Saturday, October 18, 2008

Every "Body" Loves Halloween

If the recent spate of BBQ body disposals (California, Thailand, Detroit, Texas) has got you thinking that October 31 could be the ideal time to dispose of your gran with "extreme prejudice" and make the ultimate Halloween decoration, here's a legal alternative from Make Magazine.

Post your own ghoulish BBQ Halloween ideas while there's still time.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Little BBQ Hygiene

Personally I have never subscribed to the "Cleanliness-is-next-to-Godliness" mantra but the occasional bout of BBQ hygiene is good for your BBQ.

Cleaning your BBQ a couple of times a year will extend the life of parts such as gas burners and grill racks while minimising visits from the local health authorities!

You'll need a strong wire brush, aluminum foil, steel-wool, sponges, washing-up detergent, baking soda, cooking oil and a six-pack! I am not so keen on chemical cleaners (either for cleaning or drinking) as it's hard to get rid of the residual taste.

First up, use the wire brush to scrub the surfaces and remove any food, marinade, spices or corrosion that have built up on the grill or hotplate.

If this doesn't remove all the grime, you may need to wash the grill racks to remove the final vestiges of last year's festivities.

Just brush off as much debris as possible before soaking the grill in a tub of hot soapy water before cleaning briskly with a stainless steel scourer. This is method is easy with stainless steel racks like those on a Weber but is also fine for cast iron racks as long as you dry and oil them after the shampoo!

On lightly soiled BBQs you may be able to get away with a light scrub using baking soda and aluminum foil. Warm the BBQ to make make grease removal easier, then allow it to cool, sprinkle with baking soda and then scrub with the rolled up aluminium foil.

Once the grill racks and hot plate are clean, you need to coat them with a fine mist of cooking oil (olive oil is best) from a spray can. This coating on the barbecue grill will keep the racks lubricated and prevent rusting in between uses.

If you use volcanic rock to spread the heat on your BBQ, this is a good time to change them as they will have accumulated a build up of grease and fat that will cause smoking.

Now, if all this seems like too much work, here are some other suggestions:

Disposable grill liners: These newly patented disposable grill covers are made of heavy duty aluminium foil.

Grillo sheet: A Grillo sheet, is a perforated stainless steel sheet to put over your grill for cooking delicate foods like fish. It has the added advantage of keeping your grill clean.

Aluminium foil: Take a tip from Life Hacker and clean your grill with aluninium foil

Onion: Another tip, use onion on your grill.

Out-source: Call someone like these guys to come and do it for you

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Go to Hell (Pizza)

Last week's story about the Heart Attach Grill has me more than usually interested in niche fast food concepts so I was delighted to come across the Kiwi pizza franchise Hell Pizza which has made the leap across the Tasman to Australia.

Featuring menu items named after the seven deadly sins; Mordor (pepperoni, bacon and chicken) and Brimstone (cajun chicken, salsa and sour cream) the chain has worked the satanic angle into all it's marketing even boasting 13 HELL (13 4355) for deliveries.

Hell Pizza is owned in Australia by Tartarus (place in the underworld even lower than Hades) and looks like it has chosen Queensland as the launch pad for it's Australian debut with 4 stores in operation around Brisbane.

Living up to it's edgy name, Hell Pizza are the bad boys of the pizza industry having been involved in controversial marketing campaigns in NZ such as
  • a condom letterbox campaign for its "Lust" pizza;
  • references to Hitler on a billboard;
  • objectionable content in its Hell-o magazine and
  • buying 24-year-old Walter Scott's soul for $NZ5001 after he advertised it on the auction website TradeMe.

Also drawing the ire back in NZ was an "insensitive" article in it's magazine about the death of Steve Irwin which should go down like a lead gargoyle in Queensland!

It seems you can't expect smooth sailing all the time, even in Hell.

In late 2006 Hell NZ was sold to Tasman Pacific Foods (TPF), the owners of the Burger King Franchise, for about $NZ15 million ($A12.56 million) and the original owners kept the international rights.

The sale also led to a major falling out with its advertising agency, Cinderella owned by Matt Blomfield, who said he had no confidence in the new conservative marketing and wanted to sell the 10 franchises he owns personally.

Falling back on the established tricks of his trade, Mr Blomfield recently placed one of his stores, valued at $830,000, on Trade Me, with a reserve of just $1.

Personally I can see Matt's point, with this leatest offering from new agency Colenso BBDO not having quite the edge of the earlier campaigns.

Still business is booming for the original founders of Hell, Callum Davies and Stuart McMullin, who are finalising master franchise agreements in Ireland, Canada and the UK to add to their evil empire.

More Food Health Hazards

While I can't find any confirmed deaths from eating at the Heart Attack Grill, the UK Times Online carries the story of a would-be chef who died from eating his own chilli sauce concoction.

Ironically reported in it's "Life and Style" section, the paper reports that Andrew Lee (33) died after eating a super-hot chilli sauce as part of an endurance competition with a friend.

The paper reports that Andrew was in perfect health and had just passed a medical examination at work.

An inquest was told he took a jar of his home cooked sauce around to his girlfriend's house and challenged her brother to see who could eat it.

“Andrew just ate the chillies with a plate of Dolmio sauce,” his sister said.

“He apparently got into bed at 2.30am and started scratching all over. His girlfriend scratched his back until he fell asleep. She woke up and he had gone. It is incredible."

Also incredible is that a postmortem showed Andrew had no heart problems but doesn't seem to have been able to confirm whether he had an allergic reaction to the chillis.

A number of posts on the Times site and at hot sauce sites believe that Andrew's scratching was anaphylaxis due to one or more of the ingredients in the sauce.

Many chilli lovers are concerned that Government may re-act to the death by banning or restricting super hot chili sauces such as Dave's Unltimate Insanity sauce which we carry on our Charcool site or Blairs Mega Death Sauce used on the Hottest Burgers in the World.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Eva Solo Stainless Steel Art BBQ

Thanks to Cribcandy for this perfect blend of form and function.

The eva solo barrel grill snared the Baden-W├╝rttemberg, International Design Award in 2005 for Best New Product.

Designed by Claus Jensen and Henrik Holbaek, the simple and clean design of the eva solo barrel grill makes it a household feature as well as a BBQ.

Unlike most barbecues, the Eva is made totally from stainless enamel, chrome or nickel-plated parts! A portable coal bucket makes it easy to empty ashes, and the flat lid turns the grill into an extra surface on the patio when the grill is not in use.

But wait, there's more!!

Eva have designed a few accessories including: perfectly balanced tongs (1); stainless steel cooking dome (2) and if you need an extra surface, you can create a table (3) with legs that turn the lid into a tabletop and a durable fabric cover (4).

The Eva is available from Unicahome but you better save your pennies. The basic BBQ starts at $US680 and if you buy all the options it will end up setting you back $US1844. Still it's probably a tax deduction if you work for the Museum of Modern Art!!