Tag Archives: balcony bbq

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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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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Jack of All Grills

Have you been looking for a grill that has it all… the looks, the features, the compactness…. with a price tag that won’t break the bank? Well, hold on to your hats because I think I’ve found it.

The Liberty Chef Pro is a 3 burner gas BBQ that has everything I look for in a BBQ.

Firstly, size is always an issue for me. I don’t like a BBQ to be too in your face, especially in an apartment balcony. This BBQ is small for a 3 burner unit, and on top of that, it has one collapsible side table.

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It comes with a warming rack and a motorized rotisserie.

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I love that it comes with 2 cast iron grills and 1 cast iron hot plate. I don’t use the hot plate that often, but it’s so good to have it there for when you have eggs, veggies or anything that crumbles.

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The side burner is so handy for sauces and soups. You practically have an outdoor kitchen in this machine.

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The downside to this BBQ is that you can’t fit the standard Singapore sized gas tank inside the cabinet. The cabinet is really very small. But I never recommend putting it inside anyway for safety reasons. I always have it stored outside, under the side table or behind the BBQ. It comes with a rain cover so you don’t have to worry about keeping it outdoors.

The Liberty Chef Pro is available from Liberty Patio at $999. This price is inclusive of delivery and assembly, rain cover, gas hose and regulator, and 1 year warranty. 

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From Balcony to Camping Grounds, these BBQs know no bounds!

Say goodbye to space constraint issues! With Napoleon’s TravelQ PRO285 and TQ285X, you can have a great BBQ sesh even in the tiniest of balconies.

First up, let’s take a look at the Napoleon TravelQ TQ285X.

Blue. The TQ285X comes in an eye-catching metallic blue (lid), with black side tables and grey legs.

Napoleon TravelQ TQ285X

Gas. There are 2 types of gas canisters that can be used with the TQ285X – 250ml  Steamboat cartridge & 12.7kg LPG gas tank. However, the TQ285X will come with only 1 regulator per unit, so you’ll have to decide which gas type is more suitable for you.

Grills. Typical of Napoleon grills, the TravelQ TQ285X comes with a wave design for their cast iron cooking surface. The cast iron also feels solid and the whole cooking surface area is actually made up of 2 separate grills. It’s a decent-sized cooking area, enough to grill 10 – 12 burger patties.

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Ventilation system in hood.

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Burners. I was actually surprised to find that the TQ285X had 2 stainless steel burners for such a small BBQ. But it’s perfect for distributing heat more evenly across the cooking area, and also, has a higher heat power than the usual 1 burners in the market with 12,000 BTUs.

 

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Clasp for preventing the lid from opening up when it’s being moved around.

Foldable. Fold down the TQ285X for easy storage. It stands on it’s own so you don’t have to lean it against the wall.

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Covers. Covers are optional for the TQ285X. They come in the full cover ($70) and the partial cover ($50).

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The Napoleon TravelQ TQ285x is available from libertypatio.com from $670.

Next, let’s take a look at the Napoleon TravelQ PRO285.

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Compact. The PRO285 has removable side tables. You can also take it off the stand and use it as a table top BBQ.

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Simplicity. I was really surprised by how easy it was to attach and take off the firebox from the stand. 4 clips hold the BBQ down.

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Solid. The main cooking area is really solid. From the die-cast aluminium fire box to the thick cast iron grills, this is a well made bbq.

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Other features. It’s not possible to stick the gas tank on the base of the cart, but there is a little slot at the back for you to place it on the ground under the BBQ. There is also a bottle opener on the front.

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Covers. Covers are optional for the Pro285. They come in the partial cover ($50).

The Napoleon TravelQ Pro285 is available from libertypatio.com from $850.

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Pre-Order the New Napoleon TravelQ’s!

I’ll be heading to Portugal tonight, but before I go, I just wanted to squeeze in a little update on the new products hitting Singapore in February 2015.

Liberty Patio has now opened up the pre-orders for the new Napoleon TravelQ 285x, Napoleon TravelQ Pro285 and Triumph T495. Will these make it into our top 10 favourite balcony BBQs this year? Also back in stock are the LEX485, Triumph T410, T325, LE3, Charcoal Kettle PRO22CK-L, and a bunch of other BBQ accessories.

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tq285 PRO285apro285 with stand

Watch this space for my reviews on the new models once they arrive on our shores.

In the meantime, check out more details here: http://www.libertypatio.com/

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New Grills this Season!

A couple of new barbecues just hit our shores and I’m going to tell you about them. Maybe you’ll find something quite suitable for your budget and lifestyle!

Firstly, I’m going to introduce the Ultra Chef line of grills by Canadian brand, Napoleon. They’re definitely cheaper than the existing lines from Napoleon here in Singapore, such as the Triumph, Lex and LE.

Napoleon Ultra Chef UC430

Full stainless steel UC430

What’s to love?

Price. The UC430 and UC500 are SGD1177 and SGD1498 respectively. The prices include GST, delivery & assembly costs, rain cover, gas regulator and hose, 1 year warranty (includes replacement parts, repairs, transport costs). Given that these are full stainless steel barbecues, this range is pretty affordable compared to similar models in the market.

