#11  
Old 04-25-2007, 05:01 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Mishigame & Iberia
Posts: 1,168
Default Re: bbq

On grilling....I agree with CJ....you're using the fire or coals to cook, not the heated masonry. Gas, coals, or wood fire....some reflected heat in the BBQ but that direct energy is the main cooker with the grill.

On moving coals, sure take them out of the oven and move to the grill area....just like turning on a gas grill.....add more wood if you like to keep going. It would be nice to have a large enough grill to have a fire on one side and be grilling on coals on the other.

We have moved the oven coals to start a fire in the outside fireplace too!

I have seen a neat commercial operation that was cooking meats over a bed of coals but it had wood burning in a flat plate and basket gizmo over the grill that was about 8 inches above the cooking meats. I think it was a production thing where they were grilling and making new coals at the same time. (The plate would possible be cooking the meat from above too)

Vertical grills? At least the grease flare ups are kept to a minimum
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  #12  
Old 04-25-2007, 12:54 PM
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Default Re: bbq

Hey X-Jim,

Agreed. It's fun moving coals around -- for grilling and lighting your outdoor fireplace. In my case, it gets some raised eyebrows from the family (walking around with a pail of burning embers).

Here is a link to a restaurant in Florence with a wood-burning grill. They burn the wood in the back, and pull the coals forward.

http://www.fornobravo.com/pizza_oven...ce-grill1.html

Right now, I am wrestling with an inexpensive steel grill and Mediterranean charcoal. The wind blows through the thin steel walls, and seems to cool the coals down almost immediately. At minimum, a thicker masonry grill will protect the coals and let them burn longer.

James
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Last edited by james; 04-25-2007 at 12:58 PM.
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  #13  
Old 04-25-2007, 06:10 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Adelaide, Australia
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Default Re: bbq

Quote:
Originally Posted by james View Post
Any thoughts from our Aussie grill owners?
Well since no-one else has taken this up, most barbecue equipment sold here is of the bottled gas variety, with wheels and four or so burners like the one shown below. They have become quite lavish of late, with optional rotisseries, gas hobs, cupboards below, etc. Weber 'kettles' are also popular, but often used more for roasting. Many people who enjoy outdoor cooking have both a gas barbecue and a Weber in their back yard.

Over the years, I have enjoyed cooking on my Weber, but have never had a decent gas-fired grill, so my new outdoor kitchen will incorporate one of these next to the brick oven. I've been in two minds over this, as our grilling to date has been done on a ground-level cast iron grill & hotplate, using fallen timber from our Eucalypt trees. Most gas-owners (everyone I know!) have thought me crazy for persisting with wood, but the taste of the smoke, especially in lamb chops, is stunning! It will be sorely missed (it had to make way for the oven).

I'm also posting a couple of photo's of grills which we saw/used in Italy last year - the owner of a pensione in Lucca in front of a neat little kitchen grill he uses regularly (it draws very well, judging by the lack of soot stain on the facing brickwork) - and an outdoor one near Ulignano which we cooked on reasonably successfully, although we really couldn't get the coals hot enough. Perhaps the Euro charcoal, James? Or perhaps the concrete base simply sucked a lot of the heat out of the fire. I've not seen either of these styles here to date, and I doubt that there would be any at all built inside a house.

Cheers, Paul.
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  #14  
Old 04-25-2007, 11:41 PM
Bacterium's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Adelaide - South Oz
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Default Re: bbq

My brother has built what he calls his "hot box" which is a steel box lined (sides and bottom) with fire brick - held in place by metal straps here and there.
The top is obviously open where he puts his grill (can vary position higher or lower) and he uses his own charcoal (thats quite fun to help him make). Whatever he uses - charcoal or just plain timber you can cook more with less fuel. Yet you still get some smoke for "charcoal" style of cooking

I've thought about maybe something like his hot box and putting it to the side of my oven.....and like has already been said, using coals from the oven and into the box once they are the right

yes you can't beat lamb or quail cooked like this.......

for all you Aussies..... do you like the Sam Kekovich "Lamb Ads"...they are pearlers
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  #15  
Old 04-26-2007, 03:21 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: bbq

One of the things I've noticed with the masonary bbq's is that they all seem to have a mechanism to allow you to have the grill at different heights.

