5@5 - Why girls should grill
July 29th, 2011
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

There is still a certain gender stereotype aflame when it comes to manning the grates - the "women cook, men grill" attitude, as recently coined by Forbes.

But, plenty of ladies like Elizabeth Karmel are lighting the way as beer can chicken equal opportunists.

Karmel is the Executive Chef of Hill Country Barbecue Market and Hill Country Chicken, where she bestows her low-and-slow knowledge on brisket, sausage, ribs and all the fixin's.

She is also the creator of Girls at the Grill: a group to encourage women to grab their tongs and grill with the best of 'em.

Five Reasons Girls Should Grill: Elizabeth Karmel

1. It’s fun!
"Why do you think the guys kept it to themselves all these years?!"

2. It tastes great too
"Grilling is the best way to cook, bar none. There is no other cooking technique that gives you this much flavor for your effort. The natural caramelization and signature smokiness enhances almost every food. My motto is, 'If you can eat it, you can grill it!'"

3. Easy clean-up
"Cooking outdoors is relaxing, casual and stress-relieving - just like a vacation! And the bonus is you get a great homemade meal with very little effort and almost no clean-up!"

4. It’s does the body good
"Seriously, grilling is intrinsically healthy. You aren’t sautéing in a lot of butter and oil, and you don’t need heavy sauces to give the food flavor. Grilling naturally intensifies the inherent flavors of the food, making it burst with flavor.

Meats, poultry and fish are a given, but the real transformation is with vegetables and fruit. Grilling turns vegetables from something you know you are supposed to eat to something craveable that you can’t stop eating. If you are accustomed to eating steamed asparagus, try it grilled and you will never eat it any other way! Here’s the super-simple recipe below."

5. A cook-out is always a party
"...And girls love parties! Whether you are grilling for just a few friends, or a crowd, cooking outdoors makes everyone happy and once your neighbors smell the grill, chances are they’ll invite themselves to join in the fun!"

Finger-Licking Grilled Asparagus
Serves 4

Contrary to the popular belief that thin is in, when it comes to grilling asparagus, chunky is hunky!  The thicker meatier stalks of asparagus hold up better to the heat of the grill.  The trick to this recipe is to let the asparagus grill, turning occasionally, until it is dotted with lots of deeply caramelized spots.


  • 1 pound fresh asparagus
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt (use salt according to taste)

Cooking Directions

  1. Trim off the tough woody bottom of the spear by grasping each end and bending it gently until it snaps at its natural point of tenderness - usually two-thirds of the way down the spear. If the spear is less than 6 inches long, chances are it has already been trimmed for you. Alternatively, you can cut the ends off with a knife. And here’s a tip for trimming the tough ends of the asparagus: Before you remove the rubber band off a bunch of asparagus, cut the bottoms off all of it at once by using the bottom rubber band as a guide. Cut about 1/2-inch below the rubber band and you will trim all the woody bottoms off in one fell swoop! Of course you need to use common sense; if the rubber band is up too far on the bunch, wiggle it down to the bottom, generally, you need to cut off the last 2-3 inches of the stalk.
  2. Coat each spear with olive oil by placing clean, dry spears in a resealabe plastic bag. Pour in the olive oil, close the bag and massage spears through the bag, to coat each one. Sprinkle with salt and massage again. Leave the asparagus in the bag until ready to cook.
  3. Place on the cooking grate crosswise so it won't fall through. Grill for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally to expose all sides to the heat. The smaller he spears, the less time it will take to cook. Asparagus should begin to brown in spots (indicating that its natural sugars are caramelizing) but should not be allowed to char - you still want them to be a fresh green color.
  4. Remove from grill and serve immediately. Eating spears with your fingers enhances the experience!

Recipe formatting optimized by the nice folks at RecipeSEO.com

Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.

See all our best grilling advice at Grilling 101

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Filed under: 5@5 • Grilling • Make • Think

soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. MariJoy

    I AM the Grillmistress in our house. The husband has turned a perfectly good piece of meat into an unrecognizable charred
    "Something" in the name of "well-doneness" one too many times to ever, ever let him near the grill again,

    August 1, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
  2. timestickin

    My girl cooks naked about 3-4 nights a week... And to me? she can cook anything she wants. It's the best food I have even ate...

    August 1, 2011 at 8:49 am |
  3. Conrad Shull

    Reason # 6: So hubby can have more time to drink beer sitting down.

