You Can Take The Boy Out Of The Country…

But you ain’t taking the country out of this boy.

I told the Wifely Unit that I would make breakfast on the grill a couple weeks ago but the weather has been less than cooperative.

Until today.

I woke up and had a cup of coffee and a smoke out back and saw a window in the weather so I jumped up and got after it.

Let me tell ya, cooking on cast iron over a grill or an open fire is most definitely a learned skill, you don’t just wake up some random morning and say to yourself, yeah, I’m gonna go do that today.

I have literally been at it off and on for over fifty years now.

I will be the first to admit that I am a bit rusty, like some of my old fucked up skillets but it comes back to me every time just like riding a bike.

Notice the Secret Weapon there?

Pork Lard baby. It’s the shit.

That’s how you are supposed to do it if for some reason you don’t have any Bacon grease handy. The stuff is cheap but surprisingly hard to find in stores around here. You have to look in the Mexican Food aisle and it’s called Manteca if you can’t find it anywhere else.

It’s even printed on the other side of the container because that’s how I wound up finding it

The one on the left up above just got cleaned up and pressed back into service after several years of sitting out in the garage. Yet another reason I fucking love Cast Iron cookware.

It will eventually re-season again and be better than new.

Of course things would be a whole lot easier if the ingredients weren’t frozen solid before I started.

That above is an entire 24pack of link sausage that was basically a frozen brick when I started.

Just for fun, I was almost half way done with those when I went in and took a freshly brewed cup of coffee in to the Wife to get her woke up and let her know what was going on. The first thing she asked was what I was cooking for meat. When I told her she said NO, I want Bacon.

Shit, really?

Do we even have any?

Yeah we do, it’s in the freezer, in brick form also.

So I dug that out and didn’t have any room for it yet. I had to finish cooking most of the links, move them up onto the tin foil I had put over the upper grill just for that purpose and then slap that brick of frozen bacon in the bigger pan and start in on that.

Then there was a whole bunch of flipping and moving shit around until I had room on the griddle to start moving thawed out strips of bacon onto it it one at a time.

This is where the experience comes in because as you are doing all this, the coals start really coming on and you have to be able to figure out where your hot spots are and move things around fast enough so that nothing starts burning.

As you can see, it’s not like cooking on a stove with 4 burners either. You only have so much room for your cast iron.

Eventually I got enough of the bacon done so I could start in on the frozen Potatoes O’Brien.

This is where the picture taking stopped.

I got busier than a cat trying to bury shit on a hot tin roof.

Because of the delay in having to start frying the frozen bacon, I started losing my heat. You only have so much of a window with coals and I was using real charcoal, not Briquettes.

After I got enough of the bacon done to get a bit of room, I started frying eggs on the griddle too.

Then the race was on because the heat really started going away in a hurry.

Of course just as I was about ten minutes from being done, I had a few rain drops hit me just to make things interesting.

I barely, barely had just enough heat left to get the eggs done, get everything plated up and inside the house.

It took just about two hours from start to finish.

I forgot to take a picture of the finished product because quite frankly, I was pretty dang hungry at that point so I dished up and devoured a large serving.

I can say the Wifely Unit was impressed and even said there was no way she could do that.

I can also say it was freakin’ delicious. My favorite breakfast pretty much.

So when the power goes out, I hope all the Little Snowflakes really enjoy all their soggy Soy patties.

All I need is enough material to build a fire and I’m good to go.

I highly recommend getting good at this for obvious reasons.

Start small and work your way up.

You will be glad to have this skill some day.

19 thoughts on “You Can Take The Boy Out Of The Country…

  1. As a Civil War reenactor of 48 years I have some experience in the area of wood fire cooking. I have cooked for as many as 40 people at a time. Regarding the potatoes; I boil them the night before and drain the water off. That way in the morning I can fry some onions, slice the potatoes and have them done in a jiffy. Bacon grease is definitely the cook’s friend.

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  2. This is a fucking subject near to my heart! I wanted to but a propane grill
    but I waited till the dead of Winter to buy one at a decent price. It was a
    4 burner with a side-mounted char burner on one side. and a stove type
    burner on one of the wings. I am a nostalgic mother-fucker who remembered
    my Texican Uncles legendary barbeques. Classic retro Colmen ice chest, a
    conduit run to power the rotisserie, a retro Coca Cola bottle opener, chicken
    leg, and rib/ potato racks, and every other accessory you could think of.

    The Bottle opener was a challenge. I had to layout and drill and tap a transition
    plate, and paint it to make it work. What good was a bottle opener in a twist-
    off cap world? 300+ bottles of painted bottled crimp capped classic sodas!
    Grape and Orange Ne-Hi, classic Dr. Pepper 10, 2 and 4, Bubble Up, Grape,
    Orange, and Strawberry Crush, Stewart’s Root Beer, Black Cherry, etc. In the
    end, I probably saved money by not spending 4 or 5 hundred for the grill I
    bought at 250 dollars.

