Building an Aussie style barbie

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Millymollymandy
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Building an Aussie style barbie

Post: # 3028Post Millymollymandy
Tue May 17, 2005 5:30 am

Might need Wombat's help on this one!

I want to construct an Aussie/Kiwi style bbq - it's the kind where you cook over wood fire on a sheet of metal over the top. My query is what kind of metal to use (and where to get it from, but that's most likely my prob seeing as I'm in France!).

I think it would have to be steel, but what kind, stainless? And it would have to be quite thick wouldn't it, to withstand the heat and not warp, but I don't want it to rust either.

I've got loads of wood (was thinking of using the resinous wood that we're not supposed to use in the log burner inside) but bbq charcoal is expensive and we're on a tight budget. I remember also when travelling in Aus/NZ that these barbies produced the best flavoured food.

I also can't believe it's mid May and I haven't had a bbq yet!!! :cry:

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Post: # 3030Post Wombat
Tue May 17, 2005 6:29 am

G'DAy M3

Yep it needs to be thick, not just to stop warping, but ot even out the heat distribution. Cast iron is best, but after that is steel, yes it gets a bit rusty initally but after a while in gets that grunged black surface to it that adds to the distinctive flavour :mrgreen: . I have seen an inch thick aluminium plate used, but prefer not to cook with ally as I have enough problems with brain short-circuits :bom: .

Do you have any metal recyclers (junk yards) near you? keep a look out for metal at least 1/4 inch thick or better. Otherwise, how about metal industry - particularly casting?

Also, to add to the confusion, I believe the Australian term Boree log predates the American "barbecue" as a name for this style of cooking. Although even here we seem to have embraced the "barbie" as the term of choice!


Nev
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Post: # 3067Post Millymollymandy
Wed May 18, 2005 5:54 am

Thanks, I was wondering about cast iron as we have a sheet which sadly isn't big enough, but we had a trial putting it on top of some granite blocks which were found in the garden (left over from the renovation I suppose), which now it's been out in the rain for several days has gone an interesting shade of orange!

I'm stabbing in the dark here but I guess it would need to be "seasoned" like a new steel wok - heat it up with oil on, rub off, do again. Then keep a cover over it to protect it from the rain!

The chimney and fireplace guy who installed our wood burning stove already suggested cast iron and has called a foundry he knows and asked for a quote to the dimensions we gave him. This being France we may be ready to bbq by October!!!

Then no more prawns, bits of kebabs and burger falling through the holes in the grill any more :mrgreen:

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Post: # 3068Post wulf
Wed May 18, 2005 6:52 am

Is the sheet positioned perfectly level (so that each bit of food sits in its own fat) or angled so there's a deliberate run-off?

Wulf

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Post: # 3071Post Wombat
Wed May 18, 2005 8:40 am

G'DAy Guys,

Yes you can do the seasoning thing, or (if you are a true carnivore) leave tha fat from your first barbie to congeal and form a waterproof coating. Fatty chops help here! :mrgreen:.

Wulf, I have used both set up ups and find that both work well, although then you put the onions on you may need to add oil on the "drain" model to keep them from burning. I think it comes back to personal choice (and health consciousness) :cheers:

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Post: # 3073Post wulf
Wed May 18, 2005 11:18 am

Any pictures? I don't think I've seen an Aussie style barbie before, although I have been to the 'Mongolian Barbecue' restaurant in London, where you select your ingredients and then watch as the cooks heat them together for you on a large metal plate (great fun!)

Wulf

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Post: # 3100Post Muddypause
Wed May 18, 2005 10:43 pm

Wombat wrote:I have seen an inch thick aluminium plate used, but prefer not to cook with ally as I have enough problems with brain short-circuits :bom: .
Nev, this may interest you:

I believe in the '60s a researcher compiled some data that seemed to suggest a possible causal link between aluminium and Alzheimer's disease. He published his findings in a well respected, peer reviewed, scientific journal (I think it was Nature). The information filtered into the world's media, and slipped into the consciousness of people as a simplistic mantra of 'Aluminium causes Alzheimers'.

Meantime, the original researcher reviewed his data, and found that there was an error - he had not, in fact, found any suggestion of a causal link between aluminium and Alzheimer's disease. He published this new finding in the same well respected, peer reviewed scientific journal.

But the damage was done, and most people are now of the opinion that cooking with aluminium saucepans will lead to early dementia. It is a piece of misinformation that still gets regularly consolidated by much of the popular media. When faced with a lack of any other credible evidence, I have even heard people seriously suggest that aluminium must be bad for you because it has the atomic number of 13 (oo-er).

Research is still being done, and it all seems to undermine the case for a causal link.

The idea is so embeded into people's psyche, that even when you explain the situation to people, they still think '...just in case'.

This is not to say that it is necessarily a good idea to consume aluminium; some people react badly to it as an alergy, or a toxin, but in fact we all consume aluminium every day - it exists in water and food, and some things, like tea, cereals, and many herbs and spices have quite high concentrates of it.
Stew

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Post: # 3304Post Millymollymandy
Wed May 25, 2005 5:42 am

Update - we had a quote from the foundry. For their standard size piece of cast iron, 1cm thick, 80cm x 50cm, price is..........

