Heat Beads- Review by Christine Dale

Heat Beads are the number one best seller in Australia. One of our supporters Heat Beads UK offered the team a bag of briquettes to try out and review, as I had never used them before I said I would do it. I have seen a lot of people saying that Heat Beads are their favourite briquette. I live in Northern Ireland and haven’t seen anywhere that stocks them locally, this could well be an opportunity for someone.

The bag is 4kg in weight and the briquettes when I opened them were smaller than the Weber ones I usually use (see picture below), they did however seem much denser and were heavier. Briquettes are my fuel of choice if doing low and slow as they provide a more consistent heat than lump wood. The exception to this is in a Ceramic BBQ where I always use lump wood.

I decided to use our baby Bristol Drum Smoker and the minion method to see how long they would last. I set up the fire basket and only used half a bag. I had heard that they were hard to light so I put a bit of lump wood in the mini chimney and a few heat beads on top. I used a wood wool starter to light. In about 15 mins they were well lit and I tipped them into the drum. I put in the deflector plate and set up the IGrill to monitor the temperature (Our kitchen is on the first floor so this saves a lot of running up and down to check the temperature) After about 15 mins the bbq was coming up to temp, this is slightly quicker than the weber ones, that can take 20-30 mins, I closed the two side bottom vents and left the middle one fully open, and the top vents to half closed and on went the pork shoulder. The bbq sat quite happily between 220°F and 250°F  with a few tweaks now and then on the vents, this is very similar to the Weber briquettes but the Weber ones need a bit more babysitting. You can see this on the graph in the picture below, the top line is the drum temperature.  At around the 7 hr mark the temp started to drop and as the pork was ready to wrap, I wrapped the pork and added a few more briquettes as the fire basket was down to a handful of unburned briquettes, this brought the temp back to the desired range and after another 2 hours the pork was ready. The Weber briquettes would last a similar length of time in the Baby drum although in the slightly bigger fire-basket in the Weber Smoky Mountain I have got 13 ½ hours but obviously this was using more briquettes. I have no doubt the Heat Beads would do the same.  I need to try Heat Beads in the Weber Smoky Mountain.

I still have some left and I plan to do a Rotisserie cook with them, I am sure they will work equally well at the hotter end of the temperature spectrum and their density will make them long lasting too.

The briquettes give off much less ash than others I have used and this is great as this means there is less chance of them snuffing out. I will try and source these briquettes although delivery charges may be a killer. That’s one of the joys of living in Northern Ireland some people think we are in Outer Mongolia.

In summary, 7 hours on half a bag in our baby drum is an excellent result, much longer than the 4 hours they claim to last and I can certainly recommend these briquettes. Good consistency and heat throughout the cook.

Heat Beads are distributed in the UK by

http://www.hiltonbanks.com/5_heatbeads.htm

The Men and Women behind UK BBQ – Emma Millest Bunch of Swines

Emma is the prettier half of the competition team Bunch of Swines, (Sorry Ed) they have been competing and winning in competitions all round Europe and America in recent years. Emma was also a competitor on ITV’s UK BBQ Champ in 2015

1. What got you into BBQ’ng?
YouTube found some Texas guys cooking big chunks of meat on a Webber kettle and thought I can do that.

2. How many BBQ’s do you have at home and what is your favourite method of cooking?
Where do I start…at home we currently have a Yoder pellet cooker, a PK grill, a UDS and a Webber kettle. However, at our lockup we have a Jambo (stick burner), 4 gateway smokers, 2 WSM, 1 Backwards cabinet smoker, 1 meadow creek and several Kettles and much much more. My favourite method of cooking is hot and fast over a mixture of wood and charcoal.

3. What is your favourite piece of BBQ equipment? This can be a BBQ or an accessory and we want to know why.
For me it’s the Thermaq with mini needles are so small that they do not leave any needle marks in the meat and the leads are easy to wrap in tinfoil too. Also, and almost just as important my slippers! (especially when cooking competition, you are constantly on your feet and must be comfortable.)

4. What was the best BBQ food you have ever eaten?
At the American Royal 6 years ago, I was given a slice of brisket from an American team called Big T’s crew and it was the best brisket I have ever tasted. He then went on to win team of the year in brisket that year.

5. Tell us about your worst BBQ disaster? My BBQ disaster was cooking mussel, the mussels overcook really quickly and exploded across the room. They can get some serious air distance!

6. Name a dish you have never cooked but would love to try?
I would love to learn how to cook Dim sum.

7. Who is the person you would most like to cook with?
It would have to be my partner in crime Edward Gash, I know its soppy.

