Mediaplanet spoke with The God Father of the Grill, Ted Reader, to find out how he’s keeping things interesting in the kitchen during these times of isolation.
Tell us a bit about your history with cooking and how you got your start with grilling.
Well, I’ve been cooking forever, probably professionally for almost 40 years now. I started cooking at six years of age. I liked to cook and my dad liked to grill. We had a tripod charcoal grill — it was an old little thing and the bottom rusted out of it. My dad tried to put aluminum foil down, but then the charcoal pushed through the foil. He got all pissed off. And so he went into the woodshed. I remember he pulled out this red wheelbarrow and he filled it with charcoal and took a shelf out of our fridge. And that became our new grill. I learned to cook on a wheelbarrow full of charcoal. That’s how my love of barbecue began.
What are some pieces of equipment that every grill enthusiast or at-home chef should have handy?
A really great grill brush, one that doesn’t have the bristles falling apart or coming out of it. Invest in a good one. And don’t invest in just one — invest in two, because a clean grill is a healthy grill. And you should be changing your grill brush two to three times a season, depending on how much you use it. I go through a grill brush probably every two months.
Also, get a good pair of tongs. You want a sturdy pair, not too long and not too short. You want them just right. And they need to be comfortable, so that you can help manoeuvre whatever you’ve got on your grill.
Any other tips for barbecue lovers?
The key is to get outside, fire up your grill, and then expand your knowledge. Consider moving from a gas grill to a charcoal kettle, and then maybe getting a smoker. Have some fun, play around, make great food, and make your family smile.