BBQ Adventures – The Beginning

Barbecuing has been another area of cooking I enjoy, but like most, always just been the normal family affair or get out the BBQ, light and cook burgers, sausages and chicken. Thanks to a good friend Faithless, he started a few years ago delving into the more complex barbecuing recipes, like Beer Butt Chicken (more on that later) and slow and low pulled pork.  As I stay with Faithless on a regular basis as one of my benefits working down in Wiltshire, UK, we have tried a fair few other recipes and it got me wanting to upgrade to an improved BBQ myself. The search began in 2015…(currently ole faithful 6yr BBQ below)

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My search for new bbq began like for most new items with a budget and my needs, such as how often will I bbq like cooking dinner or will I just use it when we have some British sunshine.  I decided a full blown american style large gas bbq wasn’t for me as I am a traditionalist in all my cooking and prefer the old authenticate approaches (charcoal in this case).  I also decided as I didn’t want anything to big in case I didn’t get the passion for cooking out in the British wet weather, so I ended up targeting a something like a kettle style charcoal bbq.  The research began, through YouTube (BBQ Pit Boys, BBQ Pitmaster X, Kettle PitmasterPostal BBQ, Weber BBQs, Napoleon BBQs, many more, see my BBQ Playlist which im always adding too), bbq sites like AmazingRibs and The British BBQ Society have great advice, information and forums.

Decision Time

After many months (appx. 17mth) of research and attending my friends delivering some awesome cooking results, the time had come to make a decision.  I had so far decided on the following requirements and resulting 4 options…

Requirements

  • Budget £100-300 GBP
  • Charcoal Kettle (ball shape with lid)
  • Kettle in built thermometer / Buy seperatley thermometer set
  • Light, easy to move in storage (garage) or out to garden for use
  • Medium area of space required to use (1-2m squared)

Options

  1. Weber Original Kettle Premium (57cm) at £172
  2. Weber MasterTouch (57cm) at £202 with lid stand and built in thermometer
  3. Napoleon Rodeo Charcoal Kettle (57cm) at £171
  4. Napoleon Pro22k Charcoal Kettle (57cm) at £250 hinged lid and built in infrared thermometer, iron cooking grate plus offer of FREE cover worth £48

and the winner was….

Napoleon Pro22k Charcoal Kettle 

Results are a very well made, sturdy, strong metal BBQ with the extra benefit over the other makes of providing 3 heights of cooking for the iron cooking grate, ideal for those larger poultry birds, pork joints, briskets.  In addition I luckily bought during (May2015) the offer of FREE £48 cover which is also very well made and protects in the weathers. The hinged lid works great and removes the worry of dropping the lid during food checks. The final built version is ready for next weeks father-in-law 70th birthday bbq (look out for the next bbq blog entry)

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