If you do a masonry one you can stagger firebricks to create a shelf on each side for your grill. I've also seen pieces of angle iron or channel used for this purpose. And finally, I've also seen a variety of overhead roller systems that raised and lowered a grill on hanging chains.

I used to roast whole lamb legs in mine and the ability to sear it down low over the open fire/coals, but then reposition the grill high to slow cook worked very well. It would have been great to have a spit!

James, I've seen whole mechanism's in europe that would slide into a masonry space...walls, grill, ash tray....you might want to find a couple of sizes for FB. As you say, these are everywhere!
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  #16  
Old 04-26-2007, 03:56 AM
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Default Re: bbq

I have a love/hate thing going with Carbone a Legna. When it works, the flavor is really great, and it's very close to real wood coals, but some of it is so cheap that it barely heats up before it starts to give up. And you have to use a lot of it.

Jim, did you ever get a lot of rocks in your charcoal in Spain? Now there's a fond memory. I have to guess that they don't do that any more.

I will look around for a drop-in steel BBQ insert for masonry grills.
James
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  #17  
Old 10-01-2007, 07:45 PM
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Location: Sapphire Coast, NSW
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Default Re: bbq

Quote:
Originally Posted by james View Post
Any thoughts from our Aussie grill owners?

James
A steel 44 gallon drum cut in half length ways (so you have a trough), sitting on top of a stand to bring it up to height. Works well, but doesn't last too long :-)
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  #18  
Old 10-01-2007, 09:00 PM
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Default Re: bbq

Hey Jazz,

Exactly. What's the best way to get a good wood coal fired grill that lasts. We've been talking about how to rid ourselves of the propane BBQ, and we need a serious replacement.

Our new outdoor kitchen has a brick oven, and a spot for a "real" grill.

What goes there?
James
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  #19  
Old 10-01-2007, 11:44 PM
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Default Re: bbq

My Uncle Loucas, who's built two ovens, cooks the best Souvla i have ever tasted on a grill he made by cutting an old stainless propane tank in half the long way.. It's about a foot wide by four feet long, and about nine inches deep.. He rigged up a geared down motor on one side of it to slow spit roast skewers of marinated lamb..
I have a big pile of bricks left over.. I might build a good old aussie bloody brick grill... After the second tier of the deck.. The Redwood hot tub.. The cedar Sauna.. The isolation tank.. The rainy rock garden.. The unpicked and slowly ripening italian, non viniflora grapes from which we are making a white this year.. Insulating the oven.. (Refrax sent us all kinds of awesome stuff..) What started as a movie about a pizza oven has turned into a movie about making a kick ass pizza day spa from recycled, found or donated materials..
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  #20  
Old 10-02-2007, 02:08 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Sapphire Coast, NSW
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Default Re: bbq

Quote:
Originally Posted by james View Post
Hey Jazz,

Exactly. What's the best way to get a good wood coal fired grill that lasts. We've been talking about how to rid ourselves of the propane BBQ, and we need a serious replacement.

Our new outdoor kitchen has a brick oven, and a spot for a "real" grill.

What goes there?
James

I've used other people's wood BBQ's with fancy chimneys and all, and it seems to me none of it actually works. There is an open grill that just makes all this a waste of effort in my view. The 44 Gallon (22 Gallon?) drum works pretty well, so I suggest just make a pit out of normal house bricks (say) about a foot deep so you can have 2~3 inches of ash bed.

I guess the best thing you can do if at all possible is make the BBQ an island, so that when the breeze changes, you can walk around and escape the smoke. And the other thing is only use well seasoned hardwood - makes the best hot coals, and burns pretty cleanly once it gets going. Leave a good bed of ash - Only take out a little bit when cleaning (I use it to mix with compost and river sand to grow carrots in - but I get that from the slow combustion heater)

Regards
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