How it all began

Big green egg

Welcome to my first of (hopefully) many blog entries about my BBQ and outdoor cooking journey. I'm not entirely sure where this is going or where it will end up, but thank you for reading.

So all of this, like many things at the moment, started in lockdown. I've always enjoyed attending BBQs (my father in laws in particular, hi Phil!) but as you will read below I was miles away from enjoying cooking my own.

conventional bbq, charbroil 2600

We’ve always had a BBQ, but it was more of a rusty relic sat in the corner of the patio looking a bit sorry for itself. I always found barbecuing a lot more hassle than it was worth. I only ever used light in the bag charcoal, which you could still smell the chemicals on your hands for hours after touching them. I would usually get impatient and start cooking way too early, or the coals would burn out way too quickly and I would need to finish the food off in the oven.

Then there was the food itself. It would always be the same supermarket sausages and burgers. But the worst thing of all was the clear up, everything would be greasy or sticky and I somehow managed to use every item in our kitchen. Although I still do that!

Then along came covid-19 and everything started to change. Pre-lockdown, we had found we were spending a lot more time at home and therefore a lot more time in the garden. So we decided to get a new BBQ on the recommendation of a very close friend (hi Jon!) and bought a charbroil 2600. This changed everything. The fact that I could raise and lower the coals was a game changer. I found I was no longer burning everything on the outside whilst leaving the middle in question - nobody likes their sausages rare.

It was around this time I started putting my cooks on social media, annoying all of my friends. Another close friend of mine then opened up an instagram account on my behalf (I’m sure so I stopped clogging up his feed with BBQ food). I have to say if it wasn’t for him I don’t think I'd be writing this now, so thank you Aaron. As I type this I'm closing in on 1,000 followers which is just unbelievable. The BBQ community is such a welcoming place, everyone seems to be really supportive and encouraging of each other.

So we were now deep in lockdown, work had slowed down and I was itching to do more cooking. I had my eye on a Kamado but I couldn’t justify the cost. Then I had an offer from two of the nicest people I’ve ever worked for (hi Ted and Noreen!). They had a large big green egg that they didn’t use and I couldn’t refuse.

I got the egg in January and since then have been cooking on it in the wind, rain, snow and the small amount of sunshine we’ve had. We use the egg and the charbroil between three and four times a week, and more if the weather is dry. I'm really enjoying cooking now and can’t wait to start cooking for friends and family.

As I've said above I have no idea where this going but thank you for joining me. I hope you enjoy my cooks!

Stuart - bbqfestu