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Rise of the British BBQ

May 23, 2021
BBQ Tips with Valley Mill and Olly Woolnough

Forget the era of burning your bangers or cremating your chicken wings because the rise of the British BBQ is here.  Valley Mill and ‘Nothing But BBQ’ have teamed up to make your back-yard shindig the absolute best with our top BBQ tips. 

Are you ready for the great outdoors with your family and friends? We’ve teamed up with Oliver Woolnough and the team from Nothing But BBQ to guide you through the summer and show you how to upgrade your outdoor experience.

Part One of Oliver’s Top Tips

British BBQ food served on Valley Mill Welsh Slate tray
BBQ food served on one of Valley Mill’s Welsh slate trays.

Outdoor Cooking

Think of your BBQ as outdoor cooking and not just a sausage chucked on a grill.  When you realise that, almost any dish you can create in the kitchen can be recreated on a BBQ, then your family outdoor fun will become delicious too. Now really is the time of the British BBQ.

Top BBQ Tip – BBQ Choice

You need to get the right BBQ for YOU.  If you love a more traditional feel then a charcoal barbeque is the one for you.  Not got as much time on your hands? A gas BBQ heats up quicker which means you can get creating dishes sooner for your friends and family.   Either choice is good and it can also help if your BBQ has a lid.  This can assist you in keeping the temperature constant. It can even help make the food more moist and delicious.

Valley Mill Creative Marketing Manager Siâny uses a Weber charcoal kettle BBQ and she swears by it.  “I can cook beautiful dishes for the family and some real showstoppers too.  I learnt that the right BBQ makes all the difference.  It’s a top BBQ tip to keep everyone happy and coming back for more.”

Top BBQ tips from Nothing but BBQ personalised Welsh Slate tray
You can personalise your own Welsh Slate trays and table runners

Fuel

It’s so easy to grab a bag of charcoal or briquettes from your local garage but you can find that the chemicals in them can affect the taste of your food.  Just be mindful in which fuel you choose. We recommend you go for a choice which is natural so it doesn’t taint your food.

Top BBQ Tip – How to light your coals

One BBQ accessory we would recommend is a chimney starter.  Oliver said “The next amazing invention after the wheel is the charcoal chimney starter”. OK, he’s sort of kidding but it REALLY is an amazing piece of equipment because it’s one of the easiest and quickest ways to light your fuel.  Check out this YouTube video which shows you how to light your coals.

Top BBQ Tip – How to put your coals in the BBQ

One of the easiest ways to control the temperature of your BBQ is by placing your coals on to one side of the bottom of the BBQ.  Why you ask?  When you cook in the oven you don’t have flames going across the entire bottom, so why would you do it on a BBQ?  It’s all about indirect and direct heat.

One of Oliver’s favourite BBQ sayings is “If you’re looking then you ain’t cooking”.

One of the best top BBQ tips that was shared with us when we were learning how to barbeque like a pro was make sure you have the right tools before you start.  Meat thermometer, extreme heat resistant gloves & tongs are all top of our list when organising a BBQ.  Do NOT panic though as you don’t need to spend a fortune on these and can pick up a thermometer from as little as £8.

BBQ Welsh Slate hanging sign personalised
Why not gift a BBQ lover in your life this wonderful Grillin’ & Chillin’ hanging Welsh Slate BBQ sign. You can also personalise your own.

The first recipe we want to share with you is actually a vegetarian recipe, as be honest, we all turn in to carnivores when it comes to a BBQ. 

Herby Sweet Potato Wedges with a Lemon Tahini Dressing

Live fire and British BBQ expert Genevieve Taylor is the author of ten cookery books including the bestselling Charred, a complete guide to vegetarian BBQ.  A proud omnivore, Genevieve is on a mission to prove that great BBQ isn’t just about Man vs. Meat. 

Valley Mill lifestyle photo shoot with Denby Potter Studio Blue medium ridged bowl.  Serving Genevieve Taylor Charred recipe
Add a touch of class by serving up your dish on one of our Denby Pottery bowls

You’ll need:

1kg sweet potatoes, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp smoked paprika, salt & pepper, 2 bags of 100g watercress.

For the lemon tahini dressing – 50g tahini, zest and juice of 1 lemon and 1 crushed clove of garlic.

Oliver shows us to how to recreate this amazing recipe.

Oliver Olly Woolnough from Meat Matters and Nothing But BBQ shows us how to cook like a pro in your garden
Olly Woolnough owner of Meat Matters Ltd & Nothing But BBQ

First up, make sure you scrub your sweet potatoes well with clean water.  Now chop them into wedges around 2cm thick.  Tip them into a bowl with the olive oil, oregano, smoked paprika, salt and pepper and give them a good mix so they are all coated.

Once your BBQ grill is hot, place a cast iron griddle or plancha on top of your grill.  You could even use one of our bake stones.  You need to be cooking on direct heat for this recipe.  Remember, direct heat means directly above the coals.

Place your seasoned potatoes on top of your griddle in a single layer.   Cook for around 30 minutes, flipping them occasionally.  Make sure they are cooked evenly. 

Whilst cooking you can make the lemon tahini dressing.  Mix together the ingredients with around 50ml of water (more if it’s too thick). 

To serve, place the watercress in a serving dish (check out Valley Mills choice of Denby Pottery).  Place the cooked sweet potatoes on top and drizzle over the dressing. 

Sweet Potato with watercress and lemon tahini dressing from Charred Genevieve Taylor

Genevieve’s Ultimate Bacon Cheeseburger

Fancy something meaty and a British BBQ classic?  Then try this version of a classic from Genevieve Taylor. 

Style Dining

Make your outdoor dining experience just as good as your indoor by adding touches of style and class to your ‘al fresco’ dining area.

Welsh Slate Wine Racks

Welsh Slate wine rack, handmade in Blaenau Ffestiniog, oiled and finished in our workshop in Llansamlet, Swansea. The wine racks are completely unique and each wine rack is one of a kind.

Welsh Slate & Ceramic Coasters

Serve up a chilled glass of your favourite tipple on one of our Welsh slate or ceramic coasters.

Enamel Mugs

Our 12 Oz enamel mugs, designed and hand printed by our in-house design team exclusively for Valley Mill. Printed on both sides. Dishwasher safe

Find out now what else Valley Mill have to offer for your next BBQ with friends

BBQ TIPS PART 2 COMING SOON – Sunday 20th May 2021 at 10am