I just have a little rant, and I thought I’d share it with the world wide web.
I have had company this weekend and I had plans to cook a large pork butt in my smoker. Now, cooking outdoors is not a novel idea to me. I usually use either the grill or the smoker to cook all summer long, so the kitchen doesn’t get as hot as an active volcano. I know what I’m doing, and while I may not be an absolute grill master, I am not an amateur. However, I am a woman, and if this weekend was anything to go by, the penis carriers in my life have decided I cannot do this task unaided.
I knew this enormous pork butt was going to need about sixteen hours on the smoker. I knew I would be cooking it overnight.
Well, my brother came over the night before, and I know he is actually better at smoking than I am, so I asked him a few key questions, he told me his tips, and I had my method firmly in hand. He left and I made a plan for an amazing smoked meat experience for me and my guests. Then my guests showed up and I got started.
I didn’t count on my dad and my boyfriend, neither of whom really grill all that much, and neither of whom had ever smoked a pork butt, needing to put their two cents in. If you add in the cost of male ego inflation this adds up to about five dollars and seventy cents worth of opinions that I didn’t ask for or need, but I digress.
I was happily rubbing the spices on the pork when my dad told me these words “Not to tell you how to do this, but your rub needs to be all over it (it was), and thicker”. Well, this was just the preliminary rub, if you will. It was only going to be on the smoker for an hour, then taken, covered in more rub and brown sugar, with butter added, then wrapped tightly in aluminum foil and put back on the smoker.
Dad followed me down the stairs to the smoker and looked it over. Then said “Well, I’m not the person to tell you how to cook, but those vents need to be all the way open”. Well, it doesn’t, and I’ve used this particular smoker for two years, but sure, I’ll open the vents. So I opened them a little to pacify him. Then he looked at the temperature gauge, and said the following: “I’m not the one to tell you how to make this, but the temperature needs to be about fifty degrees higher”. No, dad, it doesn’t. This is an eight pound hunk of meat. It needs to cook low and long.
Then my boyfriend came home. He advised me I need to get the fire really going, that just the coals were burning. Yes baby, I know, it is supposed to smoke, not get direct heat from a fire. Every hour, my dear Richy would ask me if I was keeping an eye on it, that it was just smoking (which is ironic, considering I’m using a smoker… anyway). I literally was questioned about every decision I made on this, and at one point, Richy just took over and started grilling it the way he thought it should be done. I just went back inside and started watching T.V. and quietly seethed.
My biggest problem is this: I have been at my brother’s cookouts many, many times. No one – NO ONE – has ever taken over his grill or even so much as offered a suggestion on how he could improve whatever he was cooking. No one has ever suggested he didn’t know what temperature to use or wondered why he put the rub on the way he did. No one questions a man at a grill. But god forbid you have a set of tits. It absolutely astonishes me that since I don’t have chest hair or a set of balls that I am seen as totally incompetant at cooking – outside of making a sandwich for a manly grill master.
I know, I really do know, that not all men are this way. I know some men who don’t feel or think this way, and I don’t mean to generalize any group of people, but I also cannot be the only woman this has happened to. I don’t think I am just being salty, I’m just so tired of being second guessed because I am devoid of a Y chromosome. I’d love to hear opinions on this and just see if anyone out there can commiserate with me. And if you ever need a solid alibi, I’ve got your back.