    I am going to fire the fucker up in a few days. The last trip to Stater Brothers
    I discovered they were out of party wings. I settled for full-size wings. I am
    going for monster buffalo wings with a side of macaroni salad.

    https://scontent-sjc3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-0/p180x540/106483682_10221187519853509_6758784762152846056_o.jpg?_nc_cat=111&_nc_sid=730e14&_nc_ohc=Fdc3EHBsVskAX8tP6WX&_nc_ht=scontent-sjc3-1.xx&_nc_tp=6&oh=2a4370822230408ab4782b30bcf78a8e&oe=5F1DAC38

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  3. I’ve done it a few times on the grill, and a lot of times over a wood fire when I used to camp.

    Yup, takes some skill getting things scheduled to use the heat, and when I saw the lard I immediately thought “BACON GREASE!!!”, which is God’s Gift to cooks!

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  4. Bacon grease and lard, either or both. I have a book on my shelf: Lard, The Lost Art of Cooking with Your Grandmother’s Secret Ingredient. And it’s true. Lard is THE secret to pie crust (that and years of practice learning the touch).
    I’ve tried long and hard to find real organic lard, and the only stuff I found was insanely expensive. The stuff in the Mexican section of the market is all hydrogenated, and while it will do in a pinch as your post above, it’s not really good for you–there’s a reason it’s room temp stable–not even bugs will eat it. I finally solved the problem by getting chunks of pork fatback from a meat market and rendering out my own. I keep it in the freezer so it won’t go rancid, and it is the real item.

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  5. I’ve found the easiest way to cook bacon is to… Use a Dutch oven.

    Start off with some starter bacon grease in the bottom, toss your bacon in either frozen or in a lump, pull it apart as the pieces pull apart, when each piece is done, pull out and let drain (I use a metal screen over the rear half of the dutch oven as a draining rack so I don’t lose much bacon grease.

    Works like a charm. You can pull out crispy pieces, semi-crispy pieces, woogly pieces.

    For extra added fun, I trim off the ends that are all fat and just let them cook down to nothing in order to harvest the last bit of bacon grease.

    Reminds me I need to harvest some more grease.

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  6. It’s funny, when I was growing up as a Boy Scout, I was always dedicated to be the Camp Cook, becasue I was the only one that understood heat control. I *never* cooked over the flame, always used the coals. I’d start a roaring fire, then move the coals to one side and cook over them. For some reason this seemed to be beyond the ability of the average age 12-and-over Scout.
    And, as everybody here as stated, Bacon grease/Lard/Manteca is the major cooking ingredient for cast iron cooking. It helps heat transfer, although I really wasn’t able to explain that as a kid, I just knew how to cook with it.

    By the way, cooking at 8000 feet and above is ALSO an art, at 9000+ you can stir boiling water with your finger… Look up Vapor Pressure. It’s really neat, and scares the crap outta the newbie campers that don’t understand. Plus, it’s difficult to *really* cook at that altitude, it takes longer and tastes different. Again, Vapor Pressure is the reason. Bring a pressure cooker if you can…

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  7. The only cooking skill that would top what you did would be cooking over an altar fireplace. Grub looks excellent, do you have any leftovers? chuckling

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  8. Nice job. I have that same grille, although it’s 20 years old and the upper rack is of a slightly different. Yours is an improved design. The sectioned cast iron grates are the bomb. Pull one or two out and add more coal to the fire when she starts to die.

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  9. I’m rather fond of using salted fat back…..salt pork…. for cooking.
    Render it for frying steak. drop a small piece into boiling veggies, fry it up slowly and use it for garnish for that low grade piece of steak you thought you got a good buy on.
    It is also indispensable for cooking wild meats like moose that have very little fat in them.
    I get mine from a real butcher shop, sometimes already salted, and sometimes I have to salt it myself.
    The secret to preserving it for long term freezing is to give it a low temp smoking just until the fat starts to drip, and then vacuum seal it.
    Personally, I can make a meal of just smoked salt pork and freshly baked bread.
    I had my cholesterol checked the other day, and, yes, they did find bacon.

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  10. Propane, man, Propane. Taste the meat, not the heat. Hank Hill.

    I’ve done breakfast like that while camping. Generally had a campfire from the night before, add some charcoal and get it started again. Shovel a little over and set the skillet right on the coals. Kinda hard to cook squatted down on the ground like that, but I was much younger then. Best food ever.

    But yeah, at home now everything outside is propane. Easier, quicker, and you don’t have to worry about the heat dying off (unless you forgot to refill the bottle).

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  11. I cook all the time with cast iron on the grill, as in just about every day.
    I don’t use charcoal though, I prefer wood.

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  12. Since I found a source of off the shelf , that is now my go-to, replacing the bacon grease my mother used to use.

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  13. You had me at lard. We might be kin. My friends wife prefers “turkey bacon”. I was a butcher for 24 years. I asked her to show me on a turkey where the bacon comes from. Heh. She said pork bacon is too greasy. I told her I cook my bacon in lard or butter. Thought she was going to spew.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Phil, I dearly love my woman of nearly 45 years, but I’ll leave her and come marry you for breakfast like that 2 or 3 times a week….

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