8. What is your favourite song to cook to?
Anything that has a good beat, normally drum and base.

9. Best toppings for a BBQ burger? Caramelised red onion and blue cheese.

10. What’s your favourite non-BBQ food guilty pleasure? Chinese food seaweed and salt and pepper squid.

The Men and Women behind UK BBQ – Marcus Bawdon of Country Wood Smoke Fame

In addition to running multiple websites, which include food blogging, fantastic photography, reviews on BBQ Equipment and a U Tube Channel. Marcus produces UKBBQMag and runs BBQ courses.

1. What got you into BBQ’ng?
I’d recently started eating meat and had just moved to the countryside, I was cooking burgers and sausages for ever larger social gatherings, but realised I was missing out on a lot because I was stuck to the grill. I started researching other ways of cooking such as whole pigs on rotisseries, wood fired ovens and low’n’slow American style BBQ, I soon realised I was hooked.

2. How many BBQ’s do you have at home and what is your favourite method of cooking?
I have around 40, and 8 wood fired ovens, I’m very fortunate to work with a number of brands and do a lot of reviews, photography and videos with them. I can’t really pick a favourite I love all forms of outdoor cooking.

3. What is your favourite piece of BBQ equipment? This can be a BBQ or an accessory and we want to know why.
I couldn’t be without a thermapen, not just for temps but for knowing by feel how meat is cooking and when the tougher cuts are ready.

4. What was the best BBQ food you have ever eaten?
I remember a grilled seafood platter and a cold bottle of white and watching the sun go down over the sea in Queensland very fondly.

5. Tell us about your worst BBQ disaster?
Back when I tried my hand at BBQ catering, stood in a sodden field, with thousands of pounds worth of sausages and meat at a supposed big event, where everyone stayed away due to a bad weather forecast.

6. Name a dish you have never cooked but would love to try?
A whole cow cooked slowly near a fire.

7. Who is the person you would most like to cook with?
Francis Mallmann

8. What is your favourite song to cook to?
A bit of dirty Blues, no song in particular.

9. Best toppings for a BBQ burger?
Amercian cheese, good bacon, gherkin and chilli jam

10. What’s your favourite non-BBQ food guilty pleasure?
Caramel crème pots

For more top tips visit his web site @ http://countrywoodsmoke.com/

Follow Marcus on social media
FB:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/CountryWoodSmoke/
You Tube:  https://www.youtube.com/user/CountryWoodSmoke
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/devonwoodsmoke#
Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/countrywoodsmoke/

American Hot Dogs

American Hot Dogs

American Hot Dog
  • Prep Time5 min
  • Cook Time20 min
  • Total Time25 min
  • Yield4 Servings

Ingredients

For the hot dogs

  • 4 Sausages
  • 4 Hot Dog Rolls
  • Left over Chilli (from the OTT Chilli recipe)
  • Grated cheese
  • American Mustard
  • Ketchup

For the Beer Onions

  • 2 Small onions sliced into half moons
  • 2tbls olive oil
  • 200mls of beer

Method

1

Set your bbq up for the canyon method, i.e coals on one side and none on the other which creates a cool zone to control flare.

2

Grill you sausages until they reach an internal temp of 160F or 72C and are golden brown.

3

Heat your chilli in a pot while the sausages are cooking

4

To make the beer onions heat the oil in a frying pan and soften the onions slightly, add a little beer and simmer until it evaporates (similar to making a risotto) repeat until all the beer is used up and the onions are soft and sweet.

5

Slice the Hot Dog rolls add your sausages and load with your toppings of choice, drizzle with ketchup and American mustard.

Recipe from Chillin N Grillin NI. Check us out on Facebook: Chillin N Grillin NI or Twitter @grillin_ni or Instagram @alanchristine

American hot dog

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Jumbuck Rondo – Review by Ady

For this years UKBBQWEEK I decided yet again to try out another affordable BBQ.

I had a look in several stores and online and decided to purchase a Jumbuck Rondo Rotisserie from Homebase. They are usually on sale at £65.00 but I fell lucky and picked one up for the bargain price of £50.00 !!! I swiftly returned home and opened the box, nice easy to understand instructions, really easy to build.

So the hardware.

  • Easy to build.
  • Nice and solid when built.
  • Very workable grilling area.
  • Rotisserie motor is really quiet and powerful, with the added bonus of a balance weight.
  • Could easily be popped in the boot of a car and taken on a picnic or camping trip, all you would require is a battery rotisserie motor.
  • Superb value for money.

Right, all looking good,so how does it perform?

The first cook,

I marinaded overnight some boneless, skinless chicken thighs using the Tandoori Chicken recipe by Dan Toomes (@thecurryguy)

Amelia lit two Heat Beads firelighters and a chimney starter was placed on top filled with half a chimney of Heat Beads. Whilst the Heat Beads charcoal briquettes was coming up to temperature I threaded the chicken on to the rotisserie. I then placed the rotisserie on the Rondo without the motor and span it so it ran freely and let it settle, then place the weight on the opposite side and spin until balanced. I then dumped the coals on to the heat deflector and I used a foil tray to creat a two zone set up.

