Big boys toys
Whether the weather be fine or whether the weather be not – here are three hot favourites for fantastic outdoor food.
Now’s the time to get your big kit out in the garden and impress the punters with outdoor cooking on a grand scale. And when it comes to grabbing an audience, little can rival the sight of an enormous smoker barbecue making mouthwatering ribs, chicken and burgers.
Designed to produce succulent smoked meats or fish of every type under all weather conditions these heavy-lidded beasts are available to suit any size outdoor space, or depth of pocket.
The best of these black and steel monsters, which look like Stephenson’s Rocket, originate in the US and are available from many UK suppliers as the fashion for this healthy form of cooking continues to expand across Britain. Green Mountain Grills is one well-established brand which produces two of the most successful smokers available – the Daniel Boone and its bigger brother the Jim Bowie. Thankfully, the lid name plates are dropped from those sold outside the States – which will avoid unnecessary confusion between the famous knifeman of the Old West and the former presenter of Bullseye!
The Jim Bowie is a digitally-controllable pellet grill fuelled by blocks of compressed fragrant sawdust, to give predictable cooking times under any outdoor temperatures.
This fuel method is also economic as it cuts the risk of waste through overcooking and claims nothing should ever be burnt, as built-in thermometers govern the smoker’s temperature. Another advantage over conventional open grills is the ability to control cooking times and give a steady flow of food due to the variety of rack heights within the smoking chamber. Weighing in at about 12 stone and reaching shoulder height, the good news is it comes on heavy duty wheels, so this valuable big lump of metal can be moved easily to safety after use.
More info at www.greenmountaingrills.co.uk
To avoid the risk of burning a lovingly -made outdoor Paella by cooking on an open grill the simple answer is to use specially-designed gas ring burners which can be nearly a metre across!
These flat burners normally have two rings of flame to ensure even cooking and are powered from butane cylinders, making them totally portable. One specialist supplier which offers a full range of paella pans and extras is eat Paella, who import all their kit from leading Spanish manufacturer Vaello Campos, of Valencia – the birth place of this famous outdoor dish. See page 43 for details on how you can win a paella kit. They offer six different gas rings, ranging from 20mm to a whopping 70mm in diameter to cope with the largest polished steel catering pans, which grow in size to be giant dishes 115mm in diameter that can hold 60 portions!
More info at www.eatpaella.co.uk
Outdoor pizza ovens are the must-have summer accessory claims a certain TV cook, whose name begins with Jamie. And he’s right! Mr Oliver has thrown his name behind one brand of wood-burning pizza oven, but there is a wide range of manufacturers providing styles and sizes ranging from Chicago brick to more traditional Italian. Bernito Pizza Ovens are based in Shropshire, where they design and make traditional ovens – including practical, portable versions on solid metal trolleys. Their domed and cured clay oven has a bronze finish with a hinged door and detachable chimney, which is useful for storage once wheeled away.
They also provide custom-made commercial versions to suit whatever scale of catering you require. A full range of spatulas, accessories and grills come with every oven, plus free UK delivery. And once installed, all there is to do is light the kindling, add perfumed timber and watch the thermometer rise, ready to bake those perfect pizzas!
More info at www.bernitopizzaovens.co.uk/
Click here for details of how you can win a fabulous Bernito pizza oven.