The deal was too good to pass.
Sears was pushing the grill I wanted, a four-burner Char-Broil Infrared number, for $379 on sale. I found a couple of coupons online and burned $90 in Sears Rewards (from the dryer purchase) and got that bad boy down to about $240.
The Wife approved, justifying it as part-replacement, part-Father’s Day gift, and it was on. And that it wasn’t.
Sometime Saturday morning, while it was raining and before it was delivered, I began to wonder if the grill was coming assembled. There was nothing on the website, receipt or delivery confirmation that mentioned whether it was or wasn’t. The delivery department had no idea.
At 12:15 pm. Saturday I got my confirmation in a large cardboard box that was wheeled into my garage on a handtruck. It wasn’t assembled.
One of my greatest failings — up there with the inability to express emotion appropriately, desire to drive fast and recklessly, infatuation with the word “fuck,” impulsive spending habits, short temper and lack of patience, compulsive eating, and insistence that I’m always right — is that I’m not mechanically inclined. Building things does not typically end well. I can wire things and I’m not bad at plumbing, but the assembly of something is a weak spot.
I tend not to read instructions completely. For instance, I saw that I needed the 1/4-inch screws during step one. What I should have done was read the rest of the sentence so I knew about the 1/4- by 1/2-inch screw, not the 1 1/2-inch version. I back tracked on that around step 17.
It took about two hours to go together. It’s not the worst expenditure of two hours I’ve ever made, and I had a chance to listen to a couple of podcasts by comedian Bill Burr.
I finished step 23 and it was allegedly complete. I pushed it into the driveway, made a sign of the cross, turned on the propane and ignited the grill. Lacking the telltale “whoosh” of typical gas grills, I placed my hand over the burners to feel heat. Fire + no explosion = success.
It heats quick, pushing to 700 degrees in less than 5 minutes. The inaugural meal of 1 1/2-inch thick strip steaks and asparagus went well. I violated my own laws of steak cooking simply because I wanted to see how well the grill cooked. Char-Broil promises juicy meat that is cooked evenly and doesn’t burn. It delivered. Eight minutes in the blast furnace and I had rare. Two more minutes and The Wife’s steak was medium rare. I would never cook a filet on it, but for strips, porterhouse or thicker steaks with bones, this works well.
And, after 10 minutes, the foil-wrapped asparagus that I topped with salt, pepper and a drizzle of Trader Joe’s garlic-infused olive oil was fork tender.
Success? Success. That is until I figure out why I have a bunch of extra screws.