My friend Lars is visiting us from Sweden this week, so my friends and I thought we would throw an All-American BBQ in the park this weekend. As you know, I have been researching BBQ grills for urban dwellers (check out BBQ on the DownLow) and when some friends and I decided to BBQ on Memorial day, I found a small disposable grill at the local drugstore that I decided to try. It amounted to an aluminum pan with its own grill and a small bag of charcoal briquettes, which the direction said, required no lighting fluid (yea right). Needless to say when my friends arrived and eyed the grill, serious doubts were vocalized as to the durability, not to mention the usability of the thing. I tried to have faith in the little cooker but that turned out to be a big mistake. After running through a pack of matches trying to light the sucker, my friend Ben came to the rescue with what amounted to at least a pint of lighter fluid and that puppy lit right up! Unfortunately, it also destroyed the integrity of the grill. As we watched the pan bend in half and slowly disintegrate, more than a few looks of “I told you so” were exchanged. Some adjustments and a prayer or two later and we were able to grill a few burgers on it. However, we had to guard it with our lives since it was so tiny it was constant danger of being crushed under the feet of nearby children. It ended up being a comical adventure and we all had a great time but I had learned my lesson, small and convenient isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. So when I went back to the same drugstore and saw real grills on sale for half off, I could only surmise this was a sign from the grilling gods to do justice to the Q and purchased one straight away. Now that I have a real grill (like the one shown in this pic), my next task is to buy the briquettes and fluid. Ugh! The reason I got the disposable grill in the first place was the convenience of having everything I needed in one package-no mess, no fuss.Then I stumbled upon the Baja BBQ Firepack, a charcoal package with bricks and fuel all in one neat little 100% recycled paper box. The firepack has an integrated chimney to get the coals burning faster. And they say no fuel is needed, the firepack lights instantly and burns away completely. It promises a cleaner burn without chemicals or lighter fluid, using natural lump charcoal. I think I am going to give this a try since lugging a big bag of charcoal to and from the park is just not my style. My mantra is neat and tidy, neat and tidy.
Tracy Fay is the Editor in Chief of Modern Urban Living. One day, she'll be a filthy rich, obnoxiously pretentious curator of modern wares. She'll reside in her ultra glamorous European flat with her sweet, but no nonsense maid and her fabulously gay assistant. Until then, she manages and writes this blog from the eclectic neighborhood known as Bushwick, Brooklyn, NYC.