THE BBQ SALE IS BACK!

Hunting for a new BBQ but not willing to dish out loads of cash? Consider going for a BBQ warehouse sale! Never been to one before? Here’s what you can expect:

  1. BBQ Display Units with Slashed Prices
    If you’ve been eying some current season BBQs in the stores, but are on a tight budget, why not get a display unit? Yes, display units come with some scratches and imperfections, but none of them have ever been used before AND they still retain their original warranty. In fact, most of the time, BBQs start to look old after the first time you use them, so it might just be worth it to trade some scratches for saving a few hundred bucks.
  2. Last Piece and Past Season BBQ Models Going for Low $$$
    Look out for past season models at warehouse sales because honestly, the BBQ industry isn’t like really like fashion where people buy what’s trending Grill functions and designs don’t really stray too far from season to season, so getting an past season model is just as good as a new model featured in the stores right now.
  3. Tons of Grill Accessories to Choose From!
    Besides the BBQ grills, accessories also go on sale, and if you’ve been following BBQ Lovers, you’ll know that there are lots of fun accessories you can get to complement your grilling sessions! From Napoleon to Liberty to Tramontina to Axtschlag, you could pick up some pretty awesome grilling “toys” from this sale!

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    From grilling tools and cleaning products, wood smoking accessories to cutlery, you’ll be able to find it at this awesome BBQ sale!

So what are you waiting for? The sale starts tomorrow and ends on Sunday! Go early for a wider selection of grills, before the best deals get nabbed up! Details below:

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Beer, Can?

The weekend was quite exciting for me as I finally made time to do something I’ve always wanted to try – ROASTING A BEER CAN CHICKEN ($24)!

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I started out by making a marinade with Soy Sauce, Minced Garlic and Melted Butter. Just mix it all together (blend it in a blender is best because the mince garlic can be a bit chunky for the marinade injector)! Once that’s done, I had to set up the beer can chicken roaster.

The Napoleon Beer Can Chicken Roaster comes in 2 parts – the pan on the bottom and the metal legs that holds the chicken up. Insert the ends of the metal legs into the holes of the pan such that the legs are standing up. Then, grab a can of beer (or soda) and empty out half the can. Squeeze this can into the middle of the pan and beneath the metal legs. After which, you can place the butt of the chicken over the standing legs and can. If you like, you can even put half an onion inside the chicken before you do this for some extra flavor.

I used the Napoleon basting brush ($14) to cover all of the chicken (don’t forget to get into all the nooks and crannies) with the marinade. After which, I inserted the marinade injector ($19.90) into a few different meaty areas of the Chicken.

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Leave the chicken to soak up the marinade for a bit and use this time to light up the grill. I put the grill (Napoleon Lex485RSIB) at medium heat on 2 of the burners and I used my Napoleon Heat Resistant Gloves ($75) to place the chicken and roaster between them. It’s such good protection that I wasn’t afraid to get anywhere near the fire!

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I closed the hood and left it there for about 25-30 minutes, opening it up every 7 minutes to check on the chicken and to baste it with the marinade so it keeps moist and tasty. I also used a smoker cup ($45) with beer flavoured wood chips ($20) from Axtschlag to give it a smoky flavor.

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When the chicken was done, I took it off the grill and used the Napoleon Digital Thermometer ($29.90) to make sure (it’s done when the internal temperature is at 165 Degrees Fahrenheit or 75 Degress Celcius). It was so tender and juicy because of the marinade that had been injected into it, and the skin was crispy all over because it was exposed to the flames all around. Overall, it was a very delicious chicken and I would do it again!

To purchase any of these products, check out libertypatio.com or visit Butcher’s Dog (Great World City), Zac Butchery (Chun Tin or Figaro St) or Decofix (Serene Centre).

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Buying your first Gas Grill

Gas grills, as with most things in Singapore, don’t come cheap. We don’t manufacture many things here because labour is expensive and so is land for factories. So when you’re looking for a gas grill, you’ll want to make sure you can get the most bang for your buck.

Here is a check list of things to look out for when purchasing your first gas grill:

  1. What does the BBQ come with? What are you REALLY paying for?
    The price tag can be quite deceiving at times. Why does one 2 burner BBQ cost so much less than the other? Before deciding, find out if the BBQ comes with some essentials like a gas hose and regulator, and a rain cover (which is very necessary in Singapore weather!). Sometimes you’ll be getting a motorized rotisserie – it’s good to check on this one, especially if your BBQ comes with a back burner. Also, don’t forget to check on the local warranty period and what the warranty covers. Some local companies cover transport, service as well as replacement parts under their warranty.

