Cooling the Cook

It can get pretty hot and humid in Houston in the summer, but it would never deter us from our BBQ. No, not for one blazing second. This is a sacred warm-weather pastime that everyone enjoys and looks forward to every year. We all get into the act. Great meats (lamb, chicken, steak, ribs, hotdogs, burgers and more) produce enticing aromas and guests always come clamoring for more. We pride ourselves on the best local sauce in the country, or the world, the most innovative side dishes, and the best snacks and treats. Beer goes with this culinary art to be sure. You all know what is right!

BBQ takes some time and effort so you want to invite a group of admirers who also enjoy helping. This could be friends or family, kids included. When the chief chef start to pour beads of sweat that threaten to flavor the sauce, maybe one of them can fan him or her or move the portable outdoor fan a little closer. Do not forget this handy and essential item. Your cook will stay at the task longer, and we need a steady stream of production from the grill to keep us satisfied. The hot weather is part of the fun, and if you have a backyard pool, it will take care of any overheating. Even a garden hose will do.

The fire can get quite hot, however, and a heat fan may be a constant relief for anyone standing nearby. You want a good grilling fire, so this is par for the course. The chef is usually wearing an apron and mitts, so they add to his or her clothing layers. Shorts have become the attire of choice as are t-shirts and tank tops (and flip flops). Some people like long-sleeve to ward off the effects of the blaze, so again, get out that fan for sure. Have some mercy. There are heaps of value-for-money fans out there on A battery operated unit would be ideal so no cord to trip over or get in the way (and get singed). They come in all shapes and sizes. Some are stand alone and tall so they get everyone in the immediate vicinity. Why not have an extra one like this at the main dining table or general eating area if guests are sitting about?

I keep a couple of such fans in the garage. While I have home central air conditioning, I can save money by having a floor or ceiling device in the spring and summer so I don’t have to turn it on milder days. A few pennies here and there can add up. I then use these fans as double duty for BBQ time at night or on weekends. I suggest you do the same. Everyone will appreciate the little extra breeze they provide. You can get used ones if you are a super economic type, or discount models. Nothing fancy is required. Your grill master will be the first to thank you, be it Uncle Bob or brother Joe.