The UC500 also comes with a motorised rotisserie kit. You can get an additional motorised rotisserie kit for the UC430 for an additional SGD120. Also available is the reversible hotplate for the UC500 – it also comes with the classic Napoleon “Wave” pattern.

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Comes with the classic Napoleon “wave” grills.

UC side burner

UC side burner to complete that outdoor kitchen

Space. For those of you worried about not being about to fit the 12.7kg gas tanks in your BBQs, the UC line has a pretty tall cabinet so you can store your tanks inside.

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Ample space in bottom cabinet to store your 12.7kg gas tank

Function. Both grills on the range come with side burners which turn your barbecue into an outdoor kitchen. Heat up sauces and grill at the same time without moving back and forth between your garden/balcony and kitchen. The UC500 also comes with a back burner and rotisserie.

Napoleon UC500 cooking area

UC500 has a slightly wider cooking surface than the UC430

Napoleon Ultra Chef UC500 hotplate

Optional Reversible Hotplate for the UC500

Napoleon Ultra Chef Back Burner

UC500 back burner

Moving on….

For the charcoal lovers, local brand Liberty Grills has a new addition to their barbecue family – the Liberty Spitfire Pro!

It’s really the new and improved successor to the original Spitfire 22″ kettle as they will be phasing it out soon (get ’em while in stock~ haha)

In terms of size, the two have the same cooking area, so no changes there. But the new Spitfire Pro does have a rounder, fuller fire bowl and lid combination compared to the first Spitfire which is definitely more aesthetically pleasing (especially with a smooth, glossy finish). It also stands on 3 thicker legs, as opposed to 4 thinner legs. Together with the slightly heavier fire bowl, the barbecue is much sturdier (no rocking about when you shake it) with a solid feel.

The new Liberty Spitfire Pro is available for $321 (price includes GST). They don’t come with rain covers, but those are easily attainable online or from some hardware/DIY stores like Handy House over at 120 Upper East Coast Road (next to Bodytec) or Decofix at Serene Centre. Those stores also sell other barbecue accessories too if you ever need charcoal or fire starters on the weekend.

Liberty Spitfire Pro 22"

Liberty Spitfire Pro 22″ Charcoal BBQ

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Vent on Lid

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Temperature gauge on lid

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Cooking Grid lifter

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Ash Catcher

Liberty Spitfire Pro 22"

Ash Catcher

All barbecues are available online from Liberty Patio.

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The Perfect Kind of Small: Liberty Chef S3 BBQ Grill

I’m also on the look out for the perfect BBQ grill for the Singapore market. That is, something small enough to fit a balcony or small garden, but has all the nifty features of a larger BBQ. Most importantly, something that doesn’t break the bank.

This weekend, I think I may have just found it.

Liberty Chef S3

Presenting The Liberty Chef S3

I’m talking about the Liberty Chef S3 gas barbecue.

The Chef S3 is a three burner gas grill that comes with a stainless steel hood with rollback glass window. It’s also comes with a stainless steel warming rack and heavy duty motorised rotisserie unit. And I’m talkin’ REAL heavy duty. The rotisserie spike is practically a rod! It’s also got two foldable side tables with hooks to boot.

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It’s really compact – 2 foldable side tables

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Hook for your 12.7kg LPG tank

 

I love that it’s got a hook on the side for those who would like to use the larger 12.7kg LPG tanks. You can hang it on the side for more mobility. Otherwise, the small 4.5kg tanks fit perfectly on the trolley beneath. What’s more is that this barbecue uses the more traditional lava / ceramic rocks tray for those of you who prefer a more aromatic BBQ session.

My main concern at first was that this barbecue uses 3 vitreous enamel grill plates instead of cast iron (which I prefer). However, for an additional $86, you can get a large single grill plate from Liberty Patio that you can replace all 3 grills with. You just have to rotate the grill and it covers most of the original cooking area. For those who want a hot plate, the Chef S3 has optional hot plates you can purchase separately at $60 each.

Liberty Chef S3

3 Vitreous Enamel Grill Plates

Liberty Chef S3

Replace the vitreous enamel grill plates with a cast iron one for $86

Over all, I am very pleased with the size, price and features of the Liberty Chef S3. At $799, it comes with all the features of it’s larger counterparts, and has a smooth, clean finish to it. It also comes with a free rain cover, gas regulator and hose, and includes delivery and assembly.

The Liberty Chef S3 is available from Liberty Patio.

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Top 10 Balcony BBQs

I’ve lived in an apartment for most of my life but I’ve been lucky enough to have had a decent-sized balcony where we could store a three burner gas grill. However, if space is a real issue for you (especially because we live in Singapore!) but you’re still dying to get your hands on a BBQ, I’ve come up with a list of my top 10 favourite BBQs for your balcony!

1. Napoleon Portable Stainless Steel Marine Grill PTSS165P

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The Good: This petite Napoleon grill was designed for usage on a yacht, so not only is it made with high quality stainless steel that’s more resistant against humidity, you can attach it to any railing with the optional rail mount accessory – you don’t actually need a counter top to use this nifty machine.

The Bad: It’s tiny! I mean, really, it’s very, very small! It’s only 21 inches wide. That said, it is only 21 inches wide. So if your balcony is fabulously tiny, this could be the BBQ for you.

2. Masport Piha

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The Good: The Masport Piha folds down and can be wheeled around as though it were a suitcase. This makes for easy storage if you’re not planning on using the BBQ all the time and don’t want to clutter up your balcony. You can even take it around in your car. I can fit it in the boot of my Vios. That’s how compact it is!

The Bad: This BBQ uses a single “U” burner. I’ve found that the heat distribution from the burner isn’t that even across the cooking surface. But unless you’re going to be cooking for a whole lotta people, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

3. Napoleon TQ2225PO Travel Q Portable Propane Grill

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The Good: The Napoleon TravelQ packs quite a bit of punch in it’s burner considering that it’s a portable grill. You can get the optional foldable stand too instead of using your own counter top, which makes packing the grill away so easy. I love the solid cast iron grill and the fact that you can switch between gas cartridges and LPG tanks.

The Bad: The gas cartridge adaptor doesn’t work very well with Singapore cartridges. Not sure why, but I think it’s because our cartridges run a bit small. Anyway, you get more bang for your buck using the LPG tanks (works with both 4.5kg or 12.7kg tanks).

4. Liberty Sizzle Top

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The Good: The Liberty Sizzle Top grill is an electric glass top BBQ made from Schott Ceran German glass. There are 2 electric burners below, and the temperature level can be adjusted by using the knob and goes up to 250 degrees. This grill is really easy to clean, and you can use it both indoors and outdoors. It even comes with an optional stainless steel cart with removable side tables.

The Bad: While the temperature is easy to control, this is still an electric grill, and many BBQ lovers aren’t fans of the electric types as they aren’t seen as the traditional way to BBQ (i.e. with fire).

5. Napoleon Prestige P308RB

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The Good: The Napoleon Prestige P308 is perfect if you’re looking for a solid grill that can still fit in your balcony. It has 2 foldable side tables and an exceptionally narrow depth area. The quality of the fire box is impeccable, made from aluminium casting, instead of the regular stainless steel stuff. It also comes with a back burner and motorised rotisserie unit, which is unusual for a 2 burner grill.

The Bad: This BBQ runs a bit on the pricey side because it is made in Canada and had to be shipped directly from there, so the cost of bringing it all the way to Singapore was high.

6. Liberty Ball Grill

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The Good: The Liberty Ball Grill is a cute little charcoal BBQ that sits pretty on most balcony tables or counter tops. Perfect for intimate evenings!

The Bad: Apart from the cuteness, this is really your basic charcoal BBQ. There’s not much to it, and not recommended for the serious grill aficionado.

7. Napoleon Charcoal PRO22K-L

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The Good: The Charcoal PRO22K-L comes with a solid cast iron grill. And when I say solid, I mean, really heavy duty stuff. I love the design of this grill, both sleek and practical that shows a lot of thought went into putting this BBQ together. For example, when opening the lid, you’ll realise that it is attached at an angle that doesn’t require you to pull it back so you avoid running your arm across the heat.

The Bad: It’s actually not that small. It will fit in most balconies, but it’s really just a regular-sized kettle BBQ. Like I said before too, the grill is very solid, which means it’s heavy. If you’re a tiny person, you might have trouble lifting it up when you want to adjust the level of the grill from the fire.

8. Masport Charcoal

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The Good: The Masport Charcoal has many features such as the warming rack, foldable side table and adjustable charcoal grate which come in very handy during the grilling session. Also, it has a rectangular cooking area which many users prefer to the standard circular ones (I’m not sure why though).

The Bad: It doesn’t have as solid a frame as the Napoleon Charcoal Pro. Having said that, it is a two-thirds the price of the latter.

9. Liberty Kokomo Mini

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The Good: Ever wanted a kamado-style BBQ but never had the space for it? The Liberty Kokomo Mini is a small scale version of the ceramic bbq grill. It’s such a wonderful grill for experimenting recipes with because you can grill, smoke, sear and even bake with this BBQ. The ceramic shell of this grill allows the barbecue to maintain very high and very low temperatures with the help of the top and base vents.

The Bad: As with all kamado-style BBQs, the shell is really thick and leaves less room for the cooking area. So it looks like a bulky item, even though the cooking area is really only 11 inches.

10. Liberty Kitchenette 3

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The Good: The Liberty Kitchenette 3 is a wonderful countertop gas grill. It’s a good size for entertaining up to 10 guests, and comes with 2 cast iron grills, 3 stainless steel burners and flame tamers. You can even work with a contractor to have it flushed into a nice BBQ structure as a built-in gas grill.

The Bad: It doesn’t come with an optional stand so you’ll need a countertop to place it on.

All grills in this post are available from Liberty Patio.

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