The barbeque grill is a man’s domain. I don’t mean to offend you ladies out there, but when it comes to cooking, the outdoor grill is about the only culinary art most of us guys can master. Or we at least believe we can. Can we still hold on to this dream, please?

So, wives and girlfriends of America, I offer you these five simple rules for how to keep your man happy where his grill and / or smoker are concerned.

1. Please don’t tell us how to build the fire

We all have our own techniques. We know what works for us. The fact that the mound of coals is so tall we can’t close the grill lid means nothing. There really is no cookie cutter way to start the process. One thing we fellas understand is how to set fires. And the last thing you want is for the fire to be too cool or the coals not to attain that white hot I-can-feel-my-face-melting-from-20-feet-away look. We won’t burn the house down intentionally. All is under control. We got this.

2. Never, ever clean that grill

So you think your boyfriend or husbands grill needs a good scrubbing, huh? I can appreciate your desire to help by making that grill nice and shiny. But you instantly destroy years, perhaps decades, of flavorful carbon build up that adds that charred goodness to the burgers you love so much. Don’t worry. We do occasionally run a wire brush over the thing. But leave that soap, water and oven cleaner in the house.

3. This is not a burn barrel for old bills and receipts

I've seen this happen and it never ends well. This could make any man scream like a girl.  Seriously, this is for cooking delicious food for you, dear.  Burning anything other than coals or wood will destroy the integrity of this work of art we call OUR grill could be grounds for divorce, OK?

4. Yes, dear, your steak is supposed to have a little ‘moo’ left in it

As men, God has pre-wired us to know precisely how to cook steaks. We are born with this talent and it is revealed to us through divine vision the first time we light up our very own grill. Thermometers and cookbooks are for Food Network people.  ‘Well done’ = burned to a crisp. If you don’t see some pink in the middle when your man pulls that meat off the grill, you need a new man.

5. Charcoal and wood rule

The gas grill is fine for hotdogs or your rotisserie vegetables, but when it comes to meat, and I mean all meat, it’s all about charcoal or wood; charcoal to grill, wood to smoke.

Mesquite: When you absolutely, positively have to smoke every pound of brisket in the freezer, accept no substitute.

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