  2. Why buy a grill in Singapore when it’s so much cheaper overseas?
    It’s not always the case that it’s cheaper overseas – take one of Napoleon’s more popular models, the Triumph T325SB. It’s USD499 (SGD698) on amazon, and after adding the standard amazon shipping charges and import fees, you’re looking at about USD840, which equates to SGD1174. It costs SGD999 to get it locally (or SGD1199 with the rain cover and rotisserie unit). For this amount, you will be getting your BBQ with a gas hose and regulator suitable for use in Singapore, 1-2 day delivery straight to your door, free assembly, and a local warranty which covers repairs, transport and replacement part costs.
  3. Materials!
    A BBQ grill can be made out of different materials so you have to know if the materials you’re paying for are justifiable. Standard materials for the bulk of the BBQ are usually stainless steel or powder-coated steel, but can also come in die-cast aluminum (usually for the fire box), chrome-plated steel (for the warming rack), and of course, cast iron (for the cooking grids and griddles). 304 stainless steel is probably the highest grade of stainless steel you can get for a standard gas grill, but most will be made of 430 or a mix of both materials. Why does it matter? Singapore’s humidity and rainy weather means lots of moisture everywhere, and moisture is bad for metal, especially when the grade of stainless steel is low. You’ll find corrosion and rust are a common sight.

    How do you know what kind of steel you’re getting? Do the magnet test. Magnets don’t stick to 304 stainless steel, but they do to 430 and powder-coated steel. Sometimes a BBQ will have a double-skinned hood, which means two layers of metal – the magnet test can be tricky here, because the hood could have a layer of 304 on the outside, and 430 on the inside. It’s designed this way to protect the more moisture-exposed areas of the BBQ.

    If you’re looking at a BBQ, and it has a steep price tag, check if the materials are 304 stainless steel or die-cast aluminum. That might be what you’re paying for.

  4. Other features – Burners, side burners, foldable side tables…
    Other parts you could be paying extra for are the burner power, so compare the BTU/kW with other similar BBQs. Some BBQs come with a side burner or back burner, and some will even be infrared types which are more expensive. Check if the side tables are foldable (if you have a space problem) and if the LPG tank can fit in the cabinet (not necessary, but helpful if you want a sleek integrated look). Other little features such as condiments racks, chopping boards, lights, hooks… these could be small little extras that make the BBQ special.

  5. Lastly, where is it made?
    Where the BBQ is made can contribute to the final price point just because it’s cheaper to ship from China than North America. Some brands will have factories in both locations producing different model ranges. For example, you might have Weber manufacturing their lower end range in China, and their higher end range in the USA, while Napoleon manufactures their entry-level range in both Canada and China, while their high-end Prestige and Rogue R425SIB models are all made in Canada.
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5 reasons to LOVE the Rogue

Napoleon’s latest Rogue gas BBQ grill series might just be the most perfect one yet for the Singaporean BBQ lover. The grills (R425, R425SB & R425SIB) have many amazing features, but let me give you my top 5 faves!

 

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From left to right: R425S, R425SB, R425SIB

 

  1. Quality, Quality, Quality!
    These BBQs are made of such quality materials – across the board, all Rogues have a die-cast aluminum firebox. Why does this matter? Die-cast aluminum is much stronger than welded steel, which means that the areas holding up the burners won’t give way easily.

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    Check out the die-cast aluminum fire box!

    The highest-end of all these models is the R425SIB (which is still made in Canada – many BBQ companies have shifted their production to China, including Weber’s Spirit and Genesis line) and is made mostly out of 304 and 430 stainless steel which fares very well in our weather. Even the grills are made of stainless steel (the other 2 have cast iron grills).

    Now let’s talk heat – you’re looking at about 3.5kw per main burner and 2.6kw for sear zone – this is pretty good when you compare it to a Weber Spirit S320, which is 3.1kw per main burner and 2.1kw  for the sear zone – albeit that the sear zone for the Rogue is a 2-in-1 with its side burner.

