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Callow smoker as a grill!


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The incredibly nice weather caught me out today. I smoked a pork shoulder on my callow last week so had already given it a thorough clean out after winter storage, but my Landmann barrel style grill BBQ (which I use for non low n slow cooking) was yet to receive the same treatment.

I've got another pork shoulder in the fridge for another smoke for a mexican recipe using chorizo, but couldn't find any chorizo in the supermarket so that's on hold. With the sun blazing the Mrs. suggested we bbq some other bits from the fridge (chicken breasts, and make burgers out of some mince that was planned for bolognese) but between mowing the lawn, looking after the toddler and a few other jobs I didn't have time to clean off the grill BBQ.

I thought why not open up the vents, break out the lumpwood and see if I can grill on the callow using the lower grate for some direct radiation cooking.

Lunch was chicken breasts, marinaded in oil, paprika, garlic, mixed herbs and a little BBQ sauce, had them with potato salad and cherry toms.

Supper we had homemade burgers, (500g steak mince, 1 egg, 1/2 an onion and burger seasoning) had with the remaining potato salad, grilled peppers and green beans.

This is a callow Mk1 which struggles to get up to temp at the best of times (though I can now consistently manage the right temps for low' n slow thanks to a few little mods), with the heat deflector removed and all vents open I was reading about 260F at the lower grill level. This was hot enough to cook the chicken in about 25 minutes. It was incredibly juicy, the thinner pieces were just right and I'd say the larger ones had that ever so slightly gelatenous quality that only-just-cooked chicken has, there was no sign of any pinkness but to me another 3 or 4 degrees celsius would be better. But the coals were running out by then.

I gave the burgers slightly less time, they were beautifully cooked, no pink (wife is pregnant) but still really juicy and tasty. Peppers were perfect too.

I would say ideally more temperature would have been good in both cases, both for time (certainly) and flavour (desirable but not essential), which probably would have been solved by me not being such a scrooge with the charcoal. Mind you who knows how long until I can buy some more in this lockdown!

The callow is on it's third year of use, two of the clasps have lost their springs, rust is encroaching on most of the vents, the paint coating is peeling in lots of places but she's still proving useful. Great purchase for 65 quid, has taught me some invaluable lessons as well as made some cracking food in that time.




Edited by dl8860
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