When Robyn Lindars decided to cook something on her then-boyfriend’s (now-husband, Scott) barbeque, she realized it wasn’t much of a quality grill. So, she went out a purchased him an ultra-modern barbecue.
Since the apparatus wasn’t inexpensive, the 42-year-old grilling fanatic figured she would get her money’s worth. That is when she said she barbecued at every opportunity that presented itself.
“I bought him a state-of-the-art grill for my then-boyfriend, who is now my husband,” Lindars said. “I paid a good amount of money (for it), with whatever I could afford at the time. I figured I get my money’s worth, and started grilling all the time.”
From there, it dawned on Lindars: “Why aren’t more women grilling?” she pondered. “Grilling is not just for dudes. If I can do it, anyone can. I am helping to demystify it for everyone.”
Moreover, Lindars, who has competing on the Food Network’s First Chopped Grill Masters Season 1, and cooked alongside Carson Daly on The Today Show, leaned how to master the art of grilling, and thought she would share her knowledge with females everywhere.
Back in 2008, Lindars started teaching online “Women’s Grilling Clinics,” to show other women how much enjoyment they could get out of barbecuing, and to help them feel self-assured behind their grill. She now has made a series of videos covering the fundamentals of grilling so that anyone can learn to grill, no matter where they live.
Lindars’ grilling teaching experiences have evolved from tailgating to home-gating, helping people, even men, to grill and enjoy barbecue fare for various sporting events right in their own backyards.
Lindars said that the COVID-19 pandemic forced people to do without vacations. Rather, they began to invest in their backyard and purchased top-of-the-line barbeques. Looking for grilling tips and information online, Lindars’ website, GrillGirl.com, saw a non-typical surge in traffic earlier than she expected.
“I think the pandemic changed the idea of what people think about grilling”, she said. “I saw a bump in (traffic) in April, and usually don’t see it until late May, before Memorial Day. Instead of taking vacations, people started investing in their backyards and grills at home.”
So, what is Lindars’ go-to barbequing food? “When people ask me what’s my favorite thing to grill, I say ‘chicken wings,”‘ she said. “When I think of tailgating, I think of chicken wings, my spirit animal food,” Lindars said with a laugh.”
To that end, Lindars has concocted her own version of a mouthwatering condiment called Alabama White BBQ Sauce, which, she says, is excellent on chicken wings.
Lindars said Alabama white sauce originated in from Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ Restaurant in Decatur, Alabama. Below are BBQing hacks and a recipe for white sauce chicken wings for your next big-game home-gating party.
For people who struggle with igniting grills, Lindars recommends a pellet smoker, outdoor cookers that combine elements of charcoal smokers, gas grills, and kitchen ovens.
“If you look at a pellet smoker, it’s basically an oven,” Lindars expounded. “It plugs in like an oven. It really eliminates the whole starting-a-grill thing. The action of just starting the grill was the hardest part. I did a YouTube series (grill school) to teach how to start a charcoal grill or gas grill.”
While grilling meat is all the rage at summer backyard BBQs across the country, Linders says vegans and vegetarians don’t have to feel left out.
“I think the misconception is that grilling is only for meat,” she said. “I grill romaine hearts and brussel sprouts. I even got good (at) grilling tofu. The key is getting all the water out of it. I drain it overnight. I practiced it a lot, and it’s pretty good. It takes on the flavor of what you add to it. I also think tempeh (fermented soybeans) is really good on the grill.”
A brilliant idea, indeed, Linders also teaches people how to smoke their own cocktails (bourbon, whiskey, rye, or rum). All you need is a cedar (maple, alder, etc.) plank and a lighter (blowtorch, if you have one). She torches rosemary for an added aromatic essence.
Now we’re talking. Cheers.
As far as health concerns for eating BBQ fare more often than not, Linders said to concentrate more on your overall diet and what goes into making the food that you purchase.
“Man has been cooking over a fire for a long time,” the Fort Myers, Floridian, explained. “You just need to look at the ingredients in your food and not worry so much about the amount of grilling that you do.”
For more information on grilling and other recipes like this delicious jalapeno poppers dish, go to Grillgirl.com. You can also purchase Linders’ magazine and Craft BBQ Rub & Cocktail Rimmer at her site.
— Jerry Del Priore
(Photos: Robyn Lindars).