• Hibachi charcoal is great for grilling. So, so hot.

    Another thing to try with super thin steaks is to plonk the grill directly on top of a fully lit chimney starter. Much smaller cooking area but you can get great crust while keeping it rare in the middle, all in less than a minute on each side.

  • That’s a good shout actually, hadn’t thought of that as a quick and dirty bbq setup.

    I was actually drying out the oven ahead of re-rendering it. Cracks in the old render let a lot of water in over winter and our abysmal spring. I used a few bits of hibachi charcoal to keep it going in between me periodically going out to chuck a bit more wood on. It’s hot as fuck but it burns for so long too. Easily get a couple hours out of it.

    Seemed like a shame to waste the heat so I grabbed a couple little bavette steaks and threw them in there.

    Pizzas today and some more fire based cooking tomorrow ahead of the nicer weather should get it nice and dry fairly soon.

  • What's the go to, standard, widely available charcoal or is just any old lumpwood OK? Sacked off cheap briquettes long ago because of all the filler and left over shit.

  • Big K do a few different lump wood charcoals and they’re all pretty good. The restaurant grade stuff smells incredible when it’s burning but it’s pricey. Their normal big lump stuff is perfectly good and about £6 a bag. They sell it in Morrison’s if there’s one near you

  • Big K in the red bag is always good and you can usually pick it up in cornershops. I use their restaurant one (comes in a big cardboard box ) which is excellent for long cooks, but I order that online.

  • Good briquettes are important for low and slow - you can get consistent thermal mass which makes each cook more predictable. For briquettes Weber, there is also a coconut husk based one from Oz which is great, super hot and super long burn time. But they are so different from the Weber in terms of heat profile that I could only use them for grilling.

    If you want sustainably sourced stuff, the Oxford Charcoal Company does great, great, great lumpwood stuff.

    None of those recommendations meets any of your criteria (standard, widely available, not briquettes) but you know that is how this place works.

  • but you know that is how this place works.

    Ha, yeah. "Anyone recommend a good A?"

    "You could try B, C, D or E"

    But, the input is appreciated. I'll look out for Big K and other mentioned stuff, but not stress too much about just picking up some lumpwood to start with. I'm no pitmaster.

    Mostly looking forward to using my starter chimney again. Love that thing and it's sat in the corner looking forlorn since I've had the grass grill.

  • coconut husk based one from Oz which is great

    I've just started using these, they're very good...

  • Heat Beads! They are not messing around. Burn time is amazing

  • Also - look for the wax filled, raffia fibre all natural BBQ starters. They work really, really well and don't impart any paraffin flavours to the charcoal.

  • I put some on before three o'clock this afternoon, I've smoked a butterflied chicken, baked some spuds and I've just chucked a few sweet potatoes on the last of the embers... Over four hours from one chimney starter!

    I used to buy the normal heat beads but these are way better and hopefully a bit more sustainable...

  • Zip do coconut briquettes you can get in Tescos which have been good for me and I've seen the Big K restaurant stuff in my local Turkish supermarkets, bags and some boxed stuff

  • Im off to the moorcock today near Huddersfield, they have an amazing set up, If any of you are ever up north you need to check it out!

  • This is the moorcock set up.

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  • Thought I’d give a super cheap bit of gammon a go, rubbed it with lime, chipotle and chilli flakes before which lead to a friend describing it as looking like a meat cheesecake.

    Turned out pretty well

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  • I’ve thought about doing gammon for a while, that looks superb. What was the size of the joint you cooked and roughly what temp / for how long?

  • I hadn’t done a joint on the bbq so when I saw a standard gammon reduced in Asda to £2.50 it had to be worth an experiment!!!

    I had a look round and it seemed to be 250 for 4 and a half to 5 hours but I now realise that is for a larger joint. Anyway, I got the Aldi kamado up to a steady 250, rubbed the gammon in chipotle and lime seasoning, added some chilli flakes and put it on the bbq with indirect heat. After 90 minutes or so I couldn’t resist having a peek, it looked close to done so I lowered the heat for 10 minutes and took it out. Crust was a bit chewy but meat tasted good and you could tell it had the rub on when cooking.

    For a first go I was happy that it was edible and I didn’t get food poisoning, think next time I’ll go with less heat (maybe 175?) and leave in for longer.

  • Nice one, it certainly looks the part. I’ll give our local Asda a look next week, I want to give it a try with a coke glaze.

  • Like the sound of a coke (and chilli) glaze!

    Aldi and Lidl also have similar priced lumps of meat, will be staying at that end until I think it’s safe to risk something of better quality.

    Next experiment - beer can chicken

  • Weber arrived today, very happy with it so far. Aldi now have a mini kamado to pre order


  • Did this a week ago. Delicious.

  • theres goes 80 quid

  • Aldi kamado arrived this morning - a bit of a beast. No doubt we'll be experimenting soon.

  • Are those kamado minis good for noob bbq-ers?

  • Some bratwurst for a first test

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Outdoor cooking - Barbecues, Barbecue, BBQs, BBQ, Smokers, Grills

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