    August 1, 2011 at 8:23 am |
  4. Flood


    It's true, Men grill more than Women.
    It's true, girls should grill too.
    But a welcomed advent that feminism has brought on for Women is the freedom to chose for themselves.
    Do Women want to grill? Nope.
    Here's 4 reasons why:

    NOTE: This is based on my own observations ONLY, though I am confident this explains it:

    Girls are afraid to light up a grill. I asked all 5 people I know who grill and have a girl partner and that is what they all tell me. Personally I would add that what I know of the women I've met, and maybe it's just the luck of the draw, they also are not confident enough in themselves to handle a fire mishap when firing up the grill. I'm very, very concerned, attentive and careful when I light up the grill and I should be. I am well aware that I am one faux pas from a situation everytime I grill, but I'm not afraid because I rigourously follow a set of specific steps that always guarantee my safety; which brings me to step 2.

    Cook a certain kind of meat at a certain temperature for certain amount of time per side depending on the cut, the thickness and the particulars of the areas of the grill that have more or less heat. Cook another kind of meat at a different temperature for a different amount of time depending on the cut, etc... Throw in some seasonning not too soon, some other seasonning not too late; and little timmy likes his steak well done, and grandpa likes it barely browned. Women, I believe, don't like to have all these steps to take care of and don't like to think the way that is required to cook something right on the grill. I've tried a couple of times to tell my partner how I cook one inch strip loin to perfection like she says I do and about halfway through my describing my technique her eyes slowly become glossy and she nods mechanically... I know that everytime I want to cook strip loin to perfection I am a minute and a half away from screwing it up. Which brings me to step 3.

    3- IT'S ALL ON YOU.
    You grill, you fail, you own up to it. She does it every other time, why shouldn't you? That's right, now it's your turn. She won't have to explain to the guests why the chicken is crusty and black. But then again she won't be getting the compliments either; but that's all right, because after all, please see step 4.

    She cooks this and that, you cook this and that. When you're grilling, she can take a break, though in our household my partner actually will do as much as I do when I grill, setup the table, cut the cheese, cut the bread, etc... Except you can go back to cutting cheese during the TV commercial; when you're grilling, you can't. Hopefully you share the cooking job as a couple anyways, right? When she's sautéing that canard à l'orange you're setting up the table, right? Then you know what kind of break I'm talking about.

    5- IT'S PRIMAL.
    Women don't relate to meat like Men do and I beleive it has to do with some instincts, remnants of our Male past that still lingers in us. Yes, it's fire, it's fun, it's satisfying hunger and it's all about meat. But let me be the first one to say it (according to what I've seen online): Meat is another animal's flesh. Men hunt/hunted, Men kill/killed, Men prey/preyed, and everything else applicable that you've seen animals do on the Discovery channel. There is no denying that when I prep my steak, try to keep the blood from escaping it, grill it so it is still bloody, smell it as it is flamming, dump it on my plate, cut it up with my knife and sink my teeth into it and almost growl, I'm getting a satisfaction that only my other grilling buddies can relate to, because they're all Men.


    August 1, 2011 at 12:52 am |
    • Flood

      Some Men have a hard time counting up to five ;)

      August 1, 2011 at 1:03 am |
    • AleeD

      wow .... you ... they ... I .... he .... no .... definitely you .... need therapy

      August 1, 2011 at 7:53 am |
  5. Snarky.

    Actually, I wouldn't encourage girls to grill. No child should be cooking over an open flame.

    Women grilling is nothing special to note. They also sometimes take out the trash, check the oil, and even balance the checkbook. What a crazy world we live in.

    July 31, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
  6. Macatak

    ...and bring me a beer while yer at it !!

    July 31, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  7. Jay L

    "3. Easy clean-up" – NOT! we use charcoal because we don't grill that often and don't feel the need for one of those newfangled gas jobbies – so cleaning that sucker is no joke! Believe me, I have to do it every time... :-(. And I'm guessing that cleaning a gas grill properly isn't easy either!

    July 31, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  8. Mr. Weber

    Darn, I thought this was an article about the "5 Reasons to Grill Girls". My bad.

    July 31, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  9. Wow

    This country end will come from moral degradation.
    Desire to challenge everything from the position of gender stereotypes is very obvious sign of degrading.
    Everything, EVERYTHING is now a gender issue... Oh he grills – let's challenge that – it is sexism... This woman should get laid more often – it helps.

    July 31, 2011 at 11:17 am |
  10. Dave

    As long as they fill the beer cooler, I am OK with an attractive women holding the tongs.....

