Tuesday, July 31, 2012 @ 08:07 AM
Lee Phillips

After a recent visit to Solex, we have learned that the manufacturers behind the Outback barbecue brand are going back to the old lava rock cooking method on all the gas barbecues, they believe that the Outback customer has grown to expect this medium on an Outback barbecue. This is a bold move, after investing in flavour bars for the last two years, going back seems a bit risky to say the least, we have talked in depth about cooking mediums and how they have evolved for gas into what the top BBQ manufacturers now use, to start with, any change can make you a little nervous, however the flavour bar system has become in our opinion the best cooking medium to date, that said lava rocks were used for many years and are a reliable option delivering a similar result.

One of the biggest issues with lava rock is that flavours can carry forward from the last meal, they also need to be replaced ideally each year, whereas a flavour bar can be used for many years without needing to be replaced.Lava rocks can also promote flare ups, especially when they have been used over a long period of time, they will slowly absorb fats.

Were not against the move back, but do fear that the move will further confuse customers, especially those who have bought into the new flavour bar Outback BBQ, promoted as the new medium, that is now reverting back to the old. Some customers love lava rocks, and in honesty we can understand Outback’s position, I am sure were not the only Outback dealer to have a lot of calls requesting a barbecue with lava rock, so if the research into the Outback customer is correct, it is indeed a more expected medium, this is also a cheaper option to produce so with the company standing firm to it’s roots it does make sense for them from a price point to move back to the old system, keeping manufacturing costs down means that the consumer still gets the Outback barbecue that they want at a price that remains very competitive in today’s leisure industry.

Moving back to lava rock means that another year see’s a complete re-vamp of the barbecue range, often referred top as the for fiesta, the Outback barbecue carries the same name throughout years of change, and old Hunter is not the same as a new one, the odd face lift here and there sees the models change in size and subtle design.

One of the biggest let downs for us is news that the combi barbecue will not be with us, certainly for next year, though Outback claim it will not be returning at all, a major blow really as this barbecue has grown in popularity since its launch, with customers loving the double barrel option, charcoal for smoking and gas for cooking all in one unit really did impress, so this is one move we really do hope they go back on.

As far as we know, all other models will remain for 2013, converted back to lava rock, but names will stay the same, we also understand that with the reversal back to lava rocks, some pricing will reflect the change and fall, lets just hope that our British Summer will support the industry for longer in 2013!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 @ 06:07 AM
Lee Phillips

Sweet potatoes are very often overlooked, however they shouldn’t be, a sweet potato can be a substitute for normal potatoes, or paired for an extra level of taste to a normal dish, boiled or roasted they are full of flavour and good for you, for best results in any dish, wash well and leave the skins on, here we have a fantastic grill recipe for the perfect sweet potato roasties!

Makes 4 potatoes
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 small sweet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 28g Grand Marnier
  • 57g  butter, melted
  • salt to taste

Cooking Method

  1. Preheat the grill to medium high, preparing for indirect cooking.
  2. Cut off a small slice on the bottom of the potatoes so that they sit flat on the counter. Rest the potato between a couple of disposable chopsticks and slice the potatoes with a sharp knife every 1/8th of an inch. The chopsticks act as a stop so that you don’t slice all the way through your potato, and I suggest again, disposable ones so that you don’t ruin your favourite pair.
  3. Rinse the potatoes well under cold water, even in between the slices.
  4. Microwave the potatoes for 4 minutes, then carefully flip them over and microwave again for another 4 minutes.
  5. Carefully remove the potatoes from the microwave and brush with olive oil, season with salt to taste.
  6. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the butter and add the Grand Marnier, stirring to combine.
  7. Place the potatoes on the cool side of the grill and grill bake for 30 minutes, basting frequently with the Grand Marnier butter. When they’re done you want the middles to be soft and the edges to be crunchy.
  8. Carefully remove them from the grill and serve warm.

Thursday, July 26, 2012 @ 05:07 PM
Lee Phillips

This year has seen a huge increase in the sale and production of masonry stoves, one brand in particular is Buschbeck, constructed from masonry with stunning visual design and practical use, Buschbeck stoves can be used as garden fireplaces, or ovens and barbecues, a versatile centre piece for any garden with a design suitable for all.