The skewer was placed on to the rotisserie and engaged into the motor, switched on the rotisserie and let it do its thing.

After 30 mins I realised that I didnt need the two zone set wasnt necessary, because it doesn’t have a lid the direct method works a treat. I tested the temperature using a thermapen until it read 74c in several locations, switched off the rotisserie and removed the chicken. I removed the skewer and the holding forks and placed on a plate and covered loosely and let rest.

Popped a flatbread on the Jumbucks grill and warmed through, popped on some of the chicken and voila.

 

Conclusion

The Jumbuck Rondo is and amazing priced piece of BBQ equipment, and the price point is a bargain I’d happily give it 8 out of 10, but if Jumbuck gave this little grill a lid it would be a 10 out of 10.

Just for clarity I purchased all of the equipment and the views are my own.

Competition Style Pork Spare Ribs

Competition Style Pork Spare Ribs

  • Prep Time30 min
  • Cook Time4 hr
  • Total Time4 hr 30 min
  • Yield2 Servings
  • Cooking Method
    • Indirect & braise

Ingredients

  • 1x Rack Pork Spare Ribs, trimmed St. Louis style
  • American style mustard or olive oil.
  • BBQ rubs of your choice, I used a light layer of Meat Church BBQ "Honey Hog Hot" and a top layer of Killer Hogs "THE BBQ RUB"
  • 50g Brown sugar
  • 25g Runny honey
  • 25g Unsalted butter
  • 25g of Kansas City Style BBQ sauce mixed with 25g White wine vinegar.
  • 50g of Kansas City Style BBQ sauce, warmed through at the end of the cook to glaze.
  • Kitchen foil.

Method

1

Allow ribs to reach room temperature.

2

Check the ribs and remove and sharp pieces of bone or flappy bits of meat that will burn.

3

Remove the membrane off the back side of the ribs, this is easily achieved by sliding a blunt knife under the membrane and pulling off with kitchen paper.

4

Apply a small quantity of american style mustard or oil on one side of the ribs.

5

Apply a light coat of the first rub, don’t rub the rub in the ribs let it tack up itself.

6

Flip the ribs over and repeat.

7

When the ribs have tacked up apply the second layer a little heavier, then flip over and do the other side.

8

Leave the rubs to do there magic whilst you prepare your Smoker or kettle with a lid, aim for 250 / 275°F (121 / 135°C)

9

Put the smoking wood on the coals about two chunks of fruit wood, i prefer apple, pear or cherry.

10

After 30 mins lift the lid and quickly spritz the ribs with water, and keep spritzing every 30 mins or so.

11

Whilst you are waiting lay 1 large sheet of kitchen foil down and place 50g of sugar 25g of butter in a line down the foil, then drizzle the honey evenly over the sugar and butter.

12

At the two hour mark remove the ribs and place meat side down on the sugar, butter and honey, pour the bbq and vinegar over the backside of the ribs straight down the middle.

13

Wrap the ribs well making sure the bones dont pop through.

14

Return to grill smoker meat side down, check again after a hour, the bones should have about 13mm pull back and the back of the ribs will have degraded. if not cover up and remove when they are.

15

When removed open the foil to let out the steam and slow the cooking process down, leave for 15 minutes then discard the foil and juices and pop the ribs back on the smoker or grill and a apply the bbq sauce as a glaze.

16

Leave for 15 mins and remove, allow 15 to 20 minutes to relax and enjoy.

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Competition Style Pork Spare Ribs

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Beef Tri Tip

Beef Tri Tip

  • Prep Time10 min
  • Cook Time30 min
  • Total Time40 min
  • Yield8 Servings
  • Cooking Method
    • In-Direct and Reverse Sear

Ingredients

  • 2kg Tri Tip
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method

1

Tri Tip is a great bit of beef and only really needs salt and pepper, although you can add anything you would normally add to beef. Apply this an hour in advance of cooking.

2

Prepare you barbecue with the coals on one side and a medium heat.

3

Cook the beef indirectly until an internal temp(IT) of approximately 42c/105f. This will give you some room to grill up the outside and generally take 25/30 minutes.

4

Put the beef directly over the coals turning every 2 minutes replacing the lid in between to avoid flare ups. Once the IT is at 52c/125f take of the heat as it will continue to creep up during resting.

5

Tri Tip has two muscles. For Best results cut between the muscles and then cut across the grain of each.