    July 31, 2011 at 7:43 am |
  11. Mara

    It is just nice to have a break from the kitchen. Right? Here's the meat... cook it up Tarzan.

    July 31, 2011 at 2:11 am |
  12. Emelia Kanson

    In my house, it doesn't matter if it's boiling or baking or grilling. I'm always the one preparing food while my fiancé watches sports. (/He/ usually cleans until I get home, since I work three more hours than him. He's my little housewife~...)

    July 30, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
  13. Zheng Lai En

    Leave the grilling to the men. Grilling is hot and dirty. It's a way of male bonding between friends, fathers and sons, or whomever. Grilling harkens back to the male legacy of hunting beasts, killing them, making fire and cooking, while the cavewoman is inside making salad and once in a while send out a beer.

    Most women are OK with this. They stay in the house where it is cool, where there is TV, where access to booze is close by.

    July 30, 2011 at 10:15 pm |
  14. Julia

    Thank you CNN for liberating me from the kitchen and encouraging me to tame the beast that is the grill. First there was women's suffrage, then there was WOMEN GRILLING.

    What will they think of next?

    July 30, 2011 at 9:40 pm |
  15. R

    I'm the grill master in my neck of the woods. I just can't seem to get coordinated enough to light the darn thing with that flick thing but once someone lights the grill for me I take over. Hahahaha!

    July 30, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
  16. Alverant

    Grilling isn't that easy if you want to do it right. That means no gas, you use charcoal! That means using a chimney to get the coals nice and hot and for longer cooking sessions preparing a second chimney of coals. For food safety you need a large work area. I have to bring out a folding table and have multiple plates for raw and cooked food. It's work, but it's worth it if done right. If you grill with gas you might as well go inside and turn on your stove.

    July 30, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
  17. FlambeauTheGayCook

    I have on my string bikini and am ready to hit the grill. Today we will be making the Barney Franks,a special purple sausage smothered in coleslaw with a touch of musterd. Swish on Ladies.

    July 30, 2011 at 11:56 am |
  18. MNinGA

    Several years ago my hubby insisted on buying a huge, expensive stainless grill. He made steak on it once and brats another time, but hasn't touched it since! I love that grill, use it all the time for burgers, pork chops, ribs... it has a rotisserie attachment so I've even done rotisserie chicken (which is awesome, btw). There's nothing wrong with a chick that grills!

    July 30, 2011 at 11:30 am |
  19. Barbara

    Loved this article. I wish I could be part of the grillin' group!

    July 30, 2011 at 11:18 am |
  20. IndiaRocks

    Girls are stupid. Boys are smarter and better than girls at everything we choose to do. The only reason girls are thought of as better cooks is because we boys are more interested in doing useful work rather than cooking.

    July 30, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • brownman=afraid of wo-man

      @indiarocks, stay in india, then! why are girls stupid? isit because your culture teaches women to be subservient? that just means that YOU are stupid, Stupid.

      June 18, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
  21. steeve-o

    Girls should grill #6: Because a girl with the smell of burning burger grease in her hair is so sexy.

    July 30, 2011 at 11:04 am |
  22. AnnieK

    BTW, Improve your aim, I have to agree. I have three brothers and an ex-husband. ALL of them could aim... not my SO. And, if the saying goes if you sprinkle while you tinkle be a sweetie and wipe it up, so I don't have to walk in it! YUCK!

    July 30, 2011 at 10:11 am |
  23. AnnieK

    Funny, but I do ALL the grilling (ok 99%) in our household. I long for the day that my SO learns how to grill something and not burn the he!! out of it. I wish he had a mentor to show him but the cooking shows are all too celebriti-fied. HELP...

    July 30, 2011 at 10:09 am |
  24. @dwt

    You can pee while standing, isn't that enough? Seriously. Man up, or we women will do it for you.

    July 30, 2011 at 1:02 am |
    • Not a chance

      Seriously, watch your big mouth or I'll leave the toilet seat down... and that's just for starters.

      July 30, 2011 at 2:46 am |
      • Improve your aim

        And we will leave the toilet cleaning to you. Seriously, I think every man should be required to pass an accuracy test before being allowed to pee standing up!

        July 30, 2011 at 8:24 am |
  25. D1ckCutter

    That woman from SoCal could really cook. She cut up her husbands sausage and burnt it a little so she had to throw it in the garbage disposal.