  2. Size Does Matter
    I know, I know – size is a problem especially when all you have is a balcony to work with. I love that all the Rogue series BBQs come with 2 foldable side tables, which comes in very handy when you want to pack it away to a corner.IMG_5320
  3. Extra on the Side
    While the R425 doesn’t come with the side burner (as some of you won’t use this feature), the R425sb and R425SIB both come with side burners, and what’s even more awesome is the R425SIB comes with an infrared side burner that doubles up as a sear zone – it’s cool because BBQs with this feature don’t usually come with a foldable side table and are almost always large.What’s even more awesome is the R425SIB comes with an infrared side burner that doubles up as a sear zone – it’s cool because BBQs with this feature don’t usually come with a foldable side table and are almost always large.
  4. Gas What?
    We can’t change that the LPG tanks sizes in Singapore are huge, but we can change the size of the cabinets that house the tanks. Here’s looking at a 12.7kg LPG tank INSIDE the cabinet of the Rogue. I know, satisfying isn’t it?
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  5. Absolutely CHAR-ming!
    Lastly, if you miss the taste of charcoal, you can still have it whenever you want. The Rogue comes with the option of the Charcoal Smoker Tray, which converts your Rogue into a charcoal BBQ. It’s so simple, all you do is fill the tray with charcoal, close the hood and light it up through the burners. Wait about 15-20 mins, switch the gas fire off, and you’ll have a charcoal BBQ going – easy peasy!
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You can get the Napoleon Rogue Series from Liberty Patio, prices starting from $1498. Price includes delivery, assembly, gas hose and regulator, rain cover and motorized rotisserie kit.

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RENO TALK: BUILT-IN BBQS

It’s been a while since I did my last post, but life has been pretty hectic around the office, and in general. I’m at the age where literally everyone in my close circle of friends is getting married (I’ve been to 4 weddings in the past couple of months!). There’s also been a lot of buzz from them about getting new homes to move into… which brings me to my latest question – how does one incorporate a BBQ into your new home seamlessly?

I have a lot of customers who request for built-in BBQs, and these are usually people who live in houses. We have these Napoleon and Masport BBQs built into some landed houses:

But just the other day, I went to a customer’s apartment to give a little demo on the Canadian-made Napoleon Prestige BIPRO500, only to be pleasantly surprised. Here’s a picture of what it looked like, and let me explain why I was both surprised and impressed:

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What the owner of the apartment did was to completely demolish the existing indoor kitchen of his home, and move it to his balcony because his balcony area was really windy and spacious, and wholly utilizes the balcony space which many people overlook. It was such a brilliant idea, I wish I had thought of it myself.

So what you’re looking at is an outdoor kitchen area fully equipped with a Napoleon built-in gas grill, electric stove, electric teppanyaki and gas stoves, and of course, sinks. The owner also used a very unique countertop material which I had not seen before in any other project. Most projects use granite, marble, ceramic tiles, or straight-up boring old concrete. But he used a heat-resistant synthetic material which replicates a vintage/rusted out look, which is very unique and trendy.

(Not in the picture is the fridge and extra counter space on the left.)

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The owner of the apartment had enough space to include an extra alfresco seating area in the balcony, and another dining area inside if it gets too warm in the balcony.

Of course, if you do have an outdoor kitchen in your backyard, you can draw inspiration from these other projects that use outdoor electric stoves, BBQs, and ovens (apologies as these were taken on rainy days).

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German brand Ascobloc and Belgian brand Indu Plus supply teppanyakis, grills, cooking hobs and ovens for indoor and outdoor use. This means they can be used in a dry kitchen, or even left outside in the rain or shine (provided the countertops are built according to requirements). Their products are made in their respective countries, ensuring the highest quality of materials and technology.

If you’re thinking about designing a counter with outdoor gas or electrical equipment, Proline offers a free consultation session with your contractor or architect, or if you don’t have either, they usually have a contractor that they work with that can help you design the outdoor kitchen you’ve always wanted.

 

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Bargain Buys: BBQ Warehouse Sale

What better way to celebrate National Day than to chill at home with the fam (and friends too!) and catch the parade!

Liberty Patio X Proline’s bi-annual BBQ warehouse sale is back this weekend – just in time for us to get a grill for the holiday. As usual, the sale will feature past season barbecues, sample barbecues, display units and those with cosmetic defects, as well as bbq accessories. All BBQs are new and never been used. Details on the sale are in the flyer at the bottom of this post.

