Monthly Archives: June 2016

Beat the winter chill

With winter well and truly upon us, now’s the time to beat the winter chill and keep warm with the latest outdoor heating trend – the fire pit. Fire pits are a great idea, providing warmth and allowing you to enjoy your outdoor area even in the cooler months. They’re a safe and practical outdoor heating solution keeping a fire controlled in one single area, that being the ‘pit’ or the ‘bowl’.

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Image via Pinterest

Fire pits also come with many benefits. They allow you to enjoy your outdoor area all year long, especially on those chilly winter days when all you want to do is stay warm and toasty. They’re also suitable to warm a large group of people, making them ideal for gatherings, parties and entertaining. And they’re great for toasting marshmallows or enjoying warm, winter comfort meals with family and friends.

Fire pits also provide a calming ambiance and are perfect for relaxing outdoors, either on your own or with company.

There are also a couple of points to consider when finding the right fire pit for you.

Budget

Firstly it’s important to consider your budget and how much money you have to spend on a fire pit. There are many varieties on the market so knowing how much you have to spend will narrow your choice and make shopping for one a little easier.

Permanent vs portable?

Ask yourself this question, as your answer will determine the look and feel for your fire pit. Would you prefer a built in, permanent fire pit or would a portable option suit you better?

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Built in fire pit – Image via Pinterest
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Portable fire pit – Image via Pinterest

Materials

There’s a variety of materials to choose from when it comes to selecting a fire pit. Choose from copper, concrete, stainless steel, clay or cast iron, depending on the look you want to achieve. All of these materials do a similar job in radiating heat. Copper and stainless steel bowls are usually lighter, however you may prefer a heavier material such as clay or cast iron. Also consider your existing outdoor decor and house colours as this will help determine the types of materials and colours your fire pit should be.

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Cast iron ‘bowl’ shaped fire pit – Image via Pinterest

Style

Similar to choosing materials when it comes to selecting a fire pit design it’s best to consider your existing outdoor decor and choose a design that will match in with that. Whether it be the classic bowl shaped fire pit, or a fire pit table or even a chiminea style the possibilities are endless.

The classic bowl shaped fire pit is both modern and contemporary and is sure to complement existing outdoor decor. Bowls are popular in the market because of their shape and their ability to radiate heat evenly. Fire pit bowls come in a range of materials and sizes and can either be used in a permanent situation or moved around if need be.

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Concrete ‘bowl’ style fire pit – Image via Pinterest

Fire pit tables are generally the same height as a standard coffee table and come in a variety of materials and colours. Many of these tables come complete with a ledge providing a safety area for children as well as a handy area for resting your drink or a plate of food.

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Fire table – Image via Pinterest

The chiminea style is an enclosed fire pit generally made from clay. As it’s name suggest it works like a chimney, capturing the heat within the walls and then letting it out the top like a funnel. Chimineas come in a range of shapes and sizes and are ideal for creating a focal point on a deck or patio area.

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Chiminea – Image via Pinterest

So, if you take the above points into consideration when choosing a fire pit, you’ll be on the right track to ensuring your winter stays warm and toasty!

All you need to know about the Weber range

All you need to know about the Weber range.

Do you have a burning Weber question that needs answering? If so, keep reading this article for all your answers.

CHARCOAL FAQS:

What can I cook on my Weber Kettle?

The Weber Kettle is a versatile BBQ allowing you to cook a variety of food using both the direct and indirect cooking methods. The direct cooking method means the food is cooked directly over the heat whilst the indirect cooking method is similar to roasting in that the heat circulates and cooks the food evenly on all sides.

Weber Original Kettle 22 Inch Charcoal Grill Black

The Weber Kettle allows you to cook a variety of foods ranging from chops, roasts, sausages, steaks, fish, pizzas, cakes and even bread. The Complete Australian Barbecue Kettle Cookbook (which we sell at our Hoppers Crossing store) is a great comprehensive guide and will teach you how to use your kettle and share a range of recipes which you and your family can enjoy.

Weber Original Kettle Premium 22 Inch Charcoal Grill Black

Should I have my vents open or closed when cooking?

When cooking on your Weber Kettle you should always have the vents open. By closing the vents, you starve the fire of oxygen, slowing the rate of burning and ultimately putting the fire out. Your vents should only be closed when you’re trying to extinguish the fire.

What fuel do you recommend I use on my Weber kettle?

There are a number of different fuels available for kettle barbecues in Australia. Weber AU recommends Heat Bead brand barbecue briquettes. They are long burning and consistent so you can cook a whole turkey or Christmas ham without having to replenish the fuel. Try to stay away from self-lighting fuels, they can leave your food with a strange taste.

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Weber Kettle Black

How do I smoke food on my Weber Kettle?

Smoking food adds a beautiful flavour and aroma to your meal. A normal indirect fire can be transformed into a hot smoking fire by adding one or two chunks of hickory wood (or other smoking wood) to the coals on either side of the barbecue. The more smoke flavour you want, the more hickory chunks you add. We recommend wood chunks rather than chips or sawdust when using a Weber Kettle – the chunks smoke for longer and require less attention. If you are going to use wood chips, make sure you soak them in water for about an hour before you put them on.

Where can I purchase Weber charcoal barbeques?

Our Hoppers Crossing store is a Weber specialist dealer, meaning we stock the entire Weber range including barbecues and accessories. To view this range visit us at 283 Old Geelong Road Hoppers Crossing, we’re open 7 days.

You can also view the Weber charcoal range here.

PREMIUM GAS FAQS:

Why do I cook with the lid closed on my Weber Gas barbecue?

For over 50 years, Weber has been engineering barbecues with remarkable cooking systems. Weber Premium Gas barbecues are no different. The Weber Gas barbecue cooking system has been specifically designed to work best with the lid closed. By using the barbecue with the lid closed you can achieve a unique barbecued flavour you can’t get any other way. You’ll also save gas and money because your barbecue will be more efficient and you’ll keep your barbecue area clean.

By cooking with the lid closed, you’ll find you get amazing flavour in your food. With the lid closed, barbecue smoke created by fats and juices vaporising on the Flavorizer bars below the grill will circulate the food and give it a unique, smokey barbecue flavour. Weber Gas barbecue lids are designed to circulate this barbecue smoke around your food before venting. Cooking with the lid open lets all that delicious smokey flavour escape straight into the atmosphere. By cooking with the lid closed your barbecued food will have that famous Weber flavour that you just can’t get with the lid open.

Genesis E310 Gas Grill LP Black

Because the cooking system in your Weber Gas barbecue is specifically designed to be used with the lid closed, it’s very gas efficient, using less gas than a traditional four burner barbecue. You might hear some people say that a barbecue needs a high gas output to sear a great steak or cook an Aussie barbecue. That just isn’t true. More often than not, higher gas output is to compensate for a poorly designed, inefficient cooking system. With the lid down on your Weber Gas barbecue, you’ll find your barbecue hot enough to sear a great steak, your food will cook more quickly and more evenly and you’ll save gas and money.
Cooking with the lid closed will also help keep your barbecue area clean. Because any fats or juices that spit from food are trapped inside the lid, you won’t have fat splattering all over your deck or veranda.

Will my food taste stewed if I cook with the lid closed?

Definitely not. If preheated and used correctly, your Weber Gas barbecue will cook beautifully seared steaks, perfect lamb chops and grilled chicken breasts. Because of the patented Flavorizer bar system, you’re able to cook nearly everything straight on the grill, leaving fat and oil to fall away from the meat instead of boiling around the food like on a traditional flat-plate barbecue.

Where does the fat and juice go when I’m cooking on my Weber gas barbeque?

The Flavorizer bar system in your Weber Gas barbecue prevents fat from dropping into the burners and causing a flare up. Instead, the fat either vaporises on the bars or drops past the burners into the slide out grease tray of the barbecue. From there it runs into the hole in the bottom of the tray and collects in the disposable drip pan beneath.

Weber Summit E470 Gas Grill LP Black

What are Flavorizer Bars?

Flavorizer bars are a patented invention that reduce the chances of flare ups and fat fires and create the barbecue flavour that makes Weber gas barbecues so unique.  The specially angled Flavorizer bars form a roof over the gas burner tubes so that no meat juice or fat comes in contact with the gas flame.  Meat juices sizzle and smoke on the hot bars, yet excess fats fall harmlessly into the disposable drip tray below.  With the lid closed, the smoke created circulates the food and imparts a unique, smokey barbecue flavour.

Where can I purchase Weber Gas barbecues?

Our Hoppers Crossing store is a Weber specialist dealer, meaning we stock the entire Weber range including barbecues and accessories. To view this range visit us at 283 Old Geelong Road Hoppers Crossing, we’re open 7 days.

You can also view the Weber gas range here.

WEBER Q FAQs:

What can I cook on my Weber Q?

Your Weber Q is an incredibly versatile barbecue. Using Weber’s cooking system, you can cook perfect steaks, chops and sausages. It is more than just a barbecue though, by using a roasting trivet and convection tray, you can turn your Weber Q into an oven and cook magnificent barbecued roasts, pizzas, cakes and desserts. Add a hotplate or breakfast plate and you can cook eggs, pancakes and onion rings.

Weber Q 1200 Gas Grill LP Titanium

Should I use a baking dish in my Weber Q when roasting?

We don’t recommend that you use a baking dish in your Weber Q. Apart from the fact that you’ll have healthier, better tasting roasts if you use a roasting trivet instead, you’ll also help to keep your Weber Q clean and tidy.

When using a baking dish, fats and juices collect and boil inside the barbecue. This spits fat and grease all over the inside of your Weber Q. The next time you heat up your barbecue, you may find fat and grease dribbling from the edge of your lid onto the floor or other parts of your Weber Q. To avoid this, always roast on a roasting trivet as described in the handbook that came with your Weber Q.

Can I line my Weber Q with alfoil?

You should never line the inside of your Weber Q with alfoil. Using alfoil can prevent fats and juices from running down into the disposable drip pan. If fat pools in pockets created by the alfoil, it can catch alight and cause a fat fire. Lining your Weber Q with alfoil can also interfere with the ventilation of the barbecue. Without proper ventilation, your Weber Q may not operate properly.

Why do I cook with the lid closed on my Weber Q?

For over 50 years, Weber has been engineering barbecues with remarkable cooking systems. The Weber Q is no different. The Weber Q cooking system has been specifically designed to work with the lid closed. By using the barbecue with the lid closed you can achieve a unique barbecued flavour you can’t get any other way. You’ll also save gas and money because your Weber Q will be more efficient and you’ll keep your barbecue area clean.

By cooking with the lid closed, you’ll find you get amazing flavour in your food. With the lid closed, barbecue smoke created by fats and juices vaporising on the hot grill bars or hotplate will circulate the food and give it a unique, smokey barbecue flavour.  Cooking with the lid open lets all that delicious smokey flavour escape straight into the atmosphere. By cooking with the lid closed your barbecued food will have that famous Weber flavour that you just can’t get with the lid open.

Q3200_4LS

Because the cooking system in your Weber Q is specifically designed to be used with the lid closed, it’s extremely gas efficient, using less than half the gas of a traditional four burner barbecue. You might hear some people say that a barbecue needs a high gas output to sear a great steak or cook an Aussie barbecue. That just isn’t true. More often than not, higher gas output is required to compensate for a poorly designed, inefficient cooking system. With the lid down on your Weber Q, you’ll find your barbecue hot enough to sear a great steak, your food will cook more quickly and more evenly and you’ll save gas and money.

Cooking with the lid closed will also help keep your barbecue area clean. Because any fats or juices that spit from food are trapped inside the lid, you won’t have fat splattering all over your deck or veranda.

Where can I purchase Weber Q barbecues?

Our Hoppers Crossing store is a Weber specialist dealer, meaning we stock the entire Weber range including barbecues and accessories. To view this range visit us at 283 Old Geelong Road Hoppers Crossing, we’re open 7 days.

You can also view the Weber Q range here.

CLEANING FAQs:

How should I clean my Weber Kettle?

To clean the grill of your Weber kettle, we recommend that you use a steel brush to scrape food remnants into the bottom of the bowl. If you have a One-Touch cleaning system, you can then use the lever to sweep the contents of the bowl into the ash catcher. After every 5 or 6 cooks, remove the cooking grill, soak in hot soapy water and clean with a nylon scourer.

Weber 22 Inch Original Kettle Charcoal Grill Black

To clean the porcelain enamel parts of your barbecue, use hot soapy water and a nylon scourer. The barbecue should be cleaned regularly to prevent large amounts of grease from building up. And remember, prevention is better than cure: always remember to use a drip pan in your kettle when roasting meat and cook foods with high fat content (like lamb chops and sausages) on a hotplate to help keep the barbecue clean.

I have something that looks like paint peeling from the inside of my lid. What is it?

Don’t worry, it’s not paint. All Weber Kettle lids are made of porcelain enamel coated steel, which will not peel. What you’re seeing is actually a build up of carbon that has collected on the inside of your lid. It’s a normal bi-product of the cooking process. After building up, the carbon will start to peel – normally from the centre of the lid outwards. It will look a lot like paint, peeling off in small sheets with one dull side and one shiny side. This build up can be removed by using hot soapy water and a nylon scourer. To prevent the build up, use a piece of paper towel to wipe the inside of the lid after each cook while the lid is still warm (NOT HOT).

How do I clean my Weber Q grill?

For day to day cleaning of the grill, the best method is to use a Weber grill brush (available at our Hoppers Crossing store).
• After pre-heating your barbecue on high for 10mins, while the grill is very hot, brush along the grill bars where food residue remains, alternately you can clean your grill this way while it is still on after cooking.
• It’s not necessary to wash your Q grill in water after every use but the grill should be washed in hot water and detergent after every five or six cooks to remove excess grease.
• It’s handy to re-oil the grills from time to time. Simply remove from the bbq and pop some oil on; spray oils can be good for this. When you place them back in the bbq simply heat up the bbq on low for 5-10 mins to re-seal the grills. (If you use your trivet a lot, for roasts or pizzas etc this can prove beneficial)
• Try to keep the grill protected from the elements, particularly if you live near the sea or have a pool. Salt from the ocean and chlorine in the air can contribute to corrosion.

How do I clean my Weber Q lid?

We recommend that you use a non-caustic cleaning product to clean the inside and outside of your Weber Q lid. Weber produces a Weber Q Cleaner which works particularly well to keep the lid and bowl of your Q clean. For the best results, keep your lid and bowl clean from the start so that large amounts of fat and grease do not build up over time.

Weber Q 3200 Gas Grill LP Titanium

How do I clean my Weber Q bowl?

It is very important to keep the bowl of your Weber Q clean. Allowing lots of fat to build up inside the barbecue below the cooking grill can result in a fat fire. If excess fats are cleaned away every five to six times the barbecue is used this should never be a problem.

For solid debris in the bowl, use a spatula or stiff piece of cardboard, Weber produces a Q Cookbox Scraper which is ideal for this, to scrape the solid grease and food residue into the aluminium drip tray below and dispose of the drip tray. Always check the drip tray before using your bbq and replace if needed.

For more information on the entire Weber range visit Weber online or call Outdoor Living Direct Hoppers Crossing on (03) 8742 2931.

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