Sunday, 9 March 2014

First BBQ of the year

Like many Brits today we had an impromptu BBQ to make the most of the sunshine we were due.
I decided yesterday when the guy I was working for said that they were having one due to the forecast - the seed had been sown! I phoned up some friends to see if they wanted to come over. They were all keen - but Justin asked the fatal question - "Do you want me to bring anything?"
"Er... A barbecue maybe." was my reply.
Ours had cooked it's last meal back in the summer. It had become so rusty and wobbly that the slightest movement on the grill meant it would lurch about like a drunk man making you fear for the safety of your meat!
 In the end he brought two barbecues with him and we set ourselves up a little "toddler proof" area to cook in.
The "mans" area behind the mesh! No toddlers aloud!
 The second, smaller, barbecue was his idea, it was to smoke a whole chicken. filled with white hot coals and then layered with massive amounts of  rosemary and bay leaves, the lid was placed back on and the chicken smoked away happily for two hours.
Smoked chicken - it was good!
When we got it out the meat was beautifully juicy and the skin tasted amazing, we'll be smoking food again that's for sure.
We slowly cooked and ate all afternoon and had a really nice lazy day with the children running around and having fun.
Having this barbecue has made me really determined to cook outside more this year and I want to build myself a really good cooking area and grill.
Has anyone got themselves a good cooking and eating area outside? The Americans seem to be kings of this and whenever I google it I'm always amazed at what they come up with.

22 comments:

  1. What a great afternoon!
    We don't BBQ so can't offer any tips,but BBQ areas/furniture etc are big business here.Literally outdoor kitchens and sitting rooms.
    Jane x

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    1. The weather here doesn't really lend itself to outdoor rooms but as soon as the sun is out thats where I want to be!

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  2. It is such a good feeling when winter finally eases its deathly grip on you enough to be out doors for a spell. I washed the cars for the first time in 3 months on Saturday, mind you, we were only at 7 deg C. Not quite shorts and T shirt weather here yet. Google images for "Parrilla Argentina" for the best ideas around on grills and grilling. No one does it better than them. Note how their grates are made with tiny angle irons to channel the grease away from the flame and avoid flareups. Also note how it is pitched for temperature adjustment.

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    1. Thats the kindo fthing I was thinking about in the long run but I think in the short term it'll be smoething made out of an old oil barrel!
      Been down to a T-shirt a few times this year when I've managed to pick a sunny spot to work in and the shorts were on yesterday - the white legs were out!

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  3. Kev: Also Google images for "Asado" for some other neat ideas. Americans have nothing on our southern cousins from Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay when it comes to flame and meat.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asado

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    1. Cheers mike. The pictures make my mouth water! Although I think they've got about a months worth of meat on most of those barbecues!

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  4. If I may direct your attention to a past post on the Lazy Farmer. Note: This is purely for entertainment I do not recommend cooking with waste oil and a homebuilt blow torch.
    http://thedailystrumpet.blogspot.com/2011/02/i-like-to-play-with-fire.html

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    1. Now that looked tasty! I think I would have gone with the chicken as well...

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  5. I have two types, a simple one made of welded angle iron and sheet steel formed into a half drum, and a more exotic kind akin to Michael Silvius' Argentine Parilla which has a thatched roof covering three large grills, a work surface and sink. The grill trays for the latter are stainless steel and height adjustable. All, apart from the brickwork and thatching was home made out of scrap metal I scrounged.

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    1. I think for this year it will be something made out of scrap metal found at my dads place and then long term build a proper outdoor cooking area with a clay oven for baking pizzas and bread in. I did think that a clay oven would be a good fun thing for the girls to help me build when they're a little bigger.

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  6. Glad you had a great time!

    Don't own a BBQ, but do eat outside whenever possible. Yesterday, sat outside sowing seeds and listening to the birds, and having my lunch and cups of tea...beautiful!

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    1. I should have been sowing seeds really and getting the garden ready but I just felt like I needed some time to unwind as I've been working a lot lately. I certainly feel better for it!

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  7. We made a patio that faces the bay from our farm last year. Everybody who comes to the farm comments on the view. I often reply with my late grandmother's quote:

    "The view won't feed you."

    It's great to live in the countryside next to the sea. It's even better when you can tend the smallholding and sit down on our second hand patio and have a pints of English bitter watching the fishing boats in the bay. Great post Kev.

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    1. We've got a great view looking over the Malvern hills. The only trouble is we're sat in the shade! It's not too bad though and in the high heat of summer its an advantage really. and I think when your outside in the summer it needs to be English cider really 0 bitter is for winter drinking!

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  8. Hi Kev. We haven't had an outdoor BBQ for about ten years. We still have a BBQ but never use it. BBQing is big business here now and you can buy them for a 1000+ dollars. Crazy. Years ago we used to have a 44 gallon drum BBQ. DH turned it on its side, cut the top third off, set a steel plate in the bottom to hold the coals and wood and a grill on top for the meat. That was the bee's knees! Happy summer.

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    1. Hi Rhonda! I think if I lived where you do I'd be cooking outside all the time! Although maybe the novelty would wear off in the end!
      I'm not going to buy a BBQ - it'll be homemade but not sure on the design yet!

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  9. An impromptu get together is the best type of entertaining - doesn't give you time to stress over the menu, decor, etc. We live in Alabama which is the BarBQue Belt of the USA!

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    1. It was a proper stress free afternoon. No one worried about how fast food was coming out and everyone enjoyed themselves. Thanks for your comment.

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  10. No BBQ here, but perhaps.....one day.....although it does feel like too much hard work carrying things to and fro the kitchen! Here in France most houses have a summer kitchen, which is under cover but has no walls. This is not to protect the diners from the rain, but from the sun. We were supposed to be having such a place at the end of the middle barn, but now the goats are in that barn so perhaps not! Might get Lester to make a veg prep area outside though, in the future....sometime.....perhaps! Vx

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    1. I like the idea of a summer kitchen, although there wouldn't be that much need for it over here! We're planningon having some big door we can open out in the kitchen/diner when the extension is built so that should help bring the outside in.
      I'd also like a veg prep arwea outside. Just a big sink would propbably do me!

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