Here are some examples of what you’ll find at the sale, but be quick, as the popular models will be the first to go:

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Napoleon Triumph T325 Display Unit U.P.$1391 Sale Price: $974 (with cover and rotisserie)

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Napoleon LE3 Display Unit U.P.$2568 Sale Price:$2055 (with cover and rotisserie)

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Masport Lifestyle 3H Display Unit: $1230.50 Sale price: $985 (with cover)

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Liberty Chef S3 Display Unit: U.P. $799 Sale Price: $599.25

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The Meat Club

Last week, I was given some meat samples from The Meat Club. The Meat Club is an online meat supplier that takes orders on a subscription basis.

The subscription to the meat keeps the cost of meat low for consumers like you and me, and helps to prevent wastage because it’s easier for the store to keep track of how much meat is actually needed.

For example, a 250gm grain-fed Aussie ribeye steak will set you back about $23 – $25 on average at other online butcher stores, whereas on The Meat Club, you’re looking at an average of $15 – $16 per 250gm.

What’s more is that because of the way the meat is packaged, you can keep it up to 28 days in the fridge, and it’ll still taste super fresh! The meat is packed by using thermoform cryvac at a tier one processing plant, a process which aims to minimise (if not completely cut out) contaminant exposure on its journey to Singapore. And every step of the logistics supply chain is closely monitored to ensure a little changes  as possible in the temperature and humidity.

So how does the meat fare when it comes to taste? I put them on the grill to find out!

I tested out the Aussie grain-fed strip steak, and the lamb chops. I didn’t want to alter the taste of the meat too much, so I only added salt and a bit of pepper to enhance the flavour.

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Salting the Lamb Chops and Grain-fed strip steak (apologies for exposing your eyes to this heinous green chopping board!)

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Onto the BBQ Grill they go!

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So fresh and so tender! Nomnomnom…

The verdict?
The meat club delivers freshness as promised from their thermoform cryvac packaging, and the taste and quality of the meat hadn’t deteriorated despite the fact that I had left it in the fridge for about 4 days. The lamb chops were particularly delicious, as they were full and fatty. The steak was tender and juicy, even though I had cooked it more towards the medium-well range. All in all, I was very happy with the meat from the Meat Club.

To find out more about the meat club, or to subscribe, check out The Meat Club website.

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Grills, Gas & Regulators: 101

I did a post about getting gas for your BBQ a while back (I mean, years back!) – so if any of you are looking for the 411 on gas tanks and canisters in Singapore, this would be the most updated info you can get.

WHICH WORKS WITH WHAT?
BRAND: Can I use any gas regulator for any brand of gas tank? The answer is no. Some gas tanks work with different gas regulators, while others do not. Always check with the company that supplied the gas regulator to you (whether it’s the BBQ company or the gas supplier) which brand of gas tank will be suitable for the regulator you’re using. Even if the regulator fits the tank, it doesn’t mean it will work.

TANK SIZE: Larger grills need different sized gas tanks from smaller grills – yes, this means different gas regulators too. For example, any BBQ with 4 burners or less would need a regulator for a 12.7kg gas tank, whereas any BBQ with more than 4 burners would need a regulator for a 11.3kg gas tank (I know, it is weird that the larger BBQ needs a smaller gas tank). This information is specific to Esso and Mobil LPG tanks.

HOW SMALL CAN I GO?
It’s really hard to get a small gas tank in Singapore – but for those of you who are looking – you can actually still find the 4.5kg ones here, but they are very pricey and you have to get a special regulator from the gas supplier too. Users only want the 4.5kg tank because they can store it in their BBQ cabinets, but really, it’s not practical or worth the buck because it runs out so fast and it’s about 2.5 times the price of a large tank. Furthermore, it’s not compatible with larger grills because there’s just not enough pressure in the tank to keep a large BBQ running.

Some BBQs like the TravelQ TQ285X and the TQ285 table top grill, have the option of regulators that work with camping gas. No, camping gas is not the same as the gas you use for steamboats. These run out really fast, but they’re bought more for the convenience of being able to take them around – especially if you intend to go camping somewhere or have a small picnic in the great outdoors.

If a large gas tank stored outside your BBQ cabinet really irks you because it’s too ugly, perhaps consider an LPG tank cover that comes in different colours.

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“Tacky no more!” Exclaimed the LPG tank.

