Right before I left for a month, I got a propane grill. Simple, compared to what Bobby Flay uses, but a step into the new world for me. I've grilled with charcoal most of my life and in fact it was a charcoal grill that taught me the lesson that when my Dad said something is hot, I should believe him. Lesson learned, and cooking on the grill lessons came next. Smart guy, my Dad.
The problem with charcoal grilling when you are cooking for one is obvious. An hour (more or less) for the coals to be perfect (yes, I know it can be less, but, that's what I do). 20 to 30 or more minutes of grilling. Not hungry anymore.
I still barely know how to cook for one person (and I've been doing it for well over a decade, so this shouldn't be brain surgery, but I am not genetically wired to do this) so I either overdo, as in cooking for 5 because I finally had the perfect coals and want to *use* them, or I cook for one, and stand there wondering where the hell the marshmallows are, because the coals are just decadently glowing, wanting more more more.
Propane was the not so easily arrived at answer. For one thing, cooking with it doesn't taste the same, I don't care what anyone says. But I have a whole new world to explore...that cool smoker box that you can put in the grill, using any kind of wood chips that will give me the flavor I miss, and plank grilling, an old American Indian technique I'd like to check out.
The other thing, it's propane. What else do I need to say? The only truly guilt free way to cook is using a solar oven and I'm going to try that sometime in the near future. But in the meantime....
I temper my propane guilt with my rarely indulged almost-instant-gratification pleasure. Rare indeed on Culebra, so I am completely enjoying it. Now, if I can figure out how to get rid of the ants beneath the grill area...ant avoidance dancing only amuses the cat.