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Charcoal Barbecues

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Get ready for the barbecue season with garden patio heaters, chimneas, firepits, barbecues and accessories!

Spring is finally here and it won't be long before it is time for the first barbecues of the season. As the weather begins to warm up, now, is the perfect time to be getting the garden and your barbecue equipment ready for those alfresco lunches and barbecue parties.

Early Barbecues – Essential Equipment

For those early April and May barbecues, when we are tempted outside by the afternoon sun but the evenings are still a little on the cool side, it is really useful to have some form of outdoor heating; either a patio heater, chimnea of firepit. Such things can extend your enjoyment of your outside space, turning a few snatched hours in late afternoon into a party that lasts well into the night.

Garden Patio heaters

Patio HeatersThe installation of garden patio heaters will extend your evening's enjoyment of the garden. During this time of year, when the evenings are drawing out and it is staying lighter for longer, we are tempted to remain outside for longer periods whereas previously, we would have withdrawn inside the house and closed the curtains against the dark and the cold. But these light evenings can still carry with them a bit of a chill, so it is pleasing to know that there is a warming alternative to the woolly jumpers you have already boxed up for the summer.

Garden patio heaters come in a range of styles including free standing patio heaters, wall mounted patio heaters and gas and electric patio heaters, which are all designed to take the chill off cool evenings. We have chosen to stock the ‘Algarve' patio heater which we selected for its quartz technology. This technology provides an economic form of heating, saving energy through safe and effective heat distribution. The result is dramatically reduced running costs and a reliable source of heat that will not flow away or fail to start. It operates silently and cleanly as there is no fan to stir and deposit dust. The Algarve is completely safe for children, pets and the environment.

The Algarve is a wall mounted patio heater, making it tidy and unobtrusive. It is ideal for all sizes of gardens and patios as it does not impinge on floor space and there are no bulky gas bottles to store and move around but it is fixed to a wall and so has a limited, if directional range.

Chimneas

Clay Chimneas and Outdoor FirepitsIf you want to add warmth and a pleasant ambience to your outdoor patio area, a chimnea is a must. We stock a number of different types of chimnea, some large, some small and some with a chimney section that separates leaving you with a base and grill upon which to barbecue food. Originally made from clay, their modern day counterparts can also come in cast iron, copper or cast aluminium but, in keeping with tradition, all ours are made from clay.

Chimneas do not need to be overly large; they produce a lot of warmth for their size. They are pear shaped with a rounded bottom, large mouth and tall, narrow neck rising above. The ‘neck' is designed to carry any smoke up and away from you and your guests whilst the wide mouth pushes the heat out at the front. Portable chimneas can be moved to different parts of your patio to warm different areas.

Firepits and fire bowls

Firepits and fire bowls are similar in that they both support a fire off the ground. This protects your grass from scorching and your patio from being damaged. Some are fully enclosed with a door to the front while others are open to the elements. This open aspect enables you to build your fire to exactly the right height, within reason of course and their relatively lightweight construction means they can easily be moved from one entertaining space to another. When using a firepit or fire bowl things will rarely get out of hand but it is always advisable to keep a supply of water nearby, in the form of a filled bucket of water or a connected hose.

Do you need a new barbecue?

Check your barbecue and equipment over, prior to its first use of the season. Make sure it is in full working order. If you have over wintered your barbeque in a garage or under wraps outside, clean it thoroughly before use. This will tell you whether or not it needs any attention or whether you need to replace it before the start of the barbeque season proper.

There are times when the barbecue as a whole will need replacing. When, for example the bowl has rusted through. This generally happens if the barbecue has been left outside for a long period of time without protection. In other cases, it may be that parts of your barbecue, like the splash guard have deteriorated or that your barbecue utensils have perished. Check all your equipment thoroughly, if it needs replacing or you would simply like to upgrade it, now is the time to go barbecue shopping so you are properly prepared for the party season!

Is your old barbecue up to the task for this coming year? Do you need a newer or larger one to cater for the parties to come? We stock a vast range of barbecues including masonry barbecues, stone barbecues, brick barbecues and gas barbecue grills, large enough to cater for regular and sizeable parties.

BBQ accessories

Having checked your accessories, is there anything that you would like to add to your collection? Most barbecue accessory sets come with the basics, a pair of tongs, a long fork and a spatula but have you thought of what other useful gadgets might be available?

Fish baskets for example, are ideal for barbecuing fish. Fish is extremely delicate and prone to falling apart without much encouragement. Using a fish basket, designed in the shape of a fish will help to keep the fish whole while it is barbecued on one side and then turned to be barbecued on the other. This helps to cook the fish evenly, all over.

Wok plates are ideal for storing vegetables and meat either before or after the barbecuing process. Be sure to use two though, one for precooked meat and the other for barbecued foods. Wok plates make the ideal storage containers, their raised sides will stop food from toppling off the plate and onto the table or floor and their perforations allow any unwanted fats to drain away.

You might like to invest in a barbecue cover, especially if you have just had to replace a barbeque that was left outside through the winter and suffered as a result. A bbq cover will prevent your nice shiny new barbecue from going the same way; it will also cut down on the time spent cleaning the thing after its long winter lay off.

Perhaps you'd like to replace the grill? If yours has seen better days it might be time to replace it and we stock some really stylish ones too. Chromium plated or stainless steel, each on comes with heat insulating wooden handles, some have dripping channels to help remove fat, others come with a combined lattice and hot plate for the storage and transport of vegetables and smaller food items.

Click here to view our range of barbecue accessories

Outside kitchen equipment

Ever thought of what it would be like to prepare an entire meal outside? Well, now you can with our outdoor kitchen modules. An outdoor kitchen comes as separates, rather like a freestanding kitchen. Each piece is designed to work entirely independently of any other. This means that you don't have to buy the whole kitchen all at once, you can add to it over time, introducing such things as the outdoor sink module, outdoor storage and food preparation modules and outdoor fridge module.

Once you have acquired the full set, there will be no need for you to break up the party while you just pop to the kitchen to get something from the fridge or to wash the vegetables, you can do it all, outside, keeping the conversation flowing and the party atmosphere alive.

Click here to view our outdoor kitchen equipment

Garden Furniture

Whilst you are giving your barbecue, utensils and barbecue accessories the once over, give at least a cursory glance to your garden furniture. Has it wintered well? Could it do with a fresh coat of varnish or does it need to be replaced. Your garden furniture makes as much of a statement as your patio and your barbecue. Replace any tatty items to create a stylish look for your outside space after all there is no point in having garden furniture that nobody wants to sit on.

Lighting

Garden lighting is important for a number of reasons; Firstly, it is important from a safety and security aspect. Your guests need to be able to see where they are going. Pathways with raised edges can form trip hazards leading to grazed knees or worse. A pond that is not illuminated properly may not be seen in all the excitement of youthful exuberance. This might lead to screaming kids and a necessary change of clothes or worse, the curtailment of their parents evening.

Good lighting is also very important when it comes to cooking and serving food. It is essential that the barbecue chef be able to tell whether a piece of meat or fish is cooked properly. This is of course done through trial and error or taste tests but big clues come from the look and colour of the food.