CAN I GET PIPED IN?
TOWN GAS: If you’re looking to connect your BBQ to town gas (or piped gas), it’s definitely possible. You will have to check with your BBQ supplier if they are able to do this for you. Do not do it yourself, as you risk forfeiting the grill warranty.

SAFETY FIRST!
My gas supplier offered me an adjustable regulator – should I use it?
I wouldn’t recommend using it because if the pressure has been adjusted incorrectly, you could be looking at a flaming disaster as sometimes too much gas is released (believe me, hand-to-heart, this has happened!). Instead, check with the BBQ supplier for their recommendation first.

Here are some tips from Union Energy on how to store your LPG tank safely.

 

 

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Straight Off The Rotisserie

Previously, I discussed grilling picanha (Brazilian beef rump cap) directly on the grill. Over the weekend, I decided to do something a bit more special and use the rotisserie to see how different the meat would turn out.

Here I have half a slab of picanha (they are normally no more than 1.5kg, so this is about 700gms). The pinkish epidermis of the meat can get quite tough, so I suggest removing it before sticking the rotisserie spike in.

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As with all churrasco, get ready some coarse salt. I’m using a coarse salt herb blend here. Roll the meat up and stick the rotisserie spike through. I’m using the rotisserie spikes here because my rotisserie spike is a bit thin, so the meat needs a little help staying in place. Ideally, you don’t want to have to poke more holes in the meat or squeeze it in any way to avoid the juices flowing out.

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Here’s a short video of how I salted the meat while on the rotisserie. I like it really salty, but it’s not for everyone, so just put a light coat of salt if you’re not too sure. You can just do it while it’s rotating. After salting it, close the hood to keep the heat in – we’re doing this at medium to high heat – around 350 degrees celsius. Check on it every now and again to make sure it doesn’t over cook.

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The flames get pretty big as the salt falls from the meat into the fire below while rotating.

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I remove the picanha a few times during the grilling process to slice off the meat on the outside, the way they would do it at a Brazilian BBQ place. What you’ll find is that you can keep having that beef “bark” on the outside every time you put the meat back on the rotisserie to cook, while the inside remains tender and juicy.

You can get a rotisserie for your BBQ from Liberty Patio.

 

 

 

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Copacabana Style!

Over Easter Break, I went to Brazil to visit my boyfriend’s family. We started off in Rio and drove up to Belo Horizonte (time-wise, we’re talking a drive from Singapore to Penang – not including the time it took for tow to come get our rental because it broke down in the middle of Petropolis!).

While in Rio, we had some grilled beef and tapioca (or yucca, as they call it over there). I thought this was really interesting because I never really had tapioca as a savoury dish before. My grandma said that during WW2 in Singapore, they never really had much to eat, and because Tapioca was easy to grow, that’s what they had a lot of. When I was little, she would usually steam some for us, and we’d sprinkle some sugar on it. Of course, we also had other tapioca things like tapioca cake and Thai-style tapioca dessert with coconut cream.

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Brazilian BBQ (or Churrasco) is available pretty much anywhere you go in Brazil. You can find it on the interstate, in shopping malls, on the beach, out in the country, in people’s homes – pretty much everywhere. Barbecuing is such a big part of the Brazilian culture.

The beach side restaurant we went to in Copacabana was considered a “fancier” place, in a sense that it was more touristy and pricier. Although, everything in Rio is a little bit more expensive than elsewhere in the country. In this restaurant, they used a teppanyaki-style electric grill. In most other places, including homes, you’ll find that they grill using charcoal. Gas BBQs are virtually non-existent.

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When we got to Belo Horizonte, many homes and restaurants will even make their own BBQ grills out of brick. They look like wood fire pizza ovens that you see in pizzerias here. The idea is simple – there are 2 sections to the BBQ – a base where you place the charcoal, and the grilling area which consists of 2 levels. There isn’t a full grilling surface that stays put in one section. Instead, the cook will move the grills (grilling trays with handles) as they see fit around the BBQ.

Oh, and as a testament to how much people BBQ over there, they only sell charcoal bags of 10kg. Compared to Singapore’s measly 3-4kg bags sold at supermarkets. Wuuuttt…

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To have your own personal Brazilian BBQ experience in Singapore, you could try out The Brazil Dream, which has a Brazilian chef for hire who can bring Churrasco to your home or any event.

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