    July 29, 2011 at 11:23 pm |
  26. Johnny Rebel

    What the h3ll is this world coming to :'( ... oh yeah, we were doomed as soon as they gave us the apple.

    July 29, 2011 at 11:20 pm |
    • Bibile 101

      It was not an apple. It was a Fruit. READ THE BIBLE......

      August 1, 2011 at 9:45 am |
  27. Mick

    Asparagus isn't food. It's what food eats.

    July 29, 2011 at 11:15 pm |
    • Wow


      July 31, 2011 at 11:20 am |
  28. dwt

    Now, speaking as a male, I think there needs to remain something that men do better than women. Give us a break.

    July 29, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
    • AleeD

      Threatened? Really? Sux 2 b u.

      August 1, 2011 at 7:36 am |
  29. Noxious Sunshine

    My fiancee & I pretty much share -all- the cooking duties. We're both equally good in the kitchen as well as the grill... I introducef him to using mesquite chips. We mostly grill mexican-style thin sliced steaks like cesina with cactus... My mom is the grill master when it comes to big thick juicy strips or rib-eyes.. Her stuff is legendary. Lol my bff – who hasn't had my mom's steaks in probably 12 yrs -still- pines over it to this day.

    July 29, 2011 at 10:49 pm |
  30. Frank

    Whatever preserve men have left – challenge it, search and destroy it! You Go Grrl! Hey, almost all of us have smelly feet – time to break that sexist smelly feet glass ceiling....

    July 29, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
  31. Grilling Mama

    If I depended on my husband to grill, I would be in the kitchen constantly!!! I love to grill now. He stopped grilling a few years ago. Then he even stopped doing the briquets, so I bought a propane grill, and have been grilling since. He loves to eat, and it's too hot in the kitchen!!! I can have my cocktail and grill away!!!

    July 29, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
  32. archie

    "Grill the asparagus sideways on the grill".....oh and you can't grill beans on a BBQ by the way..they fall through the slats...

    July 29, 2011 at 10:16 pm |
  33. joe

    I dont want no broad using my grill, the last time a dyke biatch used my grill, the patio and the house almost were blown to smitherines, if you don't know how to light it, ask!!! Or don't think you know everything like a typical biach.

    July 29, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
    • J


      July 30, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
  34. ummm

    Asparagus!? really?...that's your suggestion to grill?...ugggh

    July 29, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
    • mommagriller

      If you wrap some Bacon around it and then grill it, it's actually pretty damn good. Bacon makes everything taste good.

      July 30, 2011 at 12:19 am |
    • zbtrocker

      It's actually pretty awesome. I do something similar, only I wrap it in foil, and use parmesan cheese w/ the olive oil.

      July 30, 2011 at 10:56 am |
      • Barbara

        that sounds yummy. I never thought of putting parmesean cheese on it. Great idea!

        July 30, 2011 at 11:15 am |
      • 2EL8

        OH Yes, I'm going to try that next time.

        August 1, 2011 at 10:20 am |
  35. Elinorina

    I am the griller in my house; my husband appreciates what I cook, but doesn't like to grill. My son likes to grill, and my daughter will learn in the fullness of time. I love the way the food tastes, and I'm learning how to do it better and better each time. I've switched from charcoal to a gas grill, and love it. Bring on the tongs!

    July 29, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
  36. Sophie

    I've thoroughly enjoyed this article. I love grilling, power walking, and mowing my lawn! Grilling is healthy and it's fun to do! Ladies, if you haven't tried it, please do at least once. I think you would be hooked!:)

    July 29, 2011 at 9:48 pm |
    • Barbara

      I feel the same way. This year I bought a gas grill that is connected to my gas line. When I come home from work, I can turn on the grill and get it fired up while I change my clothes and it's ready to go! I wish she shared more of her recipes because I never thought to put the asparagas in a bag and mix the oil that way!

      July 30, 2011 at 11:13 am |
  37. Kevin

    Wasn't there just an article yesterday about how grilling was as bad for your health as smoking? lol

    July 29, 2011 at 9:33 pm |
  38. Lila

    I grill all the time in my smoker, love it. That asparagus recipe looks really good.

    July 29, 2011 at 9:25 pm |
  39. DavidAlobi

    Go back to the kitchen!

    July 29, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
  40. Corvus1

    My mother can grill better burgers, veggies, and steaks than any fancy restaurant, and she doesn't need a CNN article to tell her to do it, either.

    July 29, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
    • alf

      So she buys her meat from a high end butcher shop, grinds the meat fresh every day, and bakes her own hamburger buns?

