In the past year and a half, they have each given me a George Foreman Lean Mean Fat Reducing Grilling Machine as a gift. Is it because I’m a bachelor on the go, and have little time for culinary activities? Is it because George Foreman used to be my favorite boxer? Is it because they are concerned about my health? No, it’s because they think I’m fat and want to make fun of me. I get it. I need to reduce my fat intake. That’s fine. I can’t argue with them. I’m a little chubby – but only around the fat areas of my body. My ankles are in good shape. They’re like race horse ankles. And you should see my sleek elbows. One would wonder why I am not a professional elbow slash ankle model. I know I wonder about that.
Insult or not, the George Foreman grill is an effective cooking machine. It renders steaks a perfect hue of pink, detoxifies rancid chicken in a succulent manner, crisps corn flakes to a delectable singe and vaporizes little drops of water when I’m strapped for entertainment and have no cash for the bar. But, the grill has one annoying flaw. It doesn’t self clean. My oven does, why can’t the George Foreman grill? What is the difference between an oven and a grill? Wanna go camping? Not only does it not self clean, it is a pain in the ass to clean.
The cleaning instructions suggest waiting until the grill has cooled before cleaning, purporting some precautionary piffle about avoiding burns and skin grafts. The problem is the cooling time is also animal fat petrifaction time. By the time the grill becomes a safe temperature to clean, the left-over meat residue has chemically melded with the so-called non-stick surface. Removing it is like trying to grind the scuz off Paris Hilton. As a joke, they include a molded piece of plastic to help scrape the charred meat scum. It cracked in half the first time I tried using it – and that was only to carve a totem pole out of a banana. It would probably disintegrate if I tried using it on the petrified animal fat.
I was about to drop the grill into a vat of Ocean Spray Cran-Salami juice until I read, in large bold letters in the instructions, Do Not Immerse In Water Or Other Liquid. Not only did that ruin the light show for my Accompanying Flavors of Cranberry Juice Festival, it destroyed my hopes to turn the George Foreman grill into my new favorite bath toy. This, of course, has nothing to do with the cleaning of the product, but I felt it was important to mention at this time because I figured some of you were wondering about it.
Ultimately, it takes about fifteen minutes of dousing and scrubbing to clean the grill. In my world, where cleaning after cooking either involves the dish washer or the garbage can, that’s the definition of pain-in-the-ass. Consequently, I don’t use the grill often. I set aside the first one I received after using it once without cleaning it, and forgot about it, only to find it a few months later underneath the couch. Who knew the George Foreman grill could also be used as a Petri Dish? They may want to incorporate that feature into their brochures. The grill my other sister gave me is still clean. And it’s still in the box. That’s the best way to keep it clean.
Now that I think about it, George Foreman is fatter than I am. The grill must not help people lose weight. Maybe my sisters weren’t trying to torment my fat. Maybe they wanted to torture me through excessive cleaning aggravation. They know I only clean enough to keep my kids from drowning in soot. Either way, I admire their dastardly ingenuity. You got me. Nice one.