Recipe from Tim Donald of Silverback Grillers

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Tri Tip

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Spanish Paella

Spanish Paella

  • Prep Time10 min
  • Cook Time30 min
  • Total Time40 min
  • Yield4 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 sachet Schwartz Paella Recipe Mix
  • 2 chicken breasts, diced into cubes
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 100g (4oz) chorizo, diced
  • 325g (11oz) paella or risotto rice
  • 1 litre (1¾ pints) water
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 200g (7oz) raw prawns, defrosted if frozen or seafood selection (Sainsbury’s)
  • 100g (4oz) frozen peas
  • 1 lemon, cut into quarters

Equipment

  • Chimney Starter (Optional)
  • Paella Pan

Method

1

Using a chimney starter, place half chimney of charcoal or briquettes and light the starter.

2

Tip the fuel into the center of the bbq or into coal baskets, arrange centrally.

3

Add a splash of vegetable oil in the pan and fry diced chicken breasts, onion and chorizo for 6-7 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add rice and cook for a further minute, stirring.

4

Mix sachet contents with water, stir into pan with red pepper and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer stirring occasionally for 20 minutes, or until water is mostly absorbed and rice is cooked.

5

Add prawns and peas, cook for a further 3-4 minutes, or until prawns are cooked through. Ensure chicken is cooked through before serving.

6

Serve immediately and serve with the lemon quarters.

Recipe from @BBQStuUK

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Spanish Paella

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DJ BBQ Tomato Pie

DJ BBQ Tomato Pie

Tomato Pie
  • Prep Time15 min
  • Cook Time30 min
  • Total Time45 min
  • Yield2-4 Servings

Ingredients

  • Knob of butter
  • 150g (5½oz) mature Cheddar cheese, grated (shredded)
  • 1 onion, grated (shredded)
  • 100g (3½oz/½ cup) mayonnaise
  • Glug of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 10 slices of day-old white bread (use a sourdough for next-level deliciousness), crusts removed, cut or ripped into cubes
  • 6–8 ripe tomatoes, ends removed, sliced
  • 1 spring onion (scallion), sliced
  • 1 red chilli, sliced (optional)
  • Sea salt and black pepper

Method

Preparing the Kebabs

1

You’ll need a medium ovenproof dish. I use a round cast-iron pan that’s got a bit of depth to it. Grease the dish or pan with the butter and make sure you hit the sides so the pie doesn’t stick to the pan.

Method

2

Chuck the cheese, onion and mayonnaise into a large bowl. Add a glug of Worcestershire sauce, the oregano and a pinch of salt and pepper. Take your magic spoon wand and conjure up greatness (mix well).

3

Cover the base of the pan with half of the bread cubes. You only want one layer, as there’s another to go.

4

Next, cover the bread with a layer of sliced tomatoes (saving your best looking slices for later), slightly overlapping.

5

Take a large deep frying pan, or an even a heavy-bottomed small roasting tin, add the onion, sesame oil, garlic and ginger and season with salt and pepper

6

Season with salt and pepper. Then throw on another layer of bread.

7

It’s cheesy time! Using a spatula, cover the bread with half the cheese mix.

8

Now use your school art skills to make a perfect layer of your best tomato slices overlapping gorgeously on top of the cheese mix. Then slather the rest of the cheese mix on top of the tomatoes

9

Finally, make it rain with spring onion and red chilli slices, and crack a bit more pepper on top.

10

Make sure your bbq is at around 190°C (375°F). Place the pie over the heat canyon on the indirect heat. (Heat canyon is with the coals banked at either side)

11

Place the lid on and cook for 25–30 minutes – the lid will help it turn golden on top

Extracted from Fire Food: The Ultimate BBQ Cookbook by DJ BBQ (Quadrille, £15) Photography © David Loftus

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Tomato Pie

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5 Top Tips for BBQ from Marcus Bawdon of Country Wood Smoke Fame

Tip 1 – Use a digital probe thermometer. E.g a Thermapen, this will give confidence to know that the food is cooked how you like it and is safe to eat.

Tip 2 – Set up the bbq for 2 zone cooking, more heat (i.e coals) on one side and lower heat on the other this way you can have a good degree of control over the cooking.

Tip 3 – Use your lid, if your bbq comes with a lid then use it, it’s not just to keep the rain off, it will turn your grill into a smoky oven.

Tip 4 – Make sure the lid vent is over the indirect side this will give more even cooking

Tip 5 – Keep well hydrated when bbqing, it’s thirsty work so make sure you have your tipple of choice chilled and close to hand.

For more top tips visit his web site @ http://countrywoodsmoke.com/

Follow Marcus on social media
FB:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/CountryWoodSmoke/
You Tube:  https://www.youtube.com/user/CountryWoodSmoke
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/devonwoodsmoke#
Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/countrywoodsmoke/