      Oh wait, I bet she buys whatever ground mystery beef is on sale at the supermarket chain that only buys the lowest quality beef to keep prices super low, possibly sauces it heavily, then puts it in between some Sarah Lee buns.

      Please dont compare homemade supermarket burgers to what you get from restaurants that have been mastering burgers for multiple generations and have the proper outlets to purchase the best ingredients.

      August 1, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  41. Mare0568

    I've always been the "griller" at my house. My husband NEVER grills. My first husband didn't either. Kinda weird actually now that I think about it. ???? LOL But anyway, I literally grill from the first warm day in spring (this year it was February and it was like 65 and snowed the next day) all the way through the fall until I just can't stand out there in the cold any longer. I like most everything grilled. I have, however, taught my son to grill so now we share the duties (he's 16) and he does enjoy it also. There's just something so much better tasting about things cooked on the grill. Yay grilling!!!! I'd love to be a part of her group!!!!

    July 29, 2011 at 8:42 pm |
    • bobo

      If the 2nd husband doesnt work out... I enjoy grilling.

      July 29, 2011 at 10:07 pm |
      • joe

        You could be her tird.

        July 29, 2011 at 10:16 pm |
  42. fred

    dedicated womendo more thanegoistc males

    July 29, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
    • bobo

      the space bar is the big one at the bottom

      July 29, 2011 at 10:05 pm |
  43. Jack

    MY kitchen, MY grill. Your dishwasher. You wanna eat, you let me do the cooking and GTFO!

    July 29, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
    • sarak

      I'm guessing you're single?

      July 29, 2011 at 9:20 pm |
      • bobo

        lol probably so! I personally don't get it... if a woman wants to make food, and I get to eat it, go for it. If she doesn't want to cook, fine. Gender roles are out dated. It's not like a man needs to go kill a rabid grizzly bear to grill it up anymore.

        July 29, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
      • nicole

        VERY Single I'm guessin'

        July 31, 2011 at 10:46 pm |
      • tradedate

        @ bobo, I'm not sure, but you probably shouldn't eat the rabid bears.

        August 1, 2011 at 9:24 am |
    • Josh

      Whenever my wife cooks, I get stuck with the dishes. When I cook, I get stuck with the dishes. It's kind of a big deal whenever I ask her to wash them.

      July 30, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • KC

      Nice to see you're so happy in your work!

      July 31, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
  44. ionymous

    If CNN tells people with vaginas to grill, then people with vaginas should grill.

    July 29, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
    • RuPaul

      Ain't that the truth.

      July 29, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
  45. Sarah Urban

    Every time I try to grill, either my SO or my brother sneak in and take over before I can really start. It's a little frustrating.

    July 29, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
  46. tazer warrior princess

    Yum! I love grilling! Plus, it's super easy to do.

    July 29, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
  47. George Dubya

    Gee,I hope they don't break a nail while pushing the start button on their gas grills, if they can find it.

    July 29, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
    • nicole

      you're an idiot, just like your name implies

      July 29, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
    • Capt. NoDuh

      Are you MAD! man? Here is a girl, a hot chick, that wants to grill! And all you can do is make fun of her? Ha Ha, I'll be watching the first period while you are starting your coals....

      July 29, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
    • anone

      Someone does not get la!d very often does he? Poor baby. Momma's basement cold? I bet momma has a blankey for you.

      July 29, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
      • nicole

        "Momma's basement cold? I bet momma has a blankey for you." LMAO!!! Good one!!

        July 31, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
  48. Susan

    Good god, it's the only reason he cooks is grilling. Plus, it's actually supposedly not healthy. But who cares... just shouldn't be a point when it's actually dead opposite.

    July 29, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
    • Carla

      Actually, my husband is always grilling and cooking in the kitchen.. This wasn't the case a few years back.. then I got him this hilarious beginners cookbook called.. well, I can't tell you the name of it here, some of you will freak cause it's a bit unpc.. but if you google "whipped and beaten culinary works" you can find it.. but seriously, don't go if you can't take a good joke.. or if you get offended easily..

      July 30, 2011 at 9:25 am |
      • Texas T

        Git a Rope-It's Swing time.

        July 30, 2011 at 9:30 am |
    • Rabbi Green

      Its very healthy, depends what you cooking and whats on it. A Buffalo Steak with light seasonings is better then grilling a ball of bacon pressed into a patty..

      July 31, 2011 at 2:19 am |
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