I’ve been thinking about buying a grill for a while now. I got some much-appreciated suggestions from friends, but it has been a busy summer and I just hadn’t been able to pull the trigger. A few weekends ago, though, Kish and I went to Lowes resolved to buy.
Of course, when we got there the grill choices were mildly overwhelming. There were dozens of different devices, each gleaming with its own seductive, burnished metal, “come cook on me” glow. The grills seemed to come in two sizes: huge, and huger. Most of the grills had two side tables, sliding trays, and enough grill space to cook for the 101st Airborne Division. And the gas grills had an impressive array of knobs and dials that would have been comfortable in NASA’s Mission Control.
We nosed around, and I entertained visions of standing behind one of the big units, grilling fork and spatula in hand, drinking beer from a bottle still speckled with ice and preparing some impressive grilled item like skewered shrimp.
But then I looked deep within and realized that I simply wasn’t going to use the grill that much, or for anything too special. I like to cook steaks, chicken breasts, burgers, and brats — and that’s about it. There are only two of us at home now, and I just don’t need something with a football-field sized grilling area. And our back yard is cozy, without any good place to store a metal device the size of an aircraft carrier. So, after taking a few swings through the big grill display area, we gravitated back to the shelves, where the simple and small charcoal grills were to be found.
Ultimately, we settled on an Aussie Walkabout — a simple, square, light grill that cost all of $49.99, will be easily tucked into a small spot on our patio, and can be quickly folded up and stored in the basement when winter comes. It’s not going to produce any wild grilling dreams, but it will work for us. And I liked the name, too. “Walkabout” refers to the walking journey of personal discovery undertaken by Australian aborigines. I felt like I had undertaken my own little foray into grilling self-discovery.