Friday, January 28, 2011

Much ado about bbq

As Sears has helpfully delivered us a non-functional range that they can't seem to get repaired (so angry...) we decided to re-order our house purchase plan a little and buy a grill before anything else. Grills come in excitingly large boxes that (luckily) just barely fit into a Subaru ;) For reference, the recommended solution if your grill doesn't fit into your vehicle is to rent the tool van ($20ish) NOT to pay the delivery fee ($60+, with some useless multi-hour deliver window).

Despite having the handy-person skills of an 11 year old we opted to assemble it ourselves. The hardest part of assembling a grill is peeling off the "easily removable" plastic protective sheathing. This stuff would probably withstand gunfire and with a few angled layers might hold off a shaped charge. We literally spent half the assembly time trying to pull the stuff off! After some time at this, plus a few visitors, and other random interruptions the grill was assembled and ready to connect to the gas.

Lucky we had a natural gas outlet installed on the deck right? - we can just plug the hose in a cook! Well ... almost. The picture below shows the enormous quick-release connector that came with the grill (bottom left) along side the one installed on the deck. The hose from the grill fits the gargantuan quick-release NOT the rather smaller connector on the deck.

Not to worry; we'll just unscrew the quick-release that is currently installed and screw on the new one. Sounds promising except that unscrewing the current connector is freaking difficult without bending the heck out of the system. It is also challenging when you don't have a suitable wrench. No problem, we'll just go to Home Depo to get a wrench and some of that freaky teflon tape stuff that encourages the connections not to leak gas.

The Home Depo staff examined a digital photo of the system alongside the giant connector, assured us they all screwed onto the same size adapter, and sold us the requisite tools. Feeling handy we headed home, struggled mightily to unscrew the tiny quick-release without completely destroying the gas outlet assembly, and a few choice cusses later got it off. At this point we learned that both the quick release and the threaded female connector on the smaller quick-release are smaller. Contrary to Home Depo staff expectations it seems multiple sizes are in use. Our natural gas outlet expects 3/8" whereas our giant unit has a 1/2" female threaded connector. Further cusses. OK, off to Home Depo again where staff helped us locate the two shiny bits on the right:

Further wrenching and cussing rammed it all together and produced the final masterpiece below:

Thankfully after all this the barbeque works perfectly and produced some rather outstanding striploins on its first run - complete with spiffy cross-hatch grill marks and all. So good!

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