10 Reasons I Don’t Enjoy Cooking Food Outdoors


That’s right, I said it. I don’t enjoy cooking food outdoors. On a grill. On a stick. Whatever other way you can think of, I don’t like it.

I enjoy eating food cooked outdoors. I’m not a monster.

I just don’t like to do it myself.

It has taken me a long time to accept this and not think there is something wrong with me.

According to this article (What is Barbecue?), everyone calls “outdoor cooking” something different. BBQ, bar-b-q, barbeque (that’s the autocorrected choice), grilling. I’m just going to use them all interchangeably because they are all some variation of cooking outdoors with fire.

THE BUSINESS OF BBQ IS HUGE.

As soon as it is nice enough to stand outside for longer than 5 minutes, everybody wants to cook outside.

I get it. It tastes great. It smells great. There’s something nice about a backyard BBQ. Feels like summer.

I love a hamburger cooked on the grill. 

I just don’t want to be the one grilling.

SO WHAT’S YOUR PROBLEM? WHY DO YOU HATE SUMMER? 

I was thinking about why I don’t like the outdoor cooking experience and I came up with 10 things:

1. I’m allergic to smoke and many things outdoors, like grass and trees and pollen. 

But that hasn’t stopped me from learning to enjoy camping and running and spending time outdoors. Sure, this is probably why I never got into outdoor cooking early on, but it’s only part of the story.

2. I don’t like fire. 

Fire is unpredictable. Sure there are knobs to control the amount of gas and the flame level but those only do so much. Fire reacts to changes in the wind, and food particles (see #6 below). In my kitchen, there is a pot or pan in between the food and the heat source. And honestly, I’ve never been a big fan of gas stoves either. I just don’t like the unpredictability of fire. Ever run out of matches or had an igniter go out when trying to light an electric stove? Trick question.

3. It’s dirty

 When I’m done cooking meat in a pan on the stove top, I let the pan cool down and then I wash it with soap and water. I’m pretty happy with this system. So now I find out that this is the generally accepted cleaning schedule for a BBQ And really cleaning it is a laborious task.

4. Bugs

Bugs in my face. Bugs in my food. Spiders in the gas pipes. Outside = bugs. 

5. That little cup of fat that hangs out the back. 

Gross. And how did that fat get there? That’s right, it slid down the BBQ through a hole. See #3.

6. Takes forever. 

Ever try to cook chicken on an outdoor grill? I just found this article online: 8 Mistakes you’re making when grilling chicken https://www.thisisinsider.com/best-ways-to-cook-chicken-2018-5 The fact that this article even exists means that cooking chicken on a grill is a huge pain in the ass. I can broil chicken in the oven on a pan in 8 minutes. It comes out great every time. 

7. Sausages = grill fire. 

Ok, maybe I’m unlucky. Maybe I don’t have the most expensive BBQ. But what I do know is that on 2 separate occasions I was cooking sausages on the grill and the whole thing burst into flames. I’ve cooked a lot with an oven and I’m proud to say that not once has my oven ever burst into flames.

8. Weather. 

My kitchen works in all seasons. Snow, rain, all good. 

9. I assembled my outdoor grill. 

You’d think that would help right? Instead I’m just more aware of how poorly constructed it is and of the possibility of random explosions.

10. I’m inexperienced. 

This is likely my main issue. If I would have grown up grilling, it would seem normal to me. But I don’t think we even had an outdoor grill until I was in my teens. And even then, I grew up in a place where the winter is long and when it’s warm enough to grill….see #4.


But the truth is, my brother loves to grill outdoors, and he grew up in the same place as I did, so apparently my environment had nothing to do with it.

Sometimes a person just doesn’t like something.

And that’s ok because there are a lot of ways to live in this world.

So all I ask is when someone says they don’t like sports or music or movies or anything that you think is universally liked by everyone you know (like BBQ), just accept them as they are and ask them what they would like on their hamburger. 

How Prune Juice Saved My Ass Featured Image

How Prune Juice Saved My Ass

How Prune Juice Saved My Ass - human buttocks
This is a very simple drawing of human buttocks.

I’ve been wanting to talk about how prune juice saved my ass for a few years now. 