€150 !!!!!! :shock:

(We wanted 100cm x 50!). So no way Jose.

Have now constructed (sort of!) using our rusty piece of 50 x 50 using the two smaller bits we had as a sort of shelf holding it up, giving us the whole area for cooking on. It's a bit cobbled together but we'll see and it can be moved or fiddled with if necessary. However nearly gave hubby a hernia as the rocks it's sitting on are great big granite blocks which we had to move into place! Cleaned up the metal a bit and we are using the non rusty side which is a bit smoother.

Am going to try it out tonight with tandoori chicken wings. I bet that makes a right mess of it and everything in future will taste of tandoori!!! :mrgreen: However I love to recycle and this is all left over granite in garden and left over metal from the old open fire.

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Post: # 3313Post Wombat
Wed May 25, 2005 8:47 am

Muddypause wrote:When faced with a lack of any other credible evidence, I have even heard people seriously suggest that aluminium must be bad for you because it has the atomic number of 13 (oo-er)
Stew, I LOVE that! it is so cool! :mrgreen:

Thanks for the info - so the brain plaques containing aluminium was a furphy huh?

M3

Cobbling it together is part of the Barbie mystique! 8) goodonyer! I hope it cooks well for you, make sure that you get a good bed of coals :wink:

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Post: # 3318Post Muddypause
Wed May 25, 2005 10:54 am

Wombat wrote:so the brain plaques containing aluminium was a furphy huh?
Hi Nev,

I had to look 'furphy' up - never heard it used before:

"Furphy n; an unlikely or absurd rumour

[Furphy, name of supplier of sanitation carts in Australia during World War I]

chiefly Austr informal"

I think there may be evidence of ally accumulation in the brain, but it increasingly seems that there is no evidence that it is the cause of alzheimers; there is some speculation that it may be as a result of alzheimers, but I wouldn't claim any expert knowledge about the science.

What interests me, in a sociological way, is that if the initial flawed research had not been published in the first place, there wouldn't be a ton of research done to subsequently disprove what had never been proved in the first place.

A quick Google turned up this:

http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/Facts_abou ... minium.htm

and some interesting discussion here:

http://yarchive.net/med/aluminum.html

I realise, of course, that this is a level of knowledge and study of which I only know what I'm told, and to some degree that will always be partisan, depending upon who I choose to place my faith in. It behoves us all to choose our gurus carefully, but I like the quote used in the above link

"It ain't the things you don't know that hurt you, so much as the things you know, that just ain't so!" (Josh Billings - US humourist).
Stew

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Post: # 3333Post Wombat
Wed May 25, 2005 9:20 pm

Thanks for the links Stew, had a quick look and it looks like interesting stuff. Good point about who you believe and i'm sure we could get a good thread going discussing the politics of "facts" :wink: .

According to legend, the water carts used in WW1 were made by Furphy and so the rumours spread around by the blokes drinking at the water carts became known by the same name.

Sorry 'bout the use of the vernacular there, I tend to forget............... :shock:

Years ago we had a German girl staying with us and I tried to translate the Australian English of the "The Man From Snowy River" poem into her textbook English. I gave up after the first few lines! It was just to hard to do and still keep the feel of the poem - language is a weird thing!

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Post: # 3351Post Millymollymandy
Thu May 26, 2005 5:16 am

"There was movement at the station
for the word had passed around
that the colt from Old Regret had got away...."

Love that poem :lol:

oops where were we?

Oh yes, barbie. It was great and I think all the people in the UK should get one because it chucked out so much heat - better than any of these patio heaters people get! Coupled with the warm granite - we could be barbecuing in the winter!

Only thing I found was that chicken wings were a bit greasy and probably not the best thing to cook on sheet metal because they didn't get as browned everywhere as they are not flat. So I think I will use this barbie for flat things and fish and use the old charcoal barbie for things like wings and ribs.

It was a lovely warm evening anyway so we had a great time, first barbie of the year too! :mrgreen:

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Post: # 3370Post ina
Thu May 26, 2005 9:05 pm

Never thought I'd see that poem here of all places! I've still got the book somewhere, I hope. Anybody seen the film? I even was in that area where they made it, and in the pub, where just about all the locals had been involved in it, and they all still remembered, and the photos were up all over the pub's walls... But that was years before I got there. We watched the video afterwards. Great shots.

We actually had our first barbie here (in freezing Scotland!) about a month ago, in between showers. And last week we had -6.3 degree Celsius one night... And snowshowers just a bit higher up in the hills. That makes Scotland interesting. You never know what season it is on any day of the year.

Cheers
Ina

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Post: # 3385Post Wombat
Fri May 27, 2005 2:40 am

Yeah, it is one of my favourite poems, next to Poe's "the Raven".

Good to hear that you can still organise a good barbie in the UK. My favourites are (the very pedestrian) Snags and T-bone steak. I am not a big steak eater, but on the barbie......................that's different!

Nev
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Post: # 3389Post ina
Fri May 27, 2005 9:25 am

Ehrrr, what are Snags? Sounds a bit like slugs and therefore not very appetising!

I'm a veggie myself, but I do keep sausages (organic, of course!) in the freezer, just in case we should spontaneously decide on a barbie one night. For me it's usually just tatties on the charcoal, don't go for that fake veggie meat.

Ina

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