Friday, 26 October 2012

Butchers Knot Tutorial

Ben recently purchased 1/2 a pig from our very own sponsors Westlands Rare Breeds (Paul Robbinson & family). He was fortunate enough to spend a morning with the butcher as he carved up the carcas. Ben filmed the butchers knot, which is an art in itself. If you ever wondered how to do this and make your own pork/chicken/lamb rolls - watch carefully, its not as hard as you think.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Homemade Pastrami

Location: Home

Pastrami is a prepared meat that I have always really enjoyed and fell in love with at Katz Deli in NY, succulent, served with pickles and mustard on rye bread. I had a few pieces of brisket point left over from a competition. This does take a few days to prepare, but is well worth the effort.

Grillstock 2012 - A look back

John Finch and his crew put on a fantastic event, which was won by our very good friends "Bunch of Swines". BBQ Fanatics (ably supported by Kev "Hot Wing" Brown) finished a very respectable 4th overall and placed 3rd in Pork & Ribs categories. A great video to get a taste for the Bristol (and soon to be London ) based music, blues and BBQ festival.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

BBQ Guru CyberQ Wifi Review (Part 2)

Unit: CyberQ Wifi
Manufacturer: BBQ Guru

Whilst the first part of this review (Review Part 1) focused on the general operation of the CyberQ Wifi, this part of the review focuses on the Wifi capabilities and its usage. The second part of this review examines the communications protocol and to be fair is a bit geeky (you have been warned!).

The CyberQ Wifi supports two modes of connectivity:
Ad-Hoc - This is the default behaviour of the CyberQ. In this mode, you do not need a router, simple connect your device to the existing SSID (Defaults to - "My CyberQ Wifi" & WPA2 password of "1234abcdef"). Open your browser and connect to As an aside, both my Android tablet and Windows Phone 7.5 could not connect to the Ad-hoc network, but I had no problem with my laptop and an Android phone.

Infrastructure Mode - This requires an existing Wifi network and a little more effort. On my network, the device connected with no issue and picked up its IP address from my router, which I browsed to using a web browser.

1.) User Interface

When you connect to the device (through a web browser) and you are presented with the home page. This shows the  temperature of the cooker, the 3 probes and the fan output. In addition to this the main page allows the user to set the values and update the the head unit. This page refreshes ever 5 seconds (but this can be updated in the units settings)

Monday, 27 August 2012

BBQ Guru CyberQ Wifi Review (Part 1)

Unit: CyberQ Wifi
Manufacturer: BBQ Guru

As a UK based BBQ competition team we do not use any force draft methods during our competition cooks, and I would say our approach is contrary to most teams. One of the tasks I set myself was to investigate the various force draft products to see how much this affects the consistency of the cooks. There are a myriad of options available, but I settled on the CyberQ Wifi unit due to its ability to communicate via Wifi (I will discuss more about this in the next review). This unit cost $399 + delivery (I delivered to a friend in the US whom brought it back for me, but the great people at BBQ Guru will happily ship it for you). On initial review this looks more expensive that its direct competitor, the Stoker from Rocks Barbecue. However once you price up the equivalent fan, probes and holders the cost of a similarly priced package is within $20. The only obvious benefit of the stoker is that it can control more than one pit. The BBQ Guru can only control one pit.

The unit I purchased was for usage on a WSM and it came with the appropriate fittings - The box included the following -

3x Food Probes (The default lenght is 6 ft, but I do recommend the larger 8ft probe length)
1x Grate Probe (Similarly, the default is 6ft, I upgraded to the 8ft) with an alligator clip
1x 10cm Fan (With baffle connector for a Weber Smokey Mountain)
1x Head Unit (This comes in a nifty little foam pouch to protect it)
1x Head Unit holder (This can be bent/fitted to your various cooker)
1x Power adapter (110/220 volt) - I had to buy a US/UK plug adapter seperately
1x Manual and 1x piece of heat resistant tape

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

'Harry Soo' BBQ MastercCass

Event: Harry Soo From Slap Yo Daddy BBQ Class
Date: 14/15th July 2012

The International BBQ Network have announced that Harry Soo from 'Slap Yo Daddy' is going to be putting on 2 BBQ courses on the 14th & 15th July, the very first time he has run his course outside of North America!

Harry Soo is one of the US's most successful pitmasters with 22 Grand Champions (ie wins) in 4 years, making him and his team one of the most prolific winners in recent history (he was a firm favourite in the 'BBQ Pitmasters Series' on the Discovery channel. In a no holds barred session, Harry will  be imparting his BBQ techniques and tricks to the class. BBQ Fanatics have already registered their interest and cannot wait for this session!!

Verdict: BOOK NOW! (Link to IBQN Details)

Monday, 28 May 2012

IBQN Mayhem in May 2012

The most relaxed, organised competition so far, and finally a place in pork!


After two weeks of ferocious rain, the sun finally came out for a baking hot weekend (May 26/27 2012) and the first competition of the UK BBQ season. 

Thursday, 17 May 2012

The Ribman - Two Handfuls of Fiery Buns

Restaurant - The Ribman - EatStreet
Location - Kings Boulevard, NC1, near Kings Cross St Pancrass

The challenge - A massive pulled rib pork bun called "The Rib Man Roll"

I met Mark (aka @TheRibman) around 12 on a gloomy Thursday lunchtime, he was very spritely for a man that had been cooking since 4am, over 100 racks of prime pork baby back ribs. He was surrounded by black camouflaged Weber Q200 (or Q300)'s that have seen some serious action, they seemed to glare back at me. Twitter has been alight with the behemoth of a bun selling for the princely sum of five of her majesty's English pounds - I had to try it as I was in the area.(Check out Eat.St for a host of other awesome street foods)

I was greeted by Mark and his team and had the option of having the pulled ribs on a bun or on a wrap, whilst the wrap option may be a healthy option, I doubt it would have survived from the onslaught of the massive handful of pulled ribs placed on it. The meat is slow cooked over many hours and then pulled off the bone, similar to pulled pork, the same process, alot more love, and as a result, a magnificent end product.You have 2 more options, Marks homemade BBQ sauce or his HolyF&ck sauce, made from Devonshire grown Scotch Bonnets and Naga Jolokia (aka The Ghost Chili).

Monday, 7 May 2012

WSM Handle Modification

Modification: Add ProQ OEM Handles and Temperature Probe Grommet

After promising to do this mod for the last year, Ben prompted the action by bringing round his stepped drill bits as well as stainless steel nuts/bolts and washers. To complete the modification we had the following items

- 2mm drill bit to drill pilot holes and a drill
- Stepped metal drill bit (4mm and 10mm)
- WD40 to make a clean cut with the drill
- Black enamel paint
- ProQ Handles (£12.00 from a number of vendors, excluding nuts/bolts and washers)
- Stainless steel Nuts/bolts and a washer for each of the handles
- BBQ Temperature Sensor Grommet ($7 from Cajun Bandit BBQ Mods)
- Pair of pliers

Temperature BBQ Sensor Grommet
Decide where the grommet is going to be placed, we placed ours about 1cm below the top grate screws so the grommet did not interfere with the grate. Drill a pilot hole with the 2mm bit, the grommet is 3/4" about 9.2mm, we didn't have a 9mm steel bit so went with a 10mm bit, its a little loose, but once fitted with the collar it doesn't move. After drilling, paint the hole with black enamel paint and leave till dry (about 4hours), this will prevent corrosion. Fit the collar, and boom you are done.
(A note on drilling into the enamelled WSM steel, if you constantly drip WD40 as you're drilling, the filings cleanly grind away the coating so you get a clean(ish) hole with little chipping)

Friday, 4 May 2012

A Happy BBQ Fanatic Family

In preparation for the new season, BBQ Fanatics are starting with their inaugural practise weekend. Anyone want to help with eating Ribs, Chicken, Pork and Brisket?

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Dr BBQ Championship BBQ Master Class


Date: April 28, 2012

Location: Leighton Buzzard

Activity: Download of Dr BBQs Competition BBQ techniques into my brain.

Dr BBQ (not a real doctor; real name, Ray) is a veteran of the competition BBQ scene in the US, and a judge at Grillstock where we’re competing this year (King of the Grill), so when we heard that he was giving a competition BBQ class in the UK, we pre-ordered a ticket. 


Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Burger Fight - Smith & Wollenskies (Las Vegas) vs Patty n Bun (London)

American challenger- Heavy Weight Champion, "Smith & Wollenskiesaka SnW - Vegas
Eng - Upstart "Patty n Bun" aka PnB, No address (yet), London, UK

Round 1
PnB got off to a flyer with some crispy, smoky tomato covered chicken wings. Delicately spiced, fall off the bone chicken and smothered in sticky sauce. A 2 portion double tap, leaving SnW a bit rattled. 

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Pitt Cue Co – Va Va Voom

Restuarant: Pitt Cue Co
Location: The corner of Ganton / Newburgh street, Soho

On Monday evening Ben and myself were privileged to be invited to a preopening night at Pitt Cue Co’s new home (and its not a van under a bridge). On first impressions, let me just say, Barbecoa, Bodeans, best to pack your bags and ship out, there's a new BBQ Sheriff in town and its called Pitt Cue Co…. bang bang.