More women than ever are taking control of the outdoor barbecue, with a record 25 percent fearlessly flipping burgers and steaks, according to a new survey by the company that produces Weber grills.
So if Dad needs a break from the heat this Sunday, there's no reason why Mom can't grab the tongs and fire up the grill for a festive Father's Day feast.
Chef Michael Pryor of Michel-Schlumberger winery has planned several barbecue menus this summer aimed at welcoming guests of all ages to the winery.
"On Father's Day, it's going to be steak and potatoes — Father's favorite meal," Pryor said. "It's an outdoor picnic with lawn games like putt-putt, badminton, petanque and Frisbee golf."
For the manly fiesta, Pryor has planned a delicious, all-grilled menu of tri-tip sandwiches, grilled baked potatoes and corn on the cob.
"I love steak, and I like to cook it myself," Pryor said. "There's a lot of good steak available in the area."
For the Father's Day picnic, Pryor will sear the tri-tip on the hot side of the grill for a few minutes, then move it to the slow side of the grill for about an hour.
"I always have a couple of different temperatures going on the grill," he said.
"You want one that's good for larger cuts that can get the sear on, and one where you can let them go low and slow."
On a gas grill with three burners, you can simply turn off the burner in the middle and cook over it for indirect heat. On a charcoal grill, keep the coals and the fire off to one side.
With charcoal, it's best to let the fire die down a bit before grilling so that you don't burn the outside of the steak, Pryor said. If you want to grill a New York strip, Porterhouse or T-bone steak, place the thicker side of the meat closer to the fire.
By cooking the tri-tip on low to medium heat, Pryor will be able to keep the meat from getting tough on the outside.
"The tri-tip is really a roast," he said. "When you slice it, slice it against the grain."
For the sandwich bread, Pryor suggests using a soft roll, such as ciabatta. For toppings, he is partial to a classic mixture of caramelized onions and blue cheese, arugula and mayonnaise or aioli.
"Slather the aioli on the bread, add the meat slices and sprinkle with the blue cheese, caramelized onions and arugula," he said. "Then pair it with a nice cabernet sauvignon."
Alongside the sandwich, you can serve wedges of russet potatoes that have been baked, cooled and sliced, then thrown on the grill to give them a nice, crispy exterior.
"I put oil, salt and pepper on them," he said. "You can also wrap them in bacon first."
For added flavor, Pryor likes to serve the grilled spuds with a dipping sauce of sour cream and chives.
To grill the corn, he soaks it with the husk on, then cooks it on indirect heat on the grill until the kernerls are tender and juicy.
"I like to serve it with an herb butter," he said. "Herbs really go well with the cabernet, because they really bring out the fruit."