But every time I would think about it, I would realize that talking about the awesome power of prune juice would mean that I would have to talk about my bowel movements. (That means pooping.)

I write a lot about my addiction and mental health issues, so why is it still so hard to talk about pooping?

Sure it’s gross and it smells, but everybody does it. So why don’t we talk about it?

And if I was a person who was having trouble in that department, as many people do, I would want more people to write about simple solutions to my trouble.

So it’s time I shared my simple solution: it’s called prune juice.

How Prune Juice Saved My Ass - prunes
This is an illustration of what prunes wished they looked like.

The Trouble With Bowels

I used to have a lot of trouble going #2.

Often there would be bleeding.

One of the causes of bleeding is hard stool.

How Prune Juice Saved My Ass - hard stool
This is a different kind of hard stool.

The hard stool causes anal fissures which can be painful and they never heal because we all have to move our bowels eventually.

A few years ago, the bleeding and fissures got really bad and I started to worry. I tried changing what I ate, and it didn’t seem to make a difference.

The internet told me that I might need medication or even surgery. This was all very upsetting.

So I went in to see the gastroenterologist and after he examined me he said two words:

“Prune juice.”

I was to drink 4 ounces of prune juice every day and report back in 2 weeks.

No medication. No surgery. Just prunes.

How Prune Juice Saved My Ass - not prunes, but prune juice
Prunes bad. Prune juice good.

But actually he was very clear that eating prunes wouldn’t do the trick.

It had to be prune juice. 

Something about the liquid form that makes it effective.

How Prune Juice Saved My Ass - shot glass
Shot glasses aren’t just for fun anymore.

I was a bit skeptical but I bought some prune juice and every morning for 2 weeks I took 2 shots of the brown liquid.

The thing about prune juice is that it doesn’t taste bad, but it doesn’t taste good either. 

It’s just medium.

It’s like if you put a bunch of raisins in a blender with some water. Like a mincemeat pie smoothie.

But if taking a couple of shots of shriveled plum essence could get rid of my anal fissures, I’m all for the idea.

And guess what. It worked.

No more hard stool. Eventually the fissures healed up and stayed that way.

And the solution was so simple: prune juice.

How Prune Juice Saved My Ass - girls drinking orange juice
You guessed it – there are zero stock photos of anyone drinking prune juice next to a stand full of prunes.

I feel a million times better now.

And every day I have my 2 shots of magical mediocre brown liquid.

I don’t love it but I’m used to it now so it’s really not so bad.

And I’ve learned that if I stop, even for a day, the hard stool starts to come back. It’s just the way I’m built, I guess.

How Prune Juice Saved My Ass - woman with suitcase
I wonder if she has any prune juice in that suitcase?

So whenever I travel, the first thing I do is find prune juice.

Sometimes I have to buy a huge bottle because that’s all they have, but I don’t care.

The alternative is not something I’m looking to experience again.

I want everyone to have the opportunity to escape from a life of uncomfortable bowel movements, so I’m glad I decided to put aside whatever hangups I had about writing about this topic.

We shouldn’t be afraid to talk about things if talking about them might help others.

How Prune Juice Saved My Ass - Man on Toilet
That is a nice looking tub.

So, in conclusion…I love you prune juice!

(Ok, that’s really not true, but it did save my ass.)


And now a word from Grains:

According to Beans, prune juice is the one and only magical food to relieve all of your constipation woes. And while I admire his fervour, as a health professional I must point out that there are many foods that can help.

Foods and juices containing sorbitol

Sorbitol, a sugar alcohol with a laxative effect, is the secret sauce that makes prune juice such a great mover and shaker. However, it’s not the only juice with sorbitol, you might also consider apple juice, or, better yet, pear juice.

Foods rich in fibre

Dietary fibre helps to add bulk to stool and draw water into the colon, making it easier for things to move along in a more comfortable way. What foods contain dietary fibre… why, just two of my favourites: grains and beans!

But that’s not all, here’s a list of some foods you might consider if you want to up your fibre intake:

  • Grains: think whole grains, oatmeal, multigrain cereal, etc
  • Beans and other legumes: I’m talking chickpeas, black beans, lentils, etc.
  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Nuts and Seeds