Smoking seriously harms you
Where is the thrill in the smoking grill, asks Tech Sunday.
Ever since Prometheus stole fire from the Olympian gods, men have stoked a pyromaniacal relationship with fire. Of course, Prometheus’s intention was the noblest of them all – fire would simmer and boil mankind’s progress. And yet, he had to pay for his transgression – he was bound to a rock and every day, an eagle would snack on his liver, only to have it grow back to be eaten again the next day.
Thousands of years later, we’re still paying for Prometheus’s unholy crime. Because every time men smell fire, it’s eternal torment – they feed it, watch it glow and burn things with it.
And come summer, they celebrate that ultimate bacchanalia of fire – barbecues.
Barbecues are a misuse of fire if ever there was one – because instead of furthering mankind, barbecues take us back to prehistory, complete with mammoth steaks and end-of-the-world portions of potatoes, bound in foil and tortured like little Spanish Inquisition prisoners.
Now we really don’t understand barbecues. The first premise to our reasoning is, why do you actually need to cook food outside in the courtyard when the kitchen is just a couple of feet away? Common sense dictates that if you want to munch your grub under the stars, you can cook in the kitchen and then take your dinner outside.
But admittedly, there is some charm in cooking outdoors – barbeques take us back to a time when we wore shorts and spent our sunny days burning ants with a magnifying glass and hearing them snap, crackle and pop. And despite the fact that barbecues cause rows, are dirty and burn countless fingers attached to self-appointed grill masters who have had one beer too many, it’s not summer without them.
So grill things outside we must. But let’s do it with some prejudice. First of all, a sectioned 40-gallon oil drum does not a grill make – invest in a proper grill which doesn’t look like a prop from Dante’s vision of hell. And there’s no need to build an apocalyptic fire just to grill a couple of sausages. In all likelihood, you have neighbours, and they have the right to live and breathe clean air.
Moreover, use proper coal rather than any piece of old wood from the garage. It’s really not fair on your neighbours to have to close their windows (have you noticed that it’s hot outside?) in order to bar themselves against your smoke.
All you need to do to enjoy your barbecue without reducing your neighbourhood to a column of smoke is to take a MacGyver attitude to life. Build a hood over your barbecue, buy one of those high-tech smokeless grills, and turn down the heat.