The average American averages 1.5 BBQs per weekend throughout the summer (totally real statistic). At every one of those cookouts, the person flipping burgers is the hero, because she who has the food, has the power. But how do they wield that power?
Some grillers make you laugh, others make you cry (stop letting the hot dogs roll off the grill, Doug!), while others just make you wish you stayed home for pizza night. Either way, we’re paying homage to all those who withstand smoke and flame to provide us with some delicious warm weather noshing -- no matter their style.
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The Overstretched Host
They’re not only managing the grill, but they’re refilling drinks, trying to hand out napkins, and adjusting the playlist. When you asked if you could help, their reply was a squeaky voiced, slightly panicked: “Oh, no, please, I’ve got this, make yourself comfortable.” Something’s gotta give, let’s just hope it’s not the burgers.
The Silent Griller
A cookout at the home of a Silent Griller is usually nerve-wracking. Mostly because they refuse to make conversation while they’re manning the grill. To them, grilling is a solemn art, so you know not get in their space or to make eye contact. But, trust your aloof guide through flavor country -- all that hand-wringing is going to be worth it when the meat comes off the flames.
Unlike their overstretched host counterpart, the Manager is the griller who delegates nearly every barbecue task. You show up and you get a job, that way they can maintain the perfect grill temp consistently. Sure, it would be nice to kick your feet up in the sun and be handed a pristine burger, but that’s not how life works.
The Mise en Place Devotee
The vegetables are properly sequestered from the hamburgers on the grill, and the prep area is clean enough to qualify for Chopped. They have a system, and it works, so proper guests know not to get in the way. The result? A hot dog that’s presented like it could have come out of Thomas Keller’s kitchen.
The Over Flipper
The Over Flipper always gets a bad rap, because they have a tendency, nay, near compulsion, to keep flipping the burgers every 2.71 seconds. Sure, that’s not how the professionals would do it, but as long as it’s charred on the outside and medium to medium-rare on the inside, who cares how many times their spatula touched it?
The Five Second Rule Follower
Yes, they did just drop a burger and put it back on the grill. Not only that, but they laughed and said it would add, “extra flavor.” Make sure you’ve got the number for the pizza place saved into your phone, because you might need a plan B.
The Vegan Griller
When your vegan friend invited you to a barbecue, you were reluctant, but curious. However, a good vegan griller knows how to whip up delicious black bean and sweet potato “burgers” that will have your cardiologist praising you come September.
Sure, the story about how they ran into Peter Dinklage at Starbucks was certainly entertaining the first time around, but they’ve since repeated it to at least three different guests. At this point, all you can think about is deliciously smoked meats getting spoiled at the sake of a mediocre punchline. So, it’s taking all your strength to keep from grabbing that spatula yourself as the hot dogs turn black.
The Cooking Show Addict
Their Netflix queue is all food documentaries, so they’re gonna explain the science of barbecue while they try to imitate something they saw in Aaron Franklin’s cookbook. Sometimes it works, but more often than not, their over-the-top antics fall flat. Because no, you shouldn’t serve a cookout burger on a pretzel bun with sliced strawberries and arugula.
The Performance Artist
It’s true that no one likes a show off, especially when it may result in ruined barbecue. When flipping, the Performance Artist ensures the patties are airborne for at least three seconds, doing their best Tom Cruise in Cocktail impression. Warning: While they always provide dinner and a show, they are also typically five-second rule followers.
The Gadget Griller
If you spot a SkyMall catalogue on the coffee table during your walk through the living room to the backyard, you’re in the house of a Gadget Griller. Outside, they’ve got a condiment gun for the ketchup and mustard, a light from Brookstone attached to the grill, and one of those Roomba-like grill cleaners for after everything is served. There’s a 75% chance this Griller works in IT.
The Overly Confident Griller
In certain situations -- say, asking for a promotion or giving someone your number, confidence is definitely an asset. When it comes to grilling, the overly-confident griller is going to let you know you’re in good hands, at least 17 times before they hand over the goods. “You’ve never had a burger like this” and “The wait is going to be worth it” are their mantras. It’s up to you to decide whether that’s all hype.
The Apartment Griller
The Apartment Griller isn’t swayed by the fact that their studio is a mere 300 square feet and the only outdoor space they have is a fire escape. They’ve MacGyvered an ambitious setup that’s surely breaking fire code, and keep reassuring everyone they have renter’s insurance, so it’s fine.
The “Think You Can Handle It” Griller
You gotta appreciate it when the cook tries to spice things up, but this griller transforms their cookouts into a Scoville scale tolerance test. They add the cayenne by the tablespoon, and then like to see who sweats the most after the first bite, shouting things like, “C’mon, it’s not that spicy.”
The “It’s Not Pretty But It Tastes Good” Griller
When guests arrive at this griller’s cookout, they normally are taken aback by what they see in the backyard. The prep area is a mess, the char is uneven, there’s cheese burning onto the grill plates. But somehow, this hot dog tastes… perfect? Things have a way of working out on a beautiful summer night. Kick back, and enjoy.