Now with increased popularity for the entire range, more accessories are becoming available, from gas inserts for those who want to use the stove as more of a barbecue, to pizza ovens and heavy duty grill plates. The added beauty is that you are never limited to any one type of fuel, most Buschbeck stoves can be used with anything from wood, to charcoal and briquettes, and you can choose what fuel to burn depending on what your either cooking, or simply using it for a focal point on a mild summer evening, adding a little heat to your surroundings, letting you enjoy the garden you work so hard for.

With prices starting at around £350 it also doesn’t cost the earth to own one, do however bear in mind that they are heavy, so a permanent site must be located and assembly often requires the cementing of each part, all you need is included with every stove, but once erected, it would be a big job to take down, so choose your location well, and leave enough space around it for safety and cleaning.

Most who choose a masonry stove already own a barbecue, the stove is used for occasional cooking, but prmarily as an outdoor fireplace, however if you have the budget we really do recommend the pizza insert, if you cook nothing else, you really should try it for the perfect pizzas!

Thursday, July 26, 2012 @ 04:07 PM
Lee Phillips

For all you vegetable lovers out there this recipe is perfect as an accompaniment to your main, or as a stand-alone meal, barbecuing isn’t just about meat, you can create a perfect meal no matter what on the grill, this recipe is from Broil King BBQs and we love it!

Ingredients

  • 256g broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 256g cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 zucchini, sliced 1⁄4″ thick
  • 128g carrots, sliced on the diagonal
  • 128g sugar snap peas, strings removed
  • 3 green onions, sliced sharply on the diagonal

For the Marinade

  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp Asian chili sauce
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

For the Garnish

  • 2 tsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Directions

  1. Prepare all the vegetables and place in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the marinade ingredients. Pour the marinade over the vegetables and toss to coat evenly.
  2. Preheat barbecue on HIGH, placing the deep dish grill wok on the cooking grids. Use the direct grilling method.
  3. Brush or spray the grill wok liberally with vegetable oil. Place all of the vegetables into the wok, and stir briefly, then close the lid of the grill.
  4. Continue to toss the vegetables with tongs every minute, until the vegetables are tender-crisp and starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Keep the lid closed when not turning the veggies.
  5. Remove from the grill and place in serving dish. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and toasted sesame seeds. Serve hot.
  6. These vegetables are partly stir-fried, and partly roasted, resulting in tasty, caramelized morsels.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012 @ 10:07 AM
Lee Phillips
Perfect for all you prawn lovers, this one my daughter loves, cooked on the barbecue and perfect for either gas or charcoal. More suited to a starter, however by adding rice to the dish, it can soon become a main, if you have family members like my 9 year old, you may need to double up on the prawns!!
Recipe Type: Starter or Main
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 8 mins
Total time: 28 mins
Serves: 3 – 4
Ingredients
  • 20 raw tiger prawns, peeled with black veins removed
  • Red, green and yellow peppers
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Your choice of sauce
Instructions
  1. Peel the prawns, cut the peppers into chunks and thread onto double pronged skewers, alternating between prawns and peppers.
  2. Season with black pepper, place on the cooking grate and grill over a medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes or until the prawns are pink. Remember, keep the lid closed as much as possible during cooking.
  3. Turn the skewers halfway through cooking and using a basting brush, brush the prawns and peppers with your barbecue sauce.
  4. Remove the skewers from the heat and serve immediately.
Notes

Enjoy with a cool glass of Casillero del Diablo Sauvignon Blanc

Accessories include:
Basting brush
Double pronged skewers (these keep the food in place without the prawns spinning)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 @ 06:07 AM
Lee Phillips

Ingredients: (This recipe is best cooked on a charcoal barbecue.)

  • 4 racks of baby back ribs, 1 – 1.5kg each
  • Your choice of barbecue rub (why not try some Butt Rub!)
  • A good quality barbecue sauce

Barbecue Accessories:

  • Rib Rack
  • Basting Brush
  • Charcoal Briquette Holder
  • Pecan Wood Chips

Cooking Method:

  1. Soak three handfuls of pecan wood chips for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Take a dinner knife and slide it under the membrane at one end of the rack of ribs. Lift and loosen the membrane until it tears, then grab the edge of the membrane with kitchen paper and pull it off.
  3. Season the ribs with your choice of barbecue rub, making sure you press the spices into the meaty side so they don’t fall off. Don’t add any sauce yet.
  4. Stand the ribs in a rib rack, all facing the same direction.
  5. Place ¾ of a chimney starter of lit briquettes into a charcoal briquette holder on one side of the cooking grate. Place a large drip tray at the other side and fill it halfway with water.
  6. Put the cooking grate in place and put the rib rack on the cooking grate directly above the drip tray. Add a handful of wood chips to the briquettes and smoke for one hour with the lid on. The target temperature for the barbecue is approx. 150°C – if your barbecue is too hot, half close the lid vent.
  7. After an hour add three unlit briquettes to the briquette holder and another handful of wood chips. Close the lid again; repeat this step after a further hour of smoking.
  8. After three hours of cooking open the lid and using a basting brush, brush the ribs with the barbecue sauce and cook for another 20 minutes. You can tell when the ribs are cooked by picking up the rack at one end with tongs – it should bend in the middle and the meat should tear easily.
  9. Remove the ribs from the rib rack and wrap in tinfoil. Leave to rest for 15 minutes before cutting into individual ribs, then serve.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 @ 06:07 AM
Lee Phillips

The theme of the week is good taste. That can consist of many different things, and is unique to each person! Some like it spicy, some sweet and others salty. Today, we explore those flavours, starting with this smoked chicken wrap for the grill.

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 25 to 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 8-inch long x 6-inch wide
    cedar wood wraps, soaked in water
  • 8 6-inch pieces of butcher’s twine,
    soaked in water
  • 55g butter
  • 2 medium red peppers, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 384g cornbread, crumbled
  • 64g shredded, mozzarella cheese
  • 55g diced dried pear or raisins
  • 60ml Southern Comfort liqueur
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 boneless, skin on chicken legs
  • 2 tbsp. Bone Dust BBQ Seasoning
  • 4 slices bacon, fried but not crisp

Method

  1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. In a frying pan, melt butter. Add peppers and onion and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until tender. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl.
  2. Combine pepper mixture with green onions, cornbread, mozzarella, dried pear and liqueur. Season with salt and pepper to taste; set aside. The mixture should be moist and sticky but not wet.
  3. Place the chicken legs in a single layer between two sheets of plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet, pound the chicken legs so that they are uniform in thickness, about ¼ to ½ inch thick.
  4. Spread a flattened chicken leg out on a flat work surface, skin side down.
  5. Season chicken with an equal amount of Bone Dust BBQ Seasoning. Take a quarter of the cornbread mixture and place it at one end of the flattened meat. Tightly roll the chicken around the stuffing into a cigar shape.
  6. Tightly wrap a strip of partially cooked bacon around each chicken roll. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Place bacon-wrapped chicken onto wraps. Following the grain of the wood, roll chicken tightly in wrap to make a cigar-shaped roll; tie in two places with the wet twine. Note: You may need someone to assist you with this part. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Preheat barbecue to medium heat. Place wraps on grill. Set the burner directly under the wraps to low heat and close lid. Wrap-roast for 25 to 30 minutes, checking periodically to ensure that the wraps have not caught fire, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the wrap registers 77 °C (170°F). Remove from grill and rest for 5 minutes. Cut twine, unwrap and serve immediately.

Thursday, July 12, 2012 @ 11:07 AM
Lee Phillips

With a hooded barbecue you can create almost any meal, and this doesn’t have to be limited to meat and vegetables, barbecues can roast and bake, you can use charcoal or gas, or if your really into your barbecues why not go for a Broil King Imperial XL and keep the smaller second oven for baking and creating tasty deserts? Anyway here’s how you can make the perfect chocolate brownie on the grill.

You will need:

  • 125g plain chocolate
  • 150g butter
  • 285g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs 1stp vanilla extract
  • 150 pecan nuts (broken)
  • 225g chocolate pieces
  • 125g plain flour

To create the brownie:

  1. Line a large drip tray with greaseproof paper and grease lightly
  2. Melt the plain chocolate and butter in a pan (a barbecue with a side burner is ideal or over direct heat on the grill)
  3. Remove from the heat and add sugar, stir well until all the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time allowing each one to be properly folded into the mixture before adding the next.
  5. Add the vanilla extract, pecan nuts and chocolate pieces.
  6. Stir in the flour thoroughly and pour into the prepared tray.
  7. With the barbecue set up for the roasting method, place the tray on the cooking grate and cook for approx. 30 minutes, keeping the lid closed as much as possible. When a sharp knife is inserted the tip should be sticky and not springy to the touch like a sponge cake.
  8. Serve with your choice of cream, or ice cream.

Thursday, July 12, 2012 @ 09:07 AM
Lee Phillips

We all love pizza, and nothing really beats a home made one, this Weber recipe is perfect for the whole family, with a crispy stone baked base achieved by using a pizza stone on the barbecue, suitable for gas or charcoal cooking this really is a delight. Recipe makes two pizzas.

For the pizza dough:

  • 2 tsp easy blend dried yeast
  • 1tsp sugar
  • 350g plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 200ml warm water
  • 1 to 2 tbsp olive oil

For the tomato sauce:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 600g can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tsp caster sugar

Toppings:

you can use whatever topping you like with this, however to follow how this pizza was made we used ham, mushrooms, rocket and olives.

Cooking method:For the dough, mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre, add the warm water and olive oil and mix into a dough. Knead lightly on a floured surface until smooth, then put into a clean bowl, cover and leave to rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size (approx 15 minutes)

  1. Place the oil in a saucepan with the onion and garlic, saute for 2 to 3 minutes until nicely softened. Add the oregano and tomatoes, simmer for 10 minutes until the mixture has reduced and thickened.
  2. Knead the dough again for a few minutes, then divide in two and roll or press the dough flat. Dust the metal baking tray with flour and place the flattened dough on top.
  3. Devide the tomato sauce between each pizza dough and spread evenly using the back of a spoon, arrange your toppings evenly over the sauce.
  4. With the BBQ set up to cook on a high heat, place the pizza stones in the centre of the cooking grate and leave the stone to warm for 10 minutes.
  5. Place the baking tray, with the pizza onto the stone and cook with the lid down for 10 to 15 minutes or until the base is crispy and the top nicely browned.

Enjoy your freshly cooked pizza with a nice glass of Casillero del Diablo Merlot from Chile. For more information visit the fine Chile wine website.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012 @ 11:07 AM
Lee Phillips

Often looks are put before performance, a real shame and one of the biggest areas to look at is the cook-box, some barbecues just don’t have what it takes, and in the case of the cook-box, size really does matter. To save cost, cook-boxes are often very shallow and thin, or have large openings in the bottom of the casting, obviously designed to use as little steel as possible. However there are serious performance problems created by a thin, shallow or open cook-box that far outweigh the benefit of lower cost.

Shallow Cookbox

  • With a shallow cook-box the burner is located too close to the cooking grids to allow the heat to dissipate properly. This causes uneven heat distribution.
  • With a shallow cook-boxes the vaporizer is positioned too close to the cooking grids. Should you encounter a flare up, it will scorch and burn your food.
  • With a shallow cookbox, there is not enough room in the oven to rotisserie or roast a large chicken, turkey, or prime rib.

Thin Cook-box

  • With a thin cookbox the heat is not distributed evenly within the oven offering poor results when rotisserie cooking or roasting using the indirect or convection method.
  • A thin cook-box that is exposed to very high operating temperatures for extended periods of time is subject to warping and distortion.
Broil King Large Cookbox

Broil King Large Cook-box

Broil King are one of the best barbecue manufacturers for using design that is practical to the product, the heavy appearance isn’t only skin deep, it goes through to the core, robust and reliable barbecues built in Canada. Broil King® cook-boxes are extra deep, made from either die cast aluminum, porcelain coated steel or high grade stainless steel, and are designed to provide superior heat distribution and retention, cooking versatility and long lasting durability, this combined with Broilking’s heavy duty cast iron or stainless steel grills make sure that your barbecue wont just cook, it will create the perfect food whatever the meal.