customer service representative said. "Then you won't have
to pay for shipping." [p]Big Green Egg's Web page had a dealer locater feature,
which pointed me to a store five miles from my house called
Barbeques Galore. I drove over for a look, saw that the Egg
was less than $600, and then happened to notice plenty of
other handsome gas grills in the same price range. [p]A gas grill I can operate. You just press that button. [p]I
was tempted to show the sales clerk a photo of my husband -
just to see if he'd been there recently - but decided that
was paranoid. So instead I asked for advice on how to
address a certain person's complaint that our old grill
doesn't get hot enough to sear meat. The solution: replace
it with one that generates more than 40,000 B.T.U.'s. [p]Back home, I paid a visit to, a
site that sells a wide selection of grills from 60
different manufacturers. Right on the home page was a
digital image of a (shiny clean) Ultra Chef Premier 360 -
42,000 B.T.U.'s for $474.74, slightly less than what we
paid nearly 10 years ago for our Weber. Just for fun, I
checked the shipping costs - and learned that the site
offered free shipping. [p]On big heavy grills? [p]"There must be some mistake," I said to Harold Wagner, the
manager of "You can't possibly offer
free shipping." [p]"You hurt me, you hurt me with talk like that," he said.
"We do free shipping on everything over $25." [p]Mr. Wagner said the company ships by common carrier, in
trucks that deliver orders to a buyer's garage. "It can
take up to a week to get it in most cases," he said. [p]The cost of shipping was built into the site's prices. For
instance, the large Big Green Egg was $743.90 (nest-less). [p]I asked Mr. Wagner which grill he would recommend for Mr.
Marinade. He said the site's best-selling brand was Fire
Magic, which makes high-end grills at prices ranging from
$1,500 to $9,000. But, he added, he owns a Lynx. [p]"Those high-end grills cost more than my first car," I
whined, which prompted Mr. Wagner to explain patiently the
three ways to add flavor to the food when grilling: thick
grates that give meat "nice dark marks that show you're
taking the sugar in the food and caramelizing it";
flavorizer elements below, where grease smolders and sends
smoke toward the meat; and wood chips to increase smoked
flavor. [p]"The expensive ones do a better job," he said. I didn't
tell him I'd heard the same lecture at home. [p]I know when I'm beaten. The next night, I told Mr. Marinade
that I would give in. "Get the Egg," I said dramatically. [p]But it turned out that he'd done more research on his own.
Now he had his eye on some kind of complicated,
barrel-shaped, cast iron smoker thing with a big
smokestack. While he continued to review the literature, he
suggested that we repair our old grill. [p]I bought replacement flavorizer bars ($60) at a local store
instead of online because he couldn't bear to wait for them
to arrive in the mail. But for the more esoteric
replacement parts - some special bolts that hold down a
sheet-metal ignition panel and a warmer tray - I had to go
online. [p]At Weber's Internet site,, I typed in our
grill's serial number (I found it under a layer of grease
on the side panel), then examined a diagram of all parts.
Then I phoned for prices and placed the order. The grand
total: $12 or so. [p]The grill has been rehabbed to both our specifications. The
other night, I watched as top-secret steak preparations got
under way. He mixed three tablespoons of tamari sauce with
one tablespoon of good-quality dark sesame oil and rubbed
it into the meat. "Do you mind if I tell people your
marinade recipe?" I asked. [p]"Not at all," he said. "It's a decoy."


  • Toe 49Toe 49 Posts: 193
    char buddy,

    [ul][li]Moving Up To A Grill With Extra Sizzle[/ul]
  • Spring ChickenSpring Chicken Posts: 10,247
    char buddy,
    Good story with a sad ending. At this rate he will never enjoy the flavor of a Big Green Egg meal, especially if he keeps comparing an EGG to all the other cookers. He needs to compare the end product - the cooked meat itself. Then the choice will be easy.[p]Spring Chicken
    Spring Texas USA

  • MarvinMarvin Posts: 515
    Spring Chicken,
    Well said!

  • char buddy,
    At first I was convinced he was very bright, now i'm thinking he is feeling a bit cheap. To go from an egg to an offset says he only had interest in slow cooking and preferred to have a cooker that requires constant attention and lots of fuel. He will save a lot of money though, since he will rarely use it, because of the effort and time required, he won't go thru too much charcoal. The eggs use a fraction of the charcoal my steel grills and smokers of the past used, but you use the egg so much, and for me, with lots of overnights and all day cooks, the eggs actually cost you more to use. [p]I think i'll pay that price.

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