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Don’t put the BBQ to away just yet!

August 6th, 2019 | by David Paul

With the days becoming sharper and the weather nipping at our toes you’d be forgiven for thinking that this is the time of year when you treat your barbecue to an extra special clean before covering and storing in the shed. However, by packing it away now, you will be missing out on a true British barbecue experience, and even though we’re famed for our damp days and subzero winters, in Britain many of us are realising that the Barbecue can be exploited all year round.

Don’t put the BBQ to away just yet!

The barbecue is a fantastic cooking method for filling whole villages with the aroma of sizzling sausages and it’s guarantee that if you lead the way and show how culinary savvy you are, your neighbours won’t be far behind and your town will soon be relishing those meaty whiffs all through the winter.

Don’t put the BBQ to away just yet

Of course this week we have bonfire night, which wouldn’t be complete without hotdogs, baked potatoes, burgers, toasted marshmallows and toffee apples, however even if you picture cooking these delights on flames topped with a stuffed Guy Fawkes, the reality is the fire will probably be too hot to handle. Whether you’ve invited a host of friends, or are just enjoying a family bonfire, a barbecue set to the side will ensure everyone experiences the full bonfire experience late into the night, as they feast on fat sausages and hot chocolate.

Enjoy the barbecue with a bonfire

You don’t have to have a bonfire to enjoy a winter barbecue though, many people like to add a patio heater to their decking, and wrapping up warm with a glass of wine and a barbecue, can make al fresco dining undeniably magical.

There are also indoor barbecues, so you can have flame grilled burgers and toasted peppers even if it’s raining.

Enjoy the barbecue with a bonfire

If you’re feeling quite extravagant a Nordic Barbecue is a distinctive feature and bound to add mystery and intrigue to any garden. In a hexagonal shape these wooden structures sit comfortably in any plot, with a chargrill set into the floor and a chimney for smoke to flee from. Furnished with cushions guests will revel in the outdoor dining experience as they sit cross legged waiting for their marinated pork chop whilst benefitting from the heat of the grill.

Vegetarians can enjoy barbecues

Even vegetarians enjoy a good barbecue, roasted corn, capsicums, aubergines and courgettes deliver a smoky flavour that is impossible to recreate in an oven or frying pan.Fish lovers are spoilt for choice and adding salmon direct will give a very crispy skin, whilst other fish can be added in tin foil or en papilot with winter herbs such as rosemary and thyme, letting them absorb the flavours as the flames lick the food.

Vegetarians can enjoy barbecues

As an extra special treat for your community, try sparking up a barbecue when you are expecting the carol singers, or the children asking for their penny for the guy. Travelling from house to house in scarves and wooly hats, these door knockers will be bowled over and enchanted by the donation of a hotdog, and the calories will enable them to go that little bit further!

How To Clean Your Barbecue The Easy Way

August 6th, 2019 | by David Paul

Barbecues are so much fun, whether you’re going solo and making yourself a delicious hot dog just because you can or you’re celebrating in style with a bunch of friends and hideous amounts of food! The only trouble is, once you’ve enjoyed the culinary delights there is the state of the barbecue to deal with – burned-on food, mess everywhere from all the sauces, grimy grills, and mucky surfaces

Clean Your Barbecue The Easy Way

Luckily for you we have some top tips for making cleaning your barbecue simple, quick and effective. So whether you intend to keep your barbecue alight all winter or want to give it a thorough clean before tucking it behind the deckchair in the shed until spring time, get ready to clean it the easy way

Grease the grill

Before you begin cooking, lightly coat the barbecue grill in some cooking oil. This helps prevent the food from burning and sticking to the grill – and makes cleaning it afterwards so much easier

Clean Your Barbecue

Move quickly

Not that we’re encouraging you to wolf down your burger or guzzle your grilled salmon but the sooner you’re able to clean the barbecue the easier it will be. Ideally, clean the grill while it’s still warm and the food and sticky stuff haven’t had time to totally harden

The good news is that the barbecue grill stays warm for a while, and you want it to have cooled down sufficiently so it’s not too hot to handle, so you should have ample time to eat your food at a leisurely pace before tackling the cleaning!

Wipe down

When the barbecue has cooled completely, empty the ashes from the kettle and brush away any loose particles, wiping it clean with some kitchen roll. Clean the inside of the lid and exterior surfaces with a damp cloth before leaving to dry or wiping dry

Invest in a wire brush

A good wire brush can save you lots of time and effort when it comes to scrubbing barbecue grills. Brush the grill thoroughly after use, in warm water, and you’ll have the burned and sticky bits off in no time

Clean Your Barbecue

Soak if stubborn

If your barbecue grill is looking really filthy and would benefit from a deep-down clean, leave it to soak in some hot soapy water for a while – this helps loosen even the most stubborn and hard-to-reach patches. You should then be able to clean the grill using a wire brush

Little and often

Tempting as it is to think you’ll skip on cleaning the barbecue just this once, be good and clean after every cooking session. Not only will this ensure you’re eating food that has been cooked on a clean surface but the food will taste nicer too – and the next clean will be that bit easier as you haven’t got the really-hardened-on food stuffs on the grill or built-up charcoal ash to contend with!

Store it well

When not in use, make sure your barbecue is protected from the cold weather and elements. Either place your cleaned barbecue in a shed or garage, or wrap it in a barbecue cover to keep it clean and sheltered

How Do You Build a Brick Barbecue?

August 6th, 2019 | by David Paul

For those who have a nice outdoor area and enjoy cooking meat on open flames, this might be perfect for you. You don’t always have to fork out hundreds of pounds for a 4-burner gas BBQ, definitely not. Instead you can spend a minimal amount of money and still have a great barbecuing area to get your grill on and showcase your cooking talent to your friends and family.

Build a Brick

So, what do you need to get your brick barbecue ready for burgers and sausages? Not much, in fact, if you devote an entire Saturday to it and already have the essentials, you’ll be grilling by Sunday morning – maybe even Saturday night if you push it.

Brick Barbecue

Brick Barbecues: The Necessities

Like most DIY jobs, you need to prepare and have all the right equipment before you start. It’s a good plan to make a check-list of all the things you need; luckily for you, we can help with that:

  • Bricks – this might come as a bit of a surprise, but you will need bricks to build your brick barbecue I’m afraid to say.
  • Cooking Tray – you need something to cook your food on; you might have your own already, but if you don’t you can get some from here
  • Sand & Cement – 4 parts sand to 1 part cement is ideal (fire cement may be beneficial).
  • Spirit Level – you don’t want an uneven grill, your sausages will roll to one side else!

Those are the main things you need, but you might also want to opt for a couple of metal ties to give a bit of reinforcement. If you don’t have any ‘inner walls’ this isn’t really needed, so don’t worry about it too much.

bbq in the garden - brick barbecue

Building a Brick Barbecue: Step By Step Guide

I should apologise that we don’t have any pictures for this guide, but it’s fairly simplistic, so hopefully you should be able to follow the steps without too many problems.

1) Place the cooking tray on the ground and use this as a marker for laying out the first layer of bricks. Where possible try and keep the bricks completely whole rather than cutting them as it will save you time.

2) Once you’ve got the layout as you want, you’ll want to mix 5 parts of sand to 1 part cement and add an appropriate amount of water. Before spreading the mortar, make sure the ground is level (if not, place additional mortar in certain areas to balance it).

3) To get straight lines for the outer edge of the barbecue, place the spirit level in the mortar for a guideline. Now lay the bricks and double check they’re all sitting level. At this stage you might also want to add some metal ties to the bricks to provide extra structural strength.

brick barbecue

4) Now you’re ready to add more layers of bricks. Make sure you start at the corners and it’s advisable to stagger bricks vertically (half the width of a brick) until you hit 5 levels. Now check that the corners are level with each other; if your level isn’t long enough, use a piece of wood.

5) If everything is going to plan, you’ll be ready to build the entire barbecue up to 7 levels using the same method as we mentioned before. At this level, you’ll want to turn roughly 3 bricks on each of the walls (where your tray will sit) sideways to provide support for the charcoal tray. Then you’ll want to do the same again for the main grill tray after another 3 levels of bricks!

6) Now tidy up the cement on the outside to give it a bit of a cleaner look. Depending on the design and layout of the brick barbecue you can also add preparation surfaces with a slab for example.

So there we have the complete guide to building a brick barbecue. If you have any other tips that we could use then why not post in the comment section and we will update it.

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