Cooking Over Flame at Home

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Cooking Over Flame at Home

Home BBQs had a bit of a bad reputation for a while because ‘Dads’ had a habit of insisting on doing the cooking for groups of people including friends and family whenever the weather allowed a group social gathering at home in the garden during summer. Problem was, ‘Dad’ was never really very inventive and BBQs tended to be burnt burgers, or burnt sausages, or burnt burgers and sausages. If you had an adventurous parent, you may have had burnt (on the outside at least) chicken. But ‘burnt’ and ‘bland’ (or at least ‘predictable’) was always the bottom line. Even BBQs themselves seem to come in a one-size fits all style.

But over the last 20 years or so, home BBQ’s and home outdoor kitchens even, have evolved from a cheap kettle style BBQ into a whole wide range of cooking apparatus, sometimes rivalling that of a full blown internal kitchen.

At Bumblebee Cottage we REALLY love to cook outdoors and it’s fair to say we do so all year round. But it’s no longer just a kettle BBQ that we use here. Our line up includes:

Kamado 20″ BBQ/Smoker
Konro table top grill
Clay lined Tandoor oven
Gas and wood fired BBQ
Paella ring
Outdoor hob
Firepit with tripod/pots etc

And since neither Debbie or I eat red meat anymore, we have to think outside the box too in terms of that we prepare and eat. We live near the sea so fish and shell fish are in easy abundance. We eat chicken too and we love our jerk and cajun rubs, often left overnight to really marinate the meat. But we love to use our own home grown produce more than anything so smoky charcoal roasted aubergines picked just 15 minutes prior, vegetable kebabs in our own spicy sauce or French style potato tartiflette with oddles of garlicy and herby butter.

But it’s not just ‘cooking’ either…the kamado lends itself really well to ‘slow smoking’ so we buy local fish where we can, or even a whole salmon from the supermarket when on offer, and we add a ‘cure’ overnight. More recently our cure has gone beyond the ‘normal’ salt and sugar mix to more of a Jerk seasoning mix so the cure not only readies the fish for smoking, but also adds an abundance of flavour too.

There really is nothing you can’t cook outdoors with the right set up. We cook our Sunday roast chicken in the Kamado or in the fire pit, after first butterflying the bird and adding our own rub and butter and/or miso for moisture and creaminess.

From summer 2024 we will be offering outdoor cookery courses tailored specifically to your skill level and encompassing curing, smoking, Indian tandoor cookery, vegetable cookery using our own freshly picked produce and some traditional and not so traditional outdoor favourites from Europe and beyond including Paella, Jerk Chicken, Breads and Kebabs.

By the end of the course, you’ll learn which equipment is best for the job, how to make and apply a cure, how to cold smoke, how to make a pizza dough and wood fired pizzas outside and loads of other useful cookery tips and recipes too, with you keeping (or eating) all the foods and dishes you have made on the day too.

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