Grill Your Heart Out

Summer is fast upon us, and for many people that means only one thing: Grilling Season.

Now I know everyone has their own pet philosophy about what makes a good grill, usually yapping on about fuel and barbeque coals. Forget about it. Hit the P Street Whole Foods this Thursday and prepare to be converted to wood-burning grilling.

Summer weekends for many years of my time in Washington have been spent watching my friend and DC entrepreneur Ben Eisendrath work his magic on The Grillery, an elegantly simple, stainless steel grill that allows you to cook over a wood-burning fire. The crowd favorite has always been butterflied salmon on a bed of dill, rendering a fish so moist and succulent it embodies the “tastes like butter” cliche. But it’s equally impressive with meat – steak, lamb, venison, caribou sausage – even bananas!

Watch Ben grill and sample the rewards at the P Street Whole Foods beginning at 4pm this Thursday. He’ll demonstrate The Grillery’s mastery with dry rubbed flank steaks over natural wood. Prepare to taste, be converted and covet one for yourself…

10 Comments so far

  1. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on June 12th, 2007 @ 5:36 pm

    While I’m certainly intrigued by woodgrilling, it would be hard if not impossible to convert me from my native charcoal.

    Though, I’d be glad to check out another demonstration after I get back from Toronto…do you know when the next one is?


  2. Jenn L (unregistered) on June 12th, 2007 @ 7:36 pm

    Tom, I’ll check with Ben about future demonstrations and let you know!

    And believe me, it’s better than charcoal. Besides the taste enhancement from wood, there’s the added benefit of being able to stare into the flames. Soo relaxing on a summer’s night.


  3. Amadomon (unregistered) on June 13th, 2007 @ 6:14 am

    The large carbon footprint also provides a nice warming feeling.


  4. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on June 13th, 2007 @ 7:42 am

    The day they take away my charcoal grill or woodburning fire… that’s when the revolution begins, Amadomon.


  5. Tiffany (unregistered) on June 13th, 2007 @ 10:34 am

    As opposed to the carbon footprint left by fossil fuel consumption to produce the electricity for your stove, I suppose.


  6. Ex-Hy Hy (unregistered) on June 13th, 2007 @ 10:48 am

    Nothing comes close to the flavor made by the use of Strickland Propane and Propane Accessories.


  7. Amadomon (unregistered) on June 13th, 2007 @ 3:22 pm

    Yes, in fact, the effect on climate change of a gas range is indeed a great deal less per BTU of output than your beloved wood-fired grill. And when you’re patronizing the good folks at Strickland Propane and Propane Accessories, well, that just makes me proud to be an Amurkan…


  8. Don (unregistered) on June 13th, 2007 @ 3:46 pm

    I think this is a difficult comparison to make. Charcoal is made from trees so burning it and returning it to the atmosphere returns it to the environment. Propane or coal (where the majority of your electrical power comes from) burns hydrocarbons that have been trapped in the earth a long time.


  9. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on June 13th, 2007 @ 3:54 pm

    Don’t be an asshole about it Amadomon, that’s just not necessary.


  10. Jenn L (unregistered) on June 14th, 2007 @ 10:06 am

    Gosh, I had no idea people would get all fired up about this ecologically speaking. But here is the green word from National Geographic on wood v. gas:

    Green Homes | posted July 9, 2004
    Is Burning Wood Greener Than Burning Gas?
    by Vincent Standley
    Filed under: Energy efficiency, Wood, Green homes, Green living

    A Reader Asks The Green Guide:

    With an expected jump in natural gas prices I was contemplating the purchase of a wood burning fireplace insert to supply additional heat to our home.

    The manufacturer provides efficiency ratings for these but how do the emissions from burning wood compare with gas? Overall is it cleaner to burn
    wood or gas, considering all the factors like drilling, processing and transmission vs. wood?

    Thank you,
    John Wolfe, Philadelphia, PA

    The Green Guide Responds:

    A properly engineered woodburning system is by far a more eco-friendly source of heat than gas, oil, or electricity produced from non-renewable
    resources. Like all renewable energies, though, attention to every aspect of the process is necessary‹from the origin of the fuel to its final release as gas and smoke. In this way, wood can be fully exploited as a smart alternative to non-renewable energy sources.

    Greenhouse Gas

    Ecologists generally agree that wood is carbon neutral. While burning wood releases a significant amount of carbon dioxide a greenhouse gas also released by fossil fuels the gas is reabsorbed by growing trees and turned into carbon, which accounts for half the weight of wood. Whether a tree burns in your fireplace or decomposes in the forest, it will release the
    same amount of carbon into the environment in the form of CO2, methane and other gasses. However, all of this only makes sense when the wood has been grown and harvested according to sustainable forestry practices. For example, selective harvesting preserves the bio-diversity and integrity of the forest, which in turn ensures that the CO2 will be reabsorbed and that
    you’ll have a place to get more firewood. Hypothetically, this cycle can be repeated indefinitely. Fossil fuel can make no such claim.

    Firewood

    The firewood must be seasoned, which means exposing split and stacked wood to a summer’s worth of open air and sun. Seasoned wood can be purchased by the cord (4 x 8 x 4 ft of tightly stacked wood), though verifying where it came from and how it was processed may be difficult. Obviously if you chop your own wood and season it yourself, your fuel costs will be even lower. On the other hand, you may buy un-split, unseasoned wood, split unseasoned